Lager Beer Styles

Lagering as a process was discovered roughly 200 years ago in Bavaria where it was found that beers experiencing secondary fermentation in casks stored in the cool caves of the Alps produced beers with marked different characteristics than ales. These general traits include a smoother tasting, less aggressive character with little or no fruitiness.

The lagering process quickly became popular in areas where cool fermenting temperatures could be maintained, but it was not until the invention of refrigeration that lagers spread throughout the world. Due to the longer processing times, these beers tended to be made by producers with larger capital resources, i.e. breweries that could afford the greater storage.

Prohibition in the United States hastened the decline of small ale producing breweries. During World War II many of the larger breweries used their resources to market their products to soldiers from all over the world. They won many new, young people over to lagers. Anheuser-Busch Inc. is a good example of a large brewery that consolidated an extremely strong market position based on lagers. Be that as it may, many of these large breweries are not producing quality lagers but rather cheaply produced ones containing many non quality adjuncts such as rice and corn. These watered down lagers have left the door open to a new generation of exploring consumer that often is more concerned about quality and style differentiation. This type of consume also tends to not be as brand loyal.

The last several years have seen flat sales for the large breweries as a group and significant growth in sales for American microbrews (mostly ales) and foreign imports (whether ale or lagers they tend to be of higher quality). Although a lot of the lager beer volume is composed of cheap quality product from the large breweries, there are plenty of awesome products available, although they are primarily from Europe.

European All-malt Pilsener

Pilseners are the most popular style by far world wide. The style was originated in Bohemia in a town named Pilsen by the brewery Plzensky Prazdroj. Their world famous, style defining brand is Pilsener Urquell. Pilsener means "from Pilsen". Although there are some excellent Pilseners produced outside this region, this style is frequently cheapened and is the basis for many beers of lackadaisical character or just plain cheap beer.

In Bohemia there is a town named Budweis which has breweries producing traditional Pilseners. One brand is Budweiser Budvar. Since these breweries and brands were established before the days of copyright and trademark protection, Anheuser-Busch was able to successfully adopt the name Budweiser and to protect the name in following years which they applied to their flagship product. It has been reported that they are trying to purchase a stake in the brewery that bears the same name. While the Bohemian Budweiser is an all malt product, the American Budweiser uses cheap adjuncts such as rice and employs a lesser percentage of quality ingredients such as malted barley and hops. The result is a ghost of a Pilsener. Includes Bohemian All Malt and German All Malt Piseners which are described below.

Award Winning American Beers (not identified by subcategory (Stoudt Brewing), Friesian Pilsener (The Leavenworth Brewery), Condor Lager (Irons Brewing) ), Hübsch Braü Pilsener (Sudwerk Privatbrauerei), Golden Spike Pilsener (Riverside Brewing), Legacy Lager (Chicago Brewing), Garten Brau Special (Capital Brewing)

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German Pilsener

A classic German Pilsener is very light straw/golden color and well hopped. Hop bitterness is high. Hop aroma and flavor is moderate and quite obvious. It is a well-attenuated, medium-bodied beer, but a malty accent can be perceived. Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be perceived. There should be no chill haze. Its head should be dense and rich.

Classic Producers

Jever (Fresisches Braühaus zu Jever, Germany), Bitburger (Bitburger Brauerei Teo Simon, Germany)

Complementary Foods

Eggs Benedict, spicy chicken such as cajun or Thai, various white fish, mussels, lobster, crab, creamy dressed green salads, cream of chicken soup, cream of potato soup, cream of mushroom soup

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044- 1.050 (11 - 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.006 - 1.012 (1.5 - 3 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.6 - 4.2.5% (4 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (30 - 40)

Color SRM (EBC): 3 - 4 (7 - 10 EBC)

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Bohemian Pilsener

Pilseners in this subcategory are similar to German Pilseners, however, they are slightly more full-bodied and can be as dark as light amber. This style balances the moderate bitterness and noble hop aroma and flavor with a malty, slightly sweet medium body. Diacetyl may be perceived in very low amount. There should be no chill haze. Its head should be dense and rich.

