Pipeworks – Smoked Helles – 5.8 smokestacks out of 7

This works! By Pipeworks, Smoked Helles. Helles means Light, according to the inebriated employee at a random Kentucky liquor store, (I don’t recall ever verifying that Helles statement). And this Smoked Helles by Pipeworks really fits the genre better than just about anyone out there who has ever made one. Pipework’s Smoked Helles has full force smokepower smell and taste from what I suspect are beechwood smoked malts, a hand full of thirst quenching bitters, and just enough alcohol to brighten your day after 16 ounces, or 32, or… The gold standard of smoked helles beers is by Aecht Schlenkerla out of Bamberg, Germany and this rendition does them proud. Something I haven’t shared on SmokeBeerMinistry yet was my pilgrimage to Bamberg, and into the center of the mountain where they brew their beer; it was a surreal experience. But at the time Pipeworks Smoked Helles was reviewed, I was well past an entire bottle of wine and seem to have jotted down ramblings encouraging readers to review the website’s About page, or Mission Statement; or not, who cares, its been a tough pandemic on us all, and this is a beer blog, how many curve balls could possibly be out there? I’ve been critical of Pipework’s creations in the past, and their business model in general. They deploy the scattergun technique, and produce an ever changing palate of beer concoctions and have never to my knowledge held steady onto any one recipe that I can find on two separate trips to the liquor store. But it is on this day that I learned the wisdom of the seeker. This search is central to SmokeBeerMinistry, and that makes me happy. Pipeworks Smoked Helles – 5.8 smokestacks out of 7.

Beer NameSmoked Helles
Brewer’s DescriptionI couldn’t find one, and I really tried scouring their website, which is just about the shittiest website I’ve ever seen. There’s an image of a cowboy campfire scene on the can.
Food Pairingschicken wings
Brewer LocationChicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume5.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units)idk, it’s prolly something
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark)2.9
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns)6
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks6
Sausage detection? Y or NY
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil)3
Overall Happiness Rating: 1-7 (low – high)5.8

And then you have this website… Maybe I’m expecting too much to come from a decent website.


About SmokeBeerMinistry

I like beers that taste like smoke.
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