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Alt
Altbier is a German top-fermenting beer brewed in Düsseldorf and other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. The name Altbier, which means old beer, refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast.

Amber/Red Ale
Primarily a catch all for any beer less than a Dark Ale in color, ranging from amber (duh) to deep red hues. This style of beer tends to focus on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high. Expect a balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness in most examples. The range can run from a basic ale, to American brewers who brew faux-Oktoberfest style beers that are actually ales instead of lagers.

American Blonde
More or less a creation from the craft-brewery movement, and also reminiscent of the German style Kölsch. Pale straw to deep gold for color. Usually an all malt brew, well attenuated with a lightly malty palate. Most have a subdued fruitiness. Hop character is of the noble variety, or similar, leaving a light to medium bitterness. A balanced beer, light bodied and sometimes lager like.

Barleywine
A Barleywine (or Barley Wine) is very much a beer, albeit a very strong and often intense beer! In fact, it's one of the strongest of the beer styles. Lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic. A brew of this strength and complexity can be a challenge to the palate. Expect anything from an amber to dark brown colored beer, with aromas ranging from intense fruits to intense hops. Body is typically thick, alcohol will definitely be perceived, and flavors can range from dominant fruits to palate smacking, resiny hops.

Belgian Dark Ale
Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters. Colors play within the amber to light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating. Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness

Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Like a Belgian Pale Ale, the strong versions will also be pale to golden in color. What sets them apart is a much higher alcohol content that can range from hidden to spicy to devastatingly present. Expect a complex and powerful ale, yet delicate with rounded flavors and big, billowy, rocky, white head. Hop and malt character can vary, most are fruity and quite hoppy, but hop flavor and aroma will generally be within the low range and artfully balanced.

Biere de Garde
The Biere de Garde is golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are moderate to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar-like, musty aromas and flavors are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character.

Bitter Ale
The traditional British pale ale style, which includes bitter and ESB, is a very pleasant and understated beer. It has a malty profile and just enough woody or lightly floral hops for balancing. It is elegant and a great session beer. The American and Australia version of this very mutable style are brasher. The maltiness is often dialed down and more aggressive hops varieties are used making it an exciting and spicy brew.

Black Ale
Also referred to as a Black IPA (India Pale Ale) or Cascadian Dark Ale, ales of this style range from dark brown to pitch black and showcase malty and light to moderate roasty notes and are often quite hoppy generally with the use of American hops. Alcohol can range from average to high depending on if the brewery is going for a "dobule / imperial" version.

Bock
The flavor profiles of bock's sub-styles break down like this. Dunkles bock is probably the bock most in line with the style's brewing tradition. It is rich and malty. There is noticeable balancing hop bitterness but the depth of the full malt flavor dominate. Doppelbock or double bock, predictably, is like dunkles bock except more so - more of the sweet malty flavor, more depth, and more alcohol. Helles bock and Maibock are both lighter beers. They can be golden or amber but pack considerably more flavor than other styles of similar color. They also tend to be a bit hoppier than other bocks.

Brown Ale
Brown ales range from deep amber to brown in colour. Caramel and chocolate flavours are evident. Brown ales from northeastern England tend to be strong and malty, often nutty, while those from southern England are usually darker, sweeter and lower in alcohol. North American brown ales are usually drier than their English counterparts, with a slight citrus accent and an aroma, bitterness, and medium body due to American hop varieties. Fruitiness from esters are subdued. When chilled to cold temperatures, some haziness may be noticed.

Cream Ale
Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in. Adjuncts such as corn or rice are used to lighten the body. It is no uncommon for smaller craft brewers to brew all malt Cream Ales. Pale straw to pale gold color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma though some micros have given the style more of a hop character. Well carbonated and well attenuated.

Double IPA-(Imperial IPA)
Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.

Dubbel
The Belgian Dubbel is a rich malty beer with some spicy / phenolic and mild alcoholic characteristics. Not as much fruitiness as the Belgian Strong Dark Ale but some dark fruit aromas and flavors may be present. Mild hop bitterness with no lingering hop flavors. It may show traits of a steely caramel flavor from the use of crystal malt or dark candy sugar. Look for a medium to full body with an expressive carbonation.

