Overview for the American Pale Lager

The American Pale Lager is meant to be very light, near flavorless, highly carbonated, and served very cold. Originally meant to appeal to diet-conscious consumers, the style originated in the 1940s and began to gain popularity in the 1970s. By the 1990s, this Light Lager became the best-selling beer style in the United States.

Style Expectations

Highly carbonated, very light-bodied, nearly flavorless lager designed to be consumed very cold. Very refreshing and thirst quenching.


Very pale straw to pale yellow color. White, frothy head seldom persists. Very clear.


Low to no malt aroma, although it can be perceived as grainy, sweet, or corn-like if present. Hop aroma is light to none, with a spicy or floral hop character if present. While a clean fermentation character is desirable, a light amount of yeast character (particularly a light apple fruitiness) is not a fault. Light DMS is not a fault.


Relatively neutral palate with a crisp and dry finish and a low to very low grainy or corn-like flavor that might be perceived as sweetness due to the low bitterness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels, and can have a floral, spicy, or herbal quality (although rarely strong enough to detect). Low to very low hop bitterness. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may accentuate the crispness of the dry finish. Clean lager fermentation character.


Very light (sometimes watery) body. Very highly carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue.


Longboard Island Lager

American Pale Lager  •  Kona Brewing Co.

Longboard Island Lager is an American Pale Lager by Kona Brewing Co. that’s easy-drinking, sessionable, and received numerous awards. Read More

Coastline Lager

American Pale Lager  •  Due South Brewing Co.

Coastline Lager is an American Pale Lager by Due South Brewing Co. that blends bready malt and corn with subtle notes of citrus and spicy hops. Read More

Sam ’76

American Pale Lager  •  Boston Beer Company

Sam ’76 is an American Pale Lager brewed by the Boston Beer Company that features a light blend of cracker malt and honey; gently hopped with pine and citrus. Read More

PC Pils

American Pale Lager  •  Founders Brewing Co.

PC Pils is an American Pale Lager by Founders Brewing Co. that’s light and refreshing with a big hoppy bite of pine and citrus. Read More


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