Learn about Beer Styles
What establishes a beer style? Centuries of accumulated wisdom and trial and error, in most cases. Ever since early settled Homo Sapiens discovered that damp grains started to ferment under the right circumstances, the production of beer has been refined and formalized into styles. For many craft brewers, writers, and the industry in general, a huge debt of gratitude is owed to the late, great student of beer, Michael Jackson, the famous English beer writer, friend, and former Tastings/BTI beer panelist, for lucidly illustrating all of the world’s classic beer styles in their cultural context. The World Guide to Beers, first published in 1979, inspired a generation of new breweries and beer importers.
To the left are the seven main groups of beer styles, including cider which we group with beer. Within these groups you will find details of the numerous beer styles that comprise them with top rated examples from our bling beer tastings. They should give you a grasp of the essential character of almost every beer style, barring re-created examples of ancient Sumerian sour bread beer, new experimental styles and hybrids, or any other such oddities.
Thanks to the craft beer revolution, there are well over hundred beer styles these days, some new and some resurrected—meaning that there is a lot to explore. Even if you think you don't like beer, we're betting that there is a beer style for you. Let us know when you’ve tasted them all!
The World of Beer
Explore the famous and emerging beer countries of the world.
Beer is a Perishable Product
Beer is food, and it is perishable. Learn the importance of freshness and how can you determine the "drinking window" of a beer.
Beer and Food Pairing
Learn the fine arts of cooking with beer and matching the right beer to food, including some classic pairings.
Does the glass shape and size actually influence the taste of beer? The answer is yes, up to a point.
Why does that beer taste like #%$!*!!!? Could be it was poorly made, or it could be poorly handled. Learn what can go wrong and what are the signs (and smells) of a faulty beer.
Brewing in Six Easy Steps
To understand beer it helps to understand how it is made. Here is a quick synopsis.