Beer is one of the oldest consumed type of alcohol known to man. There is no universally accepted list of types of beers, as such so, the classification given below is broad and basic. Beer may be classified on the basis of appearance, flavour, ingredients, production/ fermentation method, history, or origin. All types of beer brands do not necessarily manufacture the various types.
How Many Types of Beer in World:
Talking in a broad sense, Beers can basically be classified into three chief categories. The basic science behind this classification & hence the types of Beers is based on the temperature of fermentation & method that is used to carry out fermentation. Four major categories of Beer are:
These three are then further sub classified into many further types of Beers based on their specific characteristics.
Talking about the Ales first, this type of Beer is left to undergo fermentation at warmer temperatures that lie somewhere around 65 To 75 degrees Fahrenheit for shorter periods of time as compared to Lager beers. Also, the variety of Yeast that is used to carry out the fermentation of Ales Beer floats over the top of liquid for a few, initial number of days and subsequently, sinks to the bottom of the tank pushing further the process of fermentation. The taste of Ales Beers is on a sweeter side and they have a tasty, crisp flavour. They are one of the oldest types of beers have been brewed since almost 5000 years.
A number of different types of Grains can be applied to make Ales Beer. Based on what type of Grain is used for Brewing the beer, the colour of Ales Beer can range from Golden Yellow to the one with a tinge of Brown to deep Amber Brown.
Let Us Have A Look At Some Popular Variants Of Ales Beer:
1. Amber Ale:
They are deeper in colour and that is why the name AMBER ALE. This beer is sweet in taste due to presence of considerably higher amounts of sugars or malt. A good example of this kind is the Fat Tire Amber Ale and also the Budweiser American Ale.
2. Pale Ale:
The name itself suggests that the colour of this type of Ale beer is lighter and hence the name Pale ale. It is sweet in taste and is loaded with malt and hops. You can try out Sierra Nevada which is a popular type of Pale Ale.
3. Irish Ale:
This type of Ale beer is Red in color and has a sweet taste. Killian’s Irish Red can be cited as an example.
4. Barley Wine:
Its colour is on a darker side and can vary between hues of deep amber to even of blackish. This one is a tasty beer that has a sweet, delightfully fruity flavour. The alcohol content of this beer is on a higher side.
The contents of this beer are mainly dark, roasted Barley. This beer is essentially malt free and contains very less quantity of hops. The coffeeish flavour or a Chocolate after taste is unique to stouts.
6. Bitter Ale:
Unlike most of its Ale counterparts that are sweeter in taste, this Ale is bitter in taste. It contains hops that give this pale coloured Ale an appealing aroma. Example: Forster’s Special Bitter.
7. India Pale Ale (IPA):
This one again has a prominent, bitter taste as well as aroma. It has a rich Golden colour.
This variant of Ale is brewed from the grains of richly roasted malt and is darker in shade. It has a quirky, crisp taste and medium viscosity. example: Jack Porter.
Coming to the Lagers variety of beers now, these types of beers have been around for a few hundred years now. These types of beers are fermented at relatively lower temperatures as compared to the Ale beers; say 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the type of yeast used settles at the bottom of the tank. Since these are fermented at cooler/ cellar temperatures, the formation of by products and esters are limited giving the Lager type of beers has a clean, crisp and smooth aroma and flavour.
This beer is dark in colour with only slight alcoholic strength. Its flavour has hints of cocoa and coffee beans like smell.
Shiner Bock and Michelob Amber Bock are amongst the best varieties of Bock beers available. These are darker in shade with a flavorful taste ranging from malty to hoppy.
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It is a relatively thick type of beer that is dark Brown in colour. example: Samuel Adams Octoberfest.
12. Pale Lager:
While some Lagers are darker in shade, there are others that are pale in colour, too being almost straw coloured. These have a moderate alcoholic content and are carbonated in nature.Theflavour is zesty, filtered and malty. Example: Pilsner lagers
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13. Munich Dark Pale:
Originated from Munich, this dark coloured beer has an aromatic amalgamation of malty and coffee tastes.
This one is a thick beer with caramel/ chocolate fused malty taste.
15. Lambic Beer:
This is a relatively uncommon type of beer that makes use of wild yeast for the fermentation process.
5 Popular Beer Types In India:
India is home to many beer types that are quite famous for their taste and affordability. Let us take a look at the 5 top Beer Types In India:
Hoegaarden is the most popular beer type of India. It is made up of whole wheat and is known for its strong bitter taste. This beer is not filtered and hence has a creamy consistency.
Heineken is a light beer with 5% alcohol in Pale Ale Style. This beer is originated by the Dutch, and gained immense popularity in India. The chilled version of this beer is going to make you crave for more on a hot summer day.
Oranjeboom is another dutch originated beer, which is famous for its strength. It falls into the lager variety and generally served in taps. Unlike its name, it has no hints of orange and takes its name from the orange tree, which was the symbol of the dutch royalty.
Budweiser is a renowned beer in India. Originated in Brazil, this beer is India’s most loved. It is produced using barley and rice. Budweiser falls into the Lager pale ale variety and is consumed as a light drink.
5. Stout By Windmills Craft works:
This beer type is the strongest among Indian beers. It is brewed by a Windmills Craft works, a brewery in India. It is a smooth beer, with bold, black color and has bitterness due to hops. It is brewed using roasted and flaked barley with a UK based malt.
These are types of beers that have a high content of malts and alcohol giving these a dark colour mostly. Initially, this variety of beer was brewed for Royal families only thus, the name Imperial.
Apart from the varieties mentioned here, there are still many more types of beer that are produced by blending different varieties of beer, external flavors in form of fruits, vegetables and spices. Today, many hybrid varieties of beer are available, out there in bars which are more or less a cross between Ales and Lagers.
I hope, after going through this article, you are quite well versed with the different types of beers available.