Classic Producers

Pilsner Urquell (Plzensky Prazdroj, Czech Republic), Gambrinus (Pivovar Gambrius, Czech Republic)

Complementary Foods

Light white fish such as carp or perch, potato pancakes, ginger pork won ton soup, Russian borscht, crab, lobster, green vegetables, Chicken Kiev, creamed pork dishes, hot and sour soup, cream of chicken soup, cream of potato soup, cream of mushroom soup

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044- 1.056 (11 - 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.014 - 1.020 (3.5 - 5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.2 - 4% (4 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (35 - 45)

Color SRM (EBC): 3 - 5 (7 - 14 EBC)

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European-Style Pilsener

Continental Pilseners are straw/golden in color and well-attenuated beers. This medium-bodied beers is often brewed with rice, corn, wheat or other grain or sugar adjuncts making up part of the mash. Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be perceived. There should be no chill haze.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044- 1.05 (11 - 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008 - 1.010 (2 - 2.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.6 - 4.2% (4 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (17 - 30)

Color SRM (EBC): 3 - 4 (7 - 10 EBC)

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German Licht\European Low-alcohol Lager

These beers are very light in body and color. Malt sweetness is perceived at low to medium levels while hop bitterness character is perceived at medium levels. These beers should be clean with no perceived fruity esters or diacetyl. Chill haze is not acceptable.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.026- 1.032 (6.5 - 8 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.006 - 1.010 (1.5 - 2.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 2.0 - 2.6% (2.5 - 3.3%)

Bitterness (IBU) (17 - 28)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 4 (5 - 9 EBC)

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Munchener Helles

Paulaner of Germany introduced the first Helles (light) in the 1920's. It is the term used by the people of Munich (Munchen in German) to depict a light everyday beer as opposed to some of the traditional dark styles also available from this region. This beer has a relatively low bitterness. It is a medium-bodied malt emphasized beer; however, certain versions can approach a balance of hop character and maltiness. There should not be an caramel character. Color is light straw to golden. Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be perceived.

Classic Producers

Hell Urtyr (Paulaner, Germany), Urbräu Hell (Hofbräuhaus, Germany) Award Winning American Beers Hellcat & Zepplin (Liberty Street Brewing), Bergoff Original Lager (Joseph Huber Brewing), Hubsch Lager (Sudwerk Privatbrauerei), Export Gold (Stoudt Brewing), Golden Spike Lager (Riverside Brewing)Penn Light Lager (Pennsylvania Brewing), Los Gatos Lager (Los Gatos Brewing), Adler Brau Lager (Appleton Brewing), Sun Valley Sawtooth Gold Lager (Sun Valley Brewing), Hopfen Helles Beer (Weeping Radish Restaurant)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044- 1.050 (11- 13 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008 - 1.012 (2 - 3 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.8 - 4.4% (4.5 - 5.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (18 - 25)

Color SRM (EBC): 3 - 5 (7 - 12 EBC)

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Dortmunder\European Export

Dortmunder style beers are always labeled Export in their home city even though they are not commonly exported to other regions. Dortmunder is a golden lager that is more full in body and color than a Pilsener. It also employs less hops for bitterness and aroma. However, Dortmunders are dryer than Helles Lagers and less carbonated.

These beers are deliberately not thoroughly attenuated. The unfermented matter ads to the body. These beers represent an older style that is not as popular locally as they once were but has a strong following internationally amongst beer lovers. Both starting gravity and medium bitterness are somewhat higher than a Munchener Helles. Hop flavor and aroma are perceptible but low. The color of this style may be slightly darker, and the body will be more full but still medium bodied. Fruity esters, chill haze and diacetyl should not be perceived.

Classic Producers

Dortmunder Actien Brauerei (DAB, Germany), Dortmunder Kronen (Kronen Brauerei, Germany), Dortmunder Union Brauerei (Brau und Brunnen, Germany), Sapporo (Sapporo Breweries, Japan)

Award Winning American Beers

Gordon Biersch, Export Gold (Stoudt Brewing), Saratoga Lager , Stoudt (Stoudt Real Beer)

Complementary Foods

Chicken, spit roasted meats, salmon, ham, bacon, stew

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.048- 1.056 (12- 14 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.010 - 1.014 (2.5 - 3.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 4 - 4.8% (5 - 6%)

Bitterness (IBU) (23 - 29)

Color SRM (EBC): 3 - 5 (8 - 13 EBC)

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Vienna Lager\Marzen\Märzen\Oktoberfest

All these terms are related to a style developed around Vienna, Austria. These beers have a soft maltiness or aroma and palate that make them an excellent beer to match and marry the flavors of a wide variety of foods. They often have a amber-red to copper color that highlights the maltiness.

