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Beer Styles

Beer Styles

What’s a beer style? Simply put, a beer style is a label given to a beer that describes its overall character and often times its origin. It’s a name badge that has been achieved over many centuries of brewing, trial and error, marketing, and consumer acceptance. Our styles reflect our spin on the constantly evolving world of beer, with non-geek descriptions broken down for all to understand. Click on any of the styles below to find out more about them, including our recommendations for Food Pairings, Glassware, and Cellaring/Serving Temperatures.

The Beer Process

While most of us love beer, few of us know exactly how it’s made. Global brewing company 

The main steps of the brewing process.

Step 1: Milling the grain

Beginning In the brew house, different types of malt are crushed together to break up the grain kernels in order to extract fermentable sugars to produce a milled product called grist.

Step 2: Mash Conversion

The grist is then transferred into a mash tun, where it is mixed with heated water in a process called mash conversion. The conversion process uses natural enzymes in the malt to break the malt’s starch down into sugars.

Step 3: Lautering

The mash is then pumped into the lauter tun, where a sweet liquid (known as wort) is separated from the grain husks.

Step 4: The boil

The wort is then collected in a vessel called a kettle, where it is brought to a controlled boil before the hops are added.

Step 5: Wort separation and cooling

After boiling, the wort is transferred into a whirlpool for the wort separation stage. During this stage, any malt or hop particles are removed to leave a liquid that is ready to be cooled and fermented.

Step 6: Fermentation

To start the fermentation, yeast is added during the filling of the vessel. Yeast converts the sugary wort into beer by producing alcohol, a wide range of flavors, and carbon dioxide (used later in the process to give the beer its sparkle).

Step 7: Maturation

After fermentation, the young “green” beer needs to be matured in order to allow both a full development of flavors and a smooth finish.

Step 8: Filtration, carbonation, and cellaring

After reaching its full potential, the beer is filtered, carbonated, and transferred to the bright beer tank, where it goes through a cellaring process that takes 3-4 weeks to complete. Once completed, the beer is ready to be packaged 

 

How to Taste Beer

When analyzing a beer, you can’t just swill it down, burp and say “it’s great” or “it’s crap.” And, even though tasting is an individual art, there are a few steps, which if followed, will take your beer tasting to a blissful level.

Look 
Take pause and marvel at its greatness before you partake of it. Raise the beer in front of you, but don’t hold your beer to direct light as this will dilute its true color. Describe its color, its head and its consistency.

Agitate 
Swirl your beer, gently in the glass. This will pull out aromas, slight nuances, loosen & stimulate carbonation and test head retention.

Smell 
90-95% of what you experience is through you sense of smell. Breathe thru your nose with two quick sniffs, then with your mouth open, then thru your mouth only (nose and mouth are connected in the experience). Let olfaction guide you. Agitate again if need be, and ensure that you are in an area that has no overpowering aromas. Enjoy its bouquet

Taste 
Now sip the beer. Resist swallowing immediately. Let it wander and explore your entire palate. Let your taste buds speak. Note the mouthfeel, the consistency of the liquid’s body, and breathe out during the process of tasting. This process of exhaling is called “retro-olfaction” and will release retained stimulations at the mucus and mouthfeel level, but at a higher temperature. At times this will be the same as the olfactory process if not different and complimentary. Try to detect any sweetness, salty flavors, acids and general bitterness. Explain what they are, or what they are similar to. 

Also, try tasting the beer after it warms a bit (just a bit mind you). Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through, become more pronounced.

Beer Glassware

There are many types of beer glasses besides the pint. And even then, there are a couple different styles of pint glasses. While it may be the most popular beer glass in America today, the pint wasn’t always the chosen one.

There is a wide variety of beer glassware available for you to choose from, and they each have their own unique characteristics. In fact, some glassware is designed specifically to help preserve the foam head of your beer, while others are designed to help enhance the colors of your brew. It’s important to remember that it’s more than just a glass that holds your beer; it’s a delivery mechanism that brings out the unique flavors, colors and aroma of your favorite beer. The type of glass you use has the ability to make or break your overall experience.