How Many Types Of Beers Are There? Get The Complete List!

How Many Types of Beers Are There? Get The Complete List!

Have you ever been confused or overwhelmed over the seemingly endless list of beers that are available at your local beer bar, and wonder: “How many types of beer are there really?” Well, read on, as we try to answer your question.

So, How Many Types of Beers Are There? There are many, I mean astonishingly many types of beer including Pilsner, Amber Ale, Bock, Dunkel, Porter, Stout, Weisbeer, just to name a few. Every single type of beer offers a distinct flavor and taste. Color ranges from light yellow to shadowing dark.

You might even want to go and have a sip of every type of beer listed after reading this blog post!

We have all seen the rise of the craft beer in the last 10 years, and maybe this will give you the final push to seek the art of homebrewing.

What is a Lager?

The lager is the most widely consumed and commercially available style of beer. Most of us can’t differentiate between lagers or pilsner, but as you might have learned from one of our other blog posts; a pilsner is actually a style of lager.

You can learn more about the Differences Between a Lager and A Pilsner by clicking the link.

How many types of lager are there?

Essentially there are five main types of lager. They all hold their own unique varieties.

See more about each specific type of lager in our blog post: How Many Types of Lagers are There?

What is an Ale?

Ale is a type of beer using a warm fermentation method that results in a full-bodied and fruity taste. An ale is historically a beer brewed without the use of hops.

Ales were typically using gruit as their bittering agent, which is a mixture of herbs and spices boiled in the wort before fermentation. Later in time hops replaced gruit as the bittering agent.

How are Ales Made?

The modern ale is typically fermented at temperatures between 15 and 24 °C(59-75.2°F). Above 24 °C (75.2 °F), the yeast can produce more esters and other secondary flavor and aroma products.

This results in a beer with more fruity notes, as you might know from the very popular Indian Pale Ale (IPA)

Fun fact: Historically the brewers of ales were actually the wives of working men in the medieval times. They were known as alewives and ale was used as a supplemental income for their family.

How many types of Ales are there?

Brown Ale

  • Color: Red to dark brown
  • ABV: 3%-5%
  • Commercial example: Newcastle Brown Ale. Brooklyn Brown Ale

Pale Ale

  • Color: Golden to Amber
  • ABV: Usually around 5%
  • Commercial example: Evil Twin Brewing Hipster Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery Dale’s Pale Ale

India Pale Ale

  • Color: Light gold to Red Amber
  • ABV: 4.5%-17.2%
  • Commercial example: Brooklyn IPA, Sierra Nevada IPA, Dogfish Head IPA

Golden Ale

  • Color: Amber
  • ABV: 4%-5%
  • Commercial example: Birra Amarcord Italian Golden Ale, Sierra Nevada BFD, Samuel Adams Golden Ale

Scotch Ale

  • Color: Deep copper to brown
  • ABV: 3%-9%
  • Commercial example: Founders Backwoods Bastard, Orkney Skull Splitter, Oskar Blue Old Chub.

Barley Wine

  • Color: Deep amber to cloudy mahogany
  • ABV: 8%-12%
  • Commercial example: Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot Barleywine, Bell’s Brewery Third Coast Old Ale, AleSmith Old Numbskull

Mild Ale

  • Color: Dark-coloured
  • ABV: 3%-3.6%
  • Commercial example: Burtonwood Mild, Bank’s Mild, Me Llama Llama

Burton Ale

  • Color: Red-amber
  • ABV: 4,7%-11%
  • Commercial example: Ind Coope’s Burton Ale, Ballantine Burton Ale, Worthington’s Burton Ale

Old Ale

  • Color: Medium amber to a semi-opaque ruddy brown
  • ABV: Above 5%
  • Commercial example: Founders Curmudgeon Ole Ale, Thomas Hardy’s Old Ale

Belgian Ale

  • Color: Pale to dark brown
  • ABV: 5-7%
  • Commercial example: Duvel, Vedett, De Ranke X Bitter.

Cask Ale

  • Color: Pale to dark
  • ABV: 3.5%-11%
  • Commercial example: Sharp’s Doom Bar, Marston’s Pedigree, Thwaites Wainwright

What is a Malt Beer?

Malt beer is a sweet beer with low alcohol percentage ranging between 0-2,5% ABV. Malt is brewed like regular beer but with low or minimal fermentation. To keep the alcohol content low there are typically two methods that you will be using.

The first is adding the yeast at about 0°C (32 °F) or you halt the fermentation at your desired alcohol content. Malt Beer is made from barley, malt syrup, sugar, yeast, hops, and water.

