Know your pilsner from your pale ale and your porter from your stout with our handy guide to beer in celebration of International Beer Day. Plus pair them with some tasty recipes to elevate your summer menu – you’re welcome!
With over 100 distinct styles of beer, you’d be forgiven for not knowing many beyond the main players. To make things even more complicated, beers can be classified by origin, colour, flavour, ingredients, alcoholic content and more – phew!
We want to clear up not confuse so we’re sticking to the more common beer types to give you a good selection to sample from. And because we love our food, we’re also suggesting some delicious dishes to match.
Let’s get into it…
Very pale to gold in colour, pale lagers are generally crisp, light and subtle in taste. Served chilled, they’re drunk the world over and come in a few different styles including pilsners, helles, American pale lagers and mass-market lagers.
Dark or red lagers (also sometime known as dunkels) are smooth, darker in colour and full of flavour with hints of malt, chocolate and roasted caramel depending on the variety. They tend to have a mid-range alcohol content.
We could write a whole blog on Belgium beer, but to sum up as best we can they include a wide choice of pale, golden and dark varieties. Low in bitterness and usually high in alcohol content, they’re light and yeasty and often feature spiced fruity flavours.
While similar to lagers, wheat beers are usually made with top fermenting yeasts like ales and must have a high percentage of malted or unmalted wheat. This type of beer includes many varieties like Hefeweizen, Berliner Weisse and American wheat.
Pale ales and IPAs
Pale ales, including English bitters and blond ale, are hoppy in flavour and often have a fruity aroma. IPAs – Indian Pale Ales – have a higher alcohol content with a strong hop bitterness and floral flavour.
These light and drinkable beers go well with spicy food – give this Thai green chicken curry a go, made in minutes in the Turbo Cuisine. IPAs are also great with fried foods, try the fuss-free and delicious beef enpanadas in this EasyFry recipe book.
Brown ales (think Newcastle Brown Ale) are known for their malt overtones and tend to have nutty, chocolate and caramel flavours. They typically have a low to mid-range alcohol content and hop bitterness.
Because of this they suit heavy food and cheeses so try them with something like a sloppy joe or these delicious caramelised pork loins. Our app is fill with load of other inspirational recipes, download it here!
Stouts and porters
Porters (e.g. Fuller’s London Porter) are dark coloured beers with chocolatey, coffee and caramel flavours. Stouts (such as Guinness) are similar but tend to have stronger roasted flavours. Both normally have mid to high alcohol levels – hic!
Fancy cooking with beer? Head over to our Summer’s Best Beer Cook Ups blog for some knock out recipes. Bottoms up!