Before we get started, it’s important to know that all beers have four key ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. Every beer is a different combination of these ingredients and some brewers add fruits and spices to to make more interesting tastes. But, no matter what kind of beer it is, it’s always built on those “Big Four” ingredients.
IPA’S (India Pale Ales)
IPA’s are one of the most popular beers in the United States. They’re extremely hoppy, often carbonated and sometimes even bitter. Ever wonder why IPA’s are called “India” pale ales? Long ago, when India was part of the English colony, the English found that their regular beers (English porters and ales) tasted terrible by the time they got to India. To solve their this, they crafted the “India Pale Ale”, a beer that was designed to last the trip to India. They packed their barrels with alcohol and hops, knowing it would preserve the beer on its trip to India. It worked, and the people really liked it! They began producing “Double IPA’s” for longer trips, adding a second huge dollop of hops after the brewing process was finished. It’s a beer with a history. It’s a beer that’ll get you going. And to this day, almost everyone loves a good IPA.
STOUTS AND PORTERS
Porters and stouts are simply ales brewed with a darker colored malt. Although these beers look dark and heavy, they’re generally not as thick as one would think. In fact, there’s a wide variety of dark beers that range from really dry to really sweet — and some are really light. Originally, brewers invented the stout because it look longer to spoil than other beers. To describe a “strong” porter, brewers would refer to their beer as a “Stout Porter” (or a “strong” porter). Today, the two styles have very distinctive categories. It’s a favorite beer choice for many because of sweet flavorings — vanilla, pumpkin, chocolate, and coffee just to name a few.
The Geman word for “Lagern”, Lager means “to store”. It’s a beer that’s brewed with a bottom fermenting yeast that needs to be stored in a cold environment for long periods of time to allow all the flavors to come through. Lagers were originally developed by brewers who wanted to make beer in the winter and utilize the natural outdoor temperatures. Today, lagers are a favorite beer choice for many, as they are easy-drinking and flavorful
Ales have been enjoyed for hundreds of years and are produced exactly the opposite of a lager. The yeast is fermented on the top and it’s brewed in warm temperatures. Each region has a unique style of ale depending on the type of water and many other variables, so the “where” of an ale is extremely important to its taste. Traditional, with delightful hints of fruit. Ales are a true classic.