The number one best selling beer style in the United States seems like the proper way to start off my BJCP challenge. Although it is generally considered, even by myself, generally a low quality beer, this will be a difficult beer to meet the style guidelines for. It is a very light, smooth, and rather tasteless beer where any flaws will be extremely apparent. There is nothing to hide behind like a strong malt body or overwhelming hop presence, everything (or nothing in the best case) will be on display.
The American lager was developed as a alternative to the heavier German style beers that had formed the bases of the American beverage scene. They were made lighter and smother with the use of corn and rice without losing any alcohol percentage. Fast foreword to the 1970's and Americans are clamoring for an even lighter beer with fewer calories. In walks light American lager, first made readily available by Miller. These light American lagers are low in alcohol and calories, typically ranging from 2.5% to 4.2% ABV and near 100 calories per beer.
When I do my reviews of this style, I decided that I should go for the original, Miller Lite, which just happened to win gold at the Great American Beer Festival last year for American Style Lager or Light Lager. My second beer that I will be using will have to be the local favorite around here, Labatt Blue Light, which has multiple ties to the area. It is brewed right across the boarder in Ontario, its US headquarters is in Buffalo, and it is owned by North American Breweries, based in Rochester, NY.
I expect that my beer will taste a bit different than either of these beers, but of course, I haven't had 40+ years to "perfect" my recipe. Hopefully it will taste a bit better, but that also has yet to be proven. Either way, I am not going to be able to lager this in my 65ºF basement, I am going to need a Son of Fermentation chiller. Eventually when I have a permanent residence I will most likely build a refrigerator chiller, but for now, this will have to do. Check back soon to see my progress on that.
On Deck: Ginger Ale (7/14)
Primary: Lite American Lager
Carbonating: Honey Dunkelweisen
Total for 2011: 58 Gallons