While each one of us has our own unique tastes and individual preferences when it comes to our beer, there are many different types to explore and taste that will surely impress any soon to be beer connoisseur. The main types of beer are ultimately boiled down to two subdivisions, ales and lagers. The distinguishing change between the two comes down to the fermentation process, with ales been fermented at temperatures that range slight upwards of sixty-five degrees while lagers typically stay within the scope of forty-five degrees. A slightly less recognized and obscure beer is the Lambic category of beer, which differs from the two in that while lagers and ales use top and bottom fermenting yeast while a lambic makes use of wild yeast. Though these are the three main categories of beers, there are also different subcategories within the three, most generally within the lager and ale category.
Highly recognized for a very tasty flavor due to way the beer is fermented, lagers are characterized by a much smoother taste as compared to an ale and is highly popular throughout much of the commercialized world.
- Pale Lager: One of the more popular and commercialized lagers, it is characterized by its somewhat light taste that usually have a very high concentration of alcohol content. These are usually very distinguishable in comparisons to its other lager counterparts.
- Light Lager: The light lagers are usually sold commercially with varieties between the two most common types, the light lagers that are sold within the American market that are processed in order create lower calorie beers, and the European that are made with a bit more hops and barley which consequently creates a pale color.
- Dark Lager: A main difference between the dark and light lager is in the process of brewing, with the dark lager consisting of roasted hops and barley which creates a highly rich taste and overall a wonderful brew.
- Pilsners: Very much like its counterpart the pale lager, the beer is composed of a prevalent pale like color although they are much more stronger in taste and can usually be distinguished very easily.
- Bock: A very distinguishable taste that marks its beginning in Germany and is much darker in comparison to the previously mentioned lagers.
- Dunkel: A lager that is highly popular in Germany, it is said to have a taste that is often resembled to that of hot chocolate or licorice.
A very sweet tasting beer, ales come in a higher variety of colors which vary according to the way that the grains are processed in the making of the ale.
- Stouts: These ales are of the darkest and thickest color and are easily distinguishable between the other ales in that they are made with very strong hops that leads to a chocolate-like taste, with the most recognizable stout being the Guinness.
- Porter: A very dark color makes this also very dark that comes from a highly-roasted malt that gives off a very crisp taste, with the most famous beer being the Jack Porter.
- Amber Ale: A lot sweeter compared to the other ales, these ales are brewed with a higher concentration of malt and are usually recognized by beer connoisseurs simply as “Ambers”.
- Witbier: A wheat beer that is fermented with a high proportion of wheat and barley, with many different varieties that range a great deal in taste and flavor.
Tips for Tasting Different Types
As one begins the confusing yet exciting task of trying new and different types of beer, one must be prepared to be able to distinguish different things that will surely lead one to achieve the status of expert beer connoisseur. For example, variables such as the way the beer is foaming, the way the beer looks and most importantly the flavor. Every individual should take the test and head to the nearest pub or bar with a couple friends and ask for a sample of the different types of beers. As one gains more experience, one will also begin to know what type of food to begin pairing different beers with and will ultimately provide for some very interesting bar talk amongst other beer enthusiasts.