The world of Beer is limitless and it is probably the oldest alcoholic beverage to be consumed. It not just tastes amazing but also has numerous health benefits. Beer is consumed all over the world and no occasion is complete without a chilled beer and a game of Beer Pong, be it an easy house party or a cocktail night. In fact, it is one of those drink that keeps on coming on the table again and again. There has been a major boom recently for microbreweries in India due to which more brands of beer are coming to India introducing us to its different flavours. Gone are the days when bartenders used to serve 1 or 2 glasses of beer on tap. Now, everyone has their refrigerators full of exotic beers from all around the world.
The type of yeast used to ferment beer distinguishes its different types. From classic Lagers to funky sour Ales, each type of beer is classified on the basis of its fermenting process. Further, there is differentiation on the basis of flavor, color, and aroma of the beer. There are probably 1000s of different types of beer as it is brewed all over the world, that makes them nearly as diverse as wine. If these varieties confuse you, take a look at the top 10 types of beer.
Lager beer is known for its foaming head and has a little sweetness like caramel. It has a light color and is a light tasting beer which is made by fermenting the yeast at the bottom. Lager is very popular in the US and few of the classic lagers are Bira 91, Budweiser, Miller High Life.
Best Paired With: Roast Chicken and Burgers
2. STOUT BEER
It is a rich, dark and thick beer and does not have a high content of alcohol. The flavor of stout depends on where they come from. Sweet stouts offset the bitterness and give a taste similar to Sweetened Espresso or Coffee and Cream. Guinness, Dupont Brewery, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, Hill Farmstead Brewery are few of the brands to try.
Best Paired With: Stews, Fish & Chips, Charcoal Grilled Meat
Ale is brewed from malted barley and is fermented on top. It is a full-bodied beer and has a darker color than Lagers. Ales are robust and complex with a variety of fruit and malt aromas and come in many varieties and brands including Bass Ale, Worthington's White Shield.
Best Paired With: Buffalo Wings, Pizza, Pasta
Pilsner is a light and refreshing hallmark of the beer family and has a low alcohol content. Pilsners are pale Lagers identified by their crisp body, lightness of color and superb drinkability on hot summer days. It was originated in the Czech Republic and now is a popular brewed beer in Japan. Stella Artois, Becks, Prima Pils, Harpoon Pilsner are few of the classics to go for.
Best Paired With: Salads, Salmo, Spicy Cheese
5. INDIAN PALE ALE (IPA)
Indian Pale Ale gets its features largely from hops and herbal, citrus and fruity flavors. The taste of IPA is bitter and strong and it contains a high level of alcohol. It is a mid-bodied, light color beer and is of many types like American I.P.A., Imperial I.P.A., and English I.P.A. few of the brands to try are Bira 91 The IPA, Dogfish Head Brewery.
Best Paired With: Lemon Tart, Goan Curry, Salmon Tacos
It was first introduced in U.K. and is known for its foamy head. Porter is brewed with a combination of roasted malt to impart flavour, color, and aroma. It is a dark beer and the taste of this beer reminds people of coffee and more than that, chocolate. The classic ones to try are Fuller’s London Porter, People’s Porter, Founders Porter.
Best Paired With: Rich Stews and Oysters
7. WHEAT BEER
As the name says, Wheat Beer relies on wheat for the malt ingredient. It gives the beer a light color and low alcohol content. This beer has less bitter, but a tangy flavor with a touch of spice and gives a silky feel to the mouth. Bira 91 White, Bira 91 Strong are the brands to go for.
Best Paired With: Sushi, Lobster and Avacado Salad, Feta Cheese
8. RYE BEER
Rye beer contains a notable amount of rye grain which is used as part of the malt. The bitterness here tends to be moderate and the taste can be sweet or spicy depending on being made as a Lager or an Ale. The spicy taste in beer comes from the rye grain. The brans to try are Sierra, Nevada, Ruthless Rye IPA, Terrapin Rye Pale Ale.
Best Paired With: Cream Cheese and Spicy Meat
9. SOUR BEER
This beer has become very popular in the U.S. over the last few years. It has a very tart flavor and does not taste like a typical beer, perfect for those who don't like beer. Sour Beer is one of the oldest types of beer in the history and is still unknown to many. With the addition of fruits like cherries and raspberries, Sour Beer is a perfect marriage of sweet and sour. It comes in various types including Mainer Weisse, Peach Dodo.
Best Paired With: Mussels, Omelets, Cured Pork
One word to describe this beer is 'funky'. Lambic has a little something extra over those other beers, making it incredibly fun to drink. Unlike other beers, these are left in open vats where the fermentation takes place. Then they are stored in barrels for almost 3 years that gives it a dry, cider-like taste and strong punch. The ones to go for are Lindemans Framboise, Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek.
Best Paired With: Mussels, Eggs Benedict, Asparagus Frittata
Now, you are more aware of the different types of beer that are out there. Use this guide to help yourself and your friends, and feel more confident about recommending it to others, or maybe even host a Beer Party or Beer Tasting Session. Beer also has many health benefits so one doesn't need to worry about health issues. It contains vitamin B, acts as a stress reliever and is also great for kidney and heart. So, next time you are tensed or feel like relaxing, just grab a chilled beer and have a time of your life. Let me tell you, there is a beer for every mood and occasion, and one just cannot have enough of it.