Exploring the World of Lager: A Guide to Different Types

Lager, with its crisp and refreshing taste, is one of the most popular styles of beer enjoyed worldwide. While all lagers share common characteristics such as a clean finish and a smooth mouthfeel, there are many different types of lager that vary in flavor, color, and brewing techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or just beginning to explore the world of lagers, understanding the various styles can help you discover new favorites and deepen your appreciation for this beloved beer style. Let’s take a journey through the diverse world of lager and explore some of the different types.

Pale Lager

Pale lager, also known as American lager or standard lager, is the most widely consumed type of lager in the world. Characterized by its light golden color and mild flavor profile, pale lager is brewed with a combination of pale malt, adjunct grains, and noble hops. This style is known for its crisp, clean taste and refreshing finish, making it a popular choice for casual drinking and social occasions.


Pilsner is a subcategory of pale lager that originated in the Czech Republic in the 19th century. Named after the city of Pilsen, where it was first brewed, Pilsner is known for its golden color, distinct hop bitterness, and crisp, dry finish. Czech-style Pilsners tend to be more hop-forward with herbal and floral notes, while German-style Pilsners are slightly more malt-forward with a balanced bitterness.


Helles, which means “bright” or “pale” in German, is a traditional Bavarian lager known for its golden color and malty sweetness. Brewed with pale malt and noble hops, Helles has a balanced flavor profile with notes of bread, biscuit, and honey. This style is characterized by its smooth, easy-drinking nature and moderate alcohol content, making it a popular choice for beer drinkers of all preferences.


Märzen, also known as Oktoberfest beer, is a malty lager that originated in Germany and is traditionally brewed for the Oktoberfest celebration. This style features a rich amber color, full-bodied mouthfeel, and notes of caramel, toast, and biscuit. Märzen is typically brewed in the spring and aged over the summer months, resulting in a smooth and flavorful beer that pairs well with hearty German cuisine.

Vienna Lager

Vienna Lager is a copper-colored lager that originated in Austria in the 19th century. Brewed with a combination of Vienna and caramel malts, Vienna Lager has a rich and complex flavor profile with notes of caramel, toffee, and toasted bread. This style is known for its balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, making it a versatile and approachable beer that pairs well with a variety of foods.

Dortmunder Export

Dortmunder Export, also known simply as Dortmunder, is a pale lager that originated in the city of Dortmund, Germany. Similar in color to Pilsner but slightly maltier in flavor, Dortmunder Export has a clean, crisp taste with a subtle hop bitterness and a dry finish. This style is often compared to Helles but tends to be slightly stronger in alcohol content and more assertive in flavor.


Bock is a strong lager that originated in Germany and is traditionally brewed for special occasions such as Easter and Christmas. This style ranges in color from pale gold to deep brown and is characterized by its rich, malty flavor and full-bodied mouthfeel. Bocks often have notes of caramel, chocolate, and dark fruit, with a smooth and warming finish that makes them perfect for sipping on cool evenings.


Dunkel, which means “dark” in German, is a malty lager with a deep brown color and a rich, caramelized flavor. Brewed with dark malts and minimal hops, Dunkel has notes of toffee, nutty, and dark fruit, with a smooth and slightly sweet finish. This style is often enjoyed during the cooler months of the year and pairs well with hearty German dishes such as bratwurst and sauerkraut.

From crisp and refreshing pale lagers to rich and malty bocks, the world of lager offers a diverse array of styles to suit every palate and occasion. Whether you’re enjoying a cold beer on a hot summer day or savoring a warming brew by the fireside, there’s a lager out there to satisfy your cravings and elevate your drinking experience. So raise a glass to the wonderful world of lager and explore the endless possibilities that this beloved beer style has to offer. Cheers!

Check Also

London Pride

Time To Adopt A Pint

September 23rd marks the beginning of Cask Ale Week, but Fuller’s believe in cask ale …

Wait, why not sign up to
our free newsletter?

Don't miss out on some fantastic advice, News, Offers, Competitions & More from the world of wine! Get the best direct to your inbox! Sign up today...