European Origin Lager Styles

2021 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines
German-Style Leichtbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.026-1.034 (6.6-8.5 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.006-1.010 (1.5-2.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 2.0%-2.9% (2.5%-3.7%)
Bitterness (IBU) 16-24
Color SRM (EBC) 2-4 (4-8 EBC)

German-Style Leichtbier

Color: Straw to pale
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present. Very low levels of sulfur-related compounds are acceptable.
Body: Very low

German-Style Pilsener

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.044-1.052 (11-12.9 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.6%-4.2% (4.6%-5.3%)
Bitterness (IBU) 25-50
Color SRM (EBC) 3-4 (6-8 EBC)

German-Style Pilsener

Color: Straw to pale
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A malty sweet aroma and flavor should be present at low levels. Bready or light biscuity attributes may be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is moderate and pronounced, derived from late hopping (not dry hopping) with noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-ester and DMS should not be present. These are well attenuated beers.
Body: Low to medium-low
Additional notes: The head should be dense, pure white and persistent.

Bohemian-Style Pilsener

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.044-1.056 (11-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.014-1.018 (3.6-4.5 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.2%-4.0% (4.1%-5.1%)
Bitterness (IBU) 30-45
Color SRM (EBC) 3-6 (6-12 EBC)

Bohemian-Style Pilsener

Color: Straw to gold
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A slightly sweet and toasted, biscuity, bready malt aroma and flavor is present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium, derived from late kettle hopping with noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Very low levels of diacetyl, if present, are characteristic of this style and may accent malt character. Low levels of sulfur compounds may be present. DMS should not be present.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: The head should be dense.

Munich-Style Helles

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.044-1.050 (11-12.4 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.008-1.012 (2.1-3.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.4% (4.8%-5.6%)
Bitterness (IBU) 18-25
Color SRM (EBC) 4-5.5 (8-11 EBC)

Munich-Style Helles

Color: Pale to gold
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aroma and flavor are pronounced. Low levels of yeast-produced sulfur aromas and flavors may be present. Malt character is sometimes bready and suggestive of lightly toasted malted barley. There should be no caramel character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is not present to low. Hop flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low, derived from European noble-type hops.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters, DMS and diacetyl should not be present. A very low level of sulfur attributes may be present in balance with other attributes.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: Many beer brands known as Austrian-Style Maerzen are nearly indistinguishable from Munich-Style Helles and are appropriately categorized here.

Dortmunder/European-Style Export

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.048-1.057 (11.9-14 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.010-1.014 (2.6-3.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.0%-4.8% (5.1%-6.1%)
Bitterness (IBU) 23-29
Color SRM (EBC) 3-6 (6-12 EBC)

Dortmunder/European-Style Export

Color: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt character should be low and should not be caramelly
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: Traditionally, German-style Export beers were brewed to higher gravity/higher alcohol than domestic beers to promote longer shelf-life in export markets.

Vienna-Style Lager

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.046-1.056 (11.4-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.012-1.018 (3.1-4.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.3% (4.8%-5.4%)
Bitterness (IBU) 22-28
Color SRM (EBC) 10-18 (20-36 EBC)

Vienna-Style Lager

Color: Copper to reddish-brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Characterized by malty aroma and light malt sweetness, which should have a lightly toasted malt character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low, clean and crisp.
Fermentation Characteristics: DMS, diacetyl, and fruity esters should not be present.
Body: Medium

Franconian-Style Rotbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.046-1.056 (11.4-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.008-1.010 (2.1-2.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.4% (4.8%-5.6%)
Bitterness (IBU) 20-28
Color SRM (EBC) 13-23 (26-46 EBC)

Franconian-Style Rotbier

Color: Amber to dark red
Clarity: Clear to slightly hazy for unfiltered versions. Chill haze should not be present.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Light toasted malt aroma and malt sweetness is typical. Light caramel or biscuit character may be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low, with attributes typical of noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low, producing a clean finish.
Fermentation Characteristics: DMS, diacetyl, fruity esters and phenolic attributes should not be present.
Body: Medium

German-Style Maerzen

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.050-1.060 (12.4-14.7 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.012-1.020 (3.1-5.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.0%-4.7% (5.1%-6.0%)
Bitterness (IBU) 18-25
Color SRM (EBC) 4-15 (8-30 EBC)

German-Style Maerzen

Color: Pale to reddish-brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Bready or biscuity malt aroma and flavor should be present. Sweet maltiness is medium-low to medium and leads to a muted clean hop bitterness. Malt flavors should be of light toast rather than strong caramel. Low level caramel character is acceptable.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low with attributes typical of noble hop varieties
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present
Body: Medium

German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.048-1.056 (11.9-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.010-1.014 (2.6-3.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.0%-4.8% (5.1%-6.1%)
Bitterness (IBU) 23-29
Color SRM (EBC) 3-5 (6-10 EBC)

German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn

Color: Straw to gold
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Clean, sweet, bready malt profile is low to medium-low
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low and in balance with low sweet maltiness
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present
Body: Medium
Additional notes: Traditional Oktoberfest beers were brewed to original gravity at or above 13 ºPlato. Today, some examples are brewed to a lower original gravity.

Munich-Style Dunkel

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.048-1.056 (11.9-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.014-1.018 (3.6-4.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.2% (4.8%-5.3%)
Bitterness (IBU) 16-25
Color SRM (EBC) 15-17 (30-34 EBC)

Munich-Style Dunkel

Color: Light brown to brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is low to medium, with chocolate, roast, bread or biscuit aromas and flavors contributed by using dark Munich malt or other specialty malts.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, with attributes typical of noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present
Body: Low to medium-low
Additional notes: Dunkels do not offer an overly sweet impression, but rather a balance between malt and dark malt sweetness and hop character.

