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Beer Styles

Discover Beer Styles

The sheer number of beer styles that make up the craft beer scene is exciting, but it can also be intimidating -- and that’s okay. With all of the different beer styles and beer names, it is tough to remember what differentiates them from one another. That is why we’ve created a detailed list of the types of beer that make up the craft beer world, complete with a few beer names and beer styles to help you find your favorite types of beer.

  • American Amber Ale

    Like most amber beers, American amber ale is named after the golden to amber color this American version...

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    American Amber Ale

  • American Amber Lager

    A widely available, sessionable craft beer style that showcases both malt and hops. Amber lagers are...

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    American Amber Lager

  • American Barley Wine

    American barley wine ranges from amber to deep red/copper-garnet in color. A caramel and/or toffee aroma...

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    American Barley Wine

  • American Black Ale

    The American black ale is characterized by the perception of caramel malt and dark roasted malt flavor...

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    American Black Ale

  • American Brett

    These unique beers vary in color and can take on the hues of added fruits or other ingredients. Horsey,...

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    American Brett

  • American Brown Ale

    Roasted malt, caramel-like and chocolate-like characters should be of medium intensity in both flavor...

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    American Brown Ale

  • American Cream Ale

    The American cream ale is a mild, pale, light-bodied ale, made using a warm fermentation (top or bottom...

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    American Cream Ale

  • American Imperial Porter

    Definitively American, the imperial porter should have no roasted barley flavors or strong burnt/black...

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    American Imperial Porter

  • Deciphering the Different Types of Beer

    There are hundreds of different types of beer on the craft beer market, and it can be challenging to remember all of the different beer names and beer styles. The type of a beer is determined by many different things including ingredients, region of origin and brewing method among a variety of others. Our list of beer styles, based on the Brewers Association’s competition beer style guidelines, is composed of over 75 different types of beers to help you find the exact beer that you’re looking for.

  • American Imperial Red Ale

    The use of American hops in the American imperial red ale lends to the perception of medium hop bitterness,...

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    American Imperial Red Ale

  • American Imperial Stout

    The American-style imperial stout is the strongest in alcohol and body of the stouts. Black in color,...

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    American Imperial Stout

  • American IPA

    Characterized by floral, fruity, citrus-like, piney or resinous American-variety hop character, the IPA...

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    American IPA

  • American Lager

    American lager has little in the way of hop and malt character. A straw to gold, very clean and crisp,...

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    American Lager

  • American Pale Ale

    Like many others that have become known as classic American beers, the American pale ale can trace its...

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    American Pale Ale

  • American Sour

    The acidity present in sour beer is usually in the form of lactic, acetic and other organic acids naturally...

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    American Sour

  • American Stout

    American stout beer is perhaps one of the most identifiable creations of the American beer world. Stout...

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    American Stout

  • American-Style Wheat Wine Ale

    Part of the "strong ale" category, the American-Style Wheat Wine Ale is not derived from grapes as its...

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    American-Style Wheat Wine Ale

  • Beer Names

    Our in-depth list of beer styles is designed to help our readers learn as much as they want. Our interactive color, bitterness and alcohol scales in addition to our taste categories make finding your favorite beer easy. Our list, composed of beer names, styles, and types, makes it so that you don’t have to be a beer connoisseur to know all about your favorite beers. If you remember what it tasted or looked like, our interactive tools make it easy to gather information on the beers that have caught your attention. Often folks will know the beer name, but not much else, while others know the taste or color and not the beer name. Either way, our tools will make sense of these things and get you back in touch with the beers you enjoy, or even help you branch out to new styles.

  • American Wheat

    American wheat beers are some of the most approachable beers in the craft beer world, and the versatility...

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    American Wheat

  • Baltic-Style Porter

    The Baltic-style Porter is a smooth, cold-fermented and cold-lagered beer brewed with lager yeast. Because...

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    Baltic-Style Porter

  • Barrel-Aged Beer

    A wood- or barrel-aged beer is any lager, ale or hybrid beer, either a traditional style or a unique...

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    Barrel-Aged Beer

  • Belgian-Style Blonde Ale

    The Belgian-style blonde ale is typically easy-drinking, with a low but pleasing hop bitterness. This...

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    Belgian-Style Blonde Ale

  • Belgian-Style Dubbel

    The Belgian-style dubbel ranges from brown to very dark in color. They have a malty sweetness and can...

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    Belgian-Style Dubbel

  • Belgian-Style Flanders

    The Belgian-style Flanders is an ale with character and balance, thanks to lactic sourness and acetic...

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    Belgian-Style Flanders

  • Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic

    Often known as cassis, framboise, kriek, or peche, a fruit lambic takes on the color and flavor of the...

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    Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic

  • Belgian-Style Golden Strong Ale

    The Belgian-style golden strong ale is fruity, complex and often on the higher end of the ABV spectrum,...