During the days of the Austrian Empire this style became popular in such far off lands as Mexico where famous brands such as Dos Equis, Negra Modelo and the outstanding Christmas brew Noche Buena are based in this style, although they are lighter in body and less malty than the originals.

The terms Marzen and Oktoberfest refer to beer either brewed in March to be stored for the summer or beers produced for the Oktoberfest celebrations. Beers produced and labeled as Marzen or Oktoberfest are likely to be of the Vienna Lager style, although fest beers may be paler in color and may be higher in gravity and alcohol than the breweries regular interpretation. Includes Vienna, Marzen and Oktoberfest styles which are described below. Vienna Lager Beers in the category are reddish-brown or copper colored. They are light to medium in body. The beer is characterized by malty aroma, slight malt sweetness and clean hop bitterness. Nobel hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

Classic Producers

Spaten (Spaten-Franziskaner-Braü, Germany), Ayinger (Germany) Award Winning American Beers Red Bone Red Lager (Specialty Brewing), Samuel Houston's Austin Lager (Waterloo Brewing), Michael Sheas Irish Amber (Highfalls Brewing), Heckler Brau (Heckler Brewing), Brooklyn Lager (The Brooklyn Brewery), Golden Rail (Cherryland Brewing), Newman's Albany Amber (William S. Newman Brewing) Other Fine American Beers Negra Modelo (Cerveceria Modelo, Mexico), Ambier (Ambier Brewing)

Complementary Foods

Perfect for sweet spiced recipes or relatively sweet tasting meats. Very good with potatoes, minestrone soup, fennel-spiced sausages, Italian sausages, pizza, spit-roasted chicken, pork stew, loin of pork, pork ribs and chicken in mole sauce. One of the few beers that matches well with tomato based dishes.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.048- 1.056 (12- 14 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.012 - 1.018 (3 - 4.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.8- 4.3% (4.8 - 5.4%)

Bitterness (IBU) (22 - 28)

Color SRM (EBC): 8 - 12 (16 - 30 EBC)

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Marzen/Oktoberfest

Marzens are characterized by a medium body and broad range of color. Oktoberfests can range from golden to reddish-brown. Sweet maltiness should dominate slightly over a clean, hop bitterness. Malt character should be toasted rather than strongly caramel. There should be more pronounced malt character than in Viennas. Hop aroma and flavor should be low but noticeable. Fruity esters are minimal, if perceived at all. Diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived. Fine European Beers Luisenbraü (Germany), Salonbier (Borbecker, Germany)

Award Winning American Beers

Market Street Oktoberfest (Bohanon Brewing), Gartenbrau Oktoberfest (Capital Brewing)

Complementary Foods

Perfect for sweet spiced recipes or relatively sweet tasting meats. Very good with potatoes, Fennel-spiced sausages, Italian sausages, pizza, spit-roasted chicken, pork stew, roast loin of pork, pork chops and chicken in mole sauce, chicken salad.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.050- 1.056 (12.5 - 14 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.012 - 1.020 (3 - 5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 4- 4.7% (5.3 - 5.9%)

Bitterness (IBU) (18 - 25)

Color SRM (EBC): 4 - 15 (10 - 35 EBC)

European Dark \Muchener Dark (Dunkels)

These beers evolved from regions of Germany long associated with and known for their dark beers such as Franconia and parts of Bohemia across the border in the Czech Republic. While the beers today are still dark, they are no longer ales but are produced using lagering techniques. The flavor found in these beers typically have a spicy maltiness, neither sweet nor too roasty dry.

