This Top Ten American Specialty Lager List is from America's Best and Top Ten. On July 4, 2009, this list will be from the results of the 2009 US Open Beer Championship.
1. Icehouse - Miller Brewing
2. Natural Ice - Anheuser-Busch
3. Schlitz Malt Liquor- Schlitz Brewing Company
4. Busch Ice - Anheuser-Busch
5. Mickey's Malt Liquour - Miller Brewing
6. Milwaukee's Best Ice - Miller Brewing
7. St. Ides Malt Liquor - St. Ides Brewing
8. Steel Reserve 211 - Steel Brewing
9. Colt 45 Malt Liquor - Pabst Brewing
10. Molson XXX - Molson Brewery
American Specialty Lager
Subcategory: American-Style Pilsener
This classic and unique pre-Prohibition American-style Pilsener is straw to deep gold in color. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma are medium to high, and use of noble-type hops for flavor and aroma is preferred. Up to 25 percent corn and/or rice in the grist should be used. Malt flavor and aroma are medium. This is a light-medium to medium-bodied beer. Sweet corn-like dimethylsulfide (DMS), fruity esters and citrus flavors or aromas should not be perceived. Diacetyl is not acceptable. There should be no chill haze.
Alcohol by Weight: 3.9-4.7%
Color SRM: 3-6
Subcategory: American-Style Ice Lager
This style is slightly higher in alcohol than most other light-colored, American-style lagers. Its body is low to medium and has low residual malt sweetness. It has few or no adjuncts. Color is very pale to golden. Hop bitterness is low but certainly perceptible. Hop aroma and flavor are low. Chill haze, fruity esters, and diacetyl should not be perceived. Typically these beers are chilled before filtration so that ice crystals (which may or may not be removed) are formed. This can contribute to a higher alcohol content (up to 0.5% more).
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-5%
Color SRM: 2-8
Subcategory: American-Style Malt Liquor
High in starting gravity and alcoholic strength, this style is somewhat diverse. Some American malt liquors are just slightly stronger than American lagers, while others approach bock strength. Some residual sweetness is perceived. Hop rates are very low, contributing little bitterness and virtually no hop aroma or flavor. Perception of sweet-fruity esters and complex alcohols (though not solvent-like) are acceptable at low levels. Chill haze and diacetyl should not be perceived.
Alcohol by Weight: 5-6%
Color SRM: 2-5