5A. German Leichtbier

Overall Impression

A pale, highly-attenuated, light-bodied German lager with lower alcohol and calories than standard-strength beers. Moderately bitter with noticeable malt and hop flavors, the beer is still interesting to drink.


Pale straw to deep yellow in color. Brilliant clarity. Moderate white head with average to below average persistence.


Low to medium hop aroma, with a spicy, herbal, or floral character. Low to medium-low grainy-sweet or slightly crackery malt aroma. Clean fermentation profile.


Low to medium grainy-sweet malt flavor initially. Medium hop bitterness. Low to medium hop flavor, with a spicy, herbal, or floral quality. Clean fermentation character, well-lagered. Dry finish with a light malty and hoppy aftertaste.


Light to very light body. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth, well-attenuated.


Marketed primarily as a diet-oriented beer with lower carbohydrates, alcohol, and calories. Pronounced “LYESHT-beer.” May also be known as a Diat Pils or Helles, this style is in the schankbier gravity class. Other variations of Leicht class beers can be made from Weissbier, Kölsch, and Altbier; those beers are best entered as 34B Mixed-Style Beer.


Traditional versions existed as drinks for physical laborers in factories or fields, but modern versions are more based on popular American products in the same class and targeted towards health or fitness conscious consumers. Increasingly supplanted in the current market by non-alcoholic beers and radlers.

Characteristic Ingredients

Continental Pils malt. German lager yeast. Traditional German hops.

Style Comparison

Like a lower-alcohol, lighter-bodied, slightly less aggressive German Pils or Munich Helles. More bitter and flavorful than an American Light Lager.

Vital Statistics


15 - 28


1.5 - 4


1.026 - 1.034


1.006 - 1.010


2.4% - 3.6%

Commercial Examples

Autenrieder Schlossbräu Leicht, Greif Bräu Leicht, Hohenthanner Tannen Hell Leicht, Müllerbrau Heimer Leicht, Schönramer Surtaler Schankbier, Waldhaus Sommer Bier.