The Basics....Beer Styles

August 23, 2018

The Basics....Beer Styles

Basic Lagers-Lager yeast ferments at a lower temperature than ale yeast so fewer distinctive flavors and aromas are produced.  It results in a mellow, refreshing, light to medium bodied beer.  Here are the common versions (lightest to darkest):

  • Pilsner-Crisp, with moderate to high bitterness. Spicy herbal or floral aroma and flavor.
  • Light Lager-Light and dry. Low in both malt flavor and malt character.
  • Amber Lager-Malty, roasted sweetness with a dry, well balanced bitterness at finish.
  • Dark Lager-Smooth with some malt sweetness. May include hints of coffee, molasses and/or chocolate.
  • Bock-Robust malt character. Broad range of colors from light gold to deep brown. Usually lightly hopped.

Basic Ales-Ale yeast ferments at higher temperatures than Lager yeast.  This generates increased production of distinctive flavor and aroma compounds and results in complex combinations of flavors.  Here are the common varieties (lightest to darkest):

  • Wheat Ale-Brewed with malted wheat. Slightly tart flavor, often with subtle citrus flavor or aroma.
  • Blonde Ale-Smooth, with malty sweetness and low to moderate bitterness.
  • Pale Ale-Moderate to high level of hop bitterness and strong hop flavors. Malt sweetness plays a supporting role.
  • Amber/Red Ale-Bittersweet caramel malt characteristics influence color and flavor.
  • Brown Ale-Roasty malt flavor with low to moderate bitterness. Often caramel, fruity, and/or chocolate notes are present.
  • Porter/Stout-Dark in color with roasted, nutty flavors. Chocolate and/or coffee notes can be pronounced.





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