Lager beer, with its clean and crisp profile, has gained immense popularity worldwide. Originating in Europe, lager beer styles have evolved over time, resulting in a diverse range of flavors and characteristics. In this article, we will delve into the variations and nuances of European lager beer styles, highlighting their unique qualities and regional influences. Here are some of European lager beer styles:
European Pale Light Lager
This category refers to low-strength, bottom-fermenting pale lagers. These beers are typically characterized by their crisp and dry nature, with minimal hop or malt flavors. The body of the beer may be thin, and the color can range from very pale to dark bronze. High carbonation is often present and may be artificially induced. The alcohol by volume (ABV) typically falls between 3-4.2%.
European Pale Full Lager
The European Pale Full Lager is a full-strength, bottom-fermenting pale lager. These beers share similarities with the light lagers, such as being crisp and dry with a low level of hop and malt flavors. The body may also be thin, and the color ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation tends to be high, often forced. Many well-known mass-produced lager brands fall into this category. However, better examples of this style are brewed using traditional methods, rather than in modernized mass-production breweries. The ABV typically falls between 4-5%.
European Dark Lager
European Dark Lager refers to medium-strength, bottom-fermenting dark lagers. These beers are known for their smoothness, maltiness, and overall balance. In the past, when drinking vessels were primarily made of metal or pottery, dark lagers were highly popular. However, the rise of pale beers and the emergence of the Pilsner style led to a decline in the popularity of dark lagers. The ABV typically falls between 4-7%.
Example of European dark lager is Czech Staropramen Dark, ABV 4,4%.
European Pale Strong Lager
This category encompasses strong, bottom-fermenting pale lagers. These beers have a higher alcohol content and offer some noticeable hop and malt flavors. The color can range from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation tends to be high, often forced. Better examples of this style are often produced by smaller regional brewers using traditional brewing methods, as opposed to modern mass-production breweries. Unpasteurized and unfiltered variants are likely to preserve more residual character. The ABV typically falls between 6-9%.