We're here to help
Overwhelmed by the vast selection of beers at the local market? Stumped when asked if you prefer ales or lagers?
If the answer is yes, then this is for you – a beginner's guide to the main styles of ales and lagers.
What shade is your beer?
The color of beer is mostly controlled by the malt that is used to brew it.
Most recipes combine different malts that create the color we see.
Pick a shade:
What's in your beer?
The three main ingredients are water, malt (barley grain that has been kiln dried) and hops (a cone-like fruit grown on vines). From the combination of these ingredients and the fermenting yeast used during brewing come the many colors, flavors and aromas of beer.
Beers have style?
The most common beer styles are ales and lagers. When other ingredients are used to enhance the flavor such as wheat, pumpkin, honey, spices, fruit, smoked malt or chile peppers, the beer is known as a specialty beer.
The alcohol content of beer is measured in percent by volume (ABV). The low end is around 2 percent rising up to a sky-high 25 percent! Most beers have an ABV of 4 to 6 percent.
Pint glass 101
Pint glasses come in different styles. English pint glasses include nonic, imperial and tulip styles. The Becker is the German's pint. Both English and German pint glasses hold 20 ounces. The American pint (tumbler or conical-shaped) glass is the most common style and holds 16 ounces.
Don't Miss
Research: Mark Nowlin | Design: Frank Mina | Graphics: Kelly Shea | Development: Audrey Carlsen and Emma O'Neill
Sources: "The Brewers Association Guide to American Craft Beer," 2009, Brewers Association; 2008 BJCP Style Guidelines; Washington Brewers Guild; Seattle Public Library, reference librarians; samueladams.com/world_of_beer.aspx; beertutor.com; greatbrewers.com; beeradvocate.com; beerhistory.com; globalmalt.com