Everything You Need to Know About the Different Styles of Craft Beer

It’s fair to say that beer has gone through an absolute renaissance in recent years. 

The amount of breweries, microbreweries and home brewers in 2021 is simply astronomical, and beer fans have an immense amount of choice when it comes to picking a brew to sample. Whether you like fruity, sweet drinks, malty, rich drinks or bitter, warming drinks, you’re bound to find a smashable beer to enjoy this summer. 

Here at Darby’s Liquor Store, we’re always on the hunt for new beers to offer our audience, and wanted to dive deeper into the topic of craft beer styles today. 

What are the most common types of craft beer?

To start off with, let’s take a look at the most important types of beer that you need to know about. Beer styles can vary from region to region and from country to country, but it’s important to know the standard styles. Some of the most popular styles include:

  • Ale
    • Amber. To start off, amber ales and red ales have a distinctive color and rich, delicious notes. If you enjoy dried fruit, slight coffee and caramel notes in a beer, amber ales are perfect for you. Take a look at this Round Trip beer as a great example of this style.
    • Pale. Pale ales are one of the most popular styles now, and with good reason. Generally speaking, pales will either be warm and tropical, or bitter and citrusy. They’re easy drinking, and great with fast food- just like this one – the Backcountry Throw Me A Frickin Bone Here Pale Ale.
    • IPA. You can’t speak about pales without speaking about IPAs, and the subsequent DIPAs, TIPAS, and so on. India pale ales are incredibly versatile- for example, a West coast IPA would be piney and resinous, and a New England IPA (This one comes in a pack) would be tropical, pillowy and fruity. 
    • Wheat. There are some truly creative ways to use wheat in beer. Styles like hefeweizens and berliner weisses are beautifully refreshing, offering up space to experiment with additions and new flavours. Take a look at the Ile Sauvage Achtung Berliner Weisse for a great example of wheat beer. 
    • Cream. Cream ales are light, fluffy and airy, and make perfect drinks for hot weather. They’re often fairly subdued and easy to drink, with most coming in at a very sessionable ABV and approachable palette. 
    • Belgian. The contribution that Belgium has made to the world of beer simply cannot be ignored- they have so many incredible styles and traditional breweries to hand. Generally, you can expect a variety of wonderful sour ales, and strong, hard-hitting dark ales, too.
  • Lager
    • Pale. Pale lagers are immensely popular- we see a lot of people opting for the lager in this mixed pack on our website. Pale lagers are crisp and best served iced cold, and you can pair them with fast food and comfort food easily. A great type of pale lager to look at is a traditional pilsner. 
    • Amber. Amber lagers carry a lot of the same tasting notes that amber ales do, serving up malt, toast and caramel. However, they don’t lose the crispness of a lager, and are perfect for enjoying on a warm day. Check out the Dageraad Amber beer.
    • Dark. Dark lager is a coverall term that can apply to a number of different styles- for example, the German beer style dunkel. Dark lagers provide delicious notes of chocolate, warming coffee and molasses. 
    • Keller. Keller lagers are traditional German lagers that have not been clarified or pasteurized. They’re malty and sweet with a bitter edge, and have a dry finish.
    • Helles. Helles lager offers a golden and warm color scheme, with a rounder body than its counterparts. Helles beers can usually be found in traditional German breweries and are worth taking a look at if you’re a fan of drinking lager.
    • Rauchbier. Rauchbier can technically be any kind of beer, as the word simply refers to the addition of smoked malt. Most commonly however, the term rauchbier is used to refer to a type of smoked lager. Rauchbiers of this style are warming, smokey and delectable, and they’re worth checking out.
  • Other styles
    • Stout. If you enjoy rich, thick and luxurious drinks, stouts are certainly the perfect beers for you. Stouts are dark beers, often carrying notes of coffee and chocolate. They can be enhanced with an addition like oatmeal, and this is a brilliant example – the Strange Fellows Blackmail Stout of a stout that you should check out. 
    • Porter. Porters were traditionally brewed in England, and are often confused with stouts. Porters are much maltier and complex in flavor, and there are a number of different types to be aware of – like Baltic porters or imperials. 
    • Lambic. A lambic is a unique type of Belgian beer that is fermented with wild yeast and has a unique sour, dry taste profile. The notable subtypes of lambics include gueuze, kriek lambic and framboise.  
    • Sour. While sour beer may not sound appetizing if you’ve never had one before, they’re absolutely worth trying. Fruited sour beers or sour pales can be wonderfully refreshing on a hot day, and they take a lot of skill to get right, from the perspective of a brewery. Definitely give the Steamworks Tango Sour a try. 

This seems like a long list (and we admit it is), but this list is not quite exhaustive. There are countless styles and hybrids to be aware of when it comes to beer, and there are always breweries coming up with new, innovative styles. So next time you head to our liquor store or a bar, get out of your comfort zone and try something new. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Try Craft Beer From Darby’s Liquor Today!

There is just no shortage of amazing craft beer for you to pick from this summer. No matter where your personal palette lies, you’re sure to find a great beer to enjoy with your loved ones as the warmer months roll on this summer.

Want to try something new? Make sure to check out our online liquor store today. Not only do we have plenty of amazing beers delivered to your door, we’ve also got a lovely range of wines, ciders, spirits and much more. Stock up for the summer with Darby’s Liquor today. 

Jan 17 2024 – Snow Disruption

Due to the snow, we cannot make any deliveries today. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.