Beer Styles What's the Difference?

Ales:
Amber Ale: Amber to red colored, this ale should be defined more by the malt than by the hopping. Aromas will vary widely, but should be light on the stomach. Barley Wine: A strong full-bodied dark ale with medium to high hop bitterness. The ale will have alcohol taste and forceful fruit aromas. Most barley wines will have a very high alcohol by weight percentage usually close to the 10% region. Bitter: This amber to copper colored beer is highly hopped and quite bitter. Usually, it is served in English pubs but can be found in some North American breweries. Brown Ale: A lightly-hopped brown colored ale with nutty and fruit overtones. This style is designed for easy drinking and has an alcohol content of 4%- 5% by volume. American Pale Ale: Demonstrates a bitter hoppiness with fruitiness. Color is pale to deep amber, reddish or copper. English Pale Ale: Color is pale to deep amber or copper. High hoppiness subdued with fruit. Has nice medium body. India Pale Ale: IPAs have a nice deep-coppery color. Very high in hops, they often have fruity and malt-flavored with a hint of alcohol. The name was derived from the high rates of hopping used to preserve ales during the long sea journey from Europe to India. Porter: Black or chocolate malt contributes to the dark brown to black color. A porter should have various levels of roastiness, as well as coffee, chocolate or fruit. Porters are drier and have weaker flavors than stouts. Dry Stout: Color is opaque black. The addition of roasted barley or flaked barley produced a coffee-like character. Imperial Stout: Color is dark copper to black. Shows forceful alcoholic and fruity flavors. Created as an export to the frozen tundra of Czarist Russia. Milk Stout: Has black opaque color. Demonstrates a malty sweet with a lower alcohol content than dry stout. The name reflects the addition of milk sugar as a sweetener. Resembles strong porters. Oatmeal Stout: Very similar to milk stout, but has a sweeter taste caused by the addition of oats. Will have a silky and smooth texture.

Lagers:
North American Lager: This style is the most popular style in North America with more than 95% of all beer consumed. Made with rice or corn in addition to barley malt. Budweiser would fit in this category. Bock: Bocks are full-bodied, strong, and high in alcohol content. A regular bock usually has at least 6% alcohol content, while dopplebock has 7% or more. This bottom fermented beer should have chocolate or mocha notes, and an obvious malt and hops presence. Helles Bock, a lighter version, both in color and taste, is somewhat sweeter and softer. Malt Liquour: A pale light-bodied lager with a high alcohol content. Regulations in some states require beers over a certain alcohol content to be labeled malt liquors. Pilsener: Pilsner lager was first introduced in 1842 in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Mediumbodied with moderate bitterness and a unique hop flavor and aroma. Pilsener, the palest of all lagers, is the most widely brewed beer style in the world. Try the original pilsner, Pilsner Urquell. Dunkel or Dark Lager: A dunkel should be dark in color with a malt-dominated aroma. Most good dark lagers should have caramel or chocolate flavors. Vienna or Marzen Lager: Amber to reddish in color. Toasted malt flavors dominates. Originally, German brewers would brew beer in March (Marzen), and would be stored until October for the fall festivals. Specialty Beers: Abbey or Trappist Ales: Strong dark ales produced at Trappist monasteries in Europe. Only five monasteries are allowed to use the Trappist appellation. If you try an ale from Chimay, you will not forget it. Lambic: Lambics are wheat bears with fruit added to them. Fruit is blended into them giving it a distinct taste. Low carbonation and a very dry.