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American-Style Pilsener

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Location: North American
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 1B - American Lager

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Pilsener 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 Pilsener beer style.

Finish should exhibit low to medium-low body with a clean, crisp malt character evident at low levels. Up to 25% corn and/or rice in the grist should be used. Beers in this category hew to American-style lagers typical of the pre-Prohibition era.

  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Body: Medium-low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium-low to medium
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Medium to high, exhibiting attributes typical of noble-type hops
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: DMS, fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.
  • Commercial Examples: Budweiser, Coors Original, Grain Belt Premium Lager, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Special Export

Brewing Properties of American-Style Pilsener

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Pilsener 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.
4.9 - 6.0%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
25 - 40 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 »
3 - 6 SRM
(6 - 12 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.
1.045 - 1.060
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.012 - 1.018

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.