5C. German Helles Exportbier

Overall Impression

A golden German lager balancing a smooth malty profile with a bitter, hoppy character in a slightly above-average body and strength beer.


Medium yellow to deep gold. Clear. Persistent white head.


Medium-low to medium floral, spicy, or herbal hop aroma. Moderate grainy-sweet malt aroma, possibly with light toasty, bready, or doughy notes. Clean fermentation profile. Hops and malt both noticeable, and generally balanced.


Moderate, balanced malt and hops with supporting bitterness. Malt and hop flavors similar to aroma (same descriptors and intensities). Medium, noticeable bitterness, full on the palate, with a medium-dry finish. Clean fermentation character. Aftertaste of both malt and hops, generally in balance. Mineral character typically perceived more as a roundness and fullness of flavor, and a dry, flinty sharpness in the finish rather than overt mineral flavors. Background sulfate optional.


Medium to medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth and mellow on the palate. Very slight warmth may be noted in stronger versions.


Also known Dortmunder Export, Dortmunder, Export, or simply a Dort. Called Export within Germany, and often Dortmunder elsewhere, Export is also a beer strength descriptor under German brewing tradition, and could be applied to other styles. Splits the difference between a German Pils and a Munich Helles in several aspects: color, hop-malt balance, finish, bitterness.


Developed in Dortmund in the Ruhr industrial region in the 1870s in response to pale Pilsner-type beers. It became very popular after World War II but declined in the 1970s. Other Export-class beers developed independently, and reflected a slightly stronger version of existing beers.

Characteristic Ingredients

Minerally water with high levels of sulfates, carbonates, and chlorides. Traditional German or Czech hops. Pilsner malt. German lager yeast. Decoction mash traditional.

Style Comparison

Less finishing hops and more body than a German Pils. More bitter and drier than a Munich Helles. Stronger, drier, but less hoppy than a Czech Premium Pale Lager.

Vital Statistics


20 - 30


4 - 6


1.050 - 1.058


1.008 - 1.015


5% - 6%

Commercial Examples

Chuckanut Export Dortmunder Lager, DAB Dortmunder Export, Dortmunder Kronen, Landshuter Edel Hell, Müllerbräu Export Gold, Schönramer Gold.