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Lager Beer Styles

Lager Beer styles vary greatly. With thousands of varieties of flavors, strengths, body, and colors of beer, the two types they fall under is a lager and a Ale.

Lagers and Ales both contain hops, malted barley, yeast and water. Lager beer is made with cooler (around 55 degrees) and longer fermentations, and the yeasts sink to the bottom of the vessel after primary fermentation. While using a slow, cooler fermentation allows the sugar to change to alcohol more slowly. This process gives a mellow, simpler beer, which is why this is the most popular style of beer in America. Lagers can be broken down into different styles.

AMERICAN PALE LAGERS – contain more carbonation than other beers, tend to be lighter in color and body. This beer has clean, smooth. American lagers use less barley and integrate other grains like rice and corn, which lends to a sweeter, mellow flavor. These beers are called Adjunct Lagers that are made by large brewers, and smaller brewers use All Malt, meaning no added grains are used. Light lager beer contains less hops and barleys, which reduce the amount of calories. Examples of pale lagers are Budweiser, and Coors.

PILSNER – is also pale in color, but offer more distinct flavors with a slight bitterness. Flavors are malty sweet, hoppy and caramel flavor that generally finish clean and crisp, with a good amount of carbonation. The first Pilsner style was created in Plzen, Czechoslovakia in 1842, (hence the name Pilsner; Plzen or Pilsen) The brewery now known as Pilsner Urquell. The original recipe called for the soft water that was available locally, and the unique aromatic hops grown nearby.

BOCK – a hearty beer with high alcohol content originating from Germany. Bock beer is matured for a long period of time during the second fermentation. Another type of Bock, is Doppelbock, which has a higher gravity and slightly higher alcohol content. These can be identified by “ator” on the end of their names, making them easier to find.

OKTOBERFEST (Marzen) – This Amber colored, slightly heavy, malty sweet beer from southern Germany and Austria got its name from the celebration which takes place in Munich for 16 days, ending on the first Sunday of October. There is a enough bitterness to offset the sweetness, making this a very pleasing beer. Marz, which is the German word for March. In the early days before refrigeration, the last batch of beer brewed before the warm summer months, were put into caves to keep cool for summer consumption. When the new brewing season begins in October, all the remaining beer is removed for Ockoberfest.

HELLES – a pale lager that is light in color, low in alcohol, from Bavaria, made to be an everyday beer. The difference between a Pilsner or Pale is it has less hoppy flavor, with a mild bitterness.

DUNKEL – a German dark beer, with roasted malt for its chocolate and toasty taste. It isn’t as strong or heavy as you would think; it is basically a Helles with the bitterness comes from the roasted barley rather than the hops.

From Lager Beer to Ale

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