Bitterness and aroma that comes from the flower of the hop plant.
Grains are steeped to provide deep, dark flavors and body to beer.
A standard of measure for the amount of alcohol that is in a beer.
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A lager is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. Dark lagers typically range in color from amber to dark reddish brown. Some examples of this style are amber lager, dunkel, märzen/Oktoberfest, schwarzbier, or Vienna depending on the region, color or brewing method.
Hybrid beers are neither ales nor lagers. By applying unique production methods, brewers are able to create something remarkably unique with hybrid beers, which can range from cream ales to a delightful Kölsch.
Wheat beer is a style of beer brewed with a large portion of wheat malt. It can come in many varieties including Witbier, Weissbier, Dunkelweizen, and Hefeweizen. Wheat beers are very refreshing and traditionally cloudy or hazy. The best know example of a wheat beer is a Bavarian “weizen” beer.
Pale lagers are very pale to golden in color with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of hop bitterness. Pilsener is a specific type of pale lager. The style originated in 1842 in the Czech Republic where the first pale lager, Pilsner Urquell, was created and is still being brewed today.
Pale ales are made by warm fermentation using predominately pale malt. They can range in color from pale golden to deep amber. Pale ales can be created in American or English style. This style has a nice balance between hoppiness and maltiness.
India pale ale is a hoppy beer style within the pale ale category. The term pale ale originated from an ale that had been brewed with pale malt. The ales of 18th century were lightly hopped and quite different from pale ales today. The first known India pale ales were said to have been developed with extra hops to withstand the long commute to India. By the 1860s, India pale ales were widely brewed in England, and were much more attenuated and highly hopped than porters and other ales.
Brown ale is a style of beer with a dark brown or reddish amber color. The term “brown ale” was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale, though the term had a different meaning then than it does today. By the 18th century, brown ales were lightly hopped and brewed with 100 percent brown malt. They are sweet, low in alcohol and have moderate bitterness. Fruity esters are acceptable.
Ireland is most well known for their stouts. Irish Stouts are black in appearance with a pronounced roasted flavor, often similar to coffee. They also have a thick, creamy, long-lasting, tan-to-brown colored head. Another style developed in Ireland is the Irish Red Ale. Irish Red Ales are amber to red in color with a medium body and clean finish. Some versions emphasize the caramel sweetness more, while others are biscuity in flavor with a roasted dryness.
Scottish-style ales are typically full-bodied and malty, with some of the classic examples being dark brown in color. Scottish ales are more lowly hopped than their English counterparts and often have a slightly viscous and sweet caramel malt character due to incomplete fermentation.
Bocks are deep gold to light amber in color. They tend to have a moderate to strong malt aroma, often with a lightly toasted quality and low melanoidins. Fruity esters should be low to none. Some alcohol may be noticeable, but not prominent. Bocks have a smooth, clean finish with no harshness or astringency.
Porter is a dark, malty style of beer developed in London during the 18th century. The name “porter” was adopted due to the brew’s immense popularity among the working class who carried goods around the city. Brewed with black or chocolate malt, porters are often well hopped and somewhat heavily malted. They tend to be sweet, with a significant caramel, nutty or toffee flavor, and an almost chewy characteristic to them.
While stouts and porters share many key elements, stouts are brewed with roasted barley and usually have a much thicker body. The word stout means strong, hence stout was the generic term for the strongest porter, typically 7% or 8% ABV, produced by a brewery. Stouts typically have coffee-like flavors, but also may have a bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate character in the palate. Stouts have a full body, creamy head and dry finish.
Belgian beer varies from blonde or golden ale to lambic and saison. When it comes to Belgian styles, you can have two beers that are technically the same, and feature the same attributes, but taste extremely different. Some of the common features in all Belgian styles are phenol aromas, which are produced by the yeast, and are usually described as clove-like, spicy, herbal and to some, bubblegum. Belgian styles are also known for their fruity esters, also originating from the yeast, which create an aroma of banana or fresh citrus. Lastly, many Belgian styles are bottle-conditioned or refermented in the bottle.
One of the unbound creations to come from the American craft beer revolution was strong ales. Unconstrained by a narrowly defined line of appearance, aroma, flavor, and strength, strong ales are extremely high in alcohol content. The color range run from light to dark; however, most fall somewhere between light amber and dark brown. While strong ales have a strong consumer appeal, many are costly or only available on special-release basis.
Wild beers are beers that are introduced to "wild" yeast or bacteria like Brettanomyces, Pediococcus or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer or gained from various "sour mash" techniques or even naturally occurring depending of the environment of the brewery. Regardless of which and how, the yeast often leaves a funky taste that can be interesting and enjoyable to many.
Specialty beers can run the gamut from barrel-aged to chocolate and coffee beer. They are typically regular beers brewed to a classic style (such as porter/stout or pale ale) but with some new flavor added. Others beers in this category are made from unusual fermented foods. The addition of fruits, herbs and spices, miscellaneous flavorings (such as licorice, smoke and hot pepper) and odd fermentables (such as honey, maple syrup and molasses) turn an ordinary beer into a specialty beer. In many ways, specialty beers are the most fun to try!
Cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from the unfiltered juice of apples. While the alcohol content may vary, in the United States ciders must contain at least 50 percent apple juice. Their appearance can range from cloudy with sediment to completely clear, while their color ranges from almost clear to amber to brown. Ciders tend to be classified from dry to sweet. All ciders are gluten free. If Ciders were a style of craft beer, they would be the 2nd largest segment behind IPA’s.
Flavored malt beverage is an alcoholic beverage that has added ingredients such as fruit juices and other flavorings.
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