Lager Style Glossary

ALE | LAGER | HYBRID

Lager Styles - European/German, North American , Other

European/German Style Lager
German-Style Pilsener - A classic German Pilsener is very light straw or golden in color and well hopped. Hop bitterness is high. Noble-type hop aroma and flavor are moderate and quite obvious. It is a well-attenuated, medium-bodied beer, but a malty residual sweetness can be perceived in aroma and flavor.

Bohemian-Style Pilsener - Bohemian Pilseners are medium bodied, and they can be as dark as a light amber color. This style balances moderate bitterness and nobletype hop aroma and flavor with a malty, slightly sweet, medium body.

European Low-Alcohol Lager/German Leicht(bier) - These beers are very light in body and color. Malt sweetness is perceived at low to medium levels, while hop bitterness character is
perceived at medium levels. Hop flavor and aroma may be low to medium.

Münchner (Munich)-Style Helles - This beer should be perceived as having low bitterness. It is a medium-bodied, malt-emphasized beer; with malt character often balanced with low levels of yeast produced sulfur character. Certain renditions of this beer style approach a perceivable level of hop flavor and character but it is essentially balanced with malt character to retain its style
identity. Color is light straw to golden.

Dortmunder/European-Style Export - Dortmunder has medium hop bitterness. Hop flavor and aroma are perceptible but low. Sweet malt flavor can be low and should not be caramel like. The color of this style is straw to deep golden. The body will be medium bodied.

Vienna-Style Lager - Beers in this category are reddish brown or copper colored. They are medium in body. The beer is characterized by malty aroma and slight malt sweetness. Hop bitterness is clean and crisp.

German-Style Märzen - Märzens are characterized by a medium body and broad range of color. They can range from golden to reddish orange. Sweet maltiness should dominate slightly over a clean, hop bitterness.

German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesen (Meadow) - Oktoberfest beers are characterized by a medium body and light of color. Oktoberfests are golden. Sweet maltiness is mild with an equalizing balance of clean, hop bitterness. Hop aroma and flavor should be low but notable.

European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel - These light brown to dark brown beers have a pronounced malty aroma and flavor that dominates over the clean, crisp, moderate hop bitterness. This beer does not offer an overly sweet impression, but rather a mild balance between malt sweetness, hop bitterness and light to moderate mouthfeel. A classic Münchner dunkel should have a chocolatelike, roast malt, bread like or biscuit like aroma that comes from the use of Munich dark malt.

German-Style Schwarzbier - These very dark brown to black beers have a mild roasted malt character without the associated bitterness. This is not a full-bodied beer, but rather a moderate body gently enhances malt flavor and aroma with low to moderate levels of sweetness. Hop bitterness is low to medium in character.

Bamberg-Style Märzen (Smoke) Rauchbier - Rauchbier Märzen should have smoky characters that range from detectable to prevalent in the aroma and flavor. Smoke character is neither harshly phenolic nor acrid, but rather very smooth, almost rendering a perception of mild sweetness to this style of beer.

Bamberg-Style Helles (Smoke) Rauchbier Lager - Helles Rauchbier should have smoky characters that range from detectable to prevalent in the aroma and flavor. Smoke character is not harshly phenolic, but rather very smooth, almost rendering a perception of mild sweetness to this style of beer. This is a medium-bodied, smoke and malt-emphasized beer; with malt character often balanced with low levels of yeast produced sulfur compounds character. This beer should be perceived as having low bitterness. Color is light straw to golden.

Bamberg-Style Bock (Smoke) Rauchbier Lager - Bamberg-style Bock Rauchbier should have smoky characters that range from detectable to prevalent in the aroma and flavor. Smoke character is not harshly phenolic, but rather very smooth, almost rendering a perception of mild sweetness to this style of beer. The Bock beer character should manifest itself as a strong, malty, medium- to full-bodied with moderate hop bitterness. Hop flavor should be low and hop aroma should be very low. Bocks can range in color from deep copper to dark brown.

Traditional German-Style Bock - Traditional bocks are made with all malt and are strong, malty, medium- to full-bodied, bottom-fermented beers with moderate hop bitterness that should increase proportionately with the starting gravity. Hop flavor should be low and hop aroma should be very low. Bocks can range in color from deep copper to dark brown.

German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock - The German word helle means light colored, and as such, a heller Bock is light straw to deep golden in color. Maibocks are also lightcolored bocks. The malty character should come through in the aroma and flavor. Body is medium to full. Hop bitterness should be low.

German-Style Strong Doppelbock - Malty sweetness is dominant but should not be cloying. Malt character is more is reminiscent of fresh and lightly toasted Munich-style malt; more so than caramel or toffee malt character. Some elements of caramel and toffee can be evident and contribute to complexity, but the predominant malt character is an expression of toasted barley malt. Doppelbocks are full bodied and deep amber to dark brown in color.

