Lagers

Lager is a type of beer which has been brewed and conditioned at low temperature. Lagers can be pale, amber, or dark. Pale lager is the most widely consumed and commercially available style of beer.

Amber Lager

Beer being poured from tapA type of lager beer known for its medium body and a malt character reminiscent of caramel. As its name implies, these beers have a darker appearance compared to pale lagers, displaying an amber or copper hue. Typically, they feature a relatively lower alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 5%. Amber lagers offer a toasty flavor profile with a prominent taste of caramel and toffee.

American Lager

Also known as North American lager, is a pale lager variety that is brewed within the United States. This style of pale lager beer has its roots in Europe, originating in the mid-19th century, and was brought to the United States by German immigrants. American lagers are distinguished by their yellow color and typically have an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 3.2% to 4%, with a mild bitterness level, measured in international bitterness units (IBU), typically falling between 5 and 15.

Pale Lager

A type of beer characterized by its very pale to golden color, a well-attenuated body, and a range of noble hop bitterness. It holds the distinction of being the most widely consumed beer style globally today. Several popular commercial beers, such as Bud Light and Heineken, fall into the category of Pale Lagers.

Vienna Lager

Darker in color compared to American and Pale Lagers, Vienna Lagers remain a light and easily drinkable beer. They are characterized by a flavor profile featuring toasted malt sweetness. The hop bitterness in Vienna Lagers is skillfully balanced by the malt’s sweetness, and there’s often a subtle presence of spicy aroma and taste, creating a harmonious and enjoyable beer experience.

Bock

BockBock is a robust beer style in Germany, typically characterized as a dark lager with a prominent malt flavor. Interestingly, “Bock” translates to “goat” in German. There are several substyles of Bock, including:

Doppelbock

This variety is stronger and maltier compared to the standard Bock.

Eisbock

A significantly stronger version achieved by partially freezing the beer and removing the ice that forms during the process.

Maibock (May Bock)

A paler and more hopped version, often brewed for spring festivals. Due to its lighter color, it is also referred to as Heller Bock, with “heller” meaning bright or light in German.

Weizenbock (Wheat Bock)

A wheat beer crafted from 40–60% wheat, lending it a unique character.

Bock beers typically have an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 6.3% to 9.5% and an international bitterness unit (IBU) between 15 and 38.

Dortmunder

A type of Pale Lager originating from Dortmund, Germany, dating back to 1873. Heavily influenced by the Pilsner style, Dortmunder offers a gentle texture and a refined flavor profile, featuring notes of light honey, corn, and sweet malt. It boasts a creamy mouthfeel, making it exceptionally enjoyable for casual sipping.

Dunkel

Dunkel, or Dunkles, is a term used to describe various types of dark German lagers. The word “Dunkel” itself is German for “dark,” and these beers typically display hues ranging from amber to deep reddish-brown. Dunkel beers are known for their smooth, malt-forward flavor profile, featuring a pleasant maltiness. Their alcohol by volume (ABV) typically falls within the range of 4.8% to 5.3%, with an international bitterness unit (IBU) measuring between 16 and 25.

German Pils

Often referred to simply as “pils,” the German-style pilsner is a light-bodied lager brewed primarily from barley malt. These beers are recognized for their characteristic golden hue, distinctive bitterness, impressive head retention, and a floral hop aroma.

Helles

Friends toasting with different styles of beer glassesAlso known as “hell,” is a traditional German pale lager beer, primarily crafted in Southern Germany, notably in Munich. The German term “hell” translates to “bright,” “light,” or “pale,” accurately describing its appearance. Helles lagers feature a prominent malt flavor with subtle hints of roasted barley. They typically have an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 4.8% to 5.6% and an international bitterness unit (IBU) between 18 and 25.

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest beer holds the official title as the beer of choice for Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival, which melds a beer celebration with a mobile amusement park, taking place in Munich, Germany. This beer is characterized by its malt-rich profile, reminiscent of the crisp hop bitterness found in Vienna Lager. Oktoberfest beers typically feature a lower alcohol content, with an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging between 5.5% and 6%.

Pilsner

A variety of pale lager renowned for its name, derived from the Bohemian city of Plzeň, where the world’s inaugural pale lager was crafted in 1842 by the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. Pilsner beers typically exhibit an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging from 4.1% to 5.3% and an international bitterness unit (IBU) spanning from 25 to 50.

Schwarzbier

Schwarzbier, which translates to “black beer,” is a dark lager style that has its origins in Germany. It boasts an opaque, deep black color, often accompanied by subtle notes of chocolate or coffee flavors. Schwarzbier typically has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of around 5%. This beer style is akin to stout in that it is crafted from roasted malt, which imparts its rich, dark hue.

Learn more about types of beer by visiting Ales or Both Ales and Lagers.

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