European Amber Lager Beer Recipes

European amber lager is a category of malt-focused, cold-fermented beer styles. Both styles in this category showcase malt sweetness, with Oktoberfest being a bit bigger and maltier than Vienna lager. The prolonged, cold fermentation makes for very clean, easy-drinking European lagers.

European Amber Lager

Anderfest Festbier

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Ian Anderson, member of the Boston Wort Processors, won best of show out of 337 entries at the Southern New England Homebrew Competition in October 2019 for his festbier, Anderfest.

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) describes Festbier (BJCP category 4B) as the following:

A smooth, clean, pale German lager with a moderately strong malty flavor and a light hop character. Deftly balances strength and drinkability, with a palate impression and finish that encourages drinking. Showcases elegant German malt flavors without becoming too heavy or filling.

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European Amber Lager

Winnebago International Amber Lager

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Sean McCambridge of Lake Winnebago, MO, won a gold medal in Category #4: Amber European Beer with an International Amber Lager during the 2019 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Providence, RI. McCambridge’s Amber European Beer was chosen as the best among 365 entries in the category.Read More

Beer

Oktoberfest/Märzen

Pickelhaube Festbier

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

This beer recipe from Amahl Turczyn is featured in the January/February 2016 issue of Zymurgy magazine. Join the American Homebrewers Association or start your 30-day free trial to access the Zymurgy magazine digital archive and other exclusive member benefits!

In the 1970s, Munich Breweries like Paulaner began to notice that paler versions of their Oktoberfestbier were selling better than the classic, full-bodied, copper-colored brew. So Paualaner initiated a return to the more Vienna-style Oktoberfest, which was lighter in body and color, in an an attempt to make it still taste great and yet be less filling.The result was festbier, which was adopted in 1990 os Oktoberfest's official beer. Festiber provides a wonderful opportunity to fine-tune the balance between malty flavor, clean lager character, crisp though not quite bitter noble hop accents, and drinkability.Read More

Beer

Vienna Lager

Embracing Sunset Lager

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Determined to find a drinkable, flavorful beer for warmer days, but also wanting to remain coherent and fresh for evening activities, AHA Founder Charlie Papazian created “Embracing Sunset Lager,” a wonderfully balanced and relatively low alcohol lager that combines lightly toasted malt flavors with subtle hop character. This recipe was originally featured in 2002 March/April Zymurgy.

If you want to experiment with hops, choose low alpha acid ratings. High alpha acid hops will overpower the malt character and defeat the purpose of this beer - to enjoy on a summer sunset! Charlie believes this beer is a warm weather standard that should be brewed many times as supplies run out. Only one way to find out, though...

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Octoberfest/Marzen

Elsie’s Marzen

Homebrewers Association
Homebrewers Association

Scott Satterthwaite of Sunnyvale, CA, member of the Worts of Wisdom Homebrewers, won a gold medal in Category #4: Amber Lager during the 2017 National Homebrew Competition Final Round in Minneapolis, MN. Satterthwaite’s Amber Lager was chosen as the best among 265 entries in the category.Read More

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