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Beer styles Franconia Germany

Schlenkerla Helles

Last year, we met up with Ron Pattinson in Cask and spent a few hours discussing Franconia, East Germany and His Big Book. Ron spotted Schlenkerla Helles in the fridge and recommended it.

We’d not tried it before and loved it. There is no smoked malt in the beer but, being brewed in the same building and with the same equipment as their darker smoked beers, it can’t help but pick up a bit of smokiness.

We never got round to writing this up and, in the months since then, we haven’t seen it on sale in Cask. Our favourite London pub has recently, however, even further expanded it’s beer selection and the Helles has popped up again so were able to enjoy a couple of bottles this week.

In fact, if you’re a fan of Rauchbier, Cask now has several different varieties on offer, in addition to the usual suspects from Schlenkerla.

11 replies on “Schlenkerla Helles”

oh….now i’m a little embarrassed. I thought this was smoky, too…..And you know my aversion to the Rauch! This now, after being shown the way, goes on ‘the list’….thanks guys!

They don’t even sell it in the Schlenkerla Brewery Tap in Bamberg, but you can usually get it at BSF, though I haven’t checked this year’s list for it.

It is pretty horrid in my view. Not as horrid as the rest of their beers though. You can take it from that that I don’t like smoked beers!

Is this the one with the pale blue label? If so, I’ve tried it and enjoyed it.

One thing about Cask though – the bottle selection is great, but some of the prices are truly bonkers. e.g. :

Flying Dog Raging Bitch :

Devonshire Cat, Sheffield : £3.90
Cask, London SW1 : £7.50

There are other examples that are similarly priced. Sure some of the top-end stuff is very hard to find in pubs or bars, and will always be expensive. But a mark up like that on what is a relatively easy to find beer (hell, Tesco sell two of Flying Dog’s other beers) seems a bit extravagant to me. Unless they’re buying it retail and marking up accordingly? Surely not?

Tandleman, oh I love smoked beers, especially Schlenkerla, but I had a bottle at home recently and then had it on tap at a upscale hotel/pub over in the US on Saturday night and I was left curiously unmoved, a Helles is a creature of the light and even muted smoky notes seem uneven.

Of the Schlenkerla beers, the Helles is one of the two I enjoy drinking multilple bottles of, the other being the weizen. I was quite surprised when I learnt there was no rauchmalt in the grist, but the slight edge of smokiness just adds something pleasant.

They most certainly do sell it at the brewery tap, though only in bottles and (I think) only at the kiosk, not in the restaurant. Maybe there just wasn’t any when Tandleman was last there.

Ah – no. AFAIK for take away only at the kiosk. Otherwise not. On two visits that’s been the case. Of course, as you say, it may just not have been there when I was. But they told me it isn’t sold there for drinking on the premises. I’ll check next month when I’m there.

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