Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world. In fact, there is an entire month devoted to beer festivals which is celebrated in many countries. According to Beer Advocate, the largest online resource for beer on the internet, they have already listed close to 300,000 beer brands but it is nowhere near the actual numbers of beer brands in the world.
With this staggering figure, classifying the types and styles of beer can be quite overwhelming. In this article, we hope to help you learn how to differentiate them.
Beginnings of Beer
Beer has been around since the days of Ancient Egypt and is the first documented recipe in the world. Back then, beer was made from indigenous herbs and used in religious ceremonies. It was during the Middle Ages when modern brewing was invented. During this time, German monks were the first to use malt barley for fermentation and wild hops as natural preserving agents.
Beer was introduced to the New World by the first European settlers landed in the Americas. They constructed the first brewery in Plymouth Rock when they ran out of beer and needed to make more. And the rest, as they say, is beer history.
Now that we have given you a brief but fascinating background of beer, here is a run-down of the most popular beer styles in the world today.
There are many types of beers available in the market but the two major types are Lager and Ale.
Lagers are brewed at low temperatures for a long period of time. They are light in color and have a mild and fruity flavour. Here are some well-known types of lagers:
- Pilsner is a lager that has a light yellow color and a bitter, hoppy taste.
- American light beer is a milder version of pilsner that is low in calories.
- Bock is a lager that is brewed for a longer period of time than ordinary lagers and has a strong malt flavor.
- Märzen is a copper-colored beer with high alcohol content, a toasty, full-bodied flavor, and dry finish.
Unlike Lagers which are cold-brewed, Ales, on the other hand, are made up of yeasts that are brewed at room temperature. Ales are made up of hops and malt as well, which gives them a darker color and a more bitter and stronger taste than lagers. Some common types of ales are:
- India Pale Ale is a hoppy brew with a characteristically bitter flavor.
- Hefeweizen is a type of wheat beer that is unfiltered.
- Irish red ale is made up of roasted barley which gives it its red color and leafy flavor.
- Porter is a dark ale that’s made up of roasted malts.
- Stout is the darkest and strongest variety of beer. It is filled with rich flavors like those found in coffee and chocolates.
Now that you are more familiar with the types of beers, which one, do you think do you like best?