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What Is A Lager?

WRITTEN ON 27 August, 2021

Lager is a widely favoured style of beer and one of the two main beer types. The term “lager” originates from the German word “lagern,” meaning to store.

Lagers are bottom-fermented beers, with the yeast settling at the bottom of the wort during fermentation and thriving under colder temperatures.

The cool conditioning process during fermentation creates a subtle, smooth, and light-flavoured beer characteristic of lagers.

Lagers typically have an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) ranging from 4% to 13% and vary in International Bitterness Units (IBU) from five to 45.

Types Of Lager

The lager brewing method creates several different beer styles — ranging from pale to amber, dark, and bock.

1. Pale Lager

Pale lager is a light-to-golden-coloured beer style that originated in the mid-19th century at Spaten Brewery in Germany. The most popular and common type of pale lager is the pilsner.

Pilsners are recognizable by their light straw to golden colour and balanced flavour profile. They are crisp and known for their delicate hints of bitterness.

2. Amber Lager

Amber lagers are medium-bodied beers bursting with flavour. They exhibit toasty, malty, and slight caramel aromas.

One notable amber lager style is Marzen, originating from Bavaria. Traditionally brewed in March, aged through spring and summer, and served during Oktoberfest in September, Marzen offers a clean flavour profile with a deep malty richness.

3. Dark Lager

Despite their rich shade, dark lagers should not be grouped under dark beers. They are as easy to consume as their lighter counterparts, but what sets them apart is their enriching aroma and taste.
Think of rich and roasty flavours like coffee, cocoa, and chocolate. Dark lagers provide a clean and crisp experience while delivering a complex flavour profile. Munich Dunkel and Schwarzbier are two popular styles to explore.

4. Bock

Bock holds a long history in German culture, with Bavarian monks consuming it during celebrations. Bock beers are malt-forward and light on hops, featuring a smooth mouthfeel and lower carbonation. With an ABV ranging from six to seven percent, bocks are stronger compared to classic lagers.