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Ale Styles

Lager Styles

Specialty Styles

 

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Lager Styles:

Style Color Malt Hops Body/Flavor Alc% Description
(ADL)
American Dark Lager
Deep copper to medium brown
Some caramel malt aroma and flavor
Low hop bitterness, flavor and aroma
Light body
4.0-5.5
Like other mass-produced American style lagers, this one is often made using rice or corn.
(AL)
American Lager
Straw to golden
Corn or rice in addition to barley malt lightens the flavor, no caramel flavor
Hop bitterness is minimized as is hop flavor and aroma
Light body, highly carbonated, no fruitiness
3.8-5.0
The majority of beers produced in the United States are this style.
(BO)
Bock
Deep copper to dark brown
Either sweet or dry, often displays toasted, chocolate-like or nutty flavors
Hop bitterness is low and some low levels of hop flavor may be found, hop aroma is rarely detected
Medium to full body
6.0-7.5
Tapped in early spring, these strong and malty brews help to fortify those who brave the beer gardens while there is still a nip in the air.
(CC)
California Common
Light amber to copper
Toasted or caramel character
Bitterness is medium to high and hop flavor and aroma are high
Medium body, may have low levels of ale fruitiness
3.6-5.0
During the California Gold Rush, brewers made a lager style without benefit of refrigeration.
(CP)
Classic Pilsener
Golden to light amber
Malty with a noticeable caramel accent
Medium to high hop bitterness and medium hop flavor and aroma
Medium to full body
4.0-5.0
This widely imitated classic was created in 1842 in the town of Pilsen, Czech Republic
(DB)
Doppelbock
Deep amber to nearly black
Rich dark malt flavors without an acrid or burnt character
Hop bitterness and flavor are low with no hop aroma
Quite full-bodied, alcoholic strength is apparent, some fruitiness may be noticeable
6.5-8.0
A stronger version of the basic bock, these beers were first brewed to sustain monks during Lenten and Advent fasts.
(DE)
Dortmunder Export
Pale to golden
Medium
Medium bitterness
Medium body, very balanced flavor, may display a noticeable alcoholic warmth
4.8-6.0
The brewers of Dortmund make a strong pale lager that has found such great success outside of Germany that is known as "export".
(EB)
Eisbock
Deep amber to nearly black
Malty sweet
Low bitterness and hop flavor and aroma
Alcoholic strength is apparent and some fruitiness is often present
8.6-14.4
This strongest of all bocks is typically fortified by freezing and removing the water.
(GP)
German Pilsener
Straw to golden
Medium malt flavor
Medium to high bitterness, low to medium hop flavor and aroma
Light to medium body
4.0-5.0
German examples of the Pilsener style are relatively light colored, but full flavored.
(LB)
Light Beer
Pale straw
Very light
Very light
Very light in body
3.5-4.0
The inventiveness of American marketing led to the development of a beer with fewer calories than a regular American Lager.
(MD)
Munich Dunkel
Copper to brown
Malty with toasted, chocolate-like or bready components
Low to medium bitterness, and low hop flavor and aroma
Balanced with a medium body
4.5-5.0
"Dunkel" means "dark" and this malty brew is the traditional everyday beer of Munich.
(MH)
Munich Helles
Pale to golden
Very malty
Low hop bitterness, flavor and aroma
Medium body
4.5-5.5
"Helles" is German for "light" or "pale".
(ML)
Malt liquor
Pale to golden
Some residual malt sweetness
Very low bitterness with little or no hop flavor and aroma
Medium body, slightly alcoholic
6.2-7.5
Made with corn or rice in addition to barley, this style exhibits significantly higher alcohol levels than most mass-produced lagers.
(OK)
Oktoberfest or Marzen
Light amber to reddish-brown
Typically includes a toasted aroma and flavor, caramel flavor is generally absent
Bitterness is low to medium, hop flavor and aroma are generally low, but may be noticeable
Medium body, this style contains more alcohol than most
4.8-6.5
These special beers were called "Marzen" or "March" for the month in which they were brewed. When brewing resumed again in the fall, the remaining stocks of Marzen were brought out for Oktoberfest. By this means, a single style of beer came to be known by
(PB)
Pale Bock or Maibock
Pale golden to amber
Very malty, but no toasted or chocolate-like character is found
Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma may be low to medium and is often noticeable
Medium body
6.0-7.5
After drinking dark bocks in March and April, Germans switch to a "helles" or pale bock often named after the month of May.
(SB)
Schwarzbier
Black
Toasted and dry without being acrid or burnt, may have a slight caramel character
Hop bitterness is low to medium with a low level of hop flavor and aroma
Light to medium body
3.8-5.0
The name literally means "black beer" in German.
(VI)
Vienna
Amber to reddish-brown
Light toasted malt flavor and aroma, caramel flavor is generally absent
Low to medium hop bitterness, low levels of hop flavor and aroma may be present
Light to medium body
4.4-6.0
Vienna is the everyday version of the celebration beer known as "Marzen" or "Oktoberfest"

Data adapted from the AHA's Style Guidelines (PDF document)

See also: Ale Styles & Specialty Styles

 

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