What are the different kinds of beer styles? Have you tried them all?
New to beers? Let us walk you through some of the basic stuff you need to know.
For starters, there are two most basic beer types or styles — the ale and the lager. Now, people have differing opinions about these. That’s because they have different preferences. That’s okay, to each his/her own.
There are two basic beer types: ale and lager. Ale is fruitier, sweeter, more full-bodied, and has stronger alcohol, with the color ranging from rich gold to reddish amber. Lager is less fruity, smoother, lighter, and easier to drink with less alcohol content, with the color ranging from pale to black (although most are pale to medium color).
Ale and lager differ mostly in the kind of fermentation they go through. To be more specific, it has to do with temperature. Ale is brewed using warm fermentation (that require top-fermenting yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae); lager is brewed using cold fermentation (that require bottom-fermenting yeast Saccharomyces uvarum).
The other types are Stouts, Porters, and Malts. Stouts and Porters are actually ales. Light- to full-bodied malts are dark, sweeter, and with hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts.
Different kinds of Beer Styles
What is a beer style?
“Simply put, a beer style is a label given to a beer that describes its overall character and often times its origin. It’s a name badge that has been achieved over many centuries of brewing, trial and error, marketing, and consumer acceptance.” (Beer Advocate)
Ale varieties could include Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Pale Ales, and Nut Browns. Meanwhile, a lager describes bottom-fermented brews of Dutch, German, and Czech styles.
Get to know these Beer Styles:
American Pale Lager.
It is considered the very basic, most common beer. It is never the best-tasting, but it is clean-tasting. The taste is delicately sweet with an adjunct (or unmalted grains). This is because corn or rice is added to the mix during the brewing process. It is crisp with a slightly hoppy bitterness, is light-colored, and tends to be dry.
American Dark Lager.
It is supposed to be the counterpart of the German dark lager. To make a distinction, slight changes are done in recipes, spices, and variations in hops, malt, and yeast. The malts are roasted, producing a darker beer, although some achieve the effect using dark caramel syrups. The taste is mildly sweet to caramelly. This lager is slightly heavier-bodied.
Originally from the Czech Republic, it is a dry, golden-colored lager with a subtle malty flavor (though a bit bitter) and crispness. They are medium- to full-bodied with high carbonation and a dense, white beer head or foam.
American/English Brown Ale.
This beer has mellow yet various flavors such as subtle citrus, caramel, toffee and toasty. The bitterness and aroma in the American version vary, while the English versions’ are low. English brown ales are malty, sweet, full-bodied, usually mellow and subdued, and can be fruity or dry and nutty. It spawned the American Brown Ale.
Indian Pale Ale (IPA).
The IPA has a hop-forward, bitter taste (Stone IPA), which American IPAs have. The taste is of a big herbal or citrus flavor and the color ranges from reddish-copper to golden caramel color. In comparison, the English IPAs have less hop character and lower alcohol content.
Red Ale/American Amber.
This is a balanced beer. There is usually the toasted malt and light fruity taste in most. There are variations in taste, from basic ale to other brews. The hop character ranges from high to low while the color may be anywhere near amber to deep red hues.
This dry beer is the darkest and richest coffee-like brew. The roasted flavor is due to the roasted barley used during the brewing process. The flavors do differ. The dry Stout has high alcohol content compared to the hoppy one that has low alcohol by volume (ABV).
The Porter is the ideal sipping beer, milder than stouts. The color is very dark due to the dark malts. It has dark, grainy flavors with a light sweetness to it. The aromas can include coffee, toffee or chocolate.
So what’s your favorite beer? There are lots more to choose from other than those mentioned above. It’s alright to have more favorites. Nobody said beer-drinking should only involve one type of beer. Beer-drinking is a passion, after all.
That said, it’s important to take care of something one is passionate about. A warm, bland or awful-tasting beer is not what you want. Get a kegerator! Not only will it keep the beer cold, but it will definitely preserve the beer’s spirit.
Becoming an aficionado? Need more information about kegerators and homebrewing? Make sure to contact Keg Fridge — they know these stuff! They have the knowledge and the right equipment you will need. Drop by KegFridge.com for more information.