Natural light is a beer manufactured by Anheuser-Busch that has been called one of the most popular since its inception. It’s light, cheap, and this brew mixture continues to attract millions of people of all ages.
Natural light is an American light lager because of its 4.2% ABV volume, 10 IBU(low bitterness), bottom-fermenting yeast strain, and its SRM value (2-3).
In this article, I’ll explain several concepts, such as why natural light is a lager and not an ale, and even more detail on what kind of lager this beer is.
Why Is Natural Light A Lager?
While ales and lagers share some similarities, they have much more differences. Their mode of production is the reason for the significant difference between the two beer types. They are the two main types of beer in the world, and each has its target audience.
The fermenting yeast used is the most well-known fact that distinguishes ales from lagers. Ales are produced with top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are produced with bottom-fermenting yeast. And as I’ve mentioned earlier, natural light is made from bottom-fermenting yeast. Thus, it is a lager.
When you look at any beer during the fermentation process, pay close attention to the amount of foam that rises to the top. A lot of foam will gather at the top of the container if it’s an ale. On the other hand, if it’s a lager, the amount of froth that would form at the top will be next to nothing and will be more vigorous.
When the natural light beer undergoes the fermentation process, you will barely see any amount of foam at the top. Without a doubt, this should tell you that it’s a lager.
Additionally, ales have a much warmer fermentation temperature than lagers. When ales undergo the fermentation process, they attain temperatures between 68-72°F. Lagers have much lower temperatures ranging from 48-55°F, depending on the brewing conditions and manufacturers.
Yet another factor that differentiates ales from lagers is the time taken to ferment. Ales ferment much faster than lagers. These beers take 3-5 weeks to complete their fermentation process. On the other hand, lagers can take between 6-8 weeks to complete the same process. Because natural light takes between 6-8 weeks to complete its fermentation process, it is largely classified as a lager.
Finally, ales majorly taste fruitier and less crispy when compared to lagers. Lagers have a less sweet, malty, and less crispy flavor. If you taste the natural light, you’ll easily be able to decipher that it is a lager.
Why Is Natural Light An American Light Lager?
Admittedly, it can be challenging to determine what kind of ale or lager a particular beer is. Today, hundreds of thousands of beer products are available on the market, and they each differ in their unique ways.
Luckily, multiple organizations like the beer judge certification program have helped with this classification. In fact, this particular program has helped to judge over 1 million beers and classify them accordingly.
According to this program and many others, natural light is an American light lager due to its IBU levels, alcohol volume, and SRM value.
The American light lagers have IBU levels that range from 8-12. IBU is a metric that many professionals use to gauge how bitter beer is. The IBU metric can be as low as 4 IBU or as high as 100.
That said, natural light is an American light lager with 10 IBU. From this number, you can infer that the natural light lager isn’t very bitter. Instead, natural light beers have a light vegetal, grainy taste.
Furthermore, many American light lagers have an alcohol volume ranging from 2.8 to 4.2%. Compared to other beers around the world, this alcohol volume is relatively moderate. The natural light beer has a 4.2% ABV volume, which narrowly classifies it as an American light lager.
The OG value of American light lagers ranges from 1.028-1.040. The original value of a beer is the measure of the amount of substances that can and can’t be fermented in a beer wort. The natural light beer has an OG value that falls within this range. This classifies it as an American light lager.
Since its launch in 1977, this beer has become a worldwide sensation. It is highly sought after due to its friendly prices and easy-drinking flavor. Making it one of the favorite beers among college students. If you’re interested in knowing exactly what we think about this beer, have a look at this post: “What does Natural Light Taste Like And Is It Good?”
Lastly, American light lagers have an SRM value of 2-3. The SRM value helps beer professionals understand the color of any beer. An SRM value of 2-3 means that the beer has a pale light color. The natural light beer has been determined to have an SRM value of 2-3. Because of this, it is largely considered an American light lager.
Has Natural Light Lager Always Been An American Light Lager?
This beer is made by the Anheuser-Busch company, which is popularly known as a big-time beer producer. This company has produced dozens of unique beers, including Bud Light, Budweiser, and Michelob Ultra. But the natural light lager remains one of the world’s favorites.
Natural light lager is so loved that people have given it a great nickname; “the shore champagne”. It has been given other names like “Natty light” and “Natty.” Although not common, people also call it “Fratty light” and “Flatty light.”
Interestingly, this beer was the first-ever “light” product made by the Anheuser-Busch company. And if you ask me, it was a sensible decision to do so.
In 2018, natural light lager was reported to be the eighth-biggest beer product in America. At this time, 6.7 million barrels of this beer had been sold. Compared to many other beers, you can clearly see that its manufacturers continue to make a fortune on natural light lager.
As I mentioned earlier, this beer is ubiquitous among college students. According to many review websites, they prefer this beer because it offers them much more quantity than many types of beer.
Natural light lager is exactly what they call it; “light.” This light beer contains about 95 calories per 12 ounces compared to other beers. It is fat-free and does not contain any amount of caffeine. Because of this reason, it is also popular among the older population. It is brewed a lot longer than other types of beer to reduce the number of calories in each can.
Additionally, it has 3.2g of carbs, which is quite impressive considering the high amount of carbs in many other beer products. Because of this, it is popular among many athletes and sportspeople worldwide. Former NFL punter McAfee collaborated with the Anheuser-Busch company to create “Naturdays.”
Daniel Blake mentioned how enthusiastic McAfee was about the product. When Pat McAfee took this drink, Blake said he uttered, “you guys are about to sell a billion of these Naturdays things.” “Pat McAfee is known so well for his legendary stories and storytelling—he was literally tailor-made to depict the definition of a Naturday,” Blake added.
One thing for sure: natural light lager is no overnight success. Since 1977, it has remained a top-rated beer. And although it has gotten some terrible reviews, the sales for this beer continue to rise in popularity and increase in quality.