You know those annoying pretentious types that sit in the corner of the pub and discuss the ‘notes’ they are getting from their beer?
I’m kind of like that…sorry
Beer is not just something you drink - It’s something you actually savour and enjoy sensuously. It’s something to discuss and comment on. It’s something to dissect and pick apart.
I made a guide so you can join in and be annoying too! 👇
Like many of you, the reason I fell deeply in love with “proper” beer in the first place was the intense flavours and aromas. I’d drank my fair share of cheap lager in my youth, but there was nothing I actually liked about its taste. The aim with lager was to knock back as many cans as possible and go and have a boogie.
(Then regret it all the next day while nursing another pint during the footy)
Beer, though? Beer is different. For many, it becomes a passion. It’s not just something you drink - It’s something you actually enjoy.
(and, yes, it’s something to get leathered on).
But how do you discuss “hops”? What is a “hoppy” beer? What’s a strong beer?
If you want to become one of those boozy aficionado’s you’ve seen in real ale pubs who know their oat beers from their IPAs, join us as we show you how to quickly identify specific types and styles of beers:
What Is a “Type” Of Beer?
When people talk about the beer they’re drinking, they won’t always refer to its type. Instead, they might refer to its style. But whilst there are numerous different styles, they all belong to one of four different types:
Ale - These are full-bodied, often fruity and hoppy beers favoured by frequenters of country pubs.
Lager - We all drank lager back in our youth! Lager has become synonymous with lad culture and football. But when done right, it can be a sophisticated drink that quenches the first and leaves you feeling refreshed. Perfect for summer and beer gardens.
Stout - The darkest of all the beers, stouts are popular during the autumn and winter. They’ve got depth, character and roasted barley. Popular stouts include - of course - Guinness.
Malt - Malts are usually rich in nuts, toffee and/or caramel. As such, they’re really sweet. They’re also on the darker side.
What Is a “Style” of Beer?
So, there are your four main types of beer. But out of those four types come numerous different styles.
What’s a style of beer? It refers to a specific ingredient or technique that gives the beer a certain feel or flavour. Sometimes it alters its appearance too.
And often, there are styles within styles. For example, IPA is a style of beer, but there are also various styles of IPAs! That’s where it gets complicated.
To keep things simple, here are some of the most popular styles, and ways of identifying them:
Pale Lagers/Malt - Sweet, honey, biscuits, husky, grain, cereal.
Hops - Citrus fruit, wine fruits. Bitter. Herbs. Grassy, orchard fruit, tropical fruit. Pines.
Dark malts - Chocolate, smokey. Toffee. Tobacco, coffee, nuts, liquorice. Vanilla, caramel.
Cereals - Oats, spices, chestnut, whipping cream.
Sugar - Caramel, brown sugar, molasses.
Strong - Over 7% ABV. Double IPAs. Often dark in colour.
Wheat - Easy, light. Soft. Often hazy. Spice.
Red beers - Usually red. Sometimes light brown. Caramel.
Indian Pale Ale - Pale ale but hoppier (more citrus).
Amber - Versatile beer. Full-bodies. Caramel. Malt.
Blonde - Pale. Clear, crispy, dry. Sweetness.
Fruit - These are generally ales, even though they don’t often have what you could call an “ale character.”
Golden - Straw-coloured. Vanilla, citrus. Sometimes spicy.
Cream - Golden. Sweet. Mild.
Becoming a boozy aficionado takes time. It also takes lots of beer! It requires you to really think about what you’re drinking. So, go forth and choose your poison in our shop. You are now a beer master, in training.
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