Lager beer can be one of the best things to order at a bar. Lagers tend to be incredibly smooth but all have their own unique features and tastes. Some are stronger than others, some have more life in them, and some simply get you drunk quickly!
But, what exactly should you be ordering when it comes to a lager beer? We’ve compiled a fantastic list below, followed by some of the burning questions that you’ve probably thought of - and while we’re on our way, you may learn a few things about lager beer!
Wait - What’s A Lager Beer?
This is a completely fair question. There’s always a lot of confusion over lager beer, stout, ale and beer. They all share similar colors and to an extent, some taste - but some are different with various alternate make-ups.
The first thing to say here is - there’s no difference between “lager-beer” and “beer”. Lager is simply a type of beer, as is ale, pale ale (IPA) and bitter.
The only thing you could say alters between an ale and a lager is that the word “lager” comes from a German word which is the word “storage” in English and refers to how it’s made and stored.
The fermentation process differs slightly, as lager ferments from upwards whereas ale ferments downwards. Easiest way to think of it, every lager is a beer but not every beer is a lager.
Getting The First Ones In
Alright, now that we’ve got that cleared up - it’s time to get yourself to the bar. So, what are we ordering today? Why not think about these beauties:
OUR TOP PICK
“Samuel Adams - always a good decision!” Samuel Adams is one of the most popular lager beers in America and is popular in other areas of the world, particularly in Europe.
It has a full body which is rich in flavor. Its characteristics can be described as complex but also it’s balanced.
It’s made with care using a long process that most brewers don’t bother with anymore. With such time and effort taken to create it, you can be sure it goes under rigorous scrutiny to ensure its quality.
It uses two row barley and manifests itself into a thunderous flavor of what can be sweet but also roasted.
It truly is a fantastic lager, perfect for any occasion!
- Popular lager
- Widely available
- Unique flavors
- Made with care
- Made with unique ingredients
- Very few, some people might find it a bit bitter at times, but it’s subjective
Taste of Mexico here. It’s a great tasting lager beer with a rich, full flavor. The partner of UFC, this beer embodies the fighting spirit of Mexico with a strong beer taste that pairs with some fantastic Mexican dishes incredibly well.
Speaking of pairing, if you’re at home and looking for a beverage to go well with some party snacks like potato chips, nachos and jalapenos with cheese - you’ve got to pick this lager up!
Along with an aftertaste of honey and herb, it seems to illuminate a tang - which works well with barbecue food.
For those of you looking for a lower calorie beer, this one might surprise you in being only 143 calories per serving! Who says you need to give up beer to lose weight?
- Unique flavor
- Pairs with so many foods, including party foods
- Low in calories
- Great for get togethers or sporting events
- The bottled version only comes in 12oz which can be quite annoying, depends on what sizes you’d prefer
A very popular and well recognized lager beer that is brewed in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Heineken is a taste that many people will know, even if you didn’t tell them what was in their glass - due to its very sole taste. One great thing about Heineken is that not only is it one of the beers that is suitable for vegetarians, but it’s also suitable for vegans!
Heineken goes well with real or vegan-style beef, steak or lamb which makes it ideal for a good restaurant meal! It’s best enjoyed slowly out of a tall glass, but it’s still great in a bottle or can form.
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- Goes well with red meat and fake meat
- Imports well and seals the flavors
- Some people aren’t fond of the strong aftertaste, but it can be overpowered by pairing it with food, garlic foods are the best for this problem
Another European lager for the list here, with a fantastic choice of the Italian Peroni. Quite an old lager, it began its life in the 19th century and quickly flourished onto the European and American market.
It has a fantastic balance between a citrus type flavor and backed with bitterness which compliment each other.
Peroni works well with most Italian foods such as pasta, pizza and tomato rich dishes. If you’re looking for a lager to simply chill out and have dinner with, Peroni is the perfect decision to match your meal.
- Full bodied
- Award winning
- Easy to drink
- Pairs well with Italian foods
- Well established drink
- Some lager drinkers prefer something with a smoother taste
A relative new-comer in the world of lager is Daura Damm. Hailing from the fiery Spanish region of Barcelona, Daura Damm comes with a lively, bubbly and striking lease of life.
It’s very long lasting on the tongue and it’s no surprise that it has won several awards, and to many been named “the best beer in the world”.
What’s more, it’s ideal for lager drinkers that are gluten free! Being a lager lover and gluten free can be really conflicting and challenging, so if you fall into this category, look no further than our Spanish counterpart of Daura Damm!
