- The beer style . Glass of beer on a birch stand malt and hops on wooden background. Top view
Historians think humans were making beer in 4,300 B.C. and used the intervening years to brew, drink and describe the drinks they love. Below is a fraction of the many types of beer available today, along with some common terms to help drinkers understand, enjoy and discuss beer.
Ale: beer made using warm fermentation, which imparts a sweeter fruit taste and heavier body; hops add bitterness and balance sweetness
American amber/red ale:
ale with primarily toasted malt flavors and a deep red or reddish-brown color
Baltic porter: robust, dark porter named because it was shipped to the North Sea; it has a cloudy body with deep, roasted malt flavor and medium bitterness
Belgian quadrupel: Belgian-style ale with a full, heavy body and strong malt flavor; colored deep garnet to dark brown, it was inspired by Trappist monks and has high alcohol content and a sweet, slightly bitter taste
Cream ale: ale-lager hybrid brewed at higher temperatures and finished with lager yeast; a pale-colored beer with low hoppiness and a carbonated body
Cream stout: made with lactose, a sugar found in milk, with a sweeter flavor and creamy body; sometimes called milk or cream stout
Farmhouse ale/saison: complex bottle-conditioned beer with heavy spice flavor, often tart with medium bitterness; saison, French for season, is the most common variety, and its traditionally brewed in winter and kept farm staff busy in off seasons as they created beer to drink in summer months
India pale ale/IPA: ale with stronger hop flavor; originally brewed in England and exported to India for British troops, and more hops were used to help preserve the beer during its transport
Kölsch: German-style beer first brewed in Cologne; mixes warm and cold fermentation to create a light-bodied brew with pale color and medium hoppy bitterness
Pale ale: made with pale malt, usually with a medium hoppiness that is easy to drink
- sliced pumpkin, pumpkin on the table, sliced pumpkin on the table.
Pumpkin ale: ingredients include pumpkin chunks, puree or flavoring, and the ale is usually mild and malty with little bitterness
Russian imperial stout: strong dark beer with high alcohol by volume and intense malt flavor; hoppiness varies, and many have low carbonation and big chocolate and dark fruit tastes
Lager: made with bottom-fermenting yeast at colder temperatures than for a crisper, cleaner taste
Märzen: medium- to full-bodied German-style beer; Märzen is German for March, when the beer was traditionally brewed, and is a traditional Oktoberfest beer with color ranging from golden yellow to dark brown and a rich taste with mild hoppiness
Pilsner: smooth pale lager named for the Czechoslovakian city of Pilsen; hops impart bitter and floral spice notes
Vienna lager: color ranges from copper to reddish-brown with a medium body; named for the Austrian city, Vienna lagers are more associated with American and Mexican beers like Yuengling and Negra Modelo
- Fresh green hops scattered out of the burlap bag isolated on white background. Hop cones isolated on white. Hop for beer in burlap bag. Sack of fresh hops isolated on a white background.
Hops: delicate, cone-shaped flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant, which grows in vines more than 20 feet long; light green cones are full of flavorful resins and oils that give beer bitterness when used early in brewing and aroma when added later
- Tall beer glass with barley malt grains on a layer of malt
Malt: most popular brewing grain, short for malted barley, is soaked in water until it germinates and then cooked or roasted to stop the growing process; the amount of heat used impacts the color and flavor of beer and sugars in malt create alcohol during fermentation
- Nutritional yeast flakes in a wooden spoon isolated on white with clipping path included.
Yeast: single-celled microorganisms that create flavors in beer and convert sugar into alcohol; ale yeast rises to the top during fermentation and bottom-fermenting lager yeast settles at the bottom
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