Style Details

Ame­ri­can Lager
Stan­dard Ame­ri­can Beer
BJCP Style Code
1 B
Very pale straw to medi­um 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 may ran­ge from none to a light, spi­cy or flo­ral hop pre­sence. While a clean fer­men­ta­ti­on cha­rac­ter is desi­ra­ble, a light amount of yeast cha­rac­ter (par­ti­cu­lar­ly a light apple cha­rac­ter) is not a fault. Light DMS is also not a fault.
Rela­tively neu­tral pala­te with a crisp and dry finish and a modera­te­ly-low to low grai­ny or corn-like fla­vor that might be per­cei­ved as sweet­ness due to the low bit­ter­ness. Hop fla­vor ran­ges from none to modera­te­ly-low levels, and can have a flo­ral, spi­cy, or her­bal qua­li­ty (alt­hough often not strong enough to distin­gu­ish). Hop bit­ter­ness at low to medi­um-low level. 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.
Low to medi­um-low body. Very high­ly car­bo­na­ted with slight car­bo­nic bite on the tongue.
Over­all Impression
A very pale, high­ly-car­bo­na­ted, light-bodi­ed, well-atte­nu­a­ted lager with a very neu­tral fla­vor pro­fi­le and low bit­ter­ness. Ser­ved very cold, it can be a very refres­hing and thirst quen­ching drink.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Two- or six-row bar­ley with high per­cen­ta­ge (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.
Alt­hough Ger­man immi­grants had bre­wed tra­di­tio­nal Pils­ner-inspi­red lager beer in the United Sta­tes sin­ce the mid-late 1800s, the modern Ame­ri­can lager style was hea­vi­ly influen­ced by Pro­hi­bi­ti­on and World War II. Sur­vi­ving bre­we­ries con­so­li­da­ted, expan­ded dis­tri­bu­ti­on, and hea­vi­ly pro­mo­ted a beer style that was appe­al­ing to a broad ran­ge of the popu­la­ti­on. Beca­me the domi­nant beer style for many deca­des, and spaw­ning many inter­na­tio­nal rivals who would deve­lop simi­lar­ly bland pro­ducts for the mass mar­ket sup­port­ed by hea­vy advertising.
Strong fla­vors are a fault. Often what non-craft beer drin­kers expect to be ser­ved if they order beer in the United Sta­tes. May be mar­ke­ted as Pils­ner beers out­side of Euro­pe, but should not be con­fu­sed with tra­di­tio­nal examples.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Bud­wei­ser, Coors Ori­gi­nal, Grain Belt Pre­mi­um Lager, Mil­ler High Life, Pabst Blue Rib­bon, Spe­cial Export
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.040 - 1.050 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.004 - 1.010 SG
2 - 4 SRM
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
8 - 18 IBU