No drink as quite the universal appeal as beer, from lagers to stouts beer comes in many types and styles so it’s safe to say there is a beer for everyone! Finding your dream beer can take a lot of work but most people won’t complain about sampling different types, will they?
Most people don’t realise that beer comes in such a rich variety of different types and styles and if they do many people usually prefer to stick with the “house favourite” rather than trying something new. While that’s fine you could be missing out on an amazing beer by playing it safe. So, let’s take a look at the different types of beer, shall we?
The Four Main Types
Beers come in four main types lagers, malts, ales and finally stouts and porters. Porters and stouts are technically two different types of beer although they are commonly bundled together because they share many similarities.
We might as well start with the most popular type of beer, lager as a name is so popular that some people believe it’s actually a separate drink! But lager is actually a type of beer and it takes its name from the German word “Lagern” which means to store.
Lagers are stored for several months in near-freezing conditions which gives them a much smoother finish. Lagers like many other types of beer come in a wide variety of different styles from sweet to bitter and everything in between.
Malt beers are probably what many people think of as an acquired taste, but they definitely have their fan base! Malt beers do come in various styles but when compared to other types of beer there is usually less choice.
Malt beers are generally much darker in colour but despite their colouring, they still have a sweet taste. Your typical malt beer will also usually have a rich hint of different flavours including caramel, toffee, and even nut.
Only second to lagers in the popularity stakes ale beers offer a more fruity and spicy taste! Ale beers are brewed using a top-fermenting yeast and are kept at a cellar temperature, so they aren’t as crisp as lager beers but do offer a more full-bodied flavour.
Ale beers are also generally much more complex you could sense dozens of aromas and hints depending on the style you choose. They are also usually much darker than lagers and will usually have a rich golden colour. Fruity and bitter ales are a popular choice with a big flavour and a great companion to lagers.
Stouts and Porters
While these two types of beer are similar there are a few differences. Porters are darker and have a dry, fruity flavour while stout beers have a slightly more bitter taste and will usually have a creamier head. They are very similar though which is why they are often joined together, if you like stout beers then you will probably like porter beers as well.
Styles of Beer
So, now you know the main types of beer but that isn’t the only thing you need to know about because when it comes to beer it’s a little more complicated. Beers come in a variety of different styles as well which can have a big or slight effect on the flavour. So, let’s take a look at the styles you need to know about.
Amber: Amber beers have a lighter colour (you can probably guess the colour can’t you?) and a sweeter aroma and taste.
Brown: Brown beers have a darker colouring and a caramel flavour to them, they can also have a citrus or nutty flavour depending on how they are brewed.
Cream: Cream beers are relatively simple they give you a milder, sweet flavour and usually a have golden colouration.
Dark: Dark beers are a British invention and they combine hops and yeast in a malty blend. With dark beers, you’ll get a darker colour, but it will still be a medium brown colour and a soft fruity aroma.
Golden: Another UK first these beers offer a soft fruity flavour with touches of vanilla, they also take on a light golden colour. Some golden beers also have a spicy blend to them as well.
Light: Light beers don’t just affect the colouring, in fact in some beers they don’t affect the colouring at all. A lighter beer will have a milder, softer flavour and less alcohol in them.
Strong: Strong beers are a little different because it’s the group name given to beers that have over 7% ABV, these beers are usually also very dark in colour as well.
Wheat: Wheat beers offer a lighter more mild flavour but will often have a soft, spicy edge to them and they have very little aftertaste.