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10 Types of Beer You Need to Know About

10 Types of Beer You Need to Know About

Going to a brewery or bar is meant to be fun, but the sheer number of beers available can feel overwhelming. The list of beer types and styles only seems to be growing, too. Equipping yourself with a basic understanding of beer types can help narrow your options and choose a beer that you’ll enjoy for the evening. Below are 10 types of beer you need to know about when heading to the brewery. 

1. India Pale Ale


IPAs are a very popular type of beer. They fall into the pale ale category but tend to be hoppier than regular pale ales. This hoppier pale ale was supposedly created to survive the trek from England to India. The additional hops acted as a preservative and were meant to keep the beer fresh. IPAs can be a little difficult to pair with food since the hops are so strong, but burgers and fish can usually manage the strong flavor well. 

India Pale Ale

English Pale Ale

2. English Pale Ale

English pale ales have a medium to high hoppiness level and are known for their woody or floral hops with slightly fruity notes. Its color ranges from golden to copper and the flavor pairs well with English dishes such as fish and chips or shepherd’s pie. 

3. Lager

Lagers are considered the best option for new beer drinkers and are the most common type of beer. A bottom-fermented beer, lagers are fermented at a cooler temperature which produces a light, crisp taste. Lagers typically have a milder flavor and go well with a variety of foods, particularly pub fare such as burgers and pizza, but they can also pair well with pasta or schnitzel.  




4. Pilsner

A pilsner is a style of beer in the lager family and was created in what is now the Czech Republic. This beer is characterized by its pale gold color and tangy hops with floral aromas and a crisp, bitter finish. 

5. Stout

Stout beers are known for their dark brown or black coloring and creamy flavors. Stouts can either be dry or a bit sweet, depending on the brewer. People new to the beer scene are often intimidated by stouts because of their dark coloring and assume they’re bitter, but the truth is stouts are not terribly strong nor heavy. Instead, they have a full-body flavor with a touch of roastiness.  



6. Porter

Porters are very similar to stouts, but porters are quite as strong. A porter has the same dark brown to black color as a stout, but porters are more known for their chocolate or caramel flavors. 

7. Wheat Beers 

Witbiers, or wheat beers, are a bright golden color and are usually made with barley, wheat, and oats in the mix. They’re known for containing a flavorful mix of spices with a lemony or citrusy finish. 

Wheat Beers

Russian Imperial Stout

8. Russian Imperial Stout

Russian Imperial Stout, first brewed in England for Emperor Peter the Great of Russia, are higher in alcohol than traditional English Stouts. The best examples are full bodied, rich, and complex, and will often have flavors and aromas of dried fruit, coffee, and dark chocolate. Often dry, flavors of higher alcohol is quite evident. Hop character can vary from none, to balanced or aggressive.

9. Sour Beer

Sours don’t taste like your typical beer. This intentionally tart drink contains layers of flavor and usually includes a fruity or spicey accent. The sourness of this beer varies by brewer and can range from mouth-puckering to a light tart or sweet and sour flavors. 

Sour Beer


10. Barleywine

To be clear, barleywine is indeed a beer, but this beer has the same alcohol content as many wines. This drink is known for its strong flavor and high alcohol content. The flavors in this beer typically include fruit, toffee, and caramel with a moderately hoppy brew. 

As you prepare to head to the brewery or bar, it’s a good idea to consider which flavors you enjoy and how strong you want your beer to be. Using this list, you can narrow down your beer category and start exploring your options. Once you get familiar with two or three types of beer you can branch out to others to discover which ones you like the best. 

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