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American-Style Dark Lager

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Location: North American
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 2C - International Dark Lager

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Dark Lager style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Dark Lager beer style.

  • Color: Light brown to very dark
  • Body: low
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Low malt aroma and flavor may include low levels of caramel
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Very low to low
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very low to low and dissipates quickly.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Carbonation is high. Fruity esters, DMS and diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Darker versions of International Pale Lagers often created by the same large, industrial breweries and meant to appeal to a broad audience. Often either a colored or sweetened adaptation of the standard pale industrial lager, or a more broadly accessible (and inexpensive) version of more traditional dark lagers.

Brewing Properties of American-Style Dark Lager

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Dark Lager beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.1 - 5.6%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
14 - 24 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
14 - 25 SRM
(28 - 49 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.040 - 1.050
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.008 - 1.012

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.