Munich Gold - Hacker-Pschorr Bräu, Munich
Oh the vaunted German Helles, the beer that shattered so many of my misconceptions about light bodied beer. It's is a style I'm very well acquainted with, having spent a good deal of my 24th summer emptying as many pints of Franconian Helles as I could. I've enjoyed many summertime Helles beers because they are nice and light while being very full flavored. While a Pilsner is crisp and lighter in malt, Helles beers tend to be much more well balanced and deliciously malty. While I've had my fair share of Helles pints in Germany, I haven't had many Hacker-Pschorr beers.
I had my first Hacker-Pschorr beer this past summer at a cafe on the Marienplatz in Munich. It was a wonderful early summer evening spent enjoying Hacker's Weiss vom faß. Of Munich's big six breweries, Hacker-Pschorr is the one I've had the least beer from. Fast forward to present day and I noticed some bottles of Hacker started showing up on the shelves of my local liquor store, so I decide to pick a few up.
This bottle of Munich Gold is Hacker's export Helles, and it tastes exactly like those pints of Helles I had during my first summer in Munich. The aroma of this beer is pretty pedestrian, it smells like pale malts with a hint of horse... it's best to skip right to the flavor. The beauty of this beer is in it's smooth balance. Having picked up on a lot of pale malt in the aroma, I was expecting more of a Pilsner flavor and texture from this beer. I was surprised to find this beer has a pleasantly grainy malt flavor that finishes with just a touch of hops and sweetness.
For anyone who's had a bad or mediocre experience with a Helles, I'd suggest giving this beer a try. Likewise, if you are big on the Helles style you really should get a bottle of this if you somehow managed to miss it.