American Lager

Recipes:
2,992
BJCP 2021:
01B
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇺🇸 United States
Fermentation:
Bottom
Conditioning:
Lagered
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Balanced

Profile

American Lager is a prominent beer style known for its refreshing, clean, and crisp characteristics, derived predominantly from the use of American six-row barley and flaked maize or rice which contribute to its light body and mild flavor. The history of this style dates back to the mid-19th century, when German immigrants brought their lager brewing traditions to America. Over time, these brewers adapted their recipes to include local ingredients such as corn and rice, which were used to lighten the body of the beer without substantially impacting its flavor profile. This adaptation was also economically favorable and helped in producing a beer that was suitable for the American climate.

The appearance of an American Lager is typically very clear with a pale straw to gold color, boasting a white frothy head that may not persist long. Carbonation tends to be high, lending it a sprightly mouthfeel. When it comes to aroma and flavor, these beers are usually subdued with neither hops nor malt dominating the sensory experience. The hop character (often using classic American hop varieties) can range from none to a light floral or spicy contribution. Malt provides only a soft sweetness if at all noticeable, while adjuncts like corn or rice result in a certain dry crispness in the finish without imparting strong flavors.

In contrast with more robust styles, American Lagers contain low levels of yeast-derived fruity esters and diacetyl; any such off-flavors are considered flaws in this particular style category. Its relative mildness distinguishes it from stronger-flavored international interpretations of pale lager as well as from traditional European pilsners which typically have more pronounced hop bitterness and malt character. Consequently, American Lagers could be considered approachable gateway beers for those new to craft brewing cultures or appealing summertime beverages due to their thirst-quenching qualities. Despite being mass-produced by large breweries for widespread distribution, many craft breweries also produce artisanal versions that pay homage to this clean fermented American staple with subtle variations in complexity and taste profiles.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.2 – 5.3 %

In Database
3.9 < 4.8 < 5.7 %

Bitterness

Specification
8 – 18 IBU

In Database
7 < 15 < 23 IBU

Color

Specification
4 – 7 EBC
2 – 4 SRM

In Database
4 < 6 < 8 EBC
2 < 3 < 4 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
10.0 – 12.3 °P
1.040 – 1.050 OG

In Database
9.2 < 11.6 < 13.9 °P
1.037 < 1.047 < 1.057 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
1.0 – 2.6 °P
1.004 – 1.010 FG

In Database
1.1 < 2.6 < 4.2 °P
1.004 < 1.010 < 1.016 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes