What are the Different Types of Beer?

stainless steel beer dispenser

Pale ale

Pale ale is a type of beer that’s usually bitter and hoppy. It’s also usually lighter than other types of beer, served cold and often in a glass. Pale ales are generally bitter, which means they have more hop flavor than other beers. They’re also typically light-colored, although there are some dark-colored versions on the market today.

Pale ales are usually made with barley malt (or occasionally wheat), water and yeast. Hops are added at different stages during the brewing process to give this style its distinct flavor profile: distinctive bitterness with fruity or citrusy notes from American hops or floral aromas from English varieties like East Kent Goldings or Fuggles.

IPA (India Pale Ale)

India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer with a strong hop character. This means that it’s very bitter and aromatic, but also quite dry.

IPAs originated in England in the 1700s as a way to preserve the flavor of beer on long voyages to India by making it stronger and more alcoholic than other pale ales. They were flavorful enough to withstand the journey from England to India, but didn’t have as much alcohol content as stouts or porters did—so they were widely consumed by anyone who could afford them, including slaves!

IPA can be any color between light gold through amber; however, most tend towards deep orange-red hues when served fresh. And although IPAs are often cloudy due to suspended yeast particles during fermentation and aging processes—a trait that some people find off-putting—they should always have an abundance of fine carbonation bubbles throughout their body when poured into glasses or growlers (the latter being preferred over shaker pint glassware).


If you’re looking for a beer that is every bit as refreshing as an IPA, but not nearly as bitter, Kolsch is the right choice for you. This German ale has a milder taste than any other type of brew on this list—making it perfect for more novice drinkers who need something tasty but not overpowering.

Kolsch is brewed with a top-fermenting yeast, so it has a light and refreshing taste that won’t knock your socks off (literally or figuratively). It also has a golden color and low to medium alcohol content (around 4 percent). You can find Kolsch in many grocery stores and restaurants across America—just check out our list below!


Oktoberfest beers are a unique style, because they must be brewed in the spring and aged for at least three months. The German word “Oktober” means October, so a successful Oktoberfest beer should give you the feeling of autumn—even if it’s springtime or summer.

Märzen-Oktoberfest beers have an amber color, medium to high carbonation (the bubbles that fizz up from your drink), medium to low bitterness, mild hop aroma and flavor (the bitter taste you get from hops), and medium to high hop aroma (the smell coming off of your beer).


Pilsner is a lager that originated in the Czech Republic. It’s golden in color and light, but very refreshing. The word pilsner comes from “Pilsen,” the city where this style of beer was first brewed.

Pilsners are also known as “pils” beers or simply “pils.” These beers are often associated with Germany, though they were actually developed in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). Pilsners became very popular around the world after the first pilsner brewery opened its doors in 1842.


Lambic is a Belgian beer. It’s made with wheat, but it’s not quite as pale as a typical wheat beer. Lambics are fermented using wild yeast, so they’re acidic and sour—but not unbearably so, at least to me! They can also be fruity (sometimes), which adds another dimension of flavor and complexity.

Some examples of lambics include:

  • Gueuze—a blend of two or more different lambics that were aged separately
  • Kriek—a cherry-flavored lambic (or “framboise”)
  • Framboise—an raspberry-flavored lambic (or “kriek”)


Lager is the most popular type of beer in the world. While lagers can be made from any cereal grain, they are typically brewed with barley. Lagers are fermented at temperatures between 45°F and 55°F (7°C and 13°C). The yeast used to ferment lager beers are less active than ale yeasts, meaning that they ferment more slowly and at cooler temperatures. This changes how the yeast works during fermentation, which has a direct effect on what flavors are produced by your brew.

Bock or Dopplebock

Bock or Dopplebock

This is a beer with high alcohol content and dark color. There are two variations of this type of beer:

  • Traditional Bock: This has a malt character that can be described as slightly sweet with a clean finish. It also has some fruit flavors from fermentation, but it’s not too fruity.
  • Dopplebock: This variation has a higher alcohol content than classic bocks, which comes from longer fermentation times and/or more malt used in the brewing process.

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