Top 7 Beer Styles Every Savvy Beer Drinker Should Know
July 29, 2022
Imagine walking into a local beer bar near you and being overwhelmed by the variety of beer options! Don't be concerned! You are not alone in this. We occasionally get confused about which beer to order from the menu.
Improve your ability to describe the tastes, textures, and aromas of beer by diving deeper into America's craft beer styles.
Let's begin with a study guide to help you prepare for what you might encounter when tasting craft beer.
Do all craft brewers make beer to grace?
Craft beer exists at the crossroads of art and science. Each brewer must decide whether to create beer within specific style guidelines or to forge a new path and break the mold of traditional styles.
Because so many craft brewers brew outside of style guidelines, compiling a list that fully represents the range of beers available today is impossible. Beer Styles includes many popular styles made in the United States today but is not exhaustive.
Common American Beer Styles
Craft brewers use a wide range of ingredients to achieve the desired aroma, body, flavor, and finish in their beer. They frequently take classic, old-world styles from great brewing countries such as England, Germany, and Belgium and add their own spins by varying the quantity or type of ingredients or the brewing processes. Because of the popularity of craft beer in America, there are now numerous beer styles that can only be found in the United States.
We looked at the world beer styles recognized by the Brewers Association and narrowed that list down to 79 styles in 15 style families to create this study guide.
Beer Styles from A to Z
Use this alphabetical list of triggers as a guide when describing the potential characteristics of a particular beer style.
- Ranges include: undetectable, mild, noticeable, and harsh.
- A synonym for the colorless primary alcohol component of beer, ethyl alcohol or ethanol.
- Beer alcohol content ranges from less than 3.2 percent to more than 14 percent ABV.
- Beer aroma, flavor, and palate sensed
- Beer may also contain fusel alcohol.
Process of Brewing and Conditioning
Brewers employ a wide range of techniques to alter the brewing process. Variable mashing, steeping, unique fermentation temperatures, multiple yeast additions, barrel aging and blending, dry hopping, and bottle conditioning are some of the variables they experiment with.
- The absence of solids in suspension in beer; is distinct from color and brightness.
- Brilliant, clear, slightly hazy, hazy, opaque
- Unfermented sugars, proteins, yeast sediments, and other substances are examples of solids.
- Turbidity is the degree to which solids are present in a solution.
Cheese, main course, and dessert
The glassware is recommended for each beer style.
Ingredients in Malt
- Bread flour, grainy, biscuit, bready, toast, caramel, prune-like, roast, chocolate, coffee, smoky, acrid.
- Malt has been referred to as the soul of beer. It is the primary fermentable ingredient, supplying the sugars required by yeast to produce alcohol and carbonation.
- When tasting a beer, the palate refers to the non-taste sensations felt on the mouth and tongue. A beer's palate can be described as follows:
- Astringency levels include low, medium(-), medium, medium(+), and high.
- Body types include drying, soft, mouth-coating, and sticky.
- Carbonation levels on the palate: low, medium, and high
- Short (less than 15 seconds), medium (up to 60 seconds), and long (more than 60 seconds) (more than 60 seconds)
Type of Water
- Common taste descriptors include chalk, flint, sulfur, and others.
- Carbonate, calcium, magnesium, and sulfate are common minerals.
What exactly is Craft Beer?
Today is the best time in American history to be a beer enthusiast. The average American lives within ten miles of a brewery, and the United States offers more beer styles and brands than any other beer market in the world.
The term "craft beer" is difficult to define because it means different things to different beer enthusiasts. As a result, Craftbeer.com does not define craft beer. The Brewers Association, our parent organization, does, however, define what it means to be an American craft brewer: A craft brewer in the United States is a smaller producer (producing less than six million barrels of beer per year) that is independently owned. The Brewers Association can now provide statistics on the rapidly growing craft brewery community, which accounts for 98 percent of America's 6,300+ breweries.
Why Drink Craft Beer?
Craft beer is enjoyed at everyday celebrations and is regarded as one of life's special pleasures by many. Each glass reflects the maker's creativity and passion, as well as the complexity of its ingredients. Craft beer is treasured by millions of people who see it as more than just a fermented beverage to be shared, revered, and enjoyed in moderation (see Savor the Flavor).
Craft beer is a versatile beverage in the food arts world that not only enhances food when expertly paired with a dish, but is also frequently used as a cooking ingredient.
As a result, this guide includes food pairing suggestions for each style. If you want to learn more about beer and food pairing.
The list grows longer by the day, and we need to understand the various beer subcategories. If you're new to Beer Styles, this is the starters list is for you!
American Pale Ale or Pale Ale
The Pale Ale is largely responsible for propelling the entire American specialty beer development. American Pale ales have a brilliant to deep golden color, are medium-bodied, and have a moderate-to-high bounce flavor. The Sierra Nevada and Dale's Pale Ale from Oskar Blues are two excellent options.
It's one of the most food-friendly lagers, so try it with chicken and fish as a stew or on a cheese plate. Pale Ale will not bore you with over 40 varieties to choose from!
Indian Pale Ale (IPA)
IPAs are the most recent addition to the pack, but they are likely the most well-known in the United States today. India Pale Ales have a color similar (or slightly more obscure) to pale ales, but they have significantly more thought hop bounce, smell, and flavor.
The style was developed to withstand transport from England to India (hence the name), so extra bounces were added as an additive—the oils help keep beer fresh. Royal IPAs can contain up to twice the amount of malt, hops, and liquor as a standard IPA. IPAs with confidence can cut through rich and greasy food sources like red meat, cheddar, and other solid flavors.
Stouts are the haziest beers, having originated in the mid-eighteenth century to represent solid (or "heavy") porters. Dry stouts, milk or sweet stouts, oatmeal stouts, and American stouts are all part of this beer category. What unites them all is that they are made with deeply cooked malt, resulting in a dark earthy color to a coal-black tone, unsweetened chocolate, or consumed bread flavors. Try it with soups and stews, broils, and as a dessert after dinner.
Wheat beers, as the name suggests, are beers made with wheat. Wheat lagers contain 30–70% wheat malt, which contributes to the beverage's thick and lasting head, darkness, and smooth body. Their exceptionally bubbly character and light flavors make them ideal for summer use. Wheat beers are classified into sub-styles based on their flavors, choppiness, and crispness.
This is the point at which things can become perplexing. The majority of beers are classified as "lagers" or "ales." The styles mentioned above fall into the previous category. If a lager isn't a beer, it's an ale, which is fermented at lower temperatures by yeast that feeds on sugar in the tank's bottom.
Pilsner, also known as pilsner, is a type of pale ale that is a worldwide favorite among beer lovers. Pilsners are much more flavorful than standard ales; they are spicier and have a more flower bounce taste. They are also bright, clear, and fresh, with a pale, brilliant tone.
German pilsners, such as Bitburger or Warsteiner, will be lighter in shade, crisper, and drier than Czech pilsners. A crisp pilsner goes well with chicken, fish, and shortbread.
The Amber Ale
Because of the caramel and gem utilization of malt, American Amber Ales, such as New Belgium's Fat Tire, have a maltier, more caramel-forward profile than other pale brews. They're ideal for those who prefer a slightly stronger beer with a heavier body than your standard pale lager. To balance it out, American jumps add a citrus and pine note. Amber Ale pairs well with grilled and barbecued meats and vegetables, so it's ideal for a picnic.
We're almost done!
So, those are some of the various beer styles that every boozer should be aware of. Even if you're not a beer connoisseur, this article will help you understand the various beer styles from around the world.