Gremlyn's BJCP Study Aid
Study Mode

2A - International Pale Lager

  • While a clean fermentation profile is generally most desirable, low levels of yeast character (such as a light apple fruitiness) are not a fault.
  • Low to moderate levels of grainy-malt flavor, with a crisp, dry, well-attenuated finish.
  • The grain character can be somewhat neutral, or show a light bready-crackery quality or up to moderate corny or malty sweetness.
  • Hop flavor ranges from none to medium levels, and often showing a floral, spicy, or herbal character if detected.
  • Neutral aftertaste with light malt and sometimes hop flavors.
  • Less body, malt flavor, and hop character than a Czech Premium Pale Lager.

Impression: A highly-attenuated pale lager without strong flavors, typically well-balanced and highly carbonated. Served cold, it is refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Appearance: Pale straw to gold color. White, frothy head may not be long lasting. Very clear.

Aroma: Low to medium-low malt aroma, which can be grainy-malty or slightly corny-sweet. Hop aroma may range from very low to a medium, spicy or floral hop presence. While a clean fermentation profile is generally most desirable, low levels of yeast character (such as a light apple fruitiness) are not a fault. A light amount of DMS or corn aroma is not a fault.

Flavor: Low to moderate levels of grainy-malt flavor, with a crisp, dry, well-attenuated finish. The grain character can be somewhat neutral, or show a light bready-crackery quality or up to moderate corny or malty sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to medium levels, and often showing a floral, spicy, or herbal character if detected. Hop bitterness at medium-low to medium level. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. Neutral aftertaste with light malt and sometimes hop flavors. A light amount of DMS is not a fault.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Moderately high to highly carbonated. Can have a slight carbonic bite on the tongue.

Comments: International lagers tend to have fewer adjuncts than standard American lagers. They may be all-malt, although strong flavors are still a fault. A broad category of international mass-market lagers ranging from up-scale American lagers to the typical “import” or “green bottle” international beers found in America and many export markets. Often confusingly labeled as a “Pilsner.” Any skunkiness in commercial beers from being lightstruck in a green bottle is a mishandling fault, not a characteristic of the style.

History: In the United States, developed as a premium version of the standard American lager, with a similar history. Outside the United States, developed either as an imitation of American style lagers, or as a more accessible (and often drier and less bitter) version of a Pilsner-type beer. Often heavily marketed and exported by large industrial or multi-national breweries.

Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley. May use rice, corn, or sugar as adjuncts, or may be all malt.

Comparison: Generally more bitter and filling than American lager. Less hoppy and bitter than a German Pils. Less body, malt flavor, and hop character than a Czech Premium Pale Lager. More robust versions can approach a Munich Helles in flavor, although with more of an adjunct quality.

Stats:
OG: 1.042 - 1.050
FG: 1.008 - 1.012
IBU: 18 - 25
SRM: 2 - 6
ABV: 4.6 - 6.0

Examples: