American Light Lager

Glassware: Shaker pint
  • USA
  • Lager
  • ABV = 2.8 – 4.2% (Lower)^
  • IBU = 8-12
  • SRM = 2-3

A straw-coloured, low-strength, very light-bodied American lager without strong flavours.

A lighter-bodied, lower-alcohol, lower calorie version of American Lager. Designed to appeal to as broad a range of the general public as possible. Strong flavours are a fault.


  • Colour^ = Straw
  • Clarity = Very clear

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = None to low; grainy-sweet or corn-like, if present
  • Hops = None to low; spicy, floral or herbal, if present
  • Yeast = None to low; while a clean fermentation profile is desirable, a light amount of yeast character is not a fault
  • Malt = Low; relatively neutral, grainy-sweet or corn-like
  • Hops = None to low; floral, spicy, or herbal, if present, but rarely strong enough to detect
  • Yeast = Clean fermentation profile
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Low
  • Balance = Relatively even; may range from slightly malty to slightly bitter

Crisp, dry finish accentuated by the high carbonation level


  • Body = Very light
  • Carbonation = Very high, with a slight carbonic bite

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Two- or six-row malt
  • Hops = Any hop varietals, very low level
  • Yeast = Clean lager yeast
  • Other = Up to 40% rice or corn as adjuncts. Additional enzymes can further lighten the body and lower the amount of residual sugar.

Historical Development:

Modern versions were first produced in 1967 to appeal to diet-conscious drinkers, but only became popular starting in 1973 after Miller Brewing acquired the recipe and marketed the beer heavily to sports fans with the “tastes great, less filling” campaign. Beers of this style became the largest sellers in the United States in the 1990s.

Commercial Examples:

Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus (Version 5.0)
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2021 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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