pairing.profiles: Light Lagers


As many of you know I am studying to become a certified Cicerone and BJCP judge, and to study correctly I to taste a lot of different beer styles.  That can be a lot of fun but it is also a lot of work because I really do have to pick the beers apart and describe them in detail.  Don’t get me wrong, it is way more fun than any studying I have ever done except when I have to pick apart American Lite Lagers as I did for this week.

Below you will find MY descriptions and general pairing suggestions.  Not to worry, these won’t replace my more detailed versions. These are meant to be quick start reference guides to styles I haven’t detailed.

 1A.  Lite American Lager
Examples: Bud Light, Miller Light, Sam Adams Light
Serving Temp: 35°- 40°
Glassware: Pilsner
 
Evaluation Notes: Keystone Light
Aroma: Grainy, husky with just a hint malt; cweet corn aroma covers up any hops that are present.  
Appearance: Pale golden and crystal clear.  Short lived white head with tight small to medium bubbles.
Flavor: Crisp and dry with slight cornlike sweetness.  Little hop flavor, bitterness and aftertaste.  Even balanced and no faults for the style.
Mouthfeel: Refreshing carbonation, very much like carbonated water with a slight carbonic bite and light body.  

Food Pairings: Anything.  These beers are so bland that you would be better off drinking seltzer water and save yourself the calories.  They are good for washing the savory flavors off the palate.
 
 
1B.  Standard American Lager
Examples: Budweiser, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon
Serving Temp: 35°- 40°
Glassware: Pilsner
 
Evaluation Notes:
Aroma: Light to no malt aroma with little to light spicy or floral hops.   A slight grainy, sweet or corn-like aroma present. A green apple, DMS, or fruitiness may be present but absolutely no diacetyl.
Appearance: Pale Straw to medium yellow color with a  white frothy head but very little retention. Crystal Clear.
Flavor: Crisp and dry with a  light grainy or corn-like sweetness. No to low hop flavor or bitterness, No diacetyl or fruitiness should be present.
Mouthfeel: Light body, high carbonation.

 
Food Pairings: Anything.  There is very little taste to these beers but their medium bodies and crisp refreshing nature make them a good substitute for water …. if you just finished some yard work and you are worried your water quality.
 
 
1C.  Premium American Lager
Examples: Full Sail Session, Red Stripe, Stella Artois
Serving Temp: 35°- 40°
Glassware: Pilsner
 
Evaluation Notes: 
Aroma: Low malt and low hops. A slight grainy, sweet or corn-like aroma may be present.  Green apple, DMS or fruitiness optional may also be present.  Diacetyl should not be present.
Appearance: Pale straw to gold. Low head retention. Very Clear.
Flavor: Low hop flavor and bitterness. Even balance. No diacetyl or fruitiness.
Mouthfeel: Light-med body. High carbonation.


 
1D.  Munich Helles – helles means “light”
Examples: Hacker- Pschorr Münchner Gold, Paulaner Premium Lager, Spaten Premium Lager.
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Flute or Pilsner
 
Evaluation Notes:
Aroma: Grainy sweet, clean with a low to medium nobel hop aroma.  No fruity esters or diacetyl should be present.
Appearance: Medium yellow to pale gold with a  creamy white head. Clear.
Flavor: Slightly sweet and malty with a low to medium-low hop bitterness and  flavor.  There should be a clean, malty finish with no fruity esters or diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation.

 
Food Pairings: Cuisine: German or other hearty and/or spicy foods  Cheese: soft and mild (ex. Gouda, Havarti). Meat: Pork, Poultry, or Seafood.

 
1E.  Dortmunder Export
Examples: Ayinger Jahrhunder, Gordon Biersch Golden Export,
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Flute or Pilsner
 
Evaluation Notes:
Aroma: Low to medium noble hops with a pronounced malt sweetness.  May have low DMS but no diacetyl.
Appearance: Light gold to deep gold and  clear with persistent white head.
Flavor: Balanced between maltiness and  hops. Some minerals and hop bitterness may be present  in the finish but it should be clean tasting with fruity no esters or diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation.  Smooth.

 
Food Pairings: Cuisine: German or other hearty and/or spicy foods  Cheese: soft and mild (ex. Gouda, Havarti). Meat: Pork, Poultry, or Seafood.


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