With so many beer styles in the world, it’s hard to know where to begin when learning about them. Brewers all over the world are experimenting with new blends and flavours, and every now and then, some genius will come along and invent something totally new. While we believe that many rules are made to be broken, there are a few constant characteristics to every style. These five will provide a solid foundation for you to build your craft beer knowledge:
Crisp and refreshing, lagers are one of the most consumed beer styles in the world. Unlike stouts or ales, lager flavour notes are clean and simple. They tend to be light in body and are most often a golden colour, though occasionally some rebels buck the trend and use a darker malt to create an amber or even black brew. Best served cold, one thing you can always count on a lager to do is quench your hard-earned thirst.
A much newer addition to the beer world is a pilsner. These are pale lagers, and while they’re still clean and simple beers, they’re a lot more fragrant and hoppy than a traditional lager.
These tall pints of creamy darkness are typically made with black, unmalted barley, resulting in a full-bodied, complex beer. Stouts are renowned for their rich, heavily roasted flavour and often contain notes of coffee, chocolate and licorice. Want to get to know this mysterious brew a little better? Serve it at room temperature and let its complex flavours shine.
If you’re a bit of a history buff, this style might tickle your fancy. Remnant of some of the first beers ever created, wheat beers contain very few hops and are often cloudy. But don’t let the lack of hops fool you, depending on the kind of wheat that is blended with the grain, these brews can host a whole array of flavours.
You can thank the English troops for this aromatic delight – Indian Pale Ale was the happy byproduct of spoiled beer and problem solving. During the 1700s, while the English occupied India, pale ale was the beer of choice. But the beer couldn’t withstand the heat and shipments always went bad before they could make it to India’s shores. So, they enlisted the help of a natural preservative that changed things forever. By adding more hops, the beer lasted longer and had a slightly bitter, fragrant flavour, which has stood the test of time.