The Beer style differentiates and categorises beers by factors such as colour, flavour, strength, ingredients, production method, recipe, history, or origin.
The modern concept of beer style is largely based on the work of writer Michael Jackson in his 1977 book The World Guide To Beer in which he categorised beers from around the world into style groups according to local customs and names. In 1989, Fred Eckhardt furthered Jackson's work publishing The Essentials of Beer Style. Although the systematic study of beer styles is a modern phenomenon, the practice of distinguishing between different varieties of beer is ancient, dating to at least 2000 BC. [Wikipedia]
An ale ferments more quickly than most other beers, resulting in stronger flavours and slightly more sweetness. It’s not unusual to encounter aftertastes of hops or herbs. Ales are the second-largest beer group.
Amber indicates a beer made from malt and with amber colours. It most typically appears in ales and lagers. Most often amber indicates the colour of the beer, which sits between light copper and light brown. An amber beer is slightly darker than a pale or blonde beer.
American style beers tend to lean towards lagers or crisp ales, usually blonde (not dark) and not heavy.
Beer brewing is an old and popular tradition in Belgium, so there are many different brewing styles and a habit for making interesting drinking experiences. A Belgian beer can be characterised as being heavy in aromas.
A blend is a mix of two or more varieties of beer. Blends tend to deliver an elevated taste of the type of beer involved and can be stronger.
Blonde is most commonly a colour and is very pale - the lightest of the beers. Tastes vary a lot, but blonde beers are not heavy and usually have average alcohol volumes of around 5 percent. Most often associated with ale.
If a beer is bottle conditioned, it means at least one fermentation cycle was done inside the bottle. Such beers are more likely to have sediment and a crisp carbonation.
A traditional brown beer is usually an ale brewed from brown malt. Modern brown beers vary in taste, alcohol levels and styles, but they are typically dark and heavy.
Cali Common, also called Steam Beer, originate from the California region in the United States. It is made by fermenting lager at higher than usual temperatures.
Cream is associated with American style beers and signifies a drink that is light in colour, as well as a balanced taste with just enough sweetness. Most commonly an ale.
Dark beers are made from roasted ingredients, such as roasted malt or barley. It is most often associated with English beers and result in a heavy, roasted taste. Also see Porters and Stouts.
English beers are likely to be darker and heavy, with an emphasis on a bitter,heavily-hopped aftertaste and a healthy head.
Fruit beers contain a fruity taste, though the level of that will vary. Some fruit beers are brewed from fruit, while others add fruit alter. Some fruit beers use a flavourant instead of real fruit. Most often associated with ale.
Golden beers have a straw colour and is most commonly found with lagers and ales. Not very different from pale beers, though slightly richer in colour.
A Belgian recipe, Helles Bock, also Heller Bock, is a strong, gold lager that is heavy in flavour.
As the name suggests, honey beers are sweeter and have a hint of honey. The honey is usually added as a flavourant and not to be confused with mead, which is made by fermenting honey.
Pale ales are made from pale malt, giving them varying malty tastes. India Pale Ale follows in this tradition, but adds hops for a hoppier taste.
Kriek Lambic is a style of Belgian beer brewed by using lambic beer and cherries.
Lagers are fermented at lower temperatures than most other beers and make up the largest family of beer. A lager is clear (blonde) and crisp without heaviness. But styles and tastes can vary considerably.
Lambic is a style of Belgian beer. Instead of being made through controlled fermentation, Lambic comes from the spontaneous fermentation of wild yeast common to some areas of Belgium. Lambic is often re-fermented to add new flavours.
Light can denote a beer that can be light in taste or in alcohol content.
Lime is a flavourant added to some beers to give a lime taste. Intensity can vary between different types of lime beer.
Malt beers are typically much lower in alcohol and tend to have a sweeter taste due to the shortened fermentation process. They are popular alternatives to soft drinks in many markets.
Pale Ale is mainly made from pale malt. Flavours vary, but there tends to be a malty aftertaste. Pale ales are light in colour.
Pilsner is a type of pale lager. Made in the Belgian tradition, it is crisp in taste, not heavy and varies from straw to golden in colour.
A porter is a strong, dark beer brewed from roasted brown malt or roasted barley. It is most associated with English style beer.
Red beers are usually ales and are so-called for their red to light-brown colours.
Made in the French Belgian tradition, a Saison is a ale with a high level of carbonation and fruity or spicy tastes.
A stout is a Porter with an alcohol serving of 7 percent or higher. Like a Porter, Stouts are brewed from roasted brown malt or roasted barley. It is most associated with English style beer.
A strong beer usually has an alcohol level per serving of 7 percent or more.
Wheat beer is fermented using large volumes of wheat malt. These are also called Wit or Weiss beers.