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    Belgian-Style Golden Strong Ale

  • Navigating Beer Styles

    With so many types of beer to explore, we know diving into the world of craft beer might be a little intimidating at first. But finding your way through the ever-growing number of beer styles has never been easier than it is with our interactive guide. You’ll learn about a style’s average ABV and IBU range as well as suggested beer and food pairings. Whether you're exploring beer styles with little to no knowledge beforehand, or you're well versed and looking for a refresher on all the beer styles out there, CraftBeer.com wants to help you find the information that you are looking for.

  • Belgian-Style Lambic/Gueuze

    Belgian-style Lambic or Gueueze beers are naturally and spontaneously fermented with high to very high...

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    Belgian-Style Lambic/Gueuze

  • Belgian-Style Pale Ale

    The Belgian-style pale ale is gold to copper in color and can have caramel or toasted malt flavor. The...

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    Belgian-Style Pale Ale

  • Belgian-Style Quadrupel

    The Belgian-style Quadrupel is amber to dark brown in color. Caramel, dark sugar and malty sweet flavors...

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    Belgian-Style Quadrupel

  • Belgian-Style Saison

    Beers in this category are gold to light amber in color. Often bottle-conditioned, with some yeast character...

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    Belgian-Style Saison

  • Belgian-Style Tripel

    Complex, sometimes mild spicy flavor characterizes this style. Yeast-driven complexity is common. Tripels...

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    Belgian-Style Tripel

  • Belgian-Style Witbier

    Belgian-style witbier is brewed using unmalted wheat, sometimes oats and malted barley. Witbiers are...

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    Belgian-Style Witbier

  • Berliner-Style Weisse

    Low in alcohol, refreshingly tart, and often served with a flavored syrup like Woodruff or raspberry,...

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    Berliner-Style Weisse

  • French-Style Biere de Garde

    Biere de Garde translates as "beer for keeping." This style is popping up more and more from U.S. producers....

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    French-Style Biere de Garde

  • The quest to find your favorite beer style does not have to stop here -- use our interactive brewery map to find where your next favorite beer is located. If you enjoy the website and are interested in a convenient way to learn about independent craft beer, sign up to have our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.

  • Blonde Ale

    One of the most approachable styles, a golden or blonde ale is an easy-drinking beer that is visually...

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    Blonde Ale

  • Bohemian-Style Pilsener

    The Bohemian pilsener has a slightly sweet and evident malt character and a toasted, biscuit-like, bready...

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    Bohemian-Style Pilsener

  • British-Style Barley Wine Ale

    The name "British-style barley wine" represents a group of strong ales that rival the strength and complexity...

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    British-Style Barley Wine Ale

  • California Common

    The California common is brewed with lager yeast but fermented at ale fermentation temperatures. There...

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    California Common

  • Chocolate Beer

    Few flavors are as universally celebrated as chocolate. From ancient civilizations who drank fermented...

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    Chocolate Beer

  • Coffee Beer

    If you had to combine two beverages that Americans love, you would have coffee beer. Craft breweries...

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    Coffee Beer

  • Contemporary Gose

    Straw to medium amber, the contemporary Gose is cloudy from suspended yeast. A wide variety of herbal,...

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    Contemporary Gose

  • English-Style Bitter

    The English-style bitter is a very sessionable, lower-alcohol, malt-driven style. Broad style description...

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    English-Style Bitter

  • English-Style Brown Ale

    A bona fide English beer classic, English-style brown ale is easily one of the most iconic beer styles....

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    English-Style Brown Ale

  • English-Style Brown Porter

    The English-style brown porter has no roasted barley or strong burnt/black malt character. Low to medium...

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    English-Style Brown Porter

  • English-Style Mild

    Malt and caramel are part of the flavor and aroma profile of the English-style mild while licorice and...

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    English-Style Mild

  • English-Style IPA

    Strong, bitter and completely misunderstood, the English India pale ale (or English IPA) bridges the...

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    English-Style IPA

  • English-Style Oatmeal Stout

    The addition of oatmeal adds a smooth, rich body to the oatmeal stout. This beer style is dark brown...

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    English-Style Oatmeal Stout

  • English-Style Old Ale

    A distinctive quality of these ales is that their yeast undergoes an aging process (often for years)...

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    English-Style Old Ale

  • English-Style Pale Ale (ESB)

    ESB stands for "extra special bitter." This style is known for its balance and the interplay between...

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    English-Style Pale Ale (ESB)

  • English-Style Sweet Stout (Milk Stout)

    Sweet stout, also referred to as cream stout or milk stout, is black in color. Malt sweetness, chocolate...

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    English-Style Sweet Stout (Milk Stout)

  • European-Style Export

    Sometimes referred to as a "Dortmunder export," the European-Style Export has the malt-forward flavor...

