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The American Homebrewers Association recognizes seventy beer styles.

Here is a description of the most common beer styles:

Lager: Two different types of yeast can be used to create alcohol. Bottom-fermenting yeast that ferments slowly at a low temperature creates a smoother, mellower beer. Lager beers are light in color, high in carbonation and tend to be less alcoholic than ales. Lagers are best served chilled (about 48 ?F/9 ?C).

Ale: The other type of yeast rises to the top during fermentation. It also ferments more rapidly and at a higher temperature, resulting in a more aromatic and fruity product. Real ale is produced using traditional methods, without pasteurization. Compared to lagers, ales have a lower amount of carbonation and should be served at a warmer temperature (54-56 ?F/12-13 ?C). Strong ales should be served at room temperature.

Amber: Malty, hoppy beers have a rich golden color. They can be ales or lagers and tend to be fuller bodied due to the addition of specialty grains.

Bitter: Highly hopped for a more dry and aromatic beer, bitter is pale in color but strong in alcohol content. It”s popular in British pubs.

Dark Beer: Beer becomes darker when the barley is kilned for a longer period of time. This also creates richer, deeper flavors from the roasted grain.

Fruit Beer: Fruit may be added either during the primary fermentation or later. Fruit beer is usually made with berries, although other fruits can be used.

India Pale Ale: The name is often shortened to IPA. This ale was originally brewed in England for export to India. The large quantities of hops added were intended as a preservative and to mask potential off-flavors that might develop during the long voyage.

Mild Beer: Developed as a sweeter and cheaper alternative to dark ales and porters. Mild beer was a popular beer in the mid-nineteenth century but has all but disappeared in most pubs.

Pilsner: This is the term for the classic lager originally developed in Czechoslovakia, a pale, golden-hued, light beer after which many mass-produced American beers are modeled. Pilsners should be served very cold (43 ?F/6 ?C).

Porter: Very bitter, very dark, this beer was developed in England as a “nourishing ” drink for manual laborers such as porters.

Stout: Very dark and heavy, with roasted unmalted barley and, often, caramel malt or sugar, stout was invented by Guinness as a variation on the traditional porter. Serve Guinness at a cool temperature (41-43 ?F/5-6 ?C).

Wheat Beer (Weizen): Malted wheat, in addition to barley, is used for this German style beer. Wheat beers were drunk prior to Prohibition and are experiencing a rebirth in the U.S. American wheat beers are markedly different from their German predecessors, which are “spicier. “

 Posted on : May 26, 2014