Dark European Lager

BJCP 2021:


The Dark European Lager category encompasses a range of vollbier lager styles that originate Germany. These beers are characterized by their dark coloration, which can range from deep copper to dark brown, and are typically clear with a good head retention. The malt profile is central to these lagers, often presenting flavors of caramel, toast, and sometimes chocolate or coffee, but without any burnt or harsh notes.

Included within this broad category are styles such as Munich Dunkel and Schwarzbier. Each style has its unique properties and historical origins. For instance, Munich Dunkel hails from Bavaria and showcases a smooth malty richness without overt sweetness, while Schwarzbier originates from Germany as well and provides a lighter body with roasted malt character that is never too severe or acrid. These beers offer a complexity that balances the sweetness of the malt with the bitterness of hops to varying degrees depending on the specific style guidelines, leading to drinkability combined with rich flavor experiences.

Distinct from other categories mainly due to their darker malt composition and continental heritage, Dark European Lagers differ significantly in taste profiles from pale lagers or hop-forward ales. While they may share some common ground with other dark beer categories like porters or stouts in terms of appearance, Dark European Lagers maintain their identity through a clean lager fermentation character and absence of strong fruity esters, making them noticeably different – crisper with cleaner finishes than their ale counterparts.

Distinct beer styles within this category:



In Database
4.1 < 4.9 < 5.9 %


In Database
16 < 25 < 36 IBU


In Database
28 < 47 < 64 EBC
14 < 24 < 33 SRM

Original Extract

In Database
10.2 < 12.5 < 14.9 °P
1.041 < 1.051 < 1.061 OG

Final Gravity

In Database
1.7 < 3.1 < 4.6 °P
1.007 < 1.012 < 1.018 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes