German Leichtbier

5A. German Leichtbier
Overall Impression:
A pale, highly-attenuated, light-bodied German lager with lower alcohol and calories than normal-strength beers. Moderately bitter with noticeable malt and hop flavors, the beer is still interesting to drink.

Aroma:
Low to medium hop aroma, with a spicy, herbal, or floral character. Low to medium-low grainy-sweet or slightly crackery malt aroma. Clean fermentation profile.

Appearance: 
Straw to pale gold in color. Brilliant clarity. Moderate white head with average to below average persistence.

Flavor:
Low to medium grainy-sweet malt flavor initially. Medium hop bitterness. Low to medium hop flavor, with a spicy, herbal, or floral quality. Clean fermentation character, well-lagered. Dry finish with a light malty and hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:
Light to very light body. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth, well-attenuated.
Comments: Marketed primarily as a diet-oriented beer with lower carbohydrates, alcohol, and calories. Pronounced “LYESHT-beer.” May also be known as a Diat Pils or Helles, this style is in the schankbier gravity class. Other variations of Leicht class beers can be made from Weissbier, Kölsch, and Altbier; those beersare best entered in the Mixed-Style Beer category.

History:
Traditional versions existed as drinks for physical laborers in factories or fields, but modern versions are more based on popular American products in the same class.

Characteristic Ingredients:
Similar to a German Pils or Helles, continental Pils malt, German lager yeast, Saazer-type hops.

Style Comparison:
Like a lower-alcohol, lighter-bodied, slightly less aggressive German Pils or Helles.

Vital Statistics:
OG: 1.026 – 1.034
IBUs: 15 – 28 FG: 1.006 – 1.010
SRM: 2 – 5 ABV: 2.4 – 3.6%

Commercial Examples:
Beck’s Light, Bitburger Light, Mahr’s Leicht, Paulaner Münchner Hell Leicht, Paulaner Premium Leicht