A Beginners Guide to the different Types of Beer

There are literally thousands of different breweries, concocting beers of many strengths and many tastes and many colors! There is a beer for everyone, in there somewhere, so let’s go try some.

First of all, I am British and in 1986, I received the shock of my life, when I moved to the United States of America! My first beer in this country, was a Budweiser!

I grew up in a little community where it was mandatory for young men to acquire a taste for a lean pint of bitter, by the time he was eighteen years old.

Now, my first pint of bitter, was indeed bitter! I got it down and I started to notice hairs on my chest! A good pint of bitter in Great Britain, depends upon which brewery it comes from and at which franchised drinking sstablishment you are visiting at the time.

Usually the bitter is a light golden in color and comes with all kinds of names, like Boddington, Devonshire, Cornish, Whitbread…the list goes on, depending on whicsh County in Great Britain you’re in.

As I got older, I got tired of the bitters and moved onto the ales. Ales are darker, sort of a red brown in color. I liked these beers better, because they were more palatable, they were stronger and you didn’t need to drink so many of them. They were sipping beers, as I called them. Again, ales vary from brewery to rewery.

There are many micro breweries, throughout the UK and the USA. These breweries do their best to make the best beer in the world. They compete with each other to come up with the most palatable and the most full bodied taste.

Now, back in 1986, there weren’t many micro-breweries in the USA and this leads me back to the Budweiser! Not only had I left my country of origin behind, but I had also lost a great part of my essential diet!

For some reason, whenever I try an imported beer, from the UK, it doesn’t taste as good as it tasted back in the old country! However, the US micro-brews have tasted more and more awesome in the past few years!

So now I have the best of both worlds! If I want a good draft pint, all I have to do is jump on a plane and fly to Heathrow; or simply pay less than ten bucks for a great tasting six-pack, from my local liquor store.

Guinness to me, is by far, the king of all! However, the only place in the world where a pint of Guinness tastes the best, is in Ireland itself! They say, it’s all to do with the Liffey water! Bottled or canned Guinness has no comparison to a great pint of the ‘Dark Stuff’, right on its home turf! I know this for a fact!

A few years ago, someone came up with an interesting invention called the Widget! The Widget is a piece of plastic that sits in the bottom of a beer can. When the tab is pulled and the beer is hit by the outside air, the Widget causes a reaction. You have to pour the beer into a glass fairly promptly, to see the reason behind this madness. Once the beer is sitting proudly in it’s glass, you will notice that it resembles a draft beer, with a creamy, frothy head! This is all thanks to the Widget! Hence, draft beer in a can!

Lager beers are interesting to me! They seem to taste pretty good, no matter where they are from. Lager is very clear and a light golden yellow in color. When you go into your local liquor store, or off-license, as they call it in the UK, you will notice that a lot of lagers come from places where the name is very long and hard to pronounce. This is why I personally stick to Heineken!

Most lagers are from Europe and they vary in strength. The German lagers, are the best! This brings me back to Budweiser again, because Budweiser beer, in my most humble thought processing, should be called lager! In no means does it taste like lager, but it looks like it! As do most light American beers.

As I said, in the beginning, there are thousands of different breweries in the world. and I may never get to try all of them. However, what I have tried, through trial and error, has been a joy and an experience for me!

I really think that the US beer market has been making a very strong attempt at becoming one of the world’s best resources for ale in recent years. Especially with breweries like Sam Adams from Boston winning a European Brewery Award, several years consecutively.

All that I can say is there’s a beer drinker in all of us, just find the one that’s for you’!