I'm sure a lot of people will be wondering why it took Lost and Grounded of Keller Pils fame so long to come up with another core beer (it's been 4 years since their last core release), but if this was how long it took to perfect the recipe for the Helles then think we can all forgive them. They're serious lager lovers and they were never going to release something that wasn't quite right.
I also have a bit of a soft spot for this beer. I was lucky enough to have carefully timed my birthday for the first weekend after lockdown, which also coincided with some lovely weather, so I was able to celebrate in the park with some friends and a personal 4-pack of Helles. It was pretty magical sitting in the sun after what has officially been the longest winter ever, seeing friends I hadn't seen in months, and drinking what I came to realise was going to be my go-to park beer for the foreseeable future. (Yes I know that lagers are for all year round but I really feel this tastes best in the sun.)
To carry on with the sentimentality, I have to say that to me, this instantly reminded me of the sips of beer my dad would give me on really hot days in the summer holidays when I was little. I'm pretty sure that was actually Kronenbourg, but it seems my memory has improved it. It's super soft, bready and a bit floral but absolutely with a bit of crispness at the end. And despite my useless photo (I took too long trying to get the angle right), this actually had a great head, with the level of carbonation bang on.
There's something about helles for me vs. pilsners that is just much more comforting and nostalgic, so sorry Keller Pils but you have been usurped.