Craft Beer Styles
Brewed from English hops and pale malts they are a mix of fruity, hoppy, earthy, buttery and malty aromas and flavours, not unlike a classic Bitter. They fall anywhere on the colour spectrum between golden and reddish amber.
Steeped in extra hops, the English Indian Pale Ale is a stronger version of a Pale Ale. English hops give a earthy/floral character and increased alcohol content. English yeast lend a fruity character to the flavour and aroma, offering a contrast to the hop additions. This style strikes a balance between malt and hops for a more rounded flavour.
AMERICAN PALE ALE
Clean and hoppy with the piney, citrusy Cascade hop variety appearing frequently. Hop aroma can range from lightly floral to bold and pungent. Expect a good balance of caramel malt and expressive hops with a medium body and a mildly bitter finish.
WEST COAST IPA
Colour can range from very pale golden to reddish amber. Hops are the star here, and those used tend to be American with an emphasis on herbal, piney, and/or fruity (especially citrusy) varieties. Bitterness levels vary, but typically run moderate to high. Medium bodied with a clean, bready, and balancing malt backbone.
NEW ENGLAND IPA
Emphasising hop aroma and flavour without bracing bitterness, the NEIPA leans heavily on late and dry hopping techniques to deliver a bursting juicy, tropical hop experience. The skillful balance of technique and ingredient selection, often including the addition of wheat or oats, lends an alluring haze to this popular take on the American IPA.
Usually gold to copper in color, most examples are light bodied and low in carbonation. Intended to be sessionable, alcohol should be low and not perceived on the palate. The hop bitterness is moderate to assertive. Most English Bitters have a fruitiness in the aroma and flavour.
Dry, light to medium body with light malty sweetness. Low to medium hop bitterness with minimal aroma. Slight fruit flavour with medium to high carbonation. Light yellow to golden blonde in colour with no chill haze. All malt, dry, crisp beer approximating a lager in overall character.
Malty and sweet on the palate with a fuller body. Colour can range from a medium amber/reddish hue to dark brown. Some versions will lean towards fruity esters, while others tend to be drier with nutty characteristics. Roasty malt notes give this style complexity, but almost every example has both a minimal amount of hop aroma and low degree of hop bitterness.
Similar in many ways to Bitter, yet not as hoppy, the English Mild Ale is a delicate, malt-forward brew. This style ranges from a pale amber to a deep amber or even an amber brown. Fruitiness and buttery in the nose, while hops are generally subdued yet offer a balancing bitterness. The low alcohol range makes this type of ale a perfect session beer.
This is a modern, non-traditional style and many of these beers borrow heavily from the characteristics associated with more classical styles such as Pale Ales or Bitters. Amber Ales are light to medium bodied and can be anywhere from light copper to light brown in colour. Flavours can vary from generic and quaffable to serious craft brewed styles with extravagant hoppy aromas and full malt character. Typically Amber Ales are quite malty but not heavily caramelised in flavour.
Red/Ruby Ales use specialty roasted malts that create a unique complexity within the finished beer and gives it a sweeter, butterscotch or caramelised flavour. The use of American hops varieties gives the beer very bold hops characteristics and tends to leave a dry finish. This brew can range from a light amber/red to a dark brown with red hues. While Red Ales are darker and usually rich, they also contain components of a much lighter beer with a dry, crisp and hoppy finish.
Typically dark brown to pitch black in colour. A common profile among Stouts, but not in all cases, is the use of roasted barley (unmalted barley that is kilned to the point of being charred) which lends a dry character to the beer as well as a huge roasted flavour that can range from burnt to coffee to chocolate. Traditional English Stout recipes rely on bitterness from the roasted grain to provide a dry finish and consequently tend to show very little hop character.
Typically brewed using a pale malt base with the addition of black malt, crystal, chocolate or smoked brown malt. Some brewers will also age their beers after inoculation with live bacteria to create an authentic taste of the past. Hop bitterness is moderate on the whole and the colour ranges from brown to black.
Unlike modern brewing which is done in a sterile environment to guard against the intrusion of wild yeast, historically the starter used from one batch to another usually contained some wild yeast and bacteria. Sour beers are made by intentionally allowing wild yeast strains or bacteria into the brew, traditionally through the barrels or during the cooling of the wort in a coolship open to the outside air.
A style of beer originating in Cologne, Germany. In appearance, it is bright and clear with a straw-yellow hue. It is a pale, highly attenuated, hoppy, brigh top-fermenting beer. It is warm fermented with top-fermenting yeast, then conditioned at cold temperatures like a lager.
A warm fermented beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. It is usually brewed with at least 50% of the grain bill being malted wheat. Dominant flavours in a Gose include a lemon sourness, a herbal characteristic and a strong saltiness. The salty taste is the result of either local water sources or added salt. Gose beers typically do not have prominent hop bitterness, flavours or aroma.
As a beer style, Saison began as a pale ale brewed in the cooler, less active months in farmhouses in Wallonia, the French speaking region of Belgium, and stored for drinking in the summer months. Brewing outside the summer months was common for all brewers before the invention of refrigeration, due to the likelihood of the beer spoiling while fermenting in the summer, during the height of airborne bacteria activity. Modern Saisons are generally highly carbonated, fruity and spicy, sometimes from the addition of spices.
Extra strong, rich and weighty lagers characterized by an intense malty sweetness with a note of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. Colour can vary from full amber to dark brown and alcohol levels are high. Doppelbocks were first brewed by the Paulaner monks in Munich.
Usually top fermented and brewed with a large proportion of wheat relative to the amount of malted barley. The two main varieties are Weissbier, based on the German tradition, and Witbier, based on the Belgian tradition. While each style is brewed with a significant amount of wheat, other factors such as the standard yeast strain or hops used can significantly change the characteristics of the style.
Radler is German for cyclist and is the equivalent of a British shandy and is usually lower in alcohol than other beers. A blend of lager or wheat beer with lemonade or citrus fruit juice from lemon or grapefruit. Wonderfully effervescent and thirst quenching yet malty.
Barley Wine typically reaches an alcohol strength of 6% to 12%. Use of the word 'wine' is due to its alcoholic strength similar to wine, but since it is made from grain rather than fruit, it is a beer. There are two primary styles, the American, which tends to be hoppier and more bitter with colours ranging from amber to light brown and the English style which tends to be less bitter and may have little hop flavour, with more variety in colour ranging from red-gold to opaque black. There are other variations, including Wheat Wine and Rye Wine, which, as the names suggest, use different grains in the mash.
This hybird ale is created by mixing apple juice with beer wort and then fermenting it with ale yeast. It is defined as a fruit beer or apple based beer and which dates back to around 7000 B.C. Malts, different yeast strains and additional spices and herbs can be added for more complexity and depth.
If you can't decide between a cool, refreshing lager or a flavoursome IPA then a cold IPA may suit you as they combine the best of both. Brewed with a typical IPA grain bill, but bottom fermented with a lager yeast and conditioned cold, they are crisp and refreshing with a burst of aroma and flavour from the hops.