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Types of beer

25 mayo, 2021

Like almost any product in which many variables are involved, beer is not easy to typify. There are a multitude of classification criteria, so a beer can be many types of beer at the same time.

However, normally for each beer there ends up being a single denomination, or at most two. For example, the most common beer in Spain is low-fermented, and is called lager, but at the same time it is also called blonde because of its light golden color.

Many people get confused with so many names and criteria, so I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to make a summary of the different types of beer and the criteria followed for its nomenclature.


This is the simplest classification, according to the type of fermentation beers are divided into two large groups: Lager, low fermentation, and Ale (pronounced eil in English) those of high fermentation, which also include those of spontaneous fermentation.

However, it is too generic a division, which is why they are usually called lager the beers that do not have any other special characteristics.

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In general, lager beers they are light, clear, with a lot of gas and a moderate graduation. They are also usually very refreshing. The AleOn the other hand, they are less common, at least in the Mediterranean, although in the United Kingdom and central Europe they are the More popular. These are darker, thicker and low carb beers. They usually have a higher graduation and a much more intense flavor, in which the cereal is more noticeable. Name Ale it is usually applied only to English beers, while the rest tend to adopt their name based on other properties.


The usual thing is that the beer is prepared with barley malt, so this ingredient is not usually indicated. On the other hand, if the barley has been combined in significant quantities with another cereal, such as wheat or oats, the beer is usually referred to as wheat beer, oatmeal … However, if only barley has been used in its preparation, and no other cereal auxiliary (corn is sometimes used), beer can be called 100% malt.

The type of hops used does not usually influence the name of the beer, except in the case of Pils or Pilsener beer, which refers to beers originally made in the city of Pilsen with Moravian barleys and Zatec or Saaz bohemian hops, although today today that name has been extended to historical German knockoffs made with similar barley and hops.


This is the easiest classification to recognize. For example, many beers have a very characteristic color that differentiates them from the others. So we have amber, red, blonde, black beer … There is also a type called cloudy due to its reduced transparency. Especially strong black beers are called stout (robust, in English).

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The color and translucency of a beer is usually due to suspended proteins from the grain. The barley hardly has, that’s why the beers lager it is usually blonde and light. It also depends on the type of filtrate or its absence, as well as the yeast in suspension. The black ones are usually due to the use of roasted or burnt malts.


Not very common classify beers by procedure, but there is some case. The Rauchbier or smoked beer, in which the smoke from the wood has been allowed to impregnate the grain with flavor, as well as toasted beers, in which the grain has been lightly toasted (not as much as in the black ones), are the best known .

If the cereal has been malted twice If the amount of malt used is greater than usual, it is usually called double malt beer. That second milkshake This greater quantity of malt significantly increases the alcohol content, almost doubling that of a normal beer. A case similar to double-fermented beers, which are simply called double.

Other less common types may be Dampfbier or Steambeer, whose name is due to the use of steam machinery in its production. Some beers that are served hot are called Stachelbier because an iron bar is inserted (stachel) red hot to heat them. The case of Steinbier is different, because its name is due to the fact that stones are thrown (stein) very hot to heat the wort.

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Finally, some beers are defined by the place where they are manufacturedThere are even beers with a controlled designation of origin. The best known are the abbey beers, usually associated with some monastic movement, such as the Trappist monks, whose name also inherits the type of beer they made. These are normally dense beers, with a high alcohol content, but with a smooth passage on the palate.

In the world there are only two severalcontrolled appellations of origin, as the bière de garde North of France and the Kölsh, which is produced exclusively in Cologne. Then there are very characteristic regional beers, such as German, Belgian or Scottish beers, regions where it is usual for each region to have at least one distillery local brewery.

As you can see, it is not an easy task to classify types of beer, terms from several headings are often used in order to be able to accurately name a specific type. Thus, we can find blonde, wheat, cloudy abbey beers … and of course, two different names can refer to the same beer. However, it is usual for each beer to be classified according to the characteristic that most distinguishes it from the rest.

My favorite, without a doubt, is the cloudy wheat abbey beer, for its unmistakable flavor and texture. What is yours?

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