Beer is one of the world’s most favorite alcoholic drinks, along with wine, whiskey, and brandy. There are countless varieties and types of beer worldwide, each with their unique color and flavor. You can find beer anywhere from the United States and Japan to even Madagascar and Jamaica. Beer is typically served on its own or paired with a certain type of dish. Beer is often drunk in places like pubs, restaurants, bars, or even in the comfort of someone’s home. Beer is often drunk casually or consumed as a celebratory drink. Almost everybody recognizes the bitter taste present in a can of Japanese beer or a tall glass of German craft beer.
Generally, beer is classified into ales and lagers based on the type of yeast used during the fermentation process. Ales are made using yeast, which ferments on the top of the mixture, while lagers are produced with the help of yeast that ferments at the bottom of the beer mixture. Aside from this classification, beers could be further divided based on other factors ranging from color, texture, alcohol content, and much more. While many types of beer styles exist in several parts of the globe, here are the most common styles that you would see or taste:
1. Pale lagers and pilsners
Pale lagers and pilsners are one of the most commonly consumed types of beers all over the world. Also popular in Germany and the Czech Republic, this style of beer often features a golden color, light flavor, and low alcohol content, which often range from 3.2 to 5.6 percent. This type of beer can be paired with German, American, and Asian cuisines as well as spicy food.
2. Dark lagers
Despite their darker color compared to pale lagers and pilsners, dark lagers have a low level of bitterness and have a mid-range alcohol content, ranging from 3.8 to 6 percent. Dark lagers are also characterized by their malty, smooth, and toasted caramel flavors. Dark lagers could be consumed alongside different types of meat, German, American, and even Mexican cuisines.
Bocks are distinct for their sweet and nutty taste because of its heavy malty flavor. While traditional bocks tend to have a low alcohol content ranging from 6.3 to 7.5 percent, other types of bocks, such as doppelbocks, Weizenbock, and maibocks, feature a higher alcohol content of up to 8 percent. These beers could be paired with different kinds of foods, such as meat, chocolate, Italian, and German cuisines.
4. Brown ales
Known for its hop bitterness and a malty taste, brown ales have a toasty and caramel flavor and a mid-range alcohol content from 4 to 6.3 percent. Brown ales go well with American cuisine and different types of heavy foods such as meat, poultry, and even Gouda cheese.
5. Pale ales
Pale ales are known for being light and drinkable beers with an alcohol content lower than Indian Pale Ales or IPAs. While pale ales have a hint of hop bitterness, their alcohol content ranges from 3 to 6.1 percent. Pale ales go well with different kinds of dishes and cuisines, such as fish, spicy food, and different cheese varieties.
6. Indian Pale Ales (IPAs)
Boasting a high alcoholic content which could go as low as 5 percent and as high as 14 percent. Indian Pale Ales or IPAs have a strong hop bitterness with floral and piney flavors that could go well with American and Indian cuisines, fish, meat, and different kinds of cheese such as parmesan and gorgonzola.
Being chocolatier than brown ales and less coffee-like than stouts when it comes to flavor, porters are characterized for their dark color and a chocolaty flavor with a hint of coffee and caramel. Porters tend to be paired with heavy foods like stew and meat and American and English cuisine. Porters also have alcoholic content, which could range from 4.5 to 12 percent.
Stouts are typically dark, just like porters, but they offer a much stronger, roasted flavor and have mid to high alcohol levels, from 3.8 to 12 percent. Stouts are often drunk with heavy foods, chocolate, Mexican cuisine, and seafood.
9. Belgian style beers
Belgian beers are distinct for their sweet, spiced, and fruity flavors, and they are typically low in bitterness. However, they pack a high alcohol content, which often ranges from 4.4 to 15 percent. Belgian style beers are also complemented with different types of cuisines, meat, and poultry.
10. Wheat beers
Wheat beers, as their name suggests, use wheat as their malt. They have light color with a tangy flavor that goes well with fruit. They also feature a lower alcohol content ranging from 2.8 to 5.6 percent. Wheat beers are often paired with meat, seafood, soft cheeses, and spicy food.
While many kinds and styles of beer exist worldwide, there are common types that could be seen in many places around the globe and could complement different kinds of cuisines especially home brewed beers. Nevertheless, beer is one cultural constant that different people enjoy from all over the world, who adds their own flavors in their beers to represent their culture.