Standard American Lager Style Profile

NOTE: In the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, Standard American Lager has been re-categorized as Style 2A International Pale Lager in Category 2 International Lager which are the premium mass-market lagers produced in most countries in the world.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer

Standard American Lager
Description and Brewing Tips

Standard American Lagers are the "regular" strength versions of the light American lagers. The style guidelines for this beer are almost identical as those for the light versions.

The only difference is that the hop bitterness may go up to the medium-low level, the body is light instead of very light, and of course the standard versions have higher calories and gravities.

The standard American lager is a very quaffable beer that is only slightly stronger than the light American lagers.

They are very refreshing and are the true American session beers.

Internationally, these are the standard mass-market lagers in most markets.

Brewing Tips:

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040-1.050 IBUs: 8-15 FG: 1.004-1.010 SRM: 2-4 ABV: 4.2-5.3%

This beer is considered difficult to brew by most homebrewers because there is nothing for any faults to hide behind.  There is very little flavor and very little aroma in this beer so your recipe, sanitization and brewing procedures need to be spot on.

Everything has to be light in this beer and any strong flavors or aromas are considered a fault.  The balance is also important so pay close attention to the bittering IBUs.  

Also, it is best to use only the freshest American 2-row or 6-row malt and no Continental malts.

Fermentation temperatures are critical.  Be sure to keep them in the low 50°F range (10°C) to minimize fruity ester production or any other strong flavors.

Be sure to give the beer plenty of time to finish fermentation and give it a diacetyl rest to clean up the fermentation byproducts which would cause off flavors that would be noticeable in this beer.

If you are an extract brewer, take a close look at your base extract to make sure it is made with American malt, and not a continental pilsner or English pale malt.  You may have to go to the manufacturer's page to find this information.

You are going to be using a large percentage (up to 40%) of adjuncts, like rice or corn, in this recipe, so if you need to do a cereal mash, check out this page to learn how.

When you are going to use that much adjuncts in the recipe (more than 25%), be sure to add some 6-row to help with the conversion and give it some extra time in the mash.

Information for this page was adapted from the BJCP Style Guidelines for 2008 and 2015. 


Return to the Light Lagers Page



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