Beer Types and Styles So, you want to know more about beer… Well, pour yourself a cold one and get comfortable because there’s a whole lot of great stuff to learn about your favourite beverage.
Brewed with top fermenting yeast at cellar temperature, ales are fuller-bodied, with nuances of fruit or spice and a pleasantly hoppy finish. Generally robust and complex with a variety of fruit and malt aromas, ales come in many varieties. They could include Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Pale Ales, Nut Browns, etc.
Ales are often darker than lagers, ranging from rich gold to reddish amber. Top fermenting, and more hops in the wort gives these beers a distinctive fruitfulness, acidity and pleasantly bitter seasoning. Ales have a more assertive, individual personality than lager, though their alcoholic strength is the same.
Ales are 30% of all beer sold in Canada.
Lager originates from the German word lagern which means ‘to store’ – it refers to the method of storing it for several months in near-freezing temperatures. Crisp and refreshing with a smooth finish from longer aging, lagers are the world’s most popular beer (this includes pilseners).
A lager, which can range from sweet to bitter and pale to black, is usually used to describe bottom-fermented brews of Dutch, German, and Czech styles. Most, however, are a pale to medium colour, have high carbonation, and a medium to high hop flavour.
Lagers are 56% of all beer sold in Canada.
Stouts & Porters
There’s very little distinction between a Porter and a Stout, but they do have their differences.
Porter is a dark, almost black, fruity-dry, top fermenting style. An ale, porter is brewed with a combination of roasted malt to impart flavour, colour and aroma. Stout is also a black, roast brew made by top fermentation.
Stout, not as sweet to the taste, features a rich, creamy head and is flavoured and coloured by barley. Stouts often use a portion of unmalted roasted barley to develop a dark, slightly astringent, coffee-like character.
Generally dark and sweeter in flavour, malts contain hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts. They can be light to full bodied.
In addition to type, a beer’s character can be described by its style. Listed below are some of the many different styles of beer carried at the Beer Store.
A very versatile beer, Amber beers are full bodied malt aromas with hints of caramel, these beers could be either lager or ale.
Blonde ales are very pale in colour and tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops and some sweetness from malt.
Dark amber or brown in colour, brown ale have evidence of caramel and chocolate flavours and may have a slight citrus accent or be strong, malty or nutty, depending on the area of brewing.
A very mild, sweetish, golden style of ale.
Dark ale is a British type beer, combining hops, yeast and a blend of malts. It’s a medium chestnut brown colour, with a delicate fruity smell and robust, malty character.
Most fruit beers are ales however, they typically do not carry an ale character. In order to allow for the fruit flavor to come through nicely, the malt’s flavor is not dominant and there is a low bitterness level to the beer.
First developed in the UK, Golden ales are straw coloured with a slight hint of citrus and vanilla. The beer can sometimes contain spicier flavours.
A full-bodied beer with a creamy texture and copper colour. Honey beers are slightly sweet with hints of caramel.
India Pale Ale
A hoppier version of pale ale. Originally brewed in England with extra hops to survive the journey to British troops stationed in India.
Extremely light in colour and mild in flavour. Light beer has fewer calories and/or lower alcohol content.
Typically light in flavour with a refreshing lime taste. The intensity of the lime can differ from very subtle to strong.
Pale ale has a fruity, copper-coloured styler. It originiated from England. Pale ales are robust beers that can be enjoyed with strongly spiced foods.
Made with neutral and hard water. Tend to be golden in colour with a dry, crisp, and somewhat bitter flavour. Pilsner stands out from other lagers due to its more distinctive hop taste.
Red ales can either be red or light brown in colour. They are moderate to heavy in flavour and contain hints of caramel that is offset by the predominant hop characteristic of the beer.
This is a broad grouping that can describe any beer over 7% ABV. Strong beers are typically dark in colour, some are almost black. Different styles can include old ales, double IPAs, and barleywines.
Light and easy to drink with very little aftertaste. Wheat provides a soft character to beer and is sometimes hazy or cloudy with a touch of spice notes.
