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.

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