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Types of Beer


Well, we all know that every individual has its taste and preferences when we talk about beer.  Beer comes with different types and styles, and there are many types of beer to explore. Mainly, Beers are categorized into two kinds- Ales and Lagers. Rest of them are the sub-categories of either Ale or Lager.


1. Ale-

Ales are Brewed with the warm-fermentation method using yeast at cellar temperature. Ale is fuller-bodied, sweet in taste, and has the fruity flavor.  Ale has the pleasantly hoppy finish. Ale has initially been bittered with gruit which is a fusion of spices or herbs boiled in the wort before fermentation. Later, the bittering agent was replaced by hops.

Talking about Lager, Ales are often darker, ranging from rich gold to reddish amber. 

Ales are 30% of all beer sold in Canada. 


Varieties of ale-


a. Brown ale-

  Brown ale is generally referred to as Dark amber. Brown ale has the relatively mild flavorings of caramel and chocolate with a nutty or malty taste. It may have a slight citrus significance or be robust.  In the north of England, they are red-brown, contains 4.5-5 % of alcohol by volume and drier. While, In the South of England, they are dark brown in color, contain 3-3.5% of Alcohol by volume, and wholly sweet. Some of the top brown-ale are Black Oak Nut Brown Ale, Big Rock Warthog Ale, etc.


b. Pale ale-

  It is a type of beer that is made from malt dried which is crystalline in the form similar to common sugar, with coke. Breweries are designed to beers as pale ale, though customers referred the Pale ale beers as bitter. Pale ales generally have extra hops to survive the journey but contain less amount of alcohol. 


c. India Pale Ale-

One of the highly regarded beers among the consumers in India. Brewers added extra hops and herbals as a natural preservative with citrus or fruity flavors. It is generally a higher alcoholic beer and can be bitter.  It has a hazy, golden-yellow color. Many are packaged and sold in 16-ounce aluminum cans. Some of the top India Pale ale are Sleeman India Pale Ale, Goose Island IPA, Alexander Keiths IPA, etc. 


d. Golden Ale

 It is quite similar to pale ale yet there are some notable differences such as it is brewed with lager or low-temperature ale malts, it is straw colored, and it is served at colder temperatures. Sometimes, it can be spicier in flavor, and contain 3.5% to 5.3% of Alcohol. Some of the examples of Golden Ales are Birra Castello, Boddingtons Pub Ale, etc. 


e. Scotch Ales

Scotch ales are also referred to as “Wee Heavy” and are generally malty, strong ale, dark red. It has full of caramelized and aroma flavors, and contain 6.0-10 % of Alcohol. Some of the scotch ales are AleSmith Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, AleSmith Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and Founders Backwoods Bastard, etc. 


f. Barley wine-

Barley wine contains from 6% to 12% of Alcohol by Volume, with some stored for the long duration of approximately 18 to 24 months. Barley Wine has the ripe fruit of the pear drop like a slice of lemon or orange and sweet malt. Sometimes, if the darker malts are used then it can become darker fruits. It tends to be more hoppy and produce bitterness and peppery flavor.


g. Mild ale

Mild ale can be any strength or color, although most are dark brown. It contains fewer calories and a lower amount of alcohol ranging between 3 and 3.5%. An example of a lighter colored mild is Banks’ Mild.


h. Belgian Ales

Belgium produces a wide variety of specialty ales including pale ales, dark ales, fruity beers, and sour ales. Do you know, All Belgian ales style flavors contain a higher amount of alcohol. But, it is relatively light in body due to the substitution of sucrose for part of the milling that makes a beer more digestible. It has fruity, spicy and sweet flavors with a low bitterness.


2. Lager-

Lager is a type of beer modified at low temperatures. There are a lot of beer styles which comes in the type of lager. It is broadly categorized by the depth of color ranging from lightest to darkest including pale, golden, amber, or dark. 


Sub-categories of lager-


a. Pale lager-

One of the most popularly consumed and commercially available styles of beer. It has characterized with its light taste but contains a higher amount of alcohol. Some of the well-known brands are Pilsner Urquell, Miller, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Corona, Snow, Tsingtao, Singha, Heineken, Carling, Foster’s, Tennents, and Carlsberg.


b. Dark Lager-

Dark lagers are generally dark ranging from amber to dark reddish brown and may be termed Vienna, Dunkel, depending on the region, intensity or brewing method. It consists of roasted hops and barley which produces a highly rich taste. The amount of alcohol ranges from 4.5% to 6% by volume. 


c. Pilsner-

Pilsner Lager has pale gold color with the crispy flavor and has stronger in taste. It contains a higher amount of alcohol and has bitterness. Some of the examples are Corona Extra, Bud Light Lime, Hoisten Premium Bier, etc.


d. Bock-

  Bock is a strong lager that brewed from high-colored malts.  Bock was brewed for the traditional festival like Diwali, Christmas, etc. Modern Bock is generally dark, amber or pale in color and contains a higher amount of alcohol. Some of the examples are- Anchor Bock Beer, St. Nikolaus Bock Bier, etc


Styles of bock

* Traditional Bock

* Maibock

* Doppelbock

* Eisbock

* Weizenbock


d. Dunkels-

Dunkels is generally dark in color ranging from amber to dark reddish brown. Its mild malty character characterizes it. Some examples are Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren Dunkel, Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel, Andechser Dunkel, Augustiner Dunkel,  Erdinger Dunkel, etc.


3. Stouts and Porters-

  Porter is a dark style of beer, fruity-dry, top-fermenting style. Porter is brewed with malted barley to impart flavor and aroma. 

Stout is a dark beer that made from unmalted roasted barley to develop a dark, slightly mordant, coffee-like character. It is produced by the brewery and created by top fermentation. Stout is sweet in the taste, featuring a rich, creamy flavored.  It contains 7 to 8 % of alcohol by volume.


What are the elements of Beer style?

1. Appearance

2. Aroma

3. Flavor

4. Mouthfeel

5. Strength

6. Yeast

7. Grains

8. Hops.

9. Water

10. Other ingredients- Fruits and species are the main ingredients.



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