National Beer Day: Types of Beers and their Origin
April 7th is National Beer Day, a day where we can raise a toast to the oldest and most venerable of all beverages. People have been making beer for over 5,000 years; in fact, the oldest recorded recipe we known to man is for beer. We recently talked about the history of beer and how the famous drink evolved to become one of the most consumed beverages in the world.
This time though, we are going to dig into specific types and its diverse realm of taste. In terms of alcohol content, beer usually ranges between 4-7% ABV, meaning you can sip a cold one on a hot summer day without much worry of intoxication. There are many ways to describe the characteristics of a beer, but the main ones are taste, color, and ABV. An IBU, or international bitterness unit, is a measure of a beer’s bitterness. The lower the number, the less bitter the beer is.
A beer can qualify as either a lager or an ale; depending on the fermentation process, their specific styles and flavors continue to evolve from there. Under the broad ale category, there are numerous types of beer, including pale ales, India pale ales (IPA), porters, stouts, wheat and Belgian styles. Lagers encompass a range of styles, including the pale Pilsners, German Helles and the darker American lagers. Here’s how to break down beer styles so you sound like a pro at the bar.
Lagers are the typical entry point into beer for new drinkers. Made with bottom fermenting yeast that have a lower tolerance to alcohol, lagers can taste light and a little malty. Classic lagers in America include Miller High Life, Coors, Budweiser and Yuengling.
India Pale Ales (IPAs), which encompass numerous styles of beer, get their characteristics largely from hops and herbal, citrus or fruity flavors. They can be bitter and contain high alcohol levels, though the final product depends on the variety of hops used. Some IPAs can taste like pure citrus, while others are strong and bitter. Prominent IPA styles include West Coast IPAs, British IPAs and New England Style IPAs.
Pale Ales are usually hoppy but carry a lower alcohol content than IPAs. Most types of pale ales, which can include American amber ales, American pale ales, blonde ales and English pale ales, are malty, medium-bodied, and easy to drink.
Pilsners, which originate from the Czech Republic, fall under the lager category. German pilsners give off a pale gold color and crisp flavor, while Czech pilsners are a little darker with higher bitterness.
Stauts are dark beers; the flavor of a stout depends on where they come from. Sweet stouts originate from Ireland and England and are known for their low bitterness. In fact, Ireland’s Guinness brand produces some of the world’s most recognizable stout beers. Stouts produced in the U.S. combine the typical dark body and creamy notes with the hoppy bitter flavors characterized by American beers. American stouts are strong, highly roasted, bitter and hoppy, with high malt flavors that give them the taste of coffee or dark chocolate.
Traditional porters, which can trace their roots to the United Kingdom, are dark in color like stouts due to common ingredients like chocolate or other dark-roasted malts. Porters tend to taste less like coffee than stouts, with more of a chocolatey feel.
Belgium’s rich beer culture has poured into the U.S. over the years, giving enthusiasts on this side of the Atlantic a deep appreciation for the wide variety of Belgian-style flavors. Belgian beers span pale ales, dark ales, fruity beers and sour ales. Belgian-style beers carry fruity, spicy and sweet flavors with a high alcohol content and low bitterness.
Wheat beers rely on wheat for the malt ingredient, which gives the beverage a light color and alcohol level that makes it perfect for kicking back during the summer and for combining it with fruit, like a slice of lemon or orange. Some wheat beers, with their funky and tangy flavors, fall under Belgian-style brews while the ones made in the U.S. have a light flavor that tastes bread.
Sour beer has shot up in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years, becoming an enticing beverage to people looking to branch out their beer palates or to those wanting to try something new. Highly tart, sour beers can take on many forms, including Belgian-style Lambic beer, fruity Flanders ale and lemony Berliner Weisse beer. With the addition of fruits like cherry, raspberry or peach, sour beers marry sweet and sour to make beer flavors completely unlike the lagers and IPAs.
Best LGBTQ+ Bars and Clubs in Hillcrest, San Diego
The Hillcrest neighborhood is where the majority of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community resides. It includes the first the world’s first gay brewery and several other bars and clubs exclusive to members of the community. So, let’s take a look at a few of the best…
Healthy Recipe: Fruity Vegan Ice-Cream
Ice cream is definitely one of the world’s most favorite sweets – from kids to adults, everyone loves it! It is a perfect sweet delight to chill us out during the hot summer days. To make ice cream suitable for everyone, here is an easy…
The Mission – East Village’s Urban Bistro
Dining out at a good restaurant in San Diego can be overwhelming simply due to the abundance of choices you have! Any food-lover has a list of places they must try, and we suggest that The Mission – East Village be on that list! How…
Foods around the World: European Delight
Europe is home to some of the best global foods. Most of these foods are well-known but many others often slip under the radar. Read on to know about some of the most and less common – but equally irresistible – cuisines across Europe.
Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
Tradition goes a long way in cooking; adding a layer of depth that cannot be found in contemporary cuisine. One such restaurant in San Diego is the Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. They follow the Gaucho way of grilling meat and the centuries-old tradition of…
Civico – Authentica Cucina Italiana
Civico is a well-known five-star Italian restaurant in San Diego. Whether you’re craving a plate of hand-made pasta or rich cannoli, Civico has a variety of dishes true to Italian cuisine! Uniquely Italian Civico is unique in that it is an Italian restaurant that offers…
Leave a Reply