Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Gorch Fock

Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Munster, IN

Style: Helles

Jill’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Pair With:
Ma and Pa Jaracz live about spitting distance from Three Floyd’s (which sadly, wasn’t nearby when I actually lived there). A visit home to the folks usually means a trip to Three Floyd’s—I mean, how else would we converse if we didn’t have a beverage to help us along? Though I’ll never say no to a visit, Three Floyd’s isn’t exactly my stein of beer because, as I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of their general philosophy, which seems to be: Take beer recipe. Add hops. Add more hops. How about some more hops?

Since I’m not a hophead, I cringe whenever I go there and peruse their beer list. What could I have that I might exactly enjoy? I’ve got the answer now, and it is Gorch Fock.

It’s fitting that I review Gorch Fock during Beer Dorks’ International Beer Month, because I think this beer is about as close as you can get to a German helles without being brewed in Germany. It’s that good and true to style. I should know—I lived in Munich for six months, where I drank Bavarian helles beers by the liter.

The Gorch Fock pours with a huge, beautiful head—nice and foamy, just like it should. The color is a rich golden, with some carbonation, but it’s not crazy. The nose is a bit dull—slightly malty, slightly hoppy, and you might think that it’s not much of anything—but wait! You haven’t tasted it yet, so you don’t know what you’re in for.

When the beer is really cold, the initial taste is that it’s thin, but don’t be mistaken—the flavor is there; it’s not watered down. As it warms and opens up the beer is thicker, but it never overpowers. You get a clean, slightly bitter taste that washes through your mouth and is completely refreshing. It’s not an extreme beer, it’s not something radically different, but it’s still fantastic. You could easily sit in your lederhosen in a Bavarian beer garden, enjoy glass after glass of this, and no one would think you’re not drinking a German beer. And that’s what a helles is all about—it’s a beer that’s not super-exciting, but it’s something you look forward to drinking on a daily basis.

Except for one thing. Sucker comes in a 22-ounce bottle, but a liter is 33.8 ounces, and Gorch Fock is definitely a beer you drink by the liter, not by the bomber. However you enjoy it though, be sure to raise your glass in a proper German prosit and enjoy a little Gemuetlichkeit, straight out of Munster (that’s Munster, Indiana).

Reviewed by Jill Jaracz on February 10, 2009.
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