Beer Classification 101: There’s a Beer for Everyone

Are you new to the world of beer? Not sure whether you’re first beer experience should be from the ale of lager family? We decided to give you a brief run-down between the many varieties of beer that are served across the globe.  Where there is beer, there is a way.

As a source of reference for the visual learners, 40Cozy’s “The Very Many Varieties of Beer” shows you an overview of where all your favorite beers match up against one another.

If you’re a fan of the chart, an online novelty retailer even has it for sale so you can hang it up at home. (Pop Chart Lab, $25.00)

The World's Most Comprehensive Beer TaxonomyIn a traditional sense, beer classification is determined by the timing and temperature used within the fermentation process as well as the selection of yeast used for the process.  For example, if you have a “top-fermenting yeast,” the beer ferments at a higher temperature and gives off a variety of aromas and scents.  Ales are typically produced through a top-fermenting yeast production, which includes: pale ales, mild ales, stouts, and brown ales.

On the flip side of the classification tree, we have the lagers.  Contrary to the production style feature with ales, lagers are usually created through a bottom-fermenting yeast.  This methodology uses a lower temperature range before cooling the beer a lower temperature in the “lagering phase.”  This process is meant to create a crisp tasting beer.  Beers that use the bottom-fermenting yeast include: pale lagers, Pilsners, Bocks, and Dortmunders.

Stella ArtoisDid you know that the most commonly consumed beer around the world is pale lagers?

So you get the classification system a little better now; but where does my beer fit into these categories?

When observing beer with the naked eye, some of the visual traits the are quick to pop out include clarity, color, and how the “head” looks.

The color of your beer can range from a faint yellow for a pale lager to a dark black for an imperial stout.Russian Imperial Stout

What do you mean by “beer head?”

It’s that frothy foam found at the top of your glass of beer.  Realistically, it’s bubbles of gas that has risen to the surface.  The foam’s density is dependent on the type of malts used.

Are you having foam issues with your beer?  We are hear to help troubleshoot all your beer-related issues.  Foam issues may arise from an imbalanced system, having your beer keg set at the wrong internal temperature, or having improper pressures.  

We are here to fix any foam issues you have – whether it’s an issue involving flat beer, cloudy beer, or sour beer.  Call the Kegman for the answers to your questions at 973-512-2028, and make sure that no beer goes to waste.




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