What Makes a Beer an Amber Lager?

One thing that Amber Lagers are known for is that the hoppiness is not their prominent flavor. So if the bitter taste is not your style, you might want to adopt or check out Amber Lager beers.

But, what makes a beer an Amber Lager?

Defining Amber Lager, Generally

Amber Lagers characteristically are:

  • Lighter in color, mostly resembling amber/gold.
  • Do not have too much alcohol content; leaning slightly towards the lower side; however, it can go up to a medium in some brands.
  • Can make you feel more of the malt in the beer.
  • Dominant in caramel, toffee, as far as the palate is concerned, and sometimes with toasted versions.

Originally, it was said that Amber Lagers are more of a Munich style, the golden/yellow looking ones, but they can also be associated with German origins. Whereas, the red-looking variation, more like amber-reddish, is an Austrian style — giving it a second prevailing name of “Vienna Lagers.”

Overall, Amber or Vienna Lagers are your everyday beer with nothing too special about them, which is actually what makes them more enticeable because they can be enjoyed anytime, any season, and anywhere. It’s a type of beer that would work 365 days a year.

What Brands of Beer Are Amber Lager or Vienna Lager?

Common Amber or Vienna Lager Beers
The Sam Adams beer is perhaps one of the most recognizable and known Lager beers. Image source: Drizly

Drizly has a nifty little section dedicated to Amber and Vienna Lagers. A few recognizable Amber Lager beer brands in the list are:

  1. Samuel Adams Boston Lager Beer
  2. Dos Equis Ambar
  3. Michelob Ultra Amber Max
  4. Redbridge Lager — for those wanting a gluten-free beer.
  5. George Killian’s Irish Red
  6. Etc.

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Amber Lagers Are Quite Fascinating; Not Dull As Many Would Think

Amber lagers pack a punch when it comes to relishing a cold one. They aren’t as intense as strong IPAs, but they have their own allure in terms of aroma, taste, transparency, and foaminess/carbonation.

If you truly were on a journey to enjoy all Amber or Vienna lagers out there, you’d quickly realize that even the smallest of changes generate significantly varied taste profiles — depending on the brand. That feeling of the unknown, as well as the anticipation & eagerness to find out how exciting a particular brand of lager beer would be, is part of the charm.

Plus, as mentioned before, these beers almost feel like an all-season, 365 days type, so you can never go all in — because you are always in that state.

Expert Sources