The lager yeast produces a clean roundness of flavor. Franconia is the area to find some of the oldest and smallest breweries in Germany. Dunkel Lagers are usually not promoted widely but rather locally. The dark beers that are widely circulated from this region are usually of the stronger Bock style. These beers have a pronounced malty aroma and flavor that dominates over the clean, crisp hop moderate bitterness. A classic Munchener Dunkel should have a chocolate-like, roast malt, breadlike aroma that comes from the use of Munich dark malt. Chocolate or roast malts can be used, but the percentage used should be minimal. Noble hop flavor and aroma should be low but perceptible. Diacetyl is acceptable at very low levels. Fruity esters and chill haze should not be perceived.

Classic Producers

Altstadthof (Hausbrauerei Altstadthof, Germany), Ayinger (Brauerei Inselkammer, Germany), U Fleku (Pivovar U Fleku, Czech Republic) Fine American Beers Lakefront (Lakefront Brewery), Sprecher (Sprecher Brewing Co.)

Complementary Foods

Bread, fried mushrooms, vegetarian chili, roast chicken, spicy lobster or crab, salmon

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.052- 1.056 (13 - 14 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.014 - 1.018 (3.5 - 4.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.8 - 4.2% (4.5 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (16 - 25)

Color SRM (EBC): 17 - 20 (40 - 80 EBC)

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Bock Beer

Includes Classic, Helles/Mai , Eis and Doppel Bocks which are described below. Classic Bock Originating in the northern German town of Einbeck which has a long tradition of producing strong ales since the 14th century. These beers are served from fall through spring as a winter warmer and the richer examples are utilized as desert beers. Traditional Bocks are made with all malt and are strong, malty, medium- to full-bodied, bottom fermented beers with moderate hop bitterness that should increase proportionally with the starting gravity. Hop flavor should be low and hop aroma should be very low. Bocks can range in color from deep copper to dark brown. Fruity esters may be perceived at low levels.

Classic Producers

AASS (P Lauritz, Norway), Einbecker (Einbecker Brauhaus, Germany), EKU (Erste Kulmcacher Actienbrauerei, Germany), Delicator (Hofbräuhaus, Germany), Burragorang Bock (Scharer's, Australia)

Award Winning American Beers

Frankenmuth Bock (Frankenmuth Brewery), Blue River Bock (Breckenridge Brewery), Adler Brau Bock (Appleton Brewing)

Complementary Foods

Cooked carrots, ham and split pea soup, southwest posole, salmon. One of the few beers that match well with tomato based sauses.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.066- 1.074 (16.5 - 18.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.018 - 1.024 (4.5 - 6 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 5 - 6% (6 - 7.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (20 - 30)

Color SRM (EBC): 20 - 30 (70 - 120 EBC)

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Helles Bock/Mai Bock

The German word "helles" means light colored, and as such, a Helles Bock is light in color. Maibocks are also light colored Bocks. The malty character should come through in the aroma and flavor. Body is medium to full. Hop bitterness should be low while noble hop aroma and flavor may be at low to medium levels. Bitterness increases with gravity. Fruity esters should be minimal. Diacetyl levels should be very low. Chill haze should not be perceived.

Classic Producers

Hofbräuhaus Maibock (Hofbräuhaus, Germany)

Award Winning American Beers

Mai Bock (Stoudt Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.066- 1.068 (16.5 - 17 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.012 - 1.020 (3 - 5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 5 - 6% (6 - 7.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (20 - 35)

Color SRM (EBC): 4 - 10 (10 - 20 EBC)

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Eisbock

These Bocks are intentionally frozen to remove water from the brew. This process results in a higher gravity and alcoholic content than a regular Bock. Eisbocks are made for only a couple of weeks, at the end of August and beginning of September.

Classic Producers

Eisbock (Kulmbacker Reichelbraü, Germany) Fine American Beers Niagara (Niagara Falls Brewing, Canada)

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German Strong Doppelbock/Doppel Bock

Doppel means double. Although these Bocks are stronger than traditional Bocks, they are not twice the strength. They were originally made by monks that wanted a full bodied, strong "liquid bread" to drink during lent. In Bavaria, any beer ending in -ator is a Doppel Bock. Malty sweetness is dominant but should not be cloying. Doppelbocks are full bodied and deep amber to dark brown color. Astringency from roast malts is absent. Alcoholic strength is high, and hop rates increase with gravity. Hop bitterness and flavor should be low while hop aroma is absent. Fruity esters are commonly perceived but at low to moderate levels.

