What Is Beer? Part III

April 29, 2019

Styles and Trends

Types and Styles of Beer

Beer starts out as either a lager or an ale. Seeing as there are thousands of breweries in the USA alone, many different styles of beer have evolved in the recent years.

Lagers are usually light, slightly malty, and a great entry point for new beer drinkers. Classic, mass-produced lagers include Miller High Life, Budweiser, Yuengling, and Coors. Ales tend to be darker and have a higher alcohol content. They are usually stronger than lagers due to having more hops and a faster fermentation process.

yuengling beer bottles

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Two other types of beer are stouts and porters which have many similarities, but they are two different types of dark beer. Stouts are less sweet than porters, but they are still rich and creamy with a dark, coffee-like texture and taste. Porters are almost black and brewed with roasted malt for flavor and aroma.

Pilsners are a type of lager and originate from the Czech Republic. German pilsners are crisp and golden, while Czech pilsners tend to be slightly more bitter and darker.

three types of beer in glasses

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Brown ales are malty with caramel flavors. They originated in 1700s England and have had a slow start to gaining popularity in recent years. They are rich and smooth.

Wheat beers use wheat as their malt which gives them a light color and tangy or fruity flavor.

man with tattoos pouring beer from a keg into a glass

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German Bock beers are strong and smooth due to their malty flavor. Their taste is sweet and nutty with low levels of alcohol.

Pale ales are hoppy which makes them slightly bitter. Generally, they are light and refreshing. Traditional pale ales are English Pale Ales, Blonde Ales, and American Ales.

pale outside in the snow

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Sour and wild beers have gained popularity in the recent years. They are made by adding certain bacteria to the brewing process that produces a tart flavor to the finished product. They generally have a low alcohol content.

India Pale Ales are very hoppy which makes them bitter with a piney or floral flavor. They also have a high alcohol content. Prominent styles are West Coast IPA and New England IPA.

simple beer in a glass on a bar

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Belgian beers span across many other styles of beer such as pale ales or sours. Generally, Belgian beers can be fruity or sweet with mild bitterness and higher alcohol content.

New Trends

five beers in a flight on a table

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Hazy IPAs are a newer style of India Pale Ales (as in they go back about a decade). They are more bitter and have more citrus. The process of creating a hazy IPA depends on the brewer, but ultimately hazy IPAs are just unfiltered. Some get the haziness from certain strains of yeast that don’t stick to the fermentation tank, while others use malt with higher protein, such as oat or wheat, in addition to hops being added towards the end of the process. Some brewers even add flour to get a hazy look and texture. Hazy IPAs have rocked the beer world – drinkers either love them or hate them.

What do you think will be the next trend in the beer industry? Will Wild & Sour Ales dominate the market in 2019? Will Pilsners make a comeback? Will craft breweries focus more on taproom sales than traditional retail distribution? Let us know your thoughts on our social pages:

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