American Light Lager: A Refreshing Oasis

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This is a highly carbonated, light-bodied lager that is nearly tasteless and meant to be consumed very cold. It is extremely refreshing and perfect for quenching thirst. It has a very pale straw to pale yellow color with a clear and transparent appearance. It forms a white, frothy head that does not usually last long.

The aroma is very low in malt and hop character. There might be some grainy, sweet, or corn-like perception if present. A light fruity yeast character, particularly apple-like, is acceptable, and a slight amount of DMS is not a fault. If hops are present, they might have a spicy or floral character.

This beer has a relatively neutral palate with a dry and crisp finish. It has a low to very low grainy or corn-like flavor that can be perceived as slightly sweet due to the low bitterness. Hop flavor and bitterness are also low, with floral, spicy, or herbal notes that are rarely detectable. The beer has a clean fermentation character and can range from slightly malty to slightly bitter in balance. It is highly carbonated, which accentuates the dry finish.

The body of the beer is very light and watery, and the carbonation level is very high, which provides a slight carbonic bite on the tongue.

American Light Lagers are designed to have a broad appeal to the general public, and strong flavors are considered a fault.

Modern versions of this beer were first produced by Rheingold in 1967 to cater to diet-conscious drinkers. It became popular after Miller Brewing acquired the recipe in 1973 and marketed it heavily to sports fans with the “tastes great, less filling” campaign. This beer became the largest seller in the United States in the 1990s.

The beer is made with two- or six-row barley and can have up to 40% rice or corn adjuncts. Additional enzymes can be used to lighten the body and lower the carbohydrate content. This is a lighter-bodied, lower-alcohol, and lower-calorie version of an American Lager.


IBU: 8 – 12
SRM: 2 – 3
OG: 1.028 – 1.040
FG: 0.998 – 1.008
ABV: 2.8% – 4.2%


Bud Light, Coors Light, Keystone Light, Michelob Light, Miller Lite, Old Milwaukee Light.