Beer style basics

Close up of a glass of beer being poured

The beer world has historically been divided amongst variations on lagers and ales, with many of the most popular macro-brews produced in the former style. As time goes on and the pioneers of the craft world continue to experiment and innovate, there is a rising trend of artisan brewers bringing new ideas to both categories.

LAGERS

Typically, lagers are described as bottom-fermenting beers, fermented at cooler temperatures compared to ale. Expect crisp and refreshing flavours.

 Style Profile  Aromas/Flavours  Beer Discovery Guide 
Standard North American Style Lager  Light slightly sweet, mild finish, lively Grain, floral, corn Bright & Balanced
 Pilsner/Pilsener Light to medium-bodied light to moderate malt character, dry, mild hop notes, very crisp Grain, cereal, floral, spicy Bright & Balanced or Crisp & Hoppy
 Bocks Medium to full-bodied, moderate to rich malt character, mild to moderate hop character, warming Grain, caramel, toasty chocolate Bright & Balanced or Robust & Malty

 

ALES

Ales are top fermenting beers, typically fermented at warmer temperatures compared to lagers. Generally, ales are fuller in body, have more fruity esters, are richer in malt content and drier in comparison to lagers.

Style Profile Aromas/Flavours Beer Discovery Guide
North American Pale Ale Medium-bodied, mild malt character, moderate to intense hop character, dry to very dry Citrus, grassy, spicy, pine, fruity, biscuit Crisp & Hoppy
India Pale Ale (IPA) Medium-bodied, mild malt character, full to intense hop character, dry to very dry Citrus, grassy, spicy, pine, earthy, fruity, biscuit Crisp & Hoppy
Brown Ales Medium-bodied, moderate to rich malt sweetness, mild hop character, mildly sweet Caramel, toffee, raisin Robust & Malty

Porter  Medium to full-bodied, moderate to rich malt sweetness, mild to moderate hop character, dry to mildly sweet Caramel, nut, chocolate, coffee Bold & Full

Stout  Medium to full-bodied, moderate to rich malt sweetness, moderate to full hop character, very dry to mildly sweet Chocolate, coffee, roasted, burnt, toasty Bold & Full

Wheat Ales Light-bodied, light malt character, little hop character, dry to mildly sweet, livelyildly sweet Banana, bubble gum, citrus, baking spice, exotic spice Fruity & Smooth

Related Articles

These other articles might interest you as well

Recommended