This slightly hazy, golden-hued Helles lager from Collingwood, Ontario’s Side Launch Brewing Company has pencil yellow highlights and pours with a large and frothy head that has excellent retention and tends to leave some light spots of lace near the top of my glass. Mountain Lager has floral and perfume-like noble hop aromas, an almost steely mineral character and hints of stone fruit and red berry over a light base of German malts that give off an air of honey and light caramel.
The taste of Mountain Lager is crisp and finds supreme balance. Earthy, yet soft and honey-tinged malts and contrasted by a dry black pepper note, a citrus peel flavour and a moderate 27 IBU bitterness. I find that the fruity esters really come forward in the taste before transitioning to a dry finish that has lingering mineral, pepper and soapy tones. This lager is full-bodied for the substyle, with a pleasantly understated carbonation level and slight viscosity.
This helles style lager from Innis & Gunn in Edinburgh, Scotland is a clear, light golden tone that pours with a small and loose white head that is retained as a thin film and collar and yields a steady stream of carbonation from the bottom of your glass. Innis & Gunn Lager Beer smells mainly of honey-sweetened oatmeal and light grains, with a strawberry-like fruit note and a soft floral accent.
The taste of Innis & Gunn Lager Beer is balanced between sweet, jamlike fruity flavours and a subtle but effective bitterness that comes through in the finish along with a soft citrus note. The lager has a pleasant grainy character throughout and though relatively thin in body feels smooth and creamy in the mouth thanks to the inclusion of hulless or “naked” golden oats.
Heller High Water from Kichesippi Beer Company in Ottawa, Ontario is a golden straw colour with a spongy white head that leaves small spots and streaks of lace before resting as a thin collar and film. This seasonal helles lager has a mild smell with aromas of fresh and lightly toasted grains, yeast and red berry juice.
The taste of Heller High Water is light and crisp. Airy yet earthy malt, yeast and grassy flavours are accented by an almost metallic, mineral-like bitterness. The lager has a fairly thin body and moderate carbonation. It is creamy and a bit grainy with a mild oiliness and the finish is pretty clean with a touch of grain and yeast flavour in the aftertaste.