A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Beer

Beer is one of the oldest and most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. In the broad beer category, there are numerous types of beer, including pale ale, Indian pale ale (IPA), porter, stouts, wheat and Belgian varieties, lagers, pilsners, blond beers, American pale ales (APA), bitter beers, and more. Each type of beer has its own unique characteristics and flavor profile. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the different types of beer and their key features. Lagers are a newer style of beer with two key differences from ale beers.

They ferment for a long time at a low temperature and rely on the yeasts fermenting at the bottom, which sink to the bottom of the fermentation tank to work their magic. Lagers are common in European countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as in Canada, where they account for more than half of all beer sales. Porter beers are known for their dark black color and their aroma and notes of roasted malt. The carriers may have a fruity or dry taste, which is determined by the variety of roasted malt used in the brewing process. Like porters, stouts are roasted black beers.

Stouts have a less sweet taste than carriers and often have a bitter coffee taste, which comes from unmalted roasted barley added to the must. They are characterized by a thick, creamy head. The Guinness of Ireland may be one of the best-known stouts in the world. Blond beers have a pale color and a clear body. They tend to be crisp and dry, with few traces of bitterness, rather than being heavy or damp.

Related to the pale one is the APA, or American Pale Ale, which is something of a hybrid between the traditional English pale ale and the IPA style. American Pale Ales beers are more hoppy and usually have malt. A subspecies of lager, pilsner beers are distinguished by their water, which varies from neutral to hard. Pilsners are among the most hoppy lagers and generally taste dry and slightly bitter. Its light gold color, transparent body and crunchy finish make Pilsners a popular summer beer. An ancient style of beer that has gained popularity in recent years, bitter beers are made from wild yeasts, just like sourdough bread.

These beers are known for their sour taste that goes well with tropical fruits and spices. Among the acidic beers, you will find lambicas, which are Belgian bitter beers mixed with fruit, goses, a German sour beer made with coriander and sea salt, and Flanders, a Belgian sour beer fermented in wooden tanks. The best fermented beers include Brown Ale, Mild Ale, Old Ale, Pale Ale, Stout and Wheat. Pale lagers are the most consumed type of beer in the world. Lagers are of Central European origin; they take their name from the German lagern (for storage), and typically use a lower fermented yeast that begins to ferment at 7—12 °C (45—54 °F) (the fermentation phase), and then stored at 0-4 °C (32-39 °F) (the lagering phase).

During the secondary stage, the beer is clarified and softened. Colder conditions also inhibit the natural production of esters and other by-products, resulting in a crispier tasting beer. According to Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine, lagers are made with one strain of yeast while ales are made with another. Lagers are also normally fermented at a cold temperature while ales are fermented at warmer temperatures. Lager beers range from darker pilsners and bocks to pale American lagers such as Bud Light (one of our top 10 national beers).

As expected this makes lager the best-selling style of beer in the world. Ales on the other hand range from super-hoppy IPAs to super-malted stouts. Although all beers are ales or lagers in the background these two main types of beer can be brewed in many different styles. In fact there are now more than 100 styles of beer and this number is always growing. That's why you'll rarely hear a craft beer fan talk about their favorite “ale” beer; it's usually something more complex whether it's a West Coast IPA (a regional variant of the American IPA), a barrel aged black beer (a dark beer that gets an extra flavor from liquor barrels) or any something else in between. Amber can be ales or lagers but both styles are so named because of their amber color.

They are also known for their toasted caramel flavored malts and their low to medium-high hop bitterness. They usually have citrus or pine notes to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Versions include maibock which has a lighter and more hoppy color; doppelbock which has a more malty flavor and a higher alcohol; and weizenbock a wheat version of a bock as strong as a doppelbock. An IPA beer or Indian pale ale beer is a hoppy beer that is popular with craft beer drinkers. IPAs have a distinctive bitter taste and aroma.

Versions include a double or imperial IPA which is a stronger version of a normal IPA usually with an ABV of more than 7.5%; and a diffuse IPA (a k a Juicy or New England IPA) which is known for its fruity taste hazy appearance and low bitterness. This beer hybrid is brewed using ale and lager brewing techniques resulting in light refreshing easy to drink beers. Technically a real Kolsch has to come from Cologne Germany but you'll find Kolsch-style beers in craft breweries across the United States. Almost all of the most popular beers in America are pale lagers (more on this below). They are known to be easy to drink beers with light to medium hops and clean malt flavor. American pale ales are spin-offs from English pale ales using American hops. There is wide variety of pale ale flavors depending on what type hops used during brewing process.


Beer is an incredibly diverse beverage with many different types available for every palate preference.

From light lagers to dark stouts there's something for everyone! Whether you're looking for an easy drinking session ale or an intense imperial IPA there's sure to be something out there that will satisfy your cravings.