agers are relatively new considering the centuries of ale brewing that predated the production of lagers.It was only in the early 20th century that lagers rose to prominence when the earliest refrigeration systems were introduced.

Amber Lagers - Amber lagers are much favored by U.S. brewers. They're darker in color, anywhere from amber to copper hued, and more fully flavored than a standard pale lager.

Black/Schwarz Beer - Originally brewed in Thuringia, a state in eastern Germany, these lager style brews are full-bodied, and feature a bitter chocolate, roasted malt note and a rounded character.

Bock - Bocks are a specific type of strong lager. These beers range in color from pale to deep amber tones and feature a decided sweetness. Hop aromas are generally low though hop bitterness can serve as a balancing factor against the malt sweetness.

Dark Lager/Dunkel - Dunkel is the original style of lager, serving as the forerunner to the pale lagers of today. This is often what the average consumer is referring to when they think of dark beer. At their best these beers combine the dryish chocolate or licorice notes associated with the use of dark roasted malts and the roundness and crisp character of a lager.

Doppelbock - This is a sub-category of the bock style. Doppelbocks are extra strong, rich and weighty lagers characterized by an intense malty sweetness with a note of hop bitterness. Color can vary from full amber to dark brown and alcohol levels are high.

Dortmunder Export - Well balanced, smooth, and refreshing, Dortmunders tend to be stronger and fuller than other pale lagers. They may also be a shade darker and a touch hoppier. Today the term Dortmunder now widely refers to stronger lagers brewed for export.

Eisbock - This strongest type of bock is made by chilling a doppelbock until ice is formed. At this point, the ice is removed, leaving behind a brew with a higher concentration of alcohol. This also serves to concentrate the flavors, and the resultant beer is rich and powerful, with a pronounced malt sweetness and a warm alcoholic finish.

"Light" and Reduced Calorie Lagers - These are the recently popular brews which are popular in a figure-conscious society. Essentially these are pale lager styled beers with fewer calories. Like all other "diet products," the objective is to maintain flavor while minimizing calories.

Maibock/Pale Bock - Maibocks are medium to full-bodied lagers whose alcohol content varies widely. Their color runs from light bronze to deep amber and they are characterized by a sweet undertaste and subtle hop character.

Munich Helles - Munich Helles is a style of lager which is very soft and round with a pale to golden hue. These beers traditionally tend to be malt accented with subtle hop character. They are generally weightier than standard pale lagers though less substantial than Dortmunder Export styles.

Malt Liquor - This category is Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms mandated for any lager stronger than 5% alcohol by volume. As such, it can't rightly call itself a category of lager beer. There are a number commercial brands that have been created to fill this category, many of which do not have great merit from a beer connoisseur's perspective.

Pale Lagers - Pale lagers are the standard international beer style as personified by products from Miller to Heineken. This style is the generic spin-off of the pilsner style. Pale lagers are generally light to medium-bodied with a light to medium hop impression and a clean, crisp malt character. Quality, from a flavor point of view, is very variable within this style and many cheaper examples use a proportion of non-malt additives such as rice or corn to reduce the production costs.

Pilsner - Pilsner beers are medium to medium-full bodied and are characterized by high carbonation and tangy varieties of hops that impart floral aromas and a crisp, bitter finish. The hallmark of a fresh pilsner is the dense, white head. Classic pilsners are delicate and must be fresh to show their best. Few beers are as disappointing to the beer lover as a stale pilsner.

Vienna Style Lagers and Marzen/Fest Beers - The classic amber to red lager which was originally brewed in Austria in the 19th century has come to be known as the Vienna style. These are reddish-amber with a very malty toasted character and a hint of sweetness.