Home > Helles, Pale Lager > Ayinger Lager Hell

Ayinger Lager Hell

Rating: 3.05

More commonly known as Ayinger Bräu Hell, I’ll go by the Lager Hell title since that’s what was printed on the bottle I purchased at Memmingen airport on my way home from Munich a few months ago. It’s taken me this long to get round to trying it because I was saving it but now with the freshness date creeping up I felt like now would be as good a time as any to start working my way through the three different Ayinger brand beers I brought back with me. This beer was a gold medal winner at the German Agricultural Society international competition in 2001 as well as from 2003-05 despite not being one of the breweries main beers. It’s not a beer I managed to try whilst in Germany so this will be a first taste of the beer for me although I did manage to sample Ayinger’s hefeweizen offering whilst there. Since the brewery lies 25km outside of Munich it’s beers are excluded from Oktoberfest & the brewery holds its own beer festivals in the Bavarian countryside each year. Another thing to note is that only around 10% of the companies beers are brewed for export & mainly to Italy with only a few making it to North America & the rest of Europe so it’s not a beer I’m likely to come across all that often, better enjoy it while I still can.

Appearance (4/5): Pours a light, bright golden colour with so much bubbles that the beer looks cloudy as a result. There is a massive bright white head that is quite foamy & leaves a lot of lacing on the glass as a result of this. The head retention is excellent with very little reducing in size apparent. Very nice looking indeed, especially for what is essentially a pale lager.
Aroma (5/10): To be honest, not as good as I have come to expect from German beers although still not as bad as the mass-produced American & British lagers. Upfront there is a sort of skunky metallic aroma that is fighting for position along with a lot a grain. There is also some subtle grassy hops & some malts but grain seems to feature the most. A disappointment really.
Taste (6/10): Sadly, like a lot of beers this one matches the smell quite closely with lots of grain featuring in the taste as well. There is some grassy hops & the addition of a sweet sort of lemony taste to it that isn’t in the smell but other than that it is like for like.
Palate (3/5): The body is light to medium & the beer has an overall fluffy feel to it that is different to most beers out there. Not so much great but certainly different & enjoyable enough. There is also plenty of carbonation without being overly gassy which is always nice.

Overall (11/20): I’m rather disappointed in this one really, I think I managed to build it up to much in my head before trying it & ultimately I was going to be disappointed. Hopefully the next two beers from the brewery I will be reviewing soon will be better as I’m sure they will considering the reputation of the brewery. Not a bad beer, just bad by German standards.

Brewed In: Aying, Bavaria, Germany
Brewery: Brauerei Aying
Also Known As: Ayinger Bräu Hell / Ayinger Hell
Type: Munich Helles Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Allgäu Airport, Memmingen, Germany
Price: €1.40 approx. / £1.18 approx.

  1. September 16, 2011 at 01:02

    The beer was relaunched several years ago and is now brewed according to a new recipe. The new version is not as good as the old Ayinger Helles was: too light and one dimensional.

    You should try the Ayinger Kellerbier, which is their unfiltered Helles, the Ayinger Jubiläums Bier, which is their Export and the Ayinger Frühlingsbier (unfiltred version of the Jubiläums Bier). These taste much better than the Lager.

  2. Georg
    September 27, 2011 at 14:32

    I agree. The “Lager” is clearly the weakest offering from Ayinger. I hardly ever buy it.

    I was in Bavaria during the relaunch. It was accompanied by a huge marketing campaign: radio spots, sales promotions, newspaper advertisments etc. Causing such a stir is rather uncommon among traditional Bavarian breweries.

    It seems as if they tried to make up for the beer’s lack of flavour with marketing campaigns.

  1. September 9, 2011 at 22:36

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