Lager vs Stout: The Complete Guide

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Curious about the differences between stouts and lagers? Stouts are dark, rich in flavor with a roasted malt base. Lagers on the other hand have crisp flavors that come from their very light taste, due to being made without any hops or barley sugars.

In this article I’ll be talking about all of these different things going into cracking open a bottle!

What Is a Stout?

Stouts are dark beers that have a roasted malt base. Stouts are a type of beer that is made with roasted, unmalted barley, which gives it its dark color and rich flavor. This type of beer is typically heavy and full bodied with a strong malt flavor.

They were first created in Ireland and the UK, but now they’re world wide! Lately stouts have been made with a variety of other grains to give them unique flavors like oats, rye or wheat.

Popular Stouts That You Should Try

Guinness is the most famous stout in the world. A very dark beer with lots of roasted malt flavor and bitterness, Guinness has been around since 1759, so it’s tried and true! It is brewed in Dublin, Ireland and is known for its creamy, roasted head.

Aside from Guinness, there are many popular stouts available on the market today.

American stouts are popular for their malt flavors and strong chocolate and coffee notes. Examples of American stouts include :

  • Highland Black Mocha Stout. This beer is brewed with chocolate and coffee for a rich, flavorful experience. It has an ABV of 7%.
  • Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout. This beer is also full of chocolate and coffee flavors, but also has a slight fruitiness to it. It has an ABV of 6%.
  • Rogue Chocolate Stout. Another excellent choice for those looking for a chocolatey stout experience. This beer is brewed with real chocolate for a truly unique flavor profile. It has an ABV of 5.8%.
  • Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. A bourbon barrel-aged stout that contains flavors of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla beans. It has a high alcohol content of 11-12%.
lager from draught

What Is a Lager?

A lager is a type of beer that is brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast. This type of yeast ferments at lower temperatures than top-fermenting yeast, which is used to make ales. Lagers are typically light in color and have a clean, crisp flavor.

Lagers are often associated with large breweries because they can be mass produced and distributed to wide audiences.

There are many varieties of lager, ranging from pale lager with a subtle malt taste to bock lager, which is a dark beer with high malt and hop content.

Popular Lagers That You Should Try

The craft beer market is exploding right now, with many new breweries popping up every single day. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on lagers from different brewers around the country. Here are some popular lager beers you should try:

  • German Lager. These brews typically come in at 3-4% ABV and are made from pilsner malt, hops and water.
  • Bocks. Bocks can be found in a variety of styles, but the most common is a Dunkelweizen which has been aged for at least two weeks before packaging.
  • Vienna Lager. These brews have an amber color and low bitterness.

What Are the Differences Between Stouts and Lagers?

There are a few main differences between stout and lager beers.

First of all, there are two main categories of beers: lagers and ales. Lagers are fermented in cold conditions, such as caves or cold storage. Ales, on the other hand, are warm fermented. Therefore, stouts fall into the ‘ale’ beer family.

Stout beers are usually darker in color and have a lower alcohol content than lager beers.

Lagers also tend to be less carbonated than stouts, but their taste is not as bitter or sweet depending on the beer making process used by breweries.

Lagers and ales are popular, inexpensive, and easy to find. They are often staples in the refrigerator section. In fact, lagers are the typical entry point for beer drinkers. In the United States, lagers account for more than 70 percent of beer consumed. In the UK, lager is the most popular type of beer.

Stouts are often paired with heavier meals due to their rich taste. For example, a stout sits well with foods such ass Irish stew or braised beef short ribs. Some also pair stouts with desserts like chocolate cake or ice cream. Lager beers, on the other hand, are often paired with lighter meals like salads and seafood.

How Do You Make Lager vs Stout Beer?

Stout and lager beers are made in different ways. With stouts, the malts used to make the beer are roasted longer than with lagers. This gives stout its darker color and richer taste.