Other cool stuffs that you might not know yet, beer squishies is a thing now, often serves as souvenirs or gifts. It is a soft squishy thing commonly use as stress reliever or as a toy.…
Everything about Icelandic Beer Many visitors to Iceland are surprised to discover a plethora of Icelandic breweries and artisan micro-breweries, seemingly, an impossible number for such a small population. There is even an Annual Icelandic Beer Festival.
My personal favorite? Einstök Hvítt, an award-winning craft white ale, brewed in Akureyri by Ölgerðin Egils Skallagrímsson. I no longer have to miss out when I travel overseas, some discerning bars in the UK and other countries are selling this refreshing beer with a subtle orange tang. I even found it in Sennan, one of the remotest villages in South West England!
Icelandic beers have won some impressive prizes at the prestigious World Beer Awards:
Boli by Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson won 1st prize in the lager category (2017)
Bríó by Borg Brugghús won 1st prize in the German-Style Pilsner category (2012)
Sólveig by Borg Brugghús won a prize in the wheat beer category (2013)
Gull by Ölgerðin won 1st prize in the standard lager category (2011 and 2015)
10 Popular Icelandic beers
1. Kaldi 5% alc./vol. Pilsner
The first blonde beer Kaldi brewery made. Sold mainly in bottles or on tab (very hard to find), the original Kaldi is a blonde lager beer but brewed in the famous Pilsner tradition, so it is classified as such. The beer is a blonde copper golden color with a soft filling of roasted malt, slightly bitter but very gentle.
2. Úlfrún 4.5% alc./vol. SESSION IPA
This beer has a very distinct fruitiness to it, infused with Sorachi Ace, Centennial and Simcoe hops, the result is a tropical delight of mango with a hint of pineapple.
3. Einstök White Ale 5.2% alc./vol. White Ale
Wheat malt, pilsner malt, oats and Bavarian noble hops spiced with coriander and orange peel. Best served with a slice of orange, it really brings out the orange flavor of the drink. The perfect summer drink!
4. Einstök Pale Ale 5.6% Pale Ale
Brewed with a combination of Cascade, perhaps the most quintessentially American hop, and Northern Brewer and Hallertau, which add a more English and Central European vibe. Kind of a mix of an American-style pale ale, English-style pale ale and a European-style pale ale or lager. In the flavor department, pale and light caramel malts form the essence, while hops contribute to a profile which is well-balanced among those floral & citrus Cascade notes and earthy, woody, and herbal tones.
5. Bríó 4.7% alc./vol. Pilsner
Has a light malty flavor but the main feature of this beer is a crisp, bitter hop flavor with a little citrus fruit, like an orange peel. It has won numerous awards and it was the very first beer Borg Brewery made!
6. Garún 11.5% alc./vol. Icelandic Stout
Chocolate, licorice and coffee taste, a rich dark beer with an aroma to match. The fresh Icelandic water plays an important role in giving this damsel its smoothness, and the double fermentation infuses it with a taste that is at once pungent and mild. An unusually light dark beer!
7. Víking Gylltur 5,6% alc./vol. Classic Premium Lager
A classic lager beer, brewed in the Old-school tradition of craftsmanship. Proven brewing methods make it a refreshing premium beer with a refined finish
8. Pils Organic 5,0% alc./vol.
A super-light delicious beer recommended in the summer. Made from 2-row organic spring barley. The Pilsners flavor is usually described as slightly nutty and biscuity.
9. Úlfur 5.9% alc./vol. India Pale Ale
Úlfur meaning Wolf, is dry hopped with American hops that give a bitter yet fruity aroma. The beer has a citrus fruit (particularly grapefruit) kind of taste and a delightful crispness. This is the winner for many Icelanders!
Every year Borg Brewery makes a new queer beer for the Reykjavík Pride Festival so we can’t put out any alcohol level or even define it by type! Every year it’s new and every year we try to love! We recommend you do the same!…