Beer-Top or Bottom Fermented Ales and Lagers
Beer generally falls into 2 main categories: those that are top fermented (ales) and those that are bottom fermented (lagers). The preceding refers to where the ingredients are added and allowed to ferment during brewing. The following is a brief explanation of the many styles in each category!
Ales (Top Fermented)
Pale amber to copper in colour, pale ales are brisk and refreshing. They are enjoying a revival of popularity in the U.S. and Canada. Some examples are: Ok Spring Pale Ale, Achor Liberty, Samuel Smith Pale Ale, and Sierra Nevada P.A
Reddish to dark brown in colour with a sweet caramel taste and lower alcohol content
That are usually served at room temperature. Some examples are: Newcastle nut brown, Manns Brown, and Samuel Smith Nut Brown.
Bronze to Deep Copper in Colour with a well hopped bitterness and some acidity in the After taste with low carbonation. Some examples are: Webster's Bitter, Rubbles Bitter, and (VB)Victoria Bitter.
Deep Bronze to very dark brown in colour with a well hopped and blended with an almost Expresso like taste. Porters are made with roasted, unmalted barley. Some examples are: Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, Sierra Neva Porter, an Anchor Porter
Extra dark to almost black in colur with a bitter almost "burnt chocolate" taste. Stouts are made with highly roasted malts which also gives, it's unique flavor. Some examples are: Guinness, dragon, and Samuel Smith
Light golden to copper in colur and sometimes cloudy. Wheat beers have a medium to full body, with a tart fruity and/or spicey taste. This brewing style contains a ratio of 40-70% wheat malt to barley malt and is served chilled usually with a slice of lemon. Some examples are: Schnider Weiss, Big Rock Grasshopper, and Maisel Weizen.
Amber in colour, sweet with a tart afterbite. Usually, fruit is added to brewing to add flavor. Yeast from the air stimulates spontaneous fermentation. Some examples are: Keriek-Lambic, Gueze-Lambic, and faro-Lambic.
Varies in colour and served at room temperature. It is extra strong with high alcohol cotent. It is rewed in abbeys in Belgium and Netherlands. Some examples are: Chimay, St. Sixtus, and orval.
Lagers (Bottom Fermented)
Usually golden in colour with a dry, medium to strong flowery hop aroma and subtle after taste. The world's most famous and most produced beer. Most North America brew styles are based loosely on this style. Some examples are : Pilsner Urquel, Berliner Pils, and Granville Island Pils.
Two styles, Dark Brown (Dunkle) and Light Golden in colour (Helles). It has a malty but Not excessively sweet taste. The "Helles" is more common but some examples are: Beck Dark (Dunkle), Heinken Dark (Dunkle), Tucher(Helles), And Dos Equis(Helles)
Deep gold in colour, also referred to as "blonde", with a balance of hopped and malty taste. Some examples are: dab, eku export, and dortmunder kronen classic.
Bocks and Dopplebocks
Medium dark to dark in colour, with a strong, heavy, robust flavour. Generally, it is brewed in early spring and autumn with a high alcohol content. A double (dopple) Bock is brewed and fermented twice and the alcohol content is even stronger! Some examples are: Celebrator Dopplebock and Granville Island Bock
Light Copper in colour, with taste profile of both lagers and ales. An example is: Anchor Steam, SF, U.S.A