European-Style Dark Lager

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.048-1.056 (11.9-13.8 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.014-1.018 (3.6-4.6 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.2% (4.8%-5.3%)
Bitterness (IBU) 20-35
Color SRM (EBC) 15-24 (30-48 EBC)

European-Style Dark Lager

Color: Light brown to dark brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium with chocolate, roast, and malt aromas and flavors present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low with attributes typical of noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Low to medium-low
Additional notes: These beers offer a fine balance of sweet maltiness and hop bitterness.

German-Style Schwarzbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.044-1.052 (11-12.9 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.010-1.016 (2.6-4.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.0%-3.9% (3.8%-4.9%)
Bitterness (IBU) 22-30
Color SRM (EBC) 25-40 (50-80 EBC)

German-Style Schwarzbier

Color: Very dark brown to black, with a pale-colored head.
Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze should not be present.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium malt aroma displays a mild roasted malt character. Malt sweetness is low to medium and displays a mild roasted malt character without bitterness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Low to medium-low

Bamberg-Style Helles Rauchbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.044-1.050 (11-12.4 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.008-1.012 (2.1-3.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.8%-4.4% (4.8%-5.6%)
Bitterness (IBU) 18-25
Color SRM (EBC) 4-5.5 (8-11 EBC)

Bamberg-Style Helles Rauchbier

Color: Light pale to gold
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is prominent with malt aromas suggesting lightly toasted sweet malted barley. Smoke beechwood character ranges from very low to medium. Smoky aroma should be not harshly phenolic. Sulfur may be present at low levels. There should be no caramel character. Smoke flavor may create a perception of mild sweetness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present. Very low levels of sulfur-related compounds are acceptable.
Body: Medium

Bamberg-Style Maerzen Rauchbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.050-1.060 (12.4-14.7 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.012-1.020 (3.1-5.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.0%-4.7% (5.1%-6.0%)
Bitterness (IBU) 18-25
Color SRM (EBC) 4-15 (8-30 EBC)

Bamberg-Style Maerzen Rauchbier

Color: Pale to light brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet toasted malt aroma should be present. Medium-low to medium toasted malt sweetness should be present. Aroma and flavor of smoked beechwood ranges from very low to medium. Smoke flavors should be smooth, without harshness. Aroma should strike a balance between malt, hop and smoke.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be present
Body: Full

Bamberg-Style Bock Rauchbier

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.066-1.074 (16.1-18 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.018-1.024 (4.6-6.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.0%-6.0% (6.3%-7.6%)
Bitterness (IBU) 20-30
Color SRM (EBC) 20-30 (40-60 EBC)

Bamberg-Style Bock Rauchbier

Color: Dark brown to very dark
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high malt aroma and flavor should be present with very low to medium-high beechwood smoke aromas and flavors. Smoke flavors should be smooth, without harshness. Smoke flavor may create a perception of mild sweetness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low
Perceived Bitterness: Medium, increasing proportionately with starting gravity.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are usually absent, but if present should be very low. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium to full

German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.066-1.074 (16.1-18 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.012-1.020 (3.1-5.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.0%-6.4% (6.3%-8.1%)
Bitterness (IBU) 20-38
Color SRM (EBC) 4-9 (8-18 EBC)

German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock

Color: Pale to light amber. The German word “helle” means light-colored, thus Heller Bock is a pale beer.
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Light toasty and/or bready aroma and flavor is often present. Roast or heavy toast/caramel malt aromas and flavors should not be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low, derived from noble-type hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters, if present, should be low. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium to full

Traditional German-Style Bock

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.066-1.074 (16.1-18 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.018-1.024 (4.6-6.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.0%-6.0% (6.3%-7.6%)
Bitterness (IBU) 20-30
Color SRM (EBC) 20-30 (40-60 EBC)

Traditional German-Style Bock

Color: Dark brown to very dark
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Traditional Bocks are made with all malt and have high malt character with aromas of toasted or nutty malt, but not caramel. Traditional bocks display high malt sweetness. The malt flavor profile should display a balance of sweetness and toasted or nutty malt, but not caramel.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low
Perceived Bitterness: Medium, increasing proportionately with starting gravity.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters if present should be minimal. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium to full

German-Style Doppelbock

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.074-1.080 (18-19.3 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.014-1.020 (3.6-5.1 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5.2%-6.2% (6.6%-7.9%)
Bitterness (IBU) 17-27
Color SRM (EBC) 12-30 (24-60 EBC)

German-Style Doppelbock

Color: Copper to dark brown
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Pronounced aromas and flavors of toasted malted barley. Some caramel and toffee character can contribute to complexity in a secondary role. Dark fruit flavors such as prune and raisin may be present. Malty sweetness is pronounced but should not be cloying. There should be no astringency from roasted malts.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is absent. Hop flavor is low.
Perceived Bitterness: Low
Fermentation Characteristics: Alcoholic strength is high. Fruity esters are commonly perceived at low to moderate levels. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Full

German-Style Eisbock

Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.074-1.116 (18-27.2 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) N/A
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 6.8%-11.3% (8.6%-14.3%)
Bitterness (IBU) 26-33
Color SRM (EBC) 15-50 (30-100 EBC)

German-Style Eisbock

Color: Light brown to black
Clarity: Appearance should be clear. Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt character is very high. Dark fruit flavors such as prune and raisin may be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is absent
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
Fermentation Characteristics: Alcohol may be present in aroma. Fruity esters may be evident, but not overpowering. Diacetyl should not be present. Alcoholic strength is very high.
Body: Very full
Additional notes: This is a stronger version of Doppelbock. Traditionally, these beers were created by freezing a Doppelbock and removing the ice, thus concentrating the alcohol.

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