- Suitable for gluten free lager drinkers
- Award winning
- Claims for the best beer in the world
- Very lively and bubbly
- Tastes great
- Some people prefer other gluten free alcohol alternatives
Stella Artois has a long history and is enjoyed by millions of people every day across the globe. It hails from Belgium and has a distinct, strong taste to it.
Many would say it’s the type of lager that you’ll either really love, or really hate - but we’d argue that the majority of people love a good Stella in hot or cold weather.
It’s a very tough lager, full of body and life. It lasts long and does not go flat easily, not that you’d leave it that long!
It pairs well with meats, particularly barbecue food like burgers or hot dogs. It’s best enjoyed from draught, but other than that - the bottles are the next best choice with cans being the last.
- Very strong
- Long lasting
- Rich history
- Pairs well with BBQ foods
- Best enjoyed cold
- Some people’s last choice for a lager
That’s our top 6, but as there are so many lagers out there to choose from, there are certain lagers that we simply cannot ignore. Below is a list of our notable and honorable mentions, but with a little less in the way of descriptions!
Is it Miller time already? It’s low in calories and one of America’s first light lagers. It’s got a great light feel to it that doesn’t weigh heavy on the stomach. Easy to drink many of these!
Firestone Walker Brewing Company: Pivo Pilsner
A crisp and tongue twitching taste to this expertly crafted, Californian lager. It’s got the perfect mix of ingredients and it’s made very hoppy. With its complexity, it gives itself a very solo identity - once you’ve tried this, you’ll always recognize it.
Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
A German, bold and prominent lager for you now. It has a high quality and is enjoyed by many lager drinkers in the world. One of the oldest known beer brewers in the world, it gives you a crispy and dominant taste with an aftertaste of smokiness. Quite a hard lager to top!
Victory: Prima Pils
If you’re hoping for a more floral finish to your lager, then Victory is the brand for you. They’ve amalgamated a flavor of lager with strong aromatics, to give its drinkers the best possible experience they could hope for.
Even though it comes from Pennsylvania, it uses all the original German brewing techniques that make it special.
Great Lakes: Eliot Ness
Some people want a lager with a kick to it, to really let their head know they’ve had a proper beer - so Great Lakes came along and devised a 6.1% ABV lager to really give it to you!
It’s a real people pleaser and pairs well with junk food - so get on the phone and order a pizza with this, you can thank us later!
Buyers’ Guide To Lager Beer
There are so many different kinds of lager out there. Much like wine or whiskey, it’s a difficult task to know (if you’ve not explored lager too much) which ones you should go for. Do you prefer a crisp finish? Do you like a fruity lager?
There are 3 distinct types of lager that many people battle with. Understanding the 3 can be really challenging, so we’ve given you an easy guide for this below:
- Appearance: They tend to look lighter or paler, with a yellower/blonder highlight to them.
- Scent: They don’t give off such a strong smell, it’s more light with an overtone of what can be described as bread-like.
- Taste: A malty taste that isn’t too bitter. Can sometimes be described as sweet.
- Appearance: Pilsners tend to be darker yellow, or golden - heading darker but not quite there.
- Scent: The hops make a Pilsners smell like spring. Very fresh with a grassy overtone, sometimes toffee or honey.
- Taste: Usually balanced between spicy, sweet, herbally and bitter. The flavor tends to continue moving, the more you’ve drank of it.
- Appearance: Much darker. Changes between red and brown or like a mahogany wood finish.
- Scent: The wooden feel continues, with a smoky overtone or cooked treacle.
- Taste: Completely full of flavor then is described as dry to finish. It can sometimes be sweet but more often it’s a toasty taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Did Lager Come From?
Remember we mentioned the word lager being a German word? That’s because the origins of lager come from the Bavarian region of Germany.
Bavaria is well known for its incredibly cold and snowy landscape most of the year. So, its origins in the 1500s ordered that no beers could be made in between April to September because by the time it came to summer, it would be ruined.
To combat this, the Bavarians decided to produce ale in the winter and stored them underground or in caval areas. This resulted in one surviving yeast which was the lager yeast and by the 19th century, lager began being created as we understand the beer today.
What Is The Most Popular Lager?
Currently, the world’s most popular lager is Stella Artois. Interestingly, 9/10 beers that are drunk daily around the world are lager beers.
What’s The Deal With Pairing A Lager To A Food?
Lager drinking has become very popular and is moving in the same direction as wine, whiskey and real ale. It comes as no surprise that people would like to get the most out of their lager with a food to pair it with.
What’s more, world beers such as Cobra or Asahi were made with the express purpose to enjoy with the cuisine of its origin. Cobra for example or Tiger, are asian lagers and were made to enjoy with curried dishes or spices. Asahi is best paired with sushi.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our list! Happy drinking!