Classic Producers

Kulminator (Erste Kulmbacher Actienbrauerei, Germany), Salvator Doppelbock (Paulaner-Salvator-Thomasbraü, Germany), Samichlaus (Brauerei Hürlimann, Switzerland)

Award Winning American Beers

Samuel Adams Doppelbock (Boston Beer Co.), Düsseldorfer Doppelbock (Weinkeller Brewery), Doppelbock (Stoudt Brewery), DeGroen's Doppelbock (Baltimore Brewing)

Tropical - Style Light Lager

Tropical Light lagers are very light in color and light bodied. They have no hop flavor or aroma, and hop bitterness is negligible to moderately perceived. Sugar adjuncts are often used to lighten the body and flavor, sometimes contributing to a slight applelike fruity ester. Sugar, corn, rice and other cereal grains are used as adjunct. Chill haze and diacetyl should be absent. Fruity esters should be very low.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.032- 1.046 (8 - 11.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.004 - 1.010 (1 - 2.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 2.0 - 4.5% (2.5 - 5.6%)

Bitterness (IBU) (9 - 25)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 4 (6 - 10 EBC)

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American Lager/Golden Lager

Very light in body and color, American Lagers are very clean and crisp and aggressively carbonated. Malt sweetness is absent. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Hop aroma is absent. Hop bitterness is slight and hop flavor is mild or negligible. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

Award Winning Beers

Red Dog (Miller Brewing), Old Style Lager (G. Heilman Brewing), Original Coors & Keystone (Coors Brewing), Grain Belt Premium (Minnesota Brewing), Lone Star (Lone Star Brewing)Brummond Bros. (Evansville Brewing), Brewski Brewpub Classic (Brewski Brewing), Schlitz (Stroh Brewing), Hamm's (Pabst Brewing), Stoney's Beer ( Jones Brewing), Pearl Lager Beer (Pabst Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.040- 1.046 (10- 11.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.006 - 1.010 (1.5 - 2.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.2- 3.8% (3.8 - 4.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (5 - 17)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 4 (4 - 7 EBC)

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American Light Lager

According to the United State's Federal Food and Drug Administration regulations, when used in reference to caloric content, "light" beers must have at least 25 percent fewer calories than the "regular" version of that beer. Such beers must have certain analysis data printed on the package label. These beers are extremely light colored, light in body and high in carbonation. Flavor is mild and bitterness is very low. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

Award Winning American Beers

Pabst Genuine Draft Light (Pabst Brewing), Bud Light & Busch Light & Michelob Light & Ice Draft Light (Anheuser-Busch Inc.), Lone Star Light ( Lone Star Brewing), I.C. Light (Pittsburgh Brewing), Special Export Light (G. Heilman), Brewski Brewpub Light (Brewski Brewing), Keystone Light & Coors Light (Coors Brewing), Stoney's Light (Jones Brewing), Lowenbrau Light & Miller Reserve Light (Miller Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.024- 1.049 (6- 10 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.002 - 1.008 (.5 - 2.0 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 2.8- 3.5% (3.5 - 4.4%)

Bitterness (IBU) (8 - 15)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 4 (4 - 7 EBC)

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American Premium Lager

Similar to the American Lager, this style is a more flavorful, medium bodied beer and may contain few or no adjuncts at all. Color may be deeper than the American Lager, and alcohol content and bitterness may be greater. Hop aroma and flavor is low or negligible. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent. Some beers marketed as "premium"(based on price) may not fit this definition.

