Helles Bock

Glassware: Updated pokal
  • Germany
  • Lager
  • ABV = 6.3 – 7.4% (Elevated)^
  • IBU = 23-35
  • SRM = 6-9
A strong, malt-forward, gold-coloured German lager.  

Can be thought of as a Munich Helles brewed to bock strength. Less strong than a pale Doppelbock, but with similar flavours.


  • Colour^ = Gold to light amber
  • Clarity = Very clear to brilliant

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate to high; grainy-sweet, often with a lightly toasted quality
  • Hops = None to moderate; spicy, herbal or floral, if present
  • Yeast = Clean fermentation profile
  • Other = Very light alcohol may be noticeable
  • Malt = Moderate; grainy-sweet, doughy, bready, or lightly toasty (light caramel optional)
  • Hops = None to moderate; spicy, herbal, floral, or peppery, if present
  • Yeast = Clean fermentation profile
  • 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 warmth may be present

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = A mix of Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich malts
  • Hops = German hop varietals
  • Yeast = German lager yeast
  • Process = Decoction mashing 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, Hofbraü Maibock, Mahr’s Heller Bock

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines

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

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