Lager beers are fermented at cooler temperatures, which gives them a lighter color and less flavor than stouts.

Which Beer Style Is Healthier, Stout or Lager?

When it comes to health, stouts and lagers are similar. They both contain a lot of B vitamins that help the body convert food into energy.

Both beers also have antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. Stout contains nearly twice the amount of antioxidants found in light-colored lagers. Stout is packed with flavonoids, the antioxidants hat neutralize free radicals.

A stout has less calories than a lager and contains trace amounts of calcium, silicon, iron, and zinc. It is also rich in soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol levels. A stout is a great option for health-conscious drinkers.

Stout vs Lager: Which Has Higher ABV?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Both stouts and lagers are such a broad category that alcohol content can range from 4% to over 10%.

The alcohol content of lagers and stouts can be similar because it is dependent on a number of factors including yeast, hops and malt.

Glass of dark stout

What About Dark Lagers vs Stouts?

Dark lagers are made with more malt and usually have a higher alcohol content. They are also richer in flavor and can be smoother or more bitter than light lagers.

Like stouts, dark lagers use dark malts or roast malt extract in the brewing process which causes them to be classified as a dark beer.

Compared to dark lagers, porters and stouts have a more bold, complex, and robust flavor with stronger fruitier, coffee taste. And a dark lager has a more crisp, simpler, and lighter taste. So although they may look the same, the way they are brewed and how they taste are going to be completely different .

Dark Lagers You May Want to Try

If you are not sure what type of beer is for you, here are a few dark lager beers to try:

  • Sam Adams Boston Lager. Sam Adams Boston Lager is a dark beer that has the flavor of coffee, chocolate, and caramelized sugar.
  • Stella Artois Midnight Lager. Similar to a Guinness in color and richness, but with a slightly sweeter flavor. 
  • Heineken Dark. A balanced dark lager, with a toasted malt taste upfront. Check out this list if you are looking for beers similar to Heineken’s original lager.


Stouts and lagers are two of the main beer styles. Stouts are dark, thick, and heavy, while lagers are light, crisp, and refreshing. Both have their own unique flavor profiles and brewing methods.

Stouts were originally created in London in the early 1700s. They were made with dark roasted malt, which gave them their characteristic darkness and sweetness. Guinness is the most famous stout in the world.

Lagers were first brewed in Germany in the late 1800s. They are made with bottom-fermenting yeast, which gives them their clean, crisp flavor. Budweiser is the most famous lager in the world.

So, there you have it! The complete guide to stout vs lager. Now that you know the difference between these two popular types of beer, you can make an informed decision the next time you’re at the store or bar. Cheers!

Popular Questions About Stout vs Lager

Is Guinness a lager or stout?

Guinness is a stout. In fact, Guinness is the most popular stout beer in the world.

Are stouts the healthiest beer?

Stouts are high in antioxidants, and in particular B vitamins. They contain small amounts of other minerals, like iron, calcium, and silicon. Some research suggests that stouts – and Guinness in particular – may contain cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. That said, overindulging in alcohol is not healthy, so always drink in moderation.

Is dark lager a stout?

No, dark lager is a distinct style all its own. Different types of beer are stout, porter, and lager. Stout is a dark beer that is generally stronger in flavor and alcohol. Porter is a lighter beer that is also dark in color. Lager is a light beer that is brewed with a higher level of carbonation.

Dark lager beers are typically heavier bodied with a smooth flavor profile while stout has more pronounced flavors like roasted malts.

What is a lager?

A lager is a type of beer that is made with bottom fermenting yeast that has a lower tolerance to alcohol, which makes the beer light and a little malty. Lagers are a great launching pad for newcomers to beer, as they are clean, consistent, well made, and not particularly challenging on the flavor.

Stouts are a type of beer that is made with top fermenting yeast, which gives the beer a more full-bodied flavor. Stouts can be more challenging for newcomers to beer because of their fuller flavor.