Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Expand Your Beer Horizons

By Luke Porter

The word "beer" is often used as a generic noun to describe a cold refreshing beverage. However, beer lovers around the world will heartily agree that there's nothing generic about beer.

In fact, world of beer gives you a multitude of options. It's impossible to say which type is best, because they all have very different characteristics. You'd be surprised at how a pilsner can differ from a porter, or how a stout stands out from a cider.

Most beers, particularly those sold commercially, are processed using similar methods. However, the names given to different styles of beer generally reflect individual characteristics of the product, such as where it originated. Different types of beer have unique qualities like appearance, taste, origin and aroma.

Some common favorites include these:

Lager: Some of the most popular types of beer are lagers. Incorporated within this type of beer are American styles such as double pilsner, all-malt and '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. Cider brewed from traditional English farms is a particular favorite of many.

Hybrids: Combining different beer styles or ingredients create this "experimental" beer. Berbed, smoked, fruit and vegetable beer and spiced beer are all types of hybrids.

You're missing out if you haven't tried at least the types of beer listed above. If you're a beer drinker, you're likely loyal to a tried and true brand, but remember that variety is the spice of life. Next time you're in a beer drinking mood, try something different!.

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