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    European-Style Export

  • Fruit and Field Beer

    Fruit beer is made with fruit, or fruit extracts that are added during any portion of the brewing process,...

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    Fruit and Field Beer

  • German-Style Bock

    Traditional bock beers are all-malt brews and are high in malt sweetness. Malt character should be a...

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    German-Style Bock

  • German-Style Brown/Altbier

    Originally from the Düsseldorf area of Germany, the German-Style Brown/Altbier strikes a balance between...

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    German-Style Brown/Altbier

  • German-Style Doppelbock

    "Doppel" meaning "double," this style is a bigger and stronger version of the lower-gravity German-style...

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    German-Style Doppelbock

  • German-Style Dunkel

    The German-style dunkel is a bottom-fermented lager style beer. The word "dunkel" is German for "dark,"...

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    German-Style Dunkel

  • German-Style Dunkelweizen

    The German-style Dunkelweizen can be considered a cross between a German-style dunkel and a hefeweizen....

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    German-Style Dunkelweizen

  • German-Style Hefeweizen

    Arguably one of the most recognizable beer styles, the German-style hefeweizen offers a striking beer...

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    German-Style Hefeweizen

  • German-Style Maibock

    Also called "heller bock" (meaning "pale bock"), the German-style Maibock is paler in color and more...

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    German-Style Maibock

  • German-Style Helles

    A beer for beer lovers, the German-style helles is a malt accented lager beer that balances a pleasant...

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    German-Style Helles

  • German-Style Kolsch

    Crisp, delicate and oh-so-drinkable, the German-style Kolsch is a beer hybrid, meaning that its production...

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    German-Style Kolsch

  • German-Style Marzen / Oktoberfest

    A beer rich in malt with a balance of clean, hop bitterness. Bread or biscuit-like malt aroma and flavor...

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    German-Style Marzen / Oktoberfest

  • German-Style Pilsner

    Quite possibly the most iconic beer style in modern history, the pilsner -- also spelled pilsener --...

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    German-Style Pilsner

  • German-Style Schwarzbier

    Sometimes called black lagers, they may remind some of German-style dunkels, but schwarzbiers are drier,...

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    German-Style Schwarzbier

  • German-Style Weizenbock

    The German-style Weizenbock is a wheat version of a German-style bock, or a bigger and beefier dunkelweizen....

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    German-Style Weizenbock

  • Gluten-Free Beer

    If you are one of the 2 million Americans who suffer from celiac disease, trying craft beers may seem...

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    Gluten-Free Beer

  • Herb and Spice Beer

    An herb and spice beer is a lager or ale that contains flavors derived from flowers, roots, seeds or...

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    Herb and Spice Beer

  • Honey Beer

    Both lagers and ales can be brewed with honey. Some brewers will choose to experiment with ingredients,...

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    Honey Beer

  • Imperial India Pale Ale

    American craft beer lovers are huge fans of the IPA. The quest for more of the India pale ale flavor...

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    Imperial India Pale Ale

  • Irish-Style Dry Stout

    Dry stout is black beer with a dry-roasted character thanks to the use of roasted barley. The emphasis...

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    Irish-Style Dry Stout

  • Irish-Style Red Beer

    Irish red ale is known for its unique malty taste and is on the lower side of the bitterness and alcohol...

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    Irish-Style Red Beer

  • New England IPA

    Emphasizing hop aroma and flavor without bracing bitterness, the New England IPA  leans heavily on late...

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    New England IPA

  • Pumpkin Beer

    Nothing says fall quite like pumpkins and beer, and American craft breweries have done a superb job of...

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    Pumpkin Beer

  • Robust Porter

    The Robust Porter features more bitter and roasted malt flavor than a brown porter, but not quite as...

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    Robust Porter

  • Rye Beer

    In darker versions, malt flavor can optionally include low roasted malt characters (evident as cocoa/chocolate...

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    Rye Beer

  • Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

    The Scotch ale is overwhelmingly malty, with a rich and dominant sweet malt flavor and aroma. A caramel...

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    Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

  • Scottish-Style Ale

    Scottish-style ales vary depending on strength and flavor, but in general retain a malt-forward character...

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    Scottish-Style Ale

  • Session Beer

    Session beer is not defined by flavors or aromas, which can place it in almost any style category. Instead,...

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    Session Beer

  • Smoke Beer

    When malt is kilned over an open flame, the smoke flavor becomes infused into the beer, leaving a taste...

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    Smoke Beer

  • Smoke Porter

    Typically the base for the smoke porter beer style is a robust porter that is given smoky depth thanks...

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    Smoke Porter

  • Specialty Beer

    Ingredients used in the specialty beer style should be distinctive and evident in either the aroma, flavor...

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    Specialty Beer

  • Vienna-Style Lager

    Vienna Lager ranges from copper to reddish brown in color. The beer is characterized by malty aroma and...

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    Vienna-Style Lager