breweryThe number of operational breweries in the U.S grew approximately 15% in 2015 to a total of 4,629 breweries. Despite the number of breweries in the U.S., many people don’t have a full understanding of just how many different types of beer there are in the world. Here’s a short guide to help begin your alcohol education.

Beer Types
Ales are typically recognizable by their full-bodied flavors that often have notes of fruit or spice in them. In addition, they’re typically darker than lagers as a result of the brewing process.

The term lager has roots in the German lagern which translates roughly to “storage.” The name refers to the way this type of beer is stored, usually for several months in near-freezing temperatures. Pilsners are included in the lager family, which happens to be the best-selling beer in the world.

Stouts and Porters
Porters and stouts are often referred to interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between them. Porters are dark, fruity, and like ales, are brewed with roasted malt to improve color and flavor. Stouts, on the other hand, are not as sweet and are flavored using barley. This gives them a distinctly coffee-like flavor.

Beer Styles
There are more beer styles than you can count, so we’ll only cover a few of them here. Stay tuned for more blogs to come!

Amber beers are popular as a result of their versatility. These beers typically feature full bodied malt flavors and can be lagers or ales.

Blonde beers are usually quite pale in color and lean towards crisp, dry flavors. Depending on the ingredients used, they can be either very bitter or semi-sweet.

Brown ales typically have hints of chocolate or caramel in them. In addition, they may have notes of citrus or nutty flavors depending on where and how they were brewed.

Cream, as the name suggests, offers a very smooth flavor and finish for the drinker. In addition, it’s a very mild beer that typically is classified as a style of ale.

These are just a few of the many types of beer you can buy at your local brewery. Local beer usually offers a unique twist on these styles, so make sure you’re trying new things at your favorite brewery!