Beer Maverick

Contemporary American-Style Pilsener

View all styles »

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

Style Description

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

Up to 25% corn and/or rice in the grist should be used. Beers in this category diverge from American-style lagers typical of the pre-Prohibition era by virtue of a wide range of hop aroma and flavor attributes.

  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Body: Medium-low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium-low to medium
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Medium to high. While traditional versions exhibit attributes typical of noble-type hops, contemporary versions will exhibit attributes typical of a wide range of American hop varieties.
  • 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.

Brewing Properties of Contemporary American-Style Pilsener

These are the functional brewing properties of Contemporary 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 - 1.053
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.010 - 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.