The U.S. beer industry sells over $119.3 billion in beer and malt-based beverages to national consumers every year. From porters to pilsners, beer is undoubtedly a hallmark of American identity. That’s why it’s important to take a closer look at your glass of craft beer and distinguish the types you see at a pub. Below are some common classes of beer that can open your mind and palate to a new world of taste at your next outing.
Most of the commercial beers you know and love—Budweiser, Heineken, and Corona Extra—are lagers. They’re defined by a crisp, clear mouthfeel and light aftertaste. The yeast ferments at the bottom of the brewing tank for three to four weeks in cool temperatures, making lagers fragile and low in alcohol content due to the thorough refinery process. Refreshing lager beers complement the tanginess of foods like buffalo wings, goulash, and seasoned fries.
Examples of Lagers
- American Lager: When you think about drinking a light beer, you probably reach for an American lager—think Bud Light. American lagers are highly carbonated, so they don’t pack a particularly bitter or hoppy taste. Their mellow and satisfying nature makes them the go-to for a standard pub experience.
- Bock: These beers are stronger than your typical lager brew. Bock’s thick malt flavor and subtle hoppiness make for a unique mouthfeel. It carries a darker hue compared to the common golden appearance of a glass of craft beer.
Ale is fruity and full-bodied, with a dark hue and cloudy appearance. During fermentation, the yeast rises to the top of the brewing tank to produce its signature sweet flavor. Though ale is fermented and aged for short periods of time in warm temperatures, it maintains a strong taste due to the yeast’s high alcohol tolerance. The heftiness of ale pairs well with smoky and meaty foods like sausage, pulled pork, and pizza.
Examples of Ales
- Stout: This type of ale elicits notes of coffee and chocolate from its roasted aftertaste. In contrast to its dark appearance, stouts are not terribly strong nor bitter. Stout beers are milky and well-rounded additions to a casual, cozy night at the pub.
- IPA: These beers are the wild cards of ales. The plethora of styles, tastes, and appearances can’t be put into a singular profile. They’re generally hoppy and strong with a variety of mouthfeels ranging from bitter to sweet to umami. The options are endless with a good glass of IPA.
The hub for all craft beers is none other than the classic Irish pub. To savor and celebrate a variety of delicious beers, stop by O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill at either of their two locations in Plant City or Wesley Chapel, FL. They’re dedicated to giving you a great night out with a slew of entertainment and food selections that top off a great craft beer. Browse their menu online or call (813) 764-8818 to plan your next outing.