Helles Bock

Glassware: Updated pokal
  • Germany
  • Lager
  • ABV = 6.3 – 7.4% (Elevated)^
  • IBU = 23-35
  • SRM = 6-11
A strong, malt-forward, gold-coloured German lager.  

Can be thought of as a Munich Helles brewed to bock strength. More hop character than a Doppelbock.


  • Colour^ = Gold to light amber
  • Clarity = Good

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate to high; grainy-sweet, often with a lightly toasted quality
  • Yeast = None (clean)
  • Hops = None to moderate; spicy, herbal or floral, if present
  • Other = Very light alcohol may be noticeable
  • Malt = Moderate; grainy-sweet with some toasty notes (little to no caramel flavour)
  • Yeast = None (clean)
  • Hops = None to moderate; spicy, herbal, floral, or peppery, if present
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Moderate
  • Balance = Towards the malt, with noticeable bitterness in the balance

Moderately-dry finish that may taste of both malt and hops


  • Body = Medium; smooth
  • Carbonation = Medium
  • Alcohol warmth = A light alcohol warming may be present

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pils and/or Vienna malt, plus Munich malt to add character
  • Yeast = German lager yeast
  • Hops = German hop varietals
  • Process = Decoction mash is traditional

Historical Development:

A fairly recent development in comparison to the other members of the bock family; made with paler malts.

Also known as Maibock, or “May” bock, and is associated with springtime and the month of May.

Commercial Examples:

Ayinger Maibock, Einbecker Mai-Urbock, Mahr’s Bock

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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