Broadly speaking, beer is divided into two groups: lagers and ales. Lagers tend to be light in color, dry, low in alcohol and easy to drink. Ales are higher in alcohol, and are usually more complex and full-bodied than lagers. Here’s a quick guide to craft beer styles:
Originally from Czechoslovakia, the pilsener style is extremely popular: clean, crisp, simple and pleasantly bitter.
Native to the Bavarian region of Germany, this light-colored beer is brewed with 50 percent wheat and 50 percent malt, and is generally regarded as a summer product.
An amber-colored beer first brewed in seventeenth-century London; versions range from low-alcohol and sweet to stronger and moderately bitter.
Made from pale malt and gently roasted barley, the American versions tend to be spicy with a strong hop flavor.
IPA (India Pale Ale)
First brewed for British troops in nineteenth-century India, the IPA is a sub-category of pale ale. One of the most popular craft beer styles, it has a strong flavor of hops and a slightly bitter taste.
A strong German-style lager, bocks are deeply colored, rich in flavor with a hint of bitterness.
Very dark in color, porters are made with roasted malt or barley and have complex notes of chocolate, toffee and toasted grains.
Virtually black, stouts are high in alcohol and assertive in flavor, displaying notes of coffee, chocolate, molasses and licorice.