To some beer is the greatest invention of mankind. There are thousands of specially crafted beers available all around the world, surpassing wine and liquor in the amount and variety many times over. With so many specific beers, and many beer types, where do you begin?
Well, to get started the best way to begin would be to let you know about the two main categories that you can put the majority of all beers into: These two types are known as lager beers and ales and can be split up into many subcategories, but the big difference between the categories is the process of producing them. The process for lagers uses a yeast that ferments in cool temperatures, while the process for ales uses a yeast that ferments best in warm temperatures. So, since there are many subcategories of beers within each type, and they all have very different tastes, consistencies, and other characteristics, I'll explain many of the popular styles.
Most Lagers range from very light to very heavy and dark. The Pale Lagers are the some of the lightest beers that you will ever find. They are carbonated for an easier taste and are light golden-colored, and have a very light taste to them. This style of beer is one of the most common in the world, being the type of beer that Coors, Bud Light, and other light beers very popular in America and the rest of the world.
Then there is the Pilsner, the most popular style of beer in most all of the world, especially America. This style encompasses Budweiser and many other major brands. These types of beer offer more flavor than any of the pale lager's light taste, without being incredibly strong. They are nearly the same color as pale lagers but are a bit thicker in consistency.
Other beers in the lager category include light lager and dark lager, a light lager being still heavier than a Pilsner, but in America they are made to be low in calories, and a dark lager is made with roasted hops and barley. Much higher amounts of flavor and a much darker color, they are a full-bodied beer with a rich taste of hops and barley.
The other type of beer that there is happens to be ales, the oldest type of beer, which has been in production for more than five thousand years. This type of beer holds some of the richest and thickest of flavors. There are several subcategories of the ale beers as well.
Brown ales are reddish colored and are somewhat mild in flavor, and being one of the lightest ales, is still much thicker and richer in flavor than the lager beers. Porters are another ale that were very popular in the 19th century, but as micro-breweries and home beer makers have become much more popular lately, this type is making a comeback. There are also stouts, which are similar to porters, but even thicker with the strongest flavor of barley and hop flavor, with a very dark color attached to it.
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