Helios Brewing's June 2023 Quartet

Various Styles As Indicated
3.0% & 3.5% & 8.0% & 13.3%

In an era of 13.3 percent ABV beers called things like Chocolate Brownie Imperial Pastry Stout, sometimes it’s the little beers that stand out.

This Wet Hop Table Saison is a fun little beer. It’s a collab with Hilltop Hops, a small Brisbane hop farm. And for anyone who’s ever had their ear chewed off by a beer geek explaining that saisons were originally beers made for the farm workers… guess what? Helios made this beer for farm workers! Specifically, they used 45kg of whole hop cones from the first hop harvest from Hilltop Hops to make this beer, so the workers could drink it at the second harvest.

It’s just the thing for after a hard day’s picking hops: dry with a real bitterness, and just enough fruity esters and fresh hop character to balance out plenty of spice, pepper, and a little clove. It’s impressive for 3.5 percent ABV, which is more the strength that saisons like this used to be back in the old days. It really has a traditional feel to it, like I should be drinking this from a banged-up metal cup while leaning on a scythe.

While we’re talking traditional styles: I’m racking my brain, trying to remember if I’ve seen an Aussie-brewed dark mild before. I’m not sure I have. But Helios head brewer Jake Harrison is clearly stoked with himself for bringing this sessionable brown ale to life.

Helios’ Classic Series Dark Mild isn’t packed with lactose or baked goods, but it’s surprisingly packed with flavour. The UK malts in this English-style mild bring about the caramelly notes of artisanal cola alongside some nutty chocolate character. It’s genuinely difficult to believe this beer is so low in alcohol, because the flavour isn’t lacking in any sense. And as the reach the bottom of the glass, a soft bitterness holds you close and whispers in your ear, “You can have another one. I’ll be gentle.”

But of course, Helios doesn’t shy away from the big beers either. And these beers will not be gentle.

The first heavy-hitter is Apollo IIPA, and it is indeed heavy. In a good way. Like you want your bodyguard to be heavy.

When it comes to a West Coast IPA, this marries the modern fruitiness of Galaxy, Vic Secret, Enigma and El Dorado with the sensibility of Columbus holding the fort of old school West Coasts.

The beer pours a deep orangey gold, and there’s plenty of fruit, but the fruit isn’t light and bright: it’s drenched in resin. Thick resin and dank stonefruit were the biggest impression to me, along with a bitterness that lasts and lasts.

Finally, remember that 13.3 percent ABV Chocolate Brownie Imperial Pastry Stout I mentioned? Well. It’s here. It’s got a hefty brown head, a cocoa hit like a ripper right hook to the face, and a boozy backhand that wallops you like you just insulted its mum.

While the word "pastry" is there, I actually didn’t find this beer as sweet as I expected. For all its big flavour, it was more like the levelled-out cocoa flavour of those choc ripple biscuits than the gooey sweet sugar rush of a triple-fudge brownie. And unlike many pastry beers, it didn’t hold back on the finish, the bitterness smouldered like a look from Brad Pitt circa 2001.

Mick Wüst

Published June 21, 2023

Helios Brewing

15 Palomar Road
QLD 4105

(07) 3392 9739
Open Hours

Thursday: 4pm to 9pm
Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 9pm

Sunday: 12pm to 5:30pm

And open for growler fills through the week


By appointment

Thirsty Merchants PoO 24
Gypsy Hub

More from Helios Brewing

Helios Brewing Cerberus 2024
Helios Brewing Gaia Lemon Saison
Lemon Saison
Helios Brewing Dionysus Oat Cream IPA
Oat Cream IPA
Helios Brewing Tortuous Twins
Imperial Candy Sour
Helios Brewing Borealis 200 Day Pilsner
German Pilsner
Helios Brewing Medusa & Kronos 2023
Black IPA & Imperial Stout
7.6% & 12.0%
Helios Brewing Cerberus Red IPA 2023
Helios Brewing Demeter DDH NZ IPA
Helios Brewing Enyo Oaked Cherry Sour Red Ale
Oaked Belgian Red with Cherries
Helios' Classic Series: German Pilsner
German Pilsner
Helios Brewing Mulberry & Lemon Myrtle Sour
Fruited Sour
Helios Brewing Dionysus NEIIPA
Double NEIPA
Helios & Catchment Harpy Double West Coast IPA
Double West Coast IPA
Helios Brewing Athena's Courage 2022
Scotch Ale
Helios Brewing Kronos White Stout 2022
Imperial White Stout
Helios Perseus White IPA & Medusa Black IPA 2022
White & Black IPAs
7.0% & 7.5%
Helios Brewing Cyclops IPA
Helios Brewing Heracles Australian Pale
Aussie Pale Ale
Helios Pegasus Tropical Pale & Zeus Cryo-Hopped DIPA
Tropical Pale & Cryo DIPA
4.0% & 9.0%
Helios Brewing Cerberus Dry Red IPA