Beer Styles 101: Light Lager

What is a Light Lager?

Light lagers are synonymous with Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite. Generally, a light beer is classified as a style of beer that has significantly lower calories compared to its regular strength, full-calorie version. Due to the fact that there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol, light beers tend to have a lower alcohol content in order to reach that light status.

Light beer got it start with Coors Light made by the Coors Brewing Company in the 1940’s. It was then discontinued during World War II and brought back to life again in 1978. A brewery by the name of Rheingold Brewery produced one in 1967 and the next light beer came to life in 1973 when Miller bought Meister Brau Lite. These continued to flourish while Bud Light entered the scene in the 90’s. The success of light lagers has been said to be because of a combination of factors such as low caloric content, the light almost “non-beer” taste and the successful marketing campaigns.

Canadian Brewing Awards classifies a light lager as:

These beers are extremely light coloured, light in body, and high in carbonation. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Flavour is mild and hop bitterness aroma is negligible to very low. Light fruity esters are acceptable. Chill haze and diacetyl should be absent.

Partnered with certain guidelines:

Original Gravity (°Plato): 6.0 -10.0 °Plato
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 0.5 – 2.0 °Plato
Alcohol by Volume: 3.4 – 4.4%
Bitterness (IBU): 5 – 10
Colour SRM: 1.5 – 4

Previous Canadian Brewing Awards winners in this category:


          2012 Gold

CrackedCanoeLightLager

           2013 Gold

AlpineLightLager

           2014 Gold

StonewallLightLager

          2015 Gold

Laker-LightLager