A category formally accepted only as a domestic king, light lagers are trending heavily in craft beer and the light, crisp lager is only growing in local beer culture.
Are you finding yourself scanning the extensive craft menu at your local pub for a crisp pilsner or clean helles lager? Don’t worry, we know it’s nothing domestic. Local craft is focusing on the light-lager and it’s a category beginning to show promise as the craft beer scene continues to become more competitive.
It’s a category aimed at the health conscious, light beer drinker. The active-lifestyle consumer’s are also calling for lighter styles, such as a crisp pilsner that’s easy to crush and with fewer calories. (Or a spiked seltzer!)
The Blonde / Golden ale style is up 14 percent compared to 2018 (Beer Connoisseur), and the lighter, less malty lager could be an indication of trends sliding away from innovation and wanting more style that integrate into every-day life.
The light lagers are “Beer for beer drinkers.” Craftbeer.com describes the Helles lager as “…a masterclass in restraint, subtly and drinkability which makes it an enduring style for true beer lovers and an elusive style for craft brewers to recreate.” This balanced and slightly sweeter brew pairs well with anything from light salads to sharp cheeses and is a reminder of how a traditional-German style lager remains popular to this day.
Noticeable light lagers:
- Abita Light
- Night Shift Brewing – Lime Light
- Creature Comforts – Classic City Lager
- Red Hair Brewing company – Gem City Classic
- Pilsner Urquell
- Sierra Nevada Nooner
- Oscar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Gnat Knocker, Omaha Brewing Company’s flagship German-Helles Style Lager, has shown growth in on and off premise sales since its release in 2017.
Whether you just want a “beer flavored beer,” something you can drink all afternoon or a lower-calorie alternative, light lagers are here to stay. Craft breweries will continue to market them as the domestic alternative, now it’s up to the consumer to make the leap.