American Adjunct Lager banner

American Adjunct Lager


American Adjunct Lager is now the catch-all term for beers brewed by giant commercial breweries - but it didn’t start out that way. These light-bodied, pale, fizzy lagers rank as the best selling style of beer in the nation.

The short American Adjunct Lager history started back in pre prohibition America. In this era beers were made with either six row barely or two row barely. Six row was much cheaper and readily available due to its production in the United States, whereas two row had to be imported. Six row barely produced a husky grainy character and made brewing a light refreshing Pilsner a bit difficult, so the solution was for Americans to work with their resources to soften the characteristic of the beer by using rice, corn, or maize. These pre prohibition lagers were often more flavorful than the Adjunct American Lagers we have today.

Today’s American Adjunct Lagers have endured eras of modifications to strengthen the focus on the importance of refreshment and easy drinkability, unlike most brews that focus on the bold flavor and character. The American Adjunct Lager recipe often includes adjunct cereal grains like rice and corn to cut flavor and costs.

American Adjunct Lagers can be produced in one of three different forms, which are: a light lager, a standard lager, and/or a premium lager. A standard lager has an ABV in the 4-6% range, light lagers are typically lower than 4%, and premium lagers use less adjunct in the malt bill, and can be higher in hop aroma and flavor.

The widespread popularity is thanks to some of the large commercial breweries, where unfortunately, the American Adjunct Lager flavor has become less of a priority than mass production and consumption rates. However, there are still many small, craft breweries who brew this style in all its glory and honor the original flavor profile.

American Adjunct Lager bitterness is low, the malt is thin, the carbonation is high, and the alcohol is moderate. There are no aggressive hops or malt flavor in these brews, just a thirst quenching, highly carbonated beer.

These pale straw to pale gold colored beers are best enjoyed out of a Pilsner glass or pint glass, and should be enjoyed with light foods. American Adjunct Lager food pairings can include salty snack foods such as pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, and chips, as well as meals like fish tacos, summer salads, and spiced seafood.

We are thrilled to offer this beer style in our monthly beer subscription club. Cheers!

Breweries Producing American Adjunct Lager