Lager beers: inside their malty and crispy flavor
Lager beers are the most common types in the world of brews.
The light and clear appearance and the smoother and sweeter flavor make them very popular everywhere. America’s famous beers like Budweiser, Coors, Miller, and some others are part of this group. But, this family is surprisingly diverse, so you can also find dark and malty varieties such as the German Dunkel and bock.
What makes them lagers are the type of yeast used, the fermentation temperature, the color, and the taste. However, they are usually confused with ales, since some of them can be similar in appearance. Before we go deeper into the world of lager beers, let us explain the difference between these two.
What is the difference between ales and lager beers?
- Lagers are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast, while ales used the top-fermenting kind.
- The lager fermentation process occurs at temperatures of 45º to 55ºF, while their counterparts are fermented in warmer temperatures (60º to 75ºF).
- Lager beers have a light and crisp flavor, while ales are fruitier and bitterer.
- Lagers have more carbonation than ales.
Most popular lager beers
More than a type of beer, lager is a brewing technique that is used to create a great number of styles. Even though the market is flooded with traditional golden brews, microbreweries are producing all kinds of lager beers. (See also: Microbrewery ) .Here are some of the most popular ones.
Right after the “mass-market lager”, this beer takes the lead among its kind. They all have a crisp flavor, low alcohol content, and a tad of bitterness. The German pilsner uses spicy hops that give a lighter color to the drink. The Czech kind, on the other hand, has a golden appearance thanks to the malted barley.
They are sweet and crisp as a result of a selected blend of hops. The toasty malt character is always present and their ABV is around 5%. The most famous among this family is the Oktoberfest that has a darker golden color.
The dark roasted malts give this beer a reddish color, far from the traditional golden tones. The flavor notes include bread, coffee, nuts, and chocolate, on top of the characteristic crisp and hop taste. It is a classic from Bavaria with a low alcohol content.
The strongest of all among lager beers with an ABV of 6% that can reach 13%. These German brews are very malty, but their color and flavor depend on the sub-style. Maibocks are lighter and creamy, doppelbocks are rich and dark, and there is also a sweet and chocolaty kind.
The name means “pale in color”, as these brews are mostly golden. They are similar to pilsners, but they go easier on the malt flavor. They are also fuller-bodied, with a touch of sweetness, balanced with light bitterness, thanks to the spicy German hops.
And we can keep going. As far as you maintain the technique, you can balance the main ingredients in different ways to create your own lager. Golden, reddish or dark, lager beers will always appeal to brew lovers.