Award Winning Beers

Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch), Point Special (Steven's Point Brewery), Pearl Premium Lager (Pearl Brewing),1857 (The Lion Inc. ), Signature (Stroh Brewing), Leinenkugel's Limited (?), Miller Genuine Draft & Lowenbrau Special (Miller Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.046- 1.050 (11.5 - 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.010 - 1.014 (2.5 - 3.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.6- 4% (4.3 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (13 - 23)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 8 (4 - 16 EBC)

Dry Lager

This straw-colored lager lacks sweetness and is reminiscent of an American-style Light Lager. However, its starting gravity and alcoholic strength are greater. Hop rates are low, and carbonation is high. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

Award Winning Beers

Lite Ice & Icehouse (Miller Brewing), Olympia Dry (Pabst Brewing), Esquire Extra Dry (Jones Brewing), Keystone Dry & Coors Dry (Coors Brewing), Michelob Dry (Anheuser-Busch Inc.), Stoney's Extra Dry (Jones Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.040- 1.050 (10- 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.010 - 1.014 (2.5 - 3.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.6- 4% (4.3 - 5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (13 - 23)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 8 (4 - 16 EBC)

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American Malt Liquor

There seems to be much confusion with respect to the difference between Malt Liquors and malt beverages. Malt Liquor is really just a marketing term used to describe a category of beers that could be described as fortified American Lager. All Malt Liquors are also malt beverages as they include malted barley in their ingredients. In many states in the USA any malted beverage over 4% alcohol by volume can't be labeled as "beer". As these beers do not fit under any of the other stronger style definitions, the term "Malt Liquor" was coined. They are brewed with more adjuncts such as corn and rice, and more cheap fermentables such as various non malted barley sugars. Although malted barley and hops are used, the quantities employed are much less than those found in many quality styles.

The bottom line is cheaply produced, high octane rocket fuel. High in starting gravity and alcoholic strength, this style is somewhat diverse. Some American Malt Liquors are just slightly stronger than American Lagers, while others approach Bock strength. Some residual sweetness is perceived. Hop rates are very low, contributing little bitterness and virtually no hop aroma or flavor. Chill haze, diacetyl and fruity esters should not be perceived.

Award Winning Beers

Old English 800 (Pabst Brewing), King Cobra (Anheuser-Busch Inc.), Silver Thunder Malt Liquor (Stroh Brewing), Colt 45 Malt Liquor (Coors Brewing), Mickey's Malt Liquor (G. Heilman Brewing), Magnum (Miller Brewing), Pigs Eye Ice (Minnesota Brewing Co.), Colt Ice (Carling National Brewing), Schlitz Malt Liquor (Joseph Schlitz Brewing), Laser (Specialty Brewing Co. )

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.050- 1.060 (12.5- 15 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.004 - 1.010 (1 - 2.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 5- 6% (6.25 - 7.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (12 - 23)

Color SRM (EBC): 2 - 5 (4 - 8 EBC)

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American Amber Lager

American Amber Lagers are amber, reddish-brown or copper colored. They are medium bodied. There is a noticeable degree of caramel-type malt character in flavor and often in aroma. This is a broad category in which the hop bitterness, flavor and aroma may be accentuated or may only be present at relatively low levels, yet noticeable. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should be absent.

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.042- 1.056 (10.5- 14 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.010 - 1.018 (2.5 - 4.5 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.8- 4.3% (4.8 - 5.4%)

Bitterness (IBU) (20 - 30)

Color SRM (EBC): 6 - 12 (15 - 30 EBC)

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American Dark Lager

This beer's maltiness is less pronounced and its body is light. Non-malt adjuncts are often used, and hop rates are low. Hop bitterness flavor and aroma are low. Carbonation is high and more typical of an American Light Lager than a Classic Dark Lager. Fruity esters, diacetyl an chill haze should not be perceived.

Award Winning Beers

Red Wolf & Michelob Classic Dark (Anheuser-Busch Inc.), Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager (Dixie Brewing), Pigs Eye Red Amber Ale (Minnesota Brewing), Hefe Dunkel (Saxer Brewing), Denargo Lager (Tabernash Brewing), Lowenbrau Dark (Miller Brewing), Bergoff Dark (Joseph Huber Brewing), Henry Weinhard's Dark Beer (Blitz-Weinhard Brewing), Schwarz Hacker (Rock Bottom Brewing), Neuweiler Black & Tan (Neuweiler Brewing)

Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.040- 1.050 (10 - 12.5 °Plato)

Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008 - 1.012 (2 - 3 °Plato)

Alcohol by weight (volume): 3.2 - 4.4% (4 - 5.5%)

Bitterness (IBU) (14 - 20)

Color SRM (EBC): 10 - 20 (25 - 80 EBC)

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