Exploring and evaluating the beers of the world
The ancient family of ales comprise the more traditional and distinguished brews of the world. Characteristics of ales can range from the fruity, mellow-dryness of a Pale ale to the strong, full-bodied, malty complexity of a Barleywine. Ale types include Brown ale, Porter, Pale ale, Wheat beer, Bitters, Barleywine, Strong ale, and Belgian beer. Ales are top-fermented. Should be drunk somewhat cool (50ƒ-55ƒ F).
Hard cider is becoming an increasingly popular beer alternative offered in bars across America. Its light, apple-sweetness, packing a hidden but healthy alcohol punch, make it a nice counterpoint to regular bar fare.
Hybrids mix the ingredients and brewing techniques of both lagers and ales to create the carbonated Frankensteins of beerdom; thankfully these monsters can be quite tasty. Alt or Altbier, California common beer, formerly known as Steam beer, Cream ale and Kolsch all result from combination brewing. Specialty brews are the eccentric and rebellious off-shoots of the beer world. The wonderful weirdos. Usually speciality brews are traditional recipes that have been tweeked by the addition of something special that lends to it an exciting new feel. Some examples are Fruit beer, Herb and spice beer, Smoked beer and Wassail.
Much lighter tasting and containing less alcohol than most ales or stouts, lagers are generally light-bodied, refreshing, and highly carbonated. Different varities include Pilsener, German dark lager, German pale lager, Rauchbier, American pale lager, American dark lager, bock beer, malt liquor, Vienna lager, and Marzen/Oktoberfest beer. Lagers are bottom fermented. Best served cool (40ƒ-45ƒ F).
Known for their hearty consistency, bitterness and dark appearance, stouts occupy a special place in our hearts. Though not technically recognized as its own branch of beer, we feel stouts are distinctive enough to deserve their own section. The different types of stouts are Milk (also known as Cream, English or Sweet) stouts, Oatmeal stouts, Imperial stouts, and Dry (or Irish) stouts. Stouts are ideally meant to be enjoyed almost warm (55 - 60 F)
How We Rate Beer. The BarAmerica rating guide for brew reviews.