1. AMERICAN LAGER
Little to no malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from none to light, flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist, as well as perceptible levels of green apples due to acetaldehyde. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma from DMS may be present. No diacetyl.
Very pale straw to pale gold color. White head seldom persists. Very clear.
Crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may provide a slight acidity or dry "sting." No diacetyl. No fruitiness.
Very light body from use of a high percentage of adjuncts such as rice or corn. Very well carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue.
Very refreshing and thirst quenching. "Light" beers will have a lower gravity and less resulting alcohol than the standard. Premium beers tend to have fewer adjuncts or can be all-malt.
Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.
IBUs: 8-22 FG: 0.098-1.012
SRM: 2-8 ABV: 3.5-5.1%
Standard: Budweiser, Molson Golden, Kirin, Corona, Fosters; Premium: Michelob; Light: Bud Light, Miller Lite.
Little to no malt aroma. Little or no roast malt aroma since the color is usually derived artificially from the addition of dark caramel brewing syrups. Hop aroma may range from none to light flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas may exist from yeast and hop varieties used. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma due to DMS may be noticeable. No diacetyl.
Deep copper to dark brown with bright clarity. Foam stand may not be long lasting.
Crisp with some low levels of sweetness. Roasted malt flavors, very low to none; often the dark color is from dark caramel brewing syrups rather than roasted malts. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium levels. No diacetyl. No fruitiness.
Light to somewhat medium body. Smooth, although a well-carbonated beer.
A colored version of lighter American lagers with little or no dark malts used. Somewhat sweeter than its pale cousins with a little more body.
Two- or six-row barley, corn or rice as adjuncts and potentially artificially colored with dark caramel brewing syrups.
IBUs: 14-20 FG: 1.010-1.012
SRM: 10-20 ABV: 4.1-5.1%
Michelob Dark, Lowenbrau Dark, Beck's Dark, Saint Pauli Girl Dark.
1C. Classic American Pilsner
Low to medium clean, grainy and sweet maltiness may be evident. Medium to high hop aroma, often classic noble hops. No fruitiness or diacetyl. Some "cooked-corn" aroma due to DMS may be noticeable.
Light to gold color. Substantial, long lasting head. Bright clarity.
Medium to high maltiness similar to the Bohemian Pilsners but somewhat lighter due to the use of up to 30% flaked maize (corn) used as an adjunct. Slight grainy sweetness from the use of maize with substantial offsetting hop bitterness. Medium to high hop flavor from noble hops. Medium to high hop bitterness. No fruitiness or diacetyl.
Medium body and rich, creamy mouthfeel. Medium to high carbonation levels.
A substantial Pilsner that can stand up to the classic European Pilsners, but exhibiting the native American grains and water available to German brewers who initially brewed it in the USA. Refreshing, but with the underlying malt and hops that stand out when compared to other modern American light lagers. The maize presents a unique grainy sweetness that is indicative of the style.
History: A version of Pilsner brewed in the USA by immigrant German brewers who brought the process and yeast with them when they settled in America. They worked with the ingredients that were native to America to create a unique version of the original Pilsner. This style died out with Prohibition but was resurrected as a home-brewed style by advocates of the hobby.
The classic American Pilsner was brewed both pre-Prohibition and post-Prohibition with some differences. OGs of 1.050-1.060 would have been appropriate for pre-Prohibition beers while gravities dropped to 1.044-1.049 after Prohibition. Corresponding IBUs dropped from a pre-Prohibition level of 25-40 to 20-35 after Prohibition.
Six-row barley with 20% to 30% flaked maize to dilute the excessive protein levels. Native American hops such as Clusters or traditional noble German hops. Modern Hallertau crosses (Ultra, Liberty,Crystal) are also appropriate.
IBUs: 25-40 FG: 1.010-1.015
SRM: 3-6 ABV: 4.5-6%