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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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