lagers from urban chestnut brewing co. photo by izaiah johnson

14 top-notch St. Louis lagers plus a style guide

Rockwell Beer Co. owner-head brewer Jonathan Moxey helps us break down these popular lager styles.

Pilsner (aka Pils): Mildly sweet; malty, clean, a bit spicy. “It’s really an opportunity for the malt to show through,” Moxey said.

German lager: German-style lagers include everything from bocks and Oktoberfests to Munich Helles lagers and Schwarzbiers.

Czech lager: “The Czech lagers are done pulling a decoction mash — pulling out the really thick portion of the mash and boiling it. That cooking process gives it that true Czech flavor,” Moxey explained. Czech lagers are usually richer and fuller-bodied than German lagers; malty, with varying degrees of hoppiness.

Festbier: “Modern versions have become paler, a little more bitter, but still in that 6-8% range,” Moxey pointed out. “Malty, smooth, round.”

Märzen (aka Oktoberfest): Malty with rich, toasty, clean flavor, sometimes with caramel notes.

American lager: Smooth and light-bodied with a neutral flavor profile and low bitterness. 

Corn lager: Typically a lighter lager, like an American lager, brewed with corn as well as other grains. “When done properly, the corn comes through with some sweetness,” Moxey said.

Maibock: Strong malt flavor, balanced by greater hoppiness.

Vienna lager: Malty and smooth with moderate bitterness. “That’s where you’re going to get some breadiness and light caramel character. Not as much as a Märzen, but in that way.”

Dark or black lager (aka Schwarzbier): Dry and light, with smooth malt flavor and moderate hop bitterness; cocoa and coffee roasting notes, but not a burnt flavor.

14 top-notch local lagers to try:

Wellspent Keller Pils
Wellspent Dark
Civil Life Vienna Lager
Civil Life Dortmunder Lager
Civil Life Black Lager
Civil Life Carlbock Lager
Civil Life Czech Pilsner
Civil Life Oktoberfest Lager
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Stammtisch
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Zwickel
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Urban Underdog American lager
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. O-Katz
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. #6
Side Project Content Moderator

Civil Life Brewing Co. 3714 Holt Ave., St. Louis,
Side Project Brewing 7458 Manchester Road, Maplewood,
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. multiple locations, 314.222.0143,
Wellspent Brewing Co. 2917 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.696.2919,

Tags : Beer