Types of Beer: A Guide & List to Different Styles
There are over 50+ different types of beer and there are even more ways to categorize them—by flavour, by type, by color, by bitterness, by ingredients, etc. In this post we’ll cover a list of the popular beer types and styles and help you better-understand beer beyond ales and lagers.
By The Beer Community on Aug. 26, 2019
What is a “Beer Style”?
Simply put, beer styles are how we classify different types of beer.
This classification of beer is based on how the beer is made; this includes factors such as process, ingredients, fermentation methods, and often, the history or place of origin of the beer. Bring these factors together and you end up with a beer style. The most common (and most broad) categorization of beer groupings are by yeast & fermentation, Ales (Top-Fermenting) or Lagers (Bottom-Fermenting) but in this article we want to get into the details beyond these two groupings.
Beers made the same way will generally have similar flavours
The process in which a beer is made affects the flavour. This is why many “main stream” beers like Budweiser, Miller, and Molson Canadian all generally have a similar taste (light, crisp & “crushable“)—they’re all the same style of beer, made in a similar method (with similar ingredients) and are classified as pale or light lagers.
Beer Styles are one way to categorize and organize the many types of beer. Other examples of popular beer styles are IPAs, Amber Ales or Sour Ales. All three of these beer styles are classified as “Ales”, but they are distinct in flavour as a result of their ingredients, appearance, and how they are made (fermenting process).
The Many Types of Beer
There are over 100+ distinct styles of beer (over 73 different ales, more than 25 different lagers and a handful of hybrid styles) but to confuse the classification process, there are even more ways to group and/or sub-categorize beer. For example you could group beers by flavour, by colour, by bitterness, by ingredients, by region/country, by alcohol percentage, and so on.
Further down in this post we’ve included a list of the more-common beer types you’ll encounter. Understanding these can help you better-understand beer beyond just ales and lagers, and (more importantly) it can give you insight into the other beers you might find appealing or why you like the style that you like.
Did you know that all beers are either an ale, lager or hybrid?
Learn more about the difference between lagers, ales and hybrids.
What are the different
List of Popular Beer Types:
A Guide to Different Styles
Amber Ale / Dark Ale
Amber Lager / Dark Lager
Belgian IPA / White India Pale Ale
Double IPA / Imperial IPA
Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Golden Ale / Blonde Ale
Golden Lager / Pale Lager
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Sour Ale / Wild Ale
Grouping Beer Types – by Flavour
Heads up! The styles of beer are one way to we organize and categorize beer, but it should not to be confused with the profiles of beer! Beer Profiles group beer styles by their common flavours. For example, a Blonde Ale and a Czech Pilsner both classify as crisp and clean beers due to their mild flavours similar to the light lagers mentioned above. These are not the same beer styles, but they all generally have a mild and somewhat similar taste. If you want to figure out which beers you’ll like, check out this post on choosing the perfect group of beers for you.
Now that you know about the different styles of beer, learn more! You may also like…
- The 7 Flavour Groupings of Beers
- Choosing a Beer Style & Flavour You’ll Actually Like
- What is Beer?
- What is Homebrewing?
- Ale vs Lager – What’s the Difference?
- Beer vs Cider – What’s the Difference?
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What is a Red, Dark or Amber Ale?
At the most basic level an amber ale is a beer that is…red (surprise)! For more information about this beer, including flavour, food pairings, and comparable styles, read on…
What is a Pale Ale?
Pale Ales: where they come from, their appearance, flavour & aroma, palate & mouthfeel, food pairings and serving suggestions are all explained in this Beer Styles 201 article.