What Are the Most Common Types of Beer?

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Beer bottles are often brown to protect the contents from a process known as “Skunking.” Brown bottles, along with cans, shield the beer from light that can catalyze a chemical reaction that results in an odd smell and taste.

This is definitely something to keep in mind when buying beer, as clear bottles might provide an awful drinking experience.

Given the vast variety of types of beer, though, it’s hard to find the right one for you. Consider reading ahead on the most common types of beer and which ones might fit your flavor profile.

Beer Flavors

What started as a simple process of fermenting bread in water for a few days has now branched off into various techniques to create a seemingly infinite number of brews. These involve the clash of ingredients like hops, barley, and yeast, along with different durations of fermentation.

The different types of beer are divided primarily into two categories. These are lagers and ales. Lagers are fermented for more extended periods at lower temperatures. This process creates a more mellow flavor with a smoother taste. Ales offer a more sweet and full-bodied taste.

Malted cereal grains and hops are the two ingredients that most impact the final flavor of a beer. “Malty” flavors make for a sweeter beer and can make them darker and heavier.

The “hoppy” alternative is bitter and often used to balance the sweetness from malts. Hops usually add a fruity, citrus, or herbal flavor to beer. Hops spend more time in barrels and became popular in shipments from India to England.

Common Types of Beer

The advent of home-brewing has given rise to a plethora of artisanal beers; they’re all over the place nowadays. However, most people drinking beer stick to what many consider “classics.” They’re the typical go-to’s for any social gathering, and their classic flavors are almost always a hit.

If you’re interested in buying beer, but don’t know where to start, consider playing it safe and taking a look at the following most common types of beer.

American Lager

The American lager is one of the most popular beers around. It’s a straw-colored brew with mild hops and low alcohol content. It’s also a light drink with plenty of bubbles, making it perfect for hot days and cold nights alike.

American lagers generally have a soft grainy flavor and often have a background fruity taste. This is a result of a balanced mix of hops and malt.

American Pale Ale

Pale ale is considered the first stepping stone into the world of American craft beer. It’s a food-friendly option that’s soft on the palate. It has enough flavor to justify drinking it without a dish. Pale ales have an amber color, moderate hop flavor, and medium body.

India Pale Ale (IPA)

India pale ales, known as IPAs, are another popular option. They’re slightly darker than pale ales, with a much stronger taste. This is thanks to its higher concentration of hops, first used as a way to preserve the beer for longer.

IPAs tend to have much higher levels of alcohol, generally between 7 and 10%. Drinking an IPA without a meal might be a bit more difficult than the alternatives. You’ll want to eat cheese, red meat, and fish with this one.

Stout

Stouts are the darkest beers out there! To many, it’s also one of the most interesting in terms of flavors. There’s quite a variety, including a backdrop of roasted malt, espresso, burnt bread, and unsweetened chocolate. It has a wonderful combination of a sweet and sharp taste.

Stout is rarely mixed with meals. However, you can enjoy it with soups and roasts.

Pilsner

Pilsners are a type of lager, but with much more flavor. It’s a pale gold, similar to the American pale ale, but it’s more transparent and has a sharper taste. While it’s pretty bitter, it maintains a highly refreshing taste. Because the pilsner is so dry, you’ll want to pair it with chicken, shortbread, chicken, and mild cheeses.

Wheat Beer

Wheat beers are the polar opposite of stouts. They’re also quite versatile, allowing for multiple sub-categories. It has a more orange coloration but, in similar fashion to pale ales, it’s also quite clear. The herbs used for wheat beers add a citrusy accent with some soft spices. You’ll want a wheat beer with fish, pasta, and fruit.

Drinking Beer: Why it’s Popular

Of all the alcoholic beverages you can grab in the summer months, beer seems to be the most popular. This holds true year-round, though, primarily thanks to its amazing variety of flavors and a few fantastic benefits.

It’s not just the beer itself, though, that adds to its popularity. Beer accessories, like customizable koozies and coolies, make it a lot more fun to get together with friends for some social drinking. Consider reading ahead on some of the benefits of drinking beer, though.

Some Benefits of Beer

First of all, beer is actually quite nutritious. It comes packed with a ton of protein and vitamin B. And, in most cases, you’ll also find calcium, phosphates, fiber, and iron in beers.

Additionally, beer can actually prevent kidney stones. It improves kidney function to a degree and functions as a diuretic. This is what keeps you heading to the bathroom constantly while drinking beer.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, beer can help reduce stress. The sweet spot is two glasses a day. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that alcohol for stress reduction can cause dependency and lead to alcoholism. So, make sure you limit how much you drink to relax.

The fact that drinking beer can improve cognitive function is actually quite surprising. Most would expect that a depressant, alcohol in this case, would have a negative impact on the mind. However, a moderate consumption of alcohol has shown long-term improvements in cognitive capacity.

Drinking Beer: Popular for a Reason

There are many types of beer, so it’s easy to get lost when picking a type for any event. It all depends on personal preference, but there’s a beer for every situation. Soft, light, and refreshing wheat or pale ales can revitalize on a hot summer day. Dark, smooth, and sharp stouts fit better for the winter months.

Hopefully, this quick guide on the various types of beer, along with the benefits of drinking beer, helped you pick the right type for any occasion. If it did, consider taking a look at the other posts on the site for more useful information!