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Beer Reviews

Helen's Fruit Beer Trio: White Peach, Grape and Strawberry | 海伦司 白桃啤酒, 葡萄啤酒 和 草莓啤酒


If you haven't heard of Helen's before, Helen's is a popular chain of pubs originating from Mainland China. The brand grew really famous for launching a series of low-ABV flavoured beers that appealed to youths (it's main demographic) seeking a sessionable yet tasty drink to sip on while they hung out with their friends.

This includes eye-catching releases such as the viral Helen's Milk Beer - though debate is out whether it truly constitutes a beer, given that it's bottled at a 0.3% ABV. (If you're curious about it, read our review of the Helen's Milk Beer here.) In addition to the Milk Beer, Helen's line-up of flavoured beers also includes its trio of Fruit Beers: in the flavours of White Peach, Grape and Strawberry. Each are bottled at around 2.2% to 2.5% ABV. 

Flavoured beers are a divisive category. Some more purist beer drinkers might argue that at some point, if you're drinking a beer for the flavourings, one might as well drink a flavoured drink that eschews the beer label entirely. 

That said, where Helen's is concerned, perhaps having a flavoured drink that still somewhat qualifies as a beer is the entire point. Helen's team understood that many of the university students that frequented its pubs simply wanted to hang out with one another, yet had to contend with the peer pressure to drink while they were in the pub. Hence, these trio of fruited beers were designed to be approachable and easy enough to sip on through the night without fear of hangovers the next day - it was never meant to cater to those who genuinely enjoy a pint, but to those who felt pressured to say they did.

Categorization aside, I for one am personally quite curious to try for myself this trio of Helen's fruit beers. Let's dive in! 

Helen's White Peach Fruit Beer | 海伦司白桃啤酒 - Tasting Notes

Aroma: Sweet notes of white peach puree and apple gummies, with a slight accent of malt and wheat. 

Taste: Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated and refreshing. There's a subtly sweet peach flavors, with honey and apple soda notes. I liked how the peachiness wasn't so heavy-handed and was eased in more subtly. There's also some gentle malt cereal notes in the background. 

Finish: Medium, with lingering peaches, apples and some malt cereal. 

Overall Thoughts: Very sessionable and enjoyable, I think it might be my favorite of the lot! I think I was expecting a very saccharine, overly sweet juice drink. But the peach flavour and sweetness was more gentle. Some light malts and wheat on the palate - though very discreet - help add some body and balance to the beer. 

Helen's Grape Fruit Beer | 海伦司 葡萄啤酒 - Tasting Notes

 

Aroma: Really fragrant and fruity aroma! I get whiffs of Hi Chew grape gummies and a mild undertone of lychee and Ribena. 

Taste: Light-bodied and mildly carbonated. I get notes of grape puree and grape candies, although similar to the peach notes in the peach fruit beer, the grape flavours aren't as punchy and overt as you might initially expect. That said, the bold fruity fragrance that I picked up when sniffing this beer doesn't quite translate on the tongue, and the grape flavors comes across quite flat and mildly dilute at times - almost reminding me of grape sparkling water. 

Finish: Short, with notes of grape gummies and Ribena and a slight bitterness. 

Overall Thoughts: The aroma on this was fantastic, and my favorite of the lot. However, I was mildly dissapointed to note that the robust fruity aromas didn't translate as well when it come to the palate, and at times the grape fruited beer tastes a bit flat and ... diluted. This by no means indicates you should write this one off - the grape gummy flavours of this still very likeable if you don't overthink it, and its refreshing and light enough that it never feels to cloying or overwhelming. 

Helen's Strawberry Fruit Beer | 海伦司 草莓啤酒) - Tasting Notes

 

Aroma: Candied strawberry, similar to the strawberry tangulu street snack you'd often pick up at night markets. The smell is quite saccharine, with a note of melted white sugar. 

Taste: Light-bodied. I pick up some mildly sweet strawberry and cream notes. There's also very gentle undertone of malt. 

Finish: Short, fades with flavors of strawberry candy, some vanilla and malt. 

Overall Thoughts: It's hard to argue against strawberry! The fruity candied sweetness of it - which carried through on the aromas and on the taste - is quite enjoyable. However, if I were to nitpick, it would be that the strawberry flavour was a tad bit one dimensional and would have been improved with a bolder cream notes to add body. Although, I did enjoy the finish quite a bit, as it was here that some vanilla and malt notes emerged and become slightly more apparent, adding balance to the strawberry flavours. 

Final Thoughts

My favourite of the lot would have to be the white peach, which surprised me with how some gentle maltiness was still peeking through. In contrast, while the grape fruit beer really shined and got me excited with its aroma, the body and finish fell a bit flat. Meanwhile, the strawberry fruit beer did at times come across a tad one dimensional.

Overall though, they all came across as very refreshing and sessionable, and you wouldn't be in bad hands with any of them if you one day found yourself in one of Helen's famous pubs. Every can boasts a sweet, inoffensive and universally well-liked fruity flavour that makes them perfect for sipping on. Yet at the same time, these fruity flavours are not incorporated into the beers in an overly sugared or saccharine way, which prevents them from tasting too cloying.

| Read more: Our Review of The Viral Helens Milk Beer: The 0.3% ABV Armour Against Peer Pressure

 

Happy sipping! 

@lotusroot518