Bonus info: Malt beer is considered to be nutritious and is sometimes given to nursing mothers

What is a Porter?

A porter is a type of beer originating from London that is very dark and has a malted flavor. Porters are often aged for longer periods of time, which gives them their unique taste.

If you want to read more about the rich and intriguing history about the beer type porter you are welcome to read more about it on our blog post about the differences between stouts and porters

How many types of porter are there?

As mentioned earlier the porter originates from London. There are typically three main types of porter, which will be explained further now.

The English porter comes in two different styles: Brown and robust. Brown is more malty than hoppy and can have flavors notes of chocolate, caramel or toffee

Robust is more intense than brown porter. We can thank the use of roasted and/or black patent malt. You can say that the English Robust Porter is a close cousin to Stout

English Porter

  • Color: Light to dark brown (Brown) / Medium to darker brown (Robust)
  • ABV: 4%-5.4% (Brown) / 4.8%-6.5% (Robust)
  • Commercial examples: Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter, Fuller’s London Porter, Smuttynose Robust Porter

The baltic porter is very alike a stout, but it has been fortified with a higher alcohol content to withstand the journey across the Baltic Sea

Baltic Porter

  • Color: Dark copper to dark brown
  • ABV: 5.5%-10%
  • Commercial examples: Smuttynose Baltic Porter, Victory Brewing Co. Baltic Thunder, Baltika #6 Porter

American Porter took the best from both worlds in the English and Baltic porter and experimented so the taste becomes craft beer like. You can expect a very complex, some times aggressive beer.

American Porter

  • Color: Dark brown to black
  • ABV: 5%-7.5% (Imperials has a higher alcohol content)
  • Commercial examples: Stone Smoked Vanilla Bean Porter, Rogue Ales Mocha Porter, Great Lakes Brewing Co. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Source: Vinepair

Here is a list of 10 Most Popular Beer Brands in the World

In a time where every beer enthusiast only talks about the next new niche craft brewery, we must come to the realization and admit that there is still the behemoths of the beer world dominating the top ten over the most popular beer brands.

10. Corona Extra

Oh yes. The beer we all indulge at the annual summer party with a slice of lime. Corona has defined what we all think of when we think of Mexican beer. Not every Mexican beer is supposed to have lime in it, I think?

9. Brahma

The beer with the same name as the creator god of Hinduism and the giant chicken with the fluffy feathers. This beer brand mostly operates in South America, so that is maybe why you’ve never heard of them.

8. Harbin

China's oldest but fourth largest brewery comes in on an 8th place. The brewery was founded by a German immigrant with polish roots - It has since its foundation been run by different types of people ranging from the soviets to beer giant Anheuser-Busch

7. Heineken

7th place might be a surprise for most of us, but here you will find the dutch brand Heineken. Wherever you might have been around the world, one of the most certain things in life is stumbling upon the green bottle we all know. They just seem to be everywhere!

6. Yanjing

Beijing Yanjing Brewery has made the 6th most popular brand in the world. It is hard to come by if you don’t live in China, so I couldn’t claim I’ve tried it myself, but here’s a small fact about Yanjing. It was designated to serve as the official beer at state banquets in the Great Hall of the People in February 1995

Source: Wikipedia

5. Skol

Skol is an international beer brand that is produced by different breweries, for instance, Carlsberg holds the license to brew and market it worldwide, except for South America and Africa. The name derives from the English way of saying “Skål”, which is the Danish way of saying “Cheers”

4. Tsingtao

The 4th place in the list is another Chinese beer, but this Chinese beer wouldn’t come as a surprise to you if you knew that the beer originally was brewed in accordance with the German Reinheitsgebot. This means that the beer was only made with water, barley, and hops. Later the recipe changed due to privatization.

Source: Wikipedia

3. Budweiser

The equivalent of one of the founding fathers of American beer brewing. Budweiser is a giant in the American beer market ranking 3rd in the list. This might be the most American beer ever created and is not particularly our favorite beer. Looking on the list, they sure do something right.

2. Bud Light

From the founding father to their younger hipster generation. This skinnier beer comes in at a 2nd in the best selling beer brands. You could say that the parent company AB InBev is trying to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

1. Snow

We made it to the numero uno in our list. Snow is a Chinese beer and is the best selling beer in the world. Why is that you might ask? Well, if you think about one-third of the world’s population is living in China, it doesn’t seem so far off, right?

Source: Vinepair

About HomeBrewAdvice

Hello, my name is Simon. Together with a group of writers I write about brewing beer and making wine. We all share a passion for the great things in life, such as making stuff from scratch.

The business of HomeBrewAdvice is to bring you great information, stories and product reviews from brewing at home, and making wine