What are Pilsner, Lager, Helles, Kolsch?

What are Pilsner, Lager, Helles, Kolsch?

March 08, 2023

Kolsch vs Pilsner vs Helles? πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Oktoberfest come at us...

With October looming around the corner we will see a range of German style beers hitting the taps in pretty much anywhere that sells good beer... It's a great time to drink these styles, and think about all that beer history you're chugging down. Truth is though, there is so many styles it can get confusing - don't worry, we are here to help. Over the next few weeks we will dive into traditional German styles that you can find being brewed not only from the traditional Brauereis, but most craft beer breweries from around the world. Today, we start at the lighter end of the scale - a little, whet-the-whistle beer!

We'll start with Helles, which can translate to 'pale' or 'bright' in English. Originally popular in South Germany, it's essentially a golden lager - fermented in the cold - brewed with traditional hops from the Noble group, a definitive malty backbone and a Bavarian strain of yeast. Flavour wise, it's a fine balance of hoppiness and maltiness, crisp, refreshing and crushable.

Next, to the Pilsner. A much told story about how a Bavarian monk smuggled his bottom fermenting lager yeast strains to the Czech town of Pilsen, where the water was clean, soft and fresh. A guy pretty au-fait with brewing was also in the area and two years later, Pilsner Urquell brewery popped up and thats that. Pale malt, light in appearance, but a decent malty flavour complimented by some spicy notes from the Noble hops like Saaz. Again, clean, crisp, light and drinkable.

Kolsch however, mainly from the city of KΓΆln in Germany, is a little different. It uses pretty much the same ingredients and lagering process as the above but fermented with an ale yeast, which gives more of a sweet, fruity, less malty flavour. There was even a Kolsch Konvention (sounds our kind of jam) in the 1980's to decide that the style should be a pale, top-fermented, hop-accented, and filtered ale.

So go forth and drink! See what you can find out there this Oktoberfest season. πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ🍻πŸ₯¨ Visit our page on the best bars in Singapore to enjoy craft beers with your friends, alternatively, why not enjoy unique beers in the comfort of your own home with our craft beer delivery services?