ESA

ESB
ESBs are essentially more aggressive and more balanced Bitters, both in alcohol and hop character, but nothing overpowering. Color range will be similar, though leaning towards the darker end of the scale; dark golds to copper. Low carbonation. Malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity, with maybe some notes diacetyl. And despite "bitter" being in its name, ESBs are not really all that bitter. They key to an ESB is balance.

Fruit Beers
A generic form of flavored beer, some breweries actually use real fruit or veggies, though most use an extract, syrup or processed flavor to give the effect of a particular fruit or vegetable. Usually ales, but with not much ale character to them and commonly unbalanced. Malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate.

Gift Packs
Styles and flavors vary depending on brewery and season.

Gluten Free Beer
Gluten-free beer is beer made from ingredients that do not contain glycoproteins (gluten). People who have gluten intolerance have a reaction to the common grains used to make beer; barley and wheat. The hordein found in barley and the gliadin found in wheat are the "glutens".

Hard Cider
The flavour of cider varies. Ciders can be classified from dry to sweet. Their appearance ranges from cloudy with sediment to completely clear, and their colour ranges from light yellow through orange to brown. The variations in clarity and colour are mostly due to filtering between pressing and fermentation. Some apple varieties will produce a clear cider without any filtration. Both sparkling and still ciders are made; the sparkling variety is the more common. Modern, mass-produced ciders closely resemble sparkling wine in appearance. More traditional brands tend to be darker and cloudier. They are often stronger than the mass-produced varieties and taste more strongly of apples. Almost colourless "white cider" is produced on a large scale.

Imperial Stout
Imperial stout, also known as "Russian imperial stout" or "imperial Russian stout," is a strong dark beer or stout in the style that was brewed in the 18th century. Most are barrel aged,usually bourbon or whiskey barrels. abv ranges from 7% to 12%.

IPA
It will have a moderate, persisting head. The body will be golden to amber. A good IPA will have a pleasantly hoppy aroma. The flavor should be equally hoppy with plenty of balancing malty sweetness.

Kolsch
Light to medium in body with a very pale color, hop bitterness is medium to slightly assertive. A somewhat vinous (grape-y from malts) and dry flavor make up the rest.

Lager
Pale lager is a very pale to golden-coloured lager with a well attenuated body and noble hop bitterness. Dark lagers typically range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown, and may be termed dunkel, schwarzbier, Vienna, tmavé or Baltic porter depending on region or brewing method.

Lambic

Malt Alternatives
Malt beverage is an American term for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages, in which the primary ingredient is barley, which has been allowed to sprout ("malt") slightly before it is processed. By far, the most predominant malt beverage is beer, of which there are two main styles: ale and lager.

Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal stout is a stout with a proportion of oats, normally a maximum of 30%, added during the brewing process. Oatmeal stouts usually do not specifically taste of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats. The gums increase the viscosity and body adding to the sense of smoothness.

Old Ale
Old Ales, also referred to in the past as "Stock" Ales, are low attenuated beers with high levels of dextrins, creating a full malt body with plenty of character. Old Ales of a hundred plus years ago were often transfered into vats to mature, hence the name. Rich dark amber in color to a very dark brown; near black. Tamed aromatics. Although bittering levels can greatly vary, expect common fruity, vinous, intense malts and sharp alcohol characteristics. The often racy but mellow attitude of the beer may also include acidic notes, raisins and black currants.

Organic
Choosing organic beverages means that the grapes, barley, hops, apples, and other ingredients used to make your fermented refreshment are spared the application of toxic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers.

Pale Ale
The traditional British pale ale style, which includes bitter and ESB, is a very pleasant and understated beer. It has a malty profile and just enough woody or lightly floral hops for balancing. It is elegant and a great session beer. The American and Australia version of this very mutable style are brasher. The maltiness is often dialed down and more aggressive hops varieties are used making it an exciting and spicy brew.

Pilsner
The head is white and dense and the body is straw colored. The aroma should contain hops with a hint of graininess. The flavor is simple with light grain and hops bittering. The finish is clean and refreshing.

Porter
There are many broad interpretations of modern porter so general tasting notes are difficult. The brew is very dark, almost opaque, though it should be clear when light does find its way through. The nose usually contains mild notes of roasted grains, chocolate, and toffee. There can also be undertones of coffee or licorice. The mouthfeel is thin but not watery. The flavor is always mild with none of the harsh or bitter notes of stout.

