Wednesday, December 12, 2012

image credits: treevillage

If you're not a beer drinker, you'll have a bit of a hard time choosing one. The different types alone can make anyone's head reel in confusion. Then there are also the different brands to choose from, which makes everything all the more confusing. However, to make everything easy for you, here are the two different types of beers.

Two Major Types of Beer

There are basically two types of major beers - ale and lager. Ale makes use of yeast that rises to the top and is fermented at a higher temperature, while lager makes use of yeast that sinks to the bottom and is fermented at a lower temperature.


The color of ale ranges from pale gold to dark brown. It has a much sweeter taste and tends to be full-bodied. It has a more complex character, too, depending upon the grains used.

Pale Ale has a very light golden color, and it tastes both malty and hoppy. It also has a fruity aroma. Amber Ale, on the other hand, is darker than Pale Ale, but has a sweeter taste due to higher malt content. India Pale Ale has a higher amount of hops, and its color range from golden to amber. Unlike Pale Ale and Amber Ale, it's known for its bitter flavor as well as bitter aroma.

Bitter Ale, like India Pale Ale, also has a high amount of hops, but instead of having a bitter aroma, it has a more pleasant smell. It also has a distinctly caramel and fruity flavor, and has a dark red to golden color. Irish Ale also has a dark red color, but it taste sweeter since it has less hops. Stout, another type of ale, has low amounts of hops and makes use of dark-roasted barley that's unmalted.

It tastes sweet with a distinctive caramel aroma or chocolate aroma. There's also wheat beer, which is pale in color and has a very fruity flavor. Finally, there's porter, which is a dark ale that heavily makes use of roasted malt. It has a sweet taste, depending upon the amount of malt and hops used.


Lager is another type of beer known for its clean, smooth, and crisp taste. This is because the process of fermentation, which is done at a low temperature compared to ale's higher temperature, helps mellow the taste of beer, giving it a cleaner and smoother taste.

There are four common types of lager. Bock is dark in color with a sweet test. It can either have a malty taste or a hoppy taste. Pale Larger is the most popular type of lager beer. It's straw-colored with a mild hoppy flavor. It also gives a crisp and clean taste. Dunkel, on the other hand, has an amber color and its flavors have hints of licorice, coffee as well as chocolate. Finally, there's Marzen which has a full-bodied flavor. It has a dark copper color.

These are the two types of beers. If you enjoy sweeter and full-bodied flavor, go for ale. However, if you enjoy light and smoother taste, then go for lager. Choosing your best beer may be difficult since you will have to sample different types and brands, but if you found one that will best fit your taste, then it will be a good accompaniment to most dishes.

About the Author:

Jennifer Daire writes for a number of food, wine, and beer blogs, including Maurice Carrubba. Choosing your type of beer need not be difficult if you know its two types.

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