German-Style Strong Eisbock - A stronger version of Doppelbock. Malt character can be very sweet. The body is very full and deep copper to almost black in color. Alcoholic strength is very high. Hop bitterness is subdued. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. Typically these beers are brewed by freezing a Doppelbock and removing resulting ice to increase alcohol content.

North American Style Lagertop
American-Style Lager - Light in body and color, American lagers are very clean and crisp and aggressively carbonated. Flavor components should b e subtle and complex, with no one ingredient dominating the others. Malt sweetness is light to mild. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma are negligible to very light.

American-Style Light (Low Calorie) Lager - These beers are extremely light colored, light in body, and high in carbonation. Calorie level should not exceed 125 per 12 ounce serving. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Flavor is mild and hop bitterness and aroma is negligible to very low.

American-Style Low-Carbohydrate Light Lager - These beers are extremely light straw to light amber in color, light in body, and high in carbonation. They should have a maximum carbohydrate level of 3.0 gm per 12 oz. (356 ml). These beers are characterized by extremely high degree of attenuation, but with typical American-style light lager alcohol levels.

American-Style Amber (low calorie) Lager - These beers are pale golden to amber in color, light to medium-light in body, and high in carbonation. Calorie level should not exceed 125 per 12 ounce serving. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts may be used but all malt formulations are also made. Malt and hop flavors are mild yet evident.

American-Style Premium Lager - This style has low malt (and adjunct) sweetness, is medium bodied, and should contain no or a low percentage (less than 25%) of adjuncts. Color may be light straw to golden. Alcohol content and bitterness may also be greater. Hop aroma and flavor is low or negligible.

American-Style Pilsener - This classic and unique pre-Prohibition American-style Pilsener is straw to deep gold in color. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma are medium to high, and use of noble-type hops for flavor and aroma is preferred. Up to 25 percent corn and/or rice in the grist should be used. Malt flavor and aroma are medium. This is a light-medium to medium-bodied beer.

American-Style Dry Lager - This straw-colored lager lacks sweetness, is light in body, and is only mildly flavored by malt. Its alcoholic strength may contribute to the overall flavor character. Bitterness is low and carbonation is high.

American-Style Ice Lager - This style is slightly higher in alcohol than most other light-colored, American-style lagers. Its body is low to medium and has low residual malt sweetness. It has few or no adjuncts. Color is very pale to golden. Hop bitterness is low but certainly perceptible. Hop aroma and flavor are low. Typically these beers are chilled before filtration so that ice crystals
(which may or may not be removed) are formed. This can contribute to a higher alcohol content.

American-Style Malt Liquor - High in starting gravity and alcoholic strength, this style is somewhat diverse. Some American malt liquors are just slightly stronger than American lagers, while others approach bock strength. Some residual sweetness is perceived. Hop rates are very low, contributing little bitterness and virtually no hop aroma or flavor.

American-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest - The American style of these classic German beer are distinguished by a comparatively greater degree of hop character. In general the style is characterized by a medium body and broad range of color. Oktoberfests can range from golden to reddish brown. Sweet maltiness should dominate over a clean, hop bitterness. The bitterness should not be aggressive or harsh.

American-Style Dark Lager - This beer's malt aroma and flavor are low but notable. Its color ranges from a very deep copper to a deep, dark brown. Its body is light. Non-malt adjuncts are often used, and hop rates are low. Hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma are low. Carbonation is high.

Other Lager Stylestop
Baltic-Style Porter - A true lager beer, black to very deep ruby/garnet in color. Overall, Baltic Porters have a very smooth lagered character with distinctive character of roasted malts and dark sugars. Because of its alcoholic strength aroma includes gentle lager fruitiness, complex alcohols, cocoa-like, roast malt. Hop aroma is very low, though a hint of hop aroma can complement aromatics and flavor without dominance. Baltic porters range from having medium to full body complemented with a medium-low to medium level of malty sweetness. Caramelized-type sugar flavors can be integrated into the overall complexity of flavor profile. Hop bitterness is low to medium-low. Baltic Porters are not hop bitter dominated.

Australian, Asian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager - Australian, Asian, Latin American or Tropical light lagers are very light in color and light bodied. Hop bitterness, aroma and flavor should be negligible to very low. Sugar adjuncts are often used to lighten the body and flavor, sometimes contributing to a slight apple-like fruity ester. Sugar, corn, rice, and other cereal grains are used as an adjunct. Generally highly carbonated.

International -Style Pilsener - International Pilseners are straw/golden in color and are well-attenuated. This medium-bodied beer is often brewed with rice, corn, wheat, or other grain or sugar adjuncts making up part of the mash. Hop bitterness is low to medium. Hop flavor and aroma are low.

 

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  * Descriptions from the 2007 Brewers Association Beer Style Guide