Beer types

There are around 50 types of beers, with various flavours and characteristics. The way of the fermentation during the production of each beer is the main factor for this categorization. Also, secondary factors are the place and the way of production. There are a few that knows well all these types, so it is difficult to make a choice, when we want to. Following is a basic description of these types with it´s characteristics.

We all know these “blond”, low fermentation, beers. You can find them everywhere. The most of the beers belong to this category. Low alcohol, bottom-fermented beers with bitter taste. The following types belong to this category:

  1. Amber or red color lagers: with characteristic taste of caramel and hop.
  2. Bocks: Beers with taste of chocolate, caramel and wort, usually dark colored (maibocks) and black (doppelbocks). These are strong, bottom-fermented beers created from malted barley, having 6.6% alcohol.
  3. Dark or Dunkel lagers: These beers have brown and red-brown color with caramel or chocolate taste.
  4. Pilseners/Pils: Dry and bitter beers, usually light colored or blond, with hop taste and flowered aroma. It is the most characteristic type of lagers, as the 70%-80% of the international production of lagers belonging to this type. The name was taken by a village, named Pilsen, in Czech, where firstly were producted. They usually have 4.8%-5.7% of alcohol.
  5. Rauchbier: These are dark colored beers with smoked aroma and average bitterness. It´s name means “smoked beer” in German, and it has 5.5% of alcohol.

These are the top-fermented beers, with complicated taste and aromas. In this category we find the claustral and the double fermented beers, which a lot of people believe that are the best type of beers. In this category the following types belong:

  1. Red Ale: The traditional wort named Vienna, coming from Vienna, is responsible for the characteristic red color of this beer. They have light bitter taste and are produced mainly in Belgium, USA and Irland.
  2. Weisse: Those beers are produced mainly of wheat (40%-70%) and the most of them are not filtered. So, they contain oddments of malted barley in the bottle, having a turbid color and rich head. These beers have around 4,5%-5,7% of alcohol, and demand a special way of serving.
  3. Trappist: This type is exclusive of 6 monasteries (5 in Belgium and 1 in Holland), and only these have the right to use it. It is about the known as claustral beers, which are top-fermented, and their maturation lasts over 3 years. These beers have as addition carameled sugar, and the final stage of fermentation is happening in their own bottle, as second fermentation stage.
  4. Stout: These are basically Irish beers, because they were born there i 18th century. There are 4 different types of Stout: the Dry, the Sweet, the Double Stout and the Imperial.
  5. Strong Golden Ale: With aromas of various selections of hops, fruited taste and blond colored, these beers are strong in alcohol (7%-8,5%).
  6. Abbey/Abbaye: These beers are produced like the claustral beers, based on the same recipes. But they are not produced by the 6 monasteries who make the Trappist beers.


Did you know...

Around the 1st century there were 400 to 500 monastery breweries, who monopolised the Ale beers with their exceptional quality products.