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Contemporary American-Style Light Lager

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Location: North American
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 1A - American Light Lager

Style Description

This is the description of how the Contemporary American-Style Light 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 Contemporary American-Style Light Lager beer style.

Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used but all-malt formulations are also made. These beers are high in carbonation. Hop attributes, though subtle, are more evident than in traditional American-Style Light Lager. Calories should not exceed 125 per 12-ounce serving. Low carb beers should have a maximum carbohydrate level of 3.0 gm per 12 oz. (355 ml)

  • Color: Very light to medium amber. The word “Light” refers to light body and reduced calories rather than color.
  • Body: Low to medium-low, often with dry mouthfeel
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Very low but present
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Very low to low
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are usually absent but may be present at very low levels. Diacetyl should not be present. These beers are characterized by an extremely high degree of attenuation. Final gravity is often less than 1.000 (0.0 ºPlato).
  • Common Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts. Additional enzymes can further lighten the body and lower carbohydrates.
  • Commercial Examples: Bud Light, Coors Light, Keystone Light, Michelob Light, Miller Lite, Old Milwaukee Light

Brewing Properties of Contemporary American-Style Light Lager

These are the functional brewing properties of Contemporary American-Style Light 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.
3.5 - 4.4%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
4 - 15 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 »
1.5 - 12 SRM
(3 - 24 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.
1.024 - 1.040
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
0.992 - 1.008

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.