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Primer’s Interactive Visual Guide to Beer Types
English brown ales typically have a low hop aroma and bitterness, while being malty, nutty, and sweeter on the palate than American counterparts.ABV: 4.0-6.4%Origin: England
Similar to a pale ale, but with more caramel sweetness. It’s very well balanced between malt and hops, with the hop character ranging from light and floral to powerful and resiny.ABV: 4.0-6.4%Origin: England
A black beer but much different tasting than a porter or stout. Very little roasted flavors make it easy to drink. Dark chocolate and mild sweetness to dry. A darker version of the Munich Dunkel.ABV: 4.8-5%Origin: Germany
Oktoberfest (more accurately known as Marzen, the style of beer served at Oktoberfest) ranges in color from pale to amber to dark. Light, toasted malt dominates over crisp hoppy bitterness creating a very smooth brew.ABV: 6%Origin: Bavaria
Light, golden color with a distinctive hop flavor. The original Czech style is lighter than its more bitter German counterpart.ABV: 4.5%Origin: Czech Republic
A rich, strong malty lager that is smooth with no detectable hops. Color ranges from light to brown.ABV: 6.3-7.2%Origin: Germany
Also known as doppelbock, this beer ranges in color from deep gold to dark brown. Very rich, no detectable hops, and a noticeable alcohol kick with its high ABV. This is a stronger version of a bock created by the Paulaner monks.ABV: 7-12%Origin: Germany
Consumed mostly in North America, this modestly hoppy pale lager is the dominant brew for the largest brewing companies.ABV: 5%Origin: United States
Straw yellow to golden in color. German varieties have a distinct yeast character, while American wheats have a more neutral yeast flavor and use more hops.ABV: 2.5-5.5%Origin: Germany / Belgium
The original English pale ale is a golden brew with a complex palate of fruity flavors and a dry hop finish. American-style pale ale is crisp, bold, and piney with balanced bitterness. It differs from the English due to the home-grown Cascade hops of the American Northwest.ABV: 4.0-6%Origin: England / United States
Most either love them or hate them, IPAs are strong with hoppy bitterness, and balanced with medium maltiness. English and American IPAs have a 5-7.5% ABV, whereas an imperal IPA has a much stronger 7.9-10.5% ABV.ABV: 5-10.5%Origin: England
Black, high hop bitterness and a burnt malt flavor. These strong stouts were originally brewed for the czars of Russia by the English.ABV: 7-12%%Origin: England
The famous Irish beer is a dark, dry, light (low ABV) brew with a roasted taste. Once prescribed to Irish nursing mothers, it’s colloquially known as “mother’s milk.”ABV: 3.8-5%Origin: Ireland
Also known as milk stout, sweet stout contains lactose, the sugar found most notably in milk. The lactose does not break down during the fermentation resulting in a sweet, full bodied beer.ABV: 3-6%Origin: England
Porter is a lighter-bodied, dark brown beer that is similar to a stout, but without the bite that comes from the use of roasted grains. It has very little hops and contains coffee, chocolate, and/or caramel flavors.ABV: 4.5-6%Origin: England
Dryer than English Brown Ale, with a citrus aroma and medium body present from the inclusion of American hop varieties. The American style has a balance of roasted malt or nutty flavors.ABV: 4.0-6.4%Origin: England
Less a style and more of a broad category for many high ABV brews including Barleywine and Old Ale. Characterized as an ale with 7% ABV or higher, even as high as 25%. Flavors range from sweet and malty to bitter and dry.ABV: 7%+Origin: United States
A type of beer made with top fermenting yeast. This type of yeast creates more fruit flavors and ferments at warmer temperatures than lager yeast. Ales have the greatest variety of styles.
Lager is a category of beer that uses bottom fermenting yeast versus the top fermenting yeast Ales utilize. They ferment at cooler temperatures than ales, and then undergo a cold conditioning period (“lagering”) that can last up to several months. Because of this conditioning, they are generally clean and crisp tasting.