This is the “style” of beer is the result of the growth of U.S. national breweries, and their ability to brew a beer that appeals to the most people possible, at a competitive price. It is essentially a pilsner-style lager, brewed with significant quantities of grain other than barley malt; a slightly sweet, lightly hopped, straw colored, very effervescent beer.
As this is a mass-produced product the folks at CAMARA do not have a description for this style.
According to the Brewers Association style-sheet as used at the annual Great American Beer Festival:
“Light in body and color, American Lagers are very clean, crisp and agressively carbonated. Flavor components should be subtile and complex, with no one ingredient dominating the other. Malt sewwtness is light to mild. Corn, rice or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma are negligable or very light. Light fruity esters are acceptable. Chill haze and diacetyl should be absent.”
According to the Beer Judge Certification Program:
1B. Standard American Lager
“Aroma: Little to no malt aroma, although it can be grainy, sweet or corn-like if present. Hop aroma may range from none to a light, spicy or floral hop presence. Low levels of yeast character (green apples, DMS, or fruitiness) are optional but acceptable. No diacetyl.”
Appearance: Very pale straw to medium yellow color. White, frothy head seldom persists. Very clear.
“Flavor: Crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium-low level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may provide a slight acidity or dry “sting.” No diacetyl. No fruitiness.”
“Mouth feel: Light body from use of a high percentage of adjuncts such as rice or corn. Very highly carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue.”
“Overall Impression: Very refreshing and thirst quenching.”
“Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.”
“Commercial Examples: Miller High Life, Budweiser, Kirin Lager, Molson Golden, Corona Extra, Foster’s Lager”
RateBeer lists entries for the following:
MILLER HIGH LIFE (SABMiller) – http://www.ratebeer.com/Beer/miller-high-life/407
BUDWEISER (Anheuser Busch) – http://www.ratebeer.com/Beer/budweiser/473
COORS (Original) (Coors Brewing Co.) – http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/coors-banquet-beer/706
“RateBeer.com” also posts over 100 brands of American Lager on their site; however, none of the top 100 was available in general national distribution.
FOOD THAT GOES BEST WITH: American Lager
Almost any food made up of the basic-three food group: Fat, sugar and starch.
- Sausages (high in fat and not too dense) – preferably fried or grilled
- Fried Foods (preferably “deep fat fried”): potatoes, chicken, fish and thin cuts of beef and pork.