Style Profile: American Lager

Lower adjunct use gives premium lagers a bit more character. Malt aroma is low to medium-low, with similar grainy sweetness and corn-like notes. Malt flavor remains low, giving them a crisp, dry profile. Hop flavor is low, but hop aromatics can be low to medium, and are again described as spicy or floral. Hop bitterness is low to medium. Like its lighter siblings, premium lager finishes clean and has effervescent carbonation.

About  Lagers

Lite American Lager

OG:        1.028–1.040        FG:         0.998–1.008

ABV:      2.8 – 4.2%            IBUs:     8–12     

SRM:     2–3        

Examples: There are several lite lagers on the market besides the ubiquitous Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Lite. Some of them are not that bad if you are willing to give them a chance. Among my favorites are Town Hall Super Strike Lager, Sam Adams Light, Amstel Light, and Mahr’s Leicht from Germany.

Standard American Lager

OG:        1.040–1.050        FG:         1.004–1.010

ABV:      4.2–5.3%              IBUs:     8–15     

SRM:     2–4        

Examples: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life (my personal favorite), Budweiser, Grain Belt Premium Lager, Baltika #3 Classic, Kirin Lager, Molson Golden, Labatt Blue, Coors Original, Foster’s Lager.

Premium American Lager

OG:        1.046–1.056        FG:         1.008–1.012

ABV:      4.6–6% IBUs:     15–25   

SRM:     2–6

Examples: Full Sail Session Premium Lager, New Glarus Totally Naked, Miller Genuine Draft, Corona Extra, Michelob, Coors Extra Gold, Birra Moretti, Heineken, Beck’s, Stella Artois, Red Stripe, Singha.

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About Michael Agnew, A Perfect Pint

Michael has a passion for beer. He is Minnesota's first Certified Cicerone (think sommelier for beer) with the Cicerone Certification Program, and a National Beer Judge with the Beer Judge Certification Program. In addition, Michael is himself an award-winning brewer. He writes a monthly column on beer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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