"Beer" is the casual term used to describe a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage made of malt and hops. However, beer lovers around the world will heartily agree that there's nothing generic about beer.
When it comes to types of beer, there are many, many options to choose from. The amount of differing characteristics that can be found is surprising, with most people having a favorite type even if they are not aware of it. From stout to cider, and porter to pilsner, there really is something for everyone.
Most beers, particularly those sold commercially, are processed using similar methods. However, there are enough slight variations on the basic brewing process for each type of beer to have individual characteristics. Taste, appearance and aroma are just some of the qualities that make different beers unique.
Some common favorites include these:
Lager: Some of the most popular types of beer are lagers. These include American styles including basic lager, all-malt lager, light lager, double pilsner, malt liquor and low-alcohol or "light" beers. Germany and the Czech Republic are seen as the international leaders in the production of them.
Ale: This includes brown ale, American amber, porter and wild ales. Other variations are ales brewed with local techniques from Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Scotland and France.
Cider: Not a beer in the strictest sense of the word but most beer drinkers wouldn't mind it being called so. Favorites include standard cider, New England cider and many specialty ciders.
Hybrids: Combining different beer styles or ingredients create this "experimental" beer. Sub-categories include smoked, spiced, fruit and vegetable beer.
You're missing out if you haven't tried at least the types of beer listed above. Remember that variety is the spice of the life; you're severely limiting yourself by always being loyal to one brand. There is a world of options available to you, so try something new next time you're in a beer drinking mood.
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