When you stop by the bar and grab your favourite beverage, you may not think too deeply about what you’re buying. Your preferred beer is often determined by the brands you were introduced to and what your peers drink – and it’s likely that you’ve only tried a few varieties and have probably stuck to the same one for many years. In the last few years, craft beers have exploded in popularity, so more and more of us are beginning to look at beer more closely and are thinking about branching out.
Beer at a glance
It can be worthwhile to understand that there are two main beer varieties, ale and lager, and these are typically determined by the fermentation process and the type of yeast used. In the case of ale, yeast is fermented at a higher temperature and settles at the top of the beer, whereas lager is brewed at lower temperatures for longer and the yeast settles at the bottom. Different varieties are created by adding steps or ingredients that will change the flavour profile, colour, mouth feel and more and create the types of beers on this list.
What are the 8 types of beers?
Let’s take a closer look at the 8 types of beers that you’re likely to come across when this is your beverage of choice.
1. Blonde ale
This beer type is light, sweet, malty and pale in colour. These beers are often mild, crisp and dry.
2. Pale Ale
Pale ales are typically derived from England and are more copper in colour than blonde ales. They are strong and provide a fruitier flavor profile than their counterparts.
3. Brown Ale
Brown ales can be both pale and dark and you’ll find them in amber hues as much as browns. These tend to be nutty, chocolaty, or more caramel, but some can have citrus undertones depending on where and how they’re brewed.
4. Sour ale
Often brewed using wild yeasts, these beers are – as the name suggests – sour (or tart) and are often used when pairing foods more so than casually consumed.
5. Wheat beers
As one of the more popular styles of beer on offer, wheat beers are typically spicy or citrus yet smooth and easy to drink for a host of occasions.
As the darkest beers on offer, Porters are almost black and provide a rich, roasted malt flavour that can be sweet, fruity, or dry depending on how the brands are brewed.
Stout beers are also dark ales, but these are less sweet than their closest peer, Porter. These have a more coffee-style, bitter taste and can be spotted by the thick, creamy head that forms when pouring.
Lagers have less variation than ales and while you can opt for both pale and dark varieties, the differences tend to come from the brands themselves than the brewing process. As a result, you may be familiar with names like Pilsner, Bock and Helles when buying lagers over ales.