Quadrupel
Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol.

Rauchbier
The Rauchbier style is an old German beer style, its origins go back to the 1500's and to the district of Franconia and the town of Bamberg. It's typically of dark colour and has similarities of the Oktoberfestbier. Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness ("rauch" is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine a smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.

Rye
Rye beer refers to any beer in which rye (generally malted) is substituted for some portion of the barley malt. One example of this is roggenbier which is a specialty beer produced with up to sixty percent rye malt. The style originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany and is brewed with the same type of yeast as a German hefeweizen resulting in a similar light, dry, spicy taste. In the United States another style of rye beer is being developed by homebrewers and microbreweries. In some examples, the hop presence is pushed to the point where they resemble American India pale ales.[1]

Sahti
Said to be one of the only primitive beers to survive in Western Europe, Sahti is a farmhouse ale with roots in Finland. First brewed by peasants in the 1500s, mashing (steeping of grains) went down in wooden barrels, and then that mash would be scooped into a hand-carved wooden trough (a kuurna) with a bed of juniper twigs that acted as a filter. The bung at the bottom of the kuurna would be pulled to allow the sweet wort (liquid infusion from the mash) to pass through the twig filter, followed by wort recirculation and a hot water sparge (rinsing of the grains), all of which created a juniper infusion of sorts.

Saison
This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

Schwarzbier
Schwarzbier ("shvahrts-beer"), is simply German for black beer. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily heavy or light in body, although they tend to lean towards light. Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt characteristics that the others tend to depend on. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Very refreshing and soul lifting beers, they also make a great alternative for the Winter. Especially when you are looking for a lighter beer, but one with depth of colour and taste.

Scottish Ale
Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which create a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Smoky characters are also common.

Sour/Wild Ale
Sour/Wild is a category encompassing a myriad of non-traditional sour ales which are typically brewed with an ale yeast and then inoculated with souring bacteria and yeasts -- typically Lactobacillus, often Brettanomyces and Pediococcus, and sometimes Acetobacter.

Spruce Ale
Spruce beer is a beverage flavored with the buds, needles, or essence of spruce trees. A number of flavors are associated with spruce-flavored beverages, ranging from floral, citrusy, and fruity to cola-like flavors to resinous and piney. This diversity in flavor likely comes from the choice of spruce species, the season in which the needles are harvested, and the manner of preparation.

Stout
The head of stout should be thick and is usually tan to brown. It's body should be very dark brown or black. Stouts are typically opaque but if any light does find its way through the beer should be clear. The nose should be grainy and can carry hints of coffee, chocolate, licorice, and molasses with no apparent hops. The flavor is similar to the nose and should be rich and full. The mouthfeel should be anything but watery. A good stout can be silky, full, and creamy.

Strong Ale
Characteristics will greatly vary; some have similarities to Barley-wines and Old Ales. Barrel aging is certainly not out of the question. Alcohol content will vary between 6.0%-25.0%

Tripel
Belgian tripels are deep yellow to deep gold with good clarity and can be quite effervescent. The head should be long lasting, creamy, rocky and white. Many times they will give ‘Belgian lace’ as the beer is consumed so you can see the different level the liquid was in the glass. Bottles should be stored upright and poured carefully to leave the bottle conditioning yeast in the bottle. There should be low to moderate spice, fruity flavors supported by the soft malt along with some acceptable soft alcohol presence. Esters of orange or banana are acceptable. Tripels can be a bit sweet and low in intensity for the amount of alcohol present. The bitterness is generally medium to high from the hop bitterness and yeast produced phenols. There is usually quite a bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

Variety Packs
Styles and flavors vary depending on brewery and season.

Weizen Bock
Strong, dark wheat beers, typically with a high ester profile and more malt and alcohol than is typically associated with a wheat beer.

Wheat
Traditional Bavarian Hefe Weizen is cloudy from wheat proteins and suspended yeast. It has a thick, white and long lasting head. The nose carries strong hints of bananas and clove. The flavor carries the same banana and clove characteristics with barely perceptible hops bittering. The mouthfeel is full and soft.

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