Style Details

Ame­ri­can Light Lager
Stan­dard Ame­ri­can Beer
BJCP Style Code
1 A
Very pale straw to pale yel­low color. White, fro­thy head sel­dom per­sists. Very clear.
Low to no malt aro­ma, alt­hough it can be per­cei­ved as grai­ny, sweet, or corn-like if pre­sent. Hop aro­ma is light to none, with a spi­cy or flo­ral hop cha­rac­ter if pre­sent. While a clean fer­men­ta­ti­on cha­rac­ter is desi­ra­ble, a light amount of yeast cha­rac­ter (par­ti­cu­lar­ly a light apple frui­tin­ess) is not a fault. Light DMS is not a fault.
Rela­tively neu­tral pala­te with a crisp and dry finish and a low to very low grai­ny or corn-like fla­vor that might be per­cei­ved as sweet­ness due to the low bit­ter­ness. Hop fla­vor ran­ges from none to low levels, and can have a flo­ral, spi­cy, or her­bal qua­li­ty (alt­hough rare­ly strong enough to detect). Low to very low hop bit­ter­ness. Balan­ce may vary from slight­ly mal­ty to slight­ly bit­ter, but is rela­tively clo­se to even. High levels of car­bo­na­ti­on may accen­tua­te the cris­pness of the dry finish. Clean lager fer­men­ta­ti­on character.
Very light (some­ti­mes watery) body. Very high­ly car­bo­na­ted with slight car­bo­nic bite on the tongue.
Over­all Impression
High­ly car­bo­na­ted, very light-bodi­ed, near­ly fla­vor­less lager desi­gned to be con­su­med very cold. Very refres­hing and thirst quenching.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Two- or six-row bar­ley with high per­cen­ta­ge (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts. Addi­tio­nal enzy­mes can fur­ther ligh­ten the body and lower carbohydrates.
Coors brief­ly made a light lager in the ear­ly 1940s. Modern ver­si­ons were first pro­du­ced by Rhein­gold in 1967 to appeal to diet-con­scious drin­kers, but only beca­me popu­lar start­ing in 1973 after Mil­ler Bre­wing acqui­red the reci­pe and mar­ke­ted the beer hea­vi­ly to sports fans with the “tas­tes gre­at, less fil­ling” cam­paign. Beers of this gen­re beca­me the lar­gest sel­lers in the United Sta­tes in the 1990s.
Desi­gned to appeal to as broad a ran­ge of the gene­ral public as pos­si­ble. Strong fla­vors are a fault.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Bud Light, Coors Light, Key­stone Light, Miche­lob Light, Mil­ler Lite, Old Mil­wau­kee Light
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.028 - 1.040 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.998 - 1.008 SG
2 - 3 SRM
2.0 - 4.0 %vol
8 - 12 IBU