Lager vs. Dark Lager: Let’s Learn About the Two!

Lager is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world.

Every other person knows about it and even has it during summer to beat the scorching summer heat.

But is your knowledge about the beverage enough?

Do you know the difference between lager and dark lager?


If not, pat yourself because you have landed on the right site. Here you’ll learn a lot about the beverage.

What Is Lager and its Types?

Do you know where the word “Lager” originated? It’s time to learn about one of the most popular beers, the LAGER!

Well! Lager was first made in Germany.

It’s produced by brewing malt using bottom-fermenting yeast.

This type of yeast carries fermentation at low temperatures, so you get a crisp and pleasant flavored drink on your table.

Initially, it was famous in Germany only.

Slowly it became one of the most loved drinks in Europe, spreading worldwide.

Now, you’ll find a variety of lagers in different corners of the world.

Let’s look at some of those types!

American Lager

The American Lager is a high-carbonated pale-colored beer with low bitterness and a neutral flavor profile.

In summer, a chilled glass of the American lager is no less than a blessing!


Made from Pilsner malt, the beer is light yellow to golden.

Moreover, it’s brewed using Saaz hops which gives flavor and aroma to the beverage.

Helles Bock

Like other beers, Helles Bock is light-colored with a slightly malty flavor and bitter finish.

Moreover, it has a floral aroma and taste due to noble hops.

Vienna Lager

Looking for a lager that’s neither too dark nor pale?

Vienna Lager is the right choice as it has a slightly reddish color.

It’s brewed with blends of malts and noble hops, giving it a sweet malty flavor with a slight bitterness.

What is Dark Lager and Its Types?

Let’s learn about dark lagers! As the name indicates, they are dark in color, mainly amber to brown hence called dark lagers.

Apart from malt, the brewing process has additional ingredients such as coffee, chocolates, etc., giving the beverage various flavors.

Dark lager has low alcoholic content than many other dark beers and is brewed using lager yeast.

It gives the drink a vibrant finish and refreshing feel when drunk ice-cold.

Like light lagers, there are different kinds of dark lagers.

Some of them are listed below.


Do you love classic pub beers? If yes, Dunkel is for you! Dark roast malt is its primary ingredient, but it has nuts, coffee, bread, and chocolate for different flavors.

Moreover, it’s relatively less bitter and alcoholic.


Like Dunkel, Schwarzbier is also a German lager having roots in Thuringia.

Color-wise, it’s dark chestnut to ruby-black and has a complex taste of roasted malt, chocolate, and licorice.

Also, its alcoholic content is low, with a dry, smooth finish and mild bitterness.


This dark lager has 6-10 % alcohol and has a malty flavor.

Depending upon the brewing process and alcohol content, it has many sub-types.

What are the Differences between Lager and Dark Lager?

Many people know about lager, but only a few know the differences between light and dark lager.

If you also are one of them, keep reading!

Appearance and Color

So the first and the most noticeable difference between lager and dark lager is appearance and color.

The lager has light color that ranges from pale yellow to golden.

On the other hand, the dark lager has an amber to deep brown color.

Hence, you can quickly visually differentiate between the two beverages.

Malt– The Prime Ingredient

Yes! Malt makes a lot of difference in beverages.

For instance, larger is brewed using lighter malts, giving it the characteristic color and crisp, clean taste.

Whereas, in the case of dark lager, darker malts like Munich or Vienna malt are used.

Taste and Flavor

As mentioned above, the light lager has a crisp, clean taste, whereas the counter lager is maltier with hints of caramel, toffee, and roasted malt. In short, it has a more complex flavor.

Brewing Process

Both types of lagers involve mashing and then boiling the malt with water.

The wort then obtained is hopped and fermented at low temperature.

However, the difference lies in the preparation of malt.

Thealt is first roasted in dark lager at a high temperature to give it the required color and characteristic flavor.

Whereas, in the preparation of lager, this step is not involved.

Alcohol Content

If you talk about the alcohol content, the darker one has more.

So if you want more alcoholic beverages, dark lager will be a good pick as its alcoholic content ranges from 6-10% or even more.

Food Pairing

The food pairing goes somewhat like this —- light-intensity drink with light meals and high-intensity drink with heavy meals.

In simpler words, lager goes well with light meals like seafood, grilled vegetables, etc.

The dark lager pairs perfectly with meat, sausage, stews, hearty pasta dishes, etc.

What are the Factors to Consider While Choosing Between a Lager Beer?

While choosing a lager beer, be it light or dark, there are several factors that you must consider.

Here’s a brief list:

The Flavor of the Beverage

It’s the flavor of the drink that does the magic and wants us to buy it repeatedly.

As mentioned, some lagers have mild flavors with a refreshing mouth feel.

While others have complex flavors with spicy and bitter notes, depending upon your preference, choose the beer.

Color of the Beverage

The color of lager ranges from pale yellow to dark brown. It gives your glass an appealing look.

That’s why it is an essential factor to consider.

Alcohol Content

Some people prefer having mild alcoholic lager while others want a lil strong shot.

So, it’s essential to check the percentage of alcohol in the bottle.

Carbonation Level

The carbonation of lager also varies. Some are lightly carbonated, while others are highly carbonated.

Therefore, it’s essential to choose the drink accordingly.

Location of the Brewer

Now lagers are produced almost everywhere, but the quality is different.

The most reputed brewers are primarily from Germany and the Czech Republic.

So, check the country of production first and then buy the beverage.


Lager and dark lager are both beers but with slight differences.

Color, flavor, percentage of alcohol, brewing process, and the types of malt used make the two beverages different.

However, there are a few factors that you must consider before buying the drink to make the right purchase.



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