Every beer is either an ale or a lager. Ales, fermented at warmer temperatures, grip the palate and leave a longer aftertaste. Lagers, fermented in cooler environments, are more restrained, with greater emphasis on toasted or sweet malt flavors.—David Lynch
Abbey ale—Strong, fruity, unctuous beer associated with Belgian Trappist monasteries. Made in traditional, dubbel and tripel varieties.
Pale ale—English-style bitter. Hoppy, medium-bodied, full of red fruit flavor and despite the name, typically bronze or even reddish. Most American versions are hoppier than British ones.
Porter—Dark-brown ale with chocolatey malt flavor and often a refreshing hop bitterness.
Stout—Porter’s bigger brother. A blackish-brown ale made with dark-roasted malts.
Wheat beer, Weizenbier, Witbier—Ale brewed with raw wheat along with barley. A light beer with peach and apple flavors, a yeasty aroma and a creamy head. Belgian versions have spices added.
Bock—Strong brown lager with a characteristic malty sweetness. A Doppelbock (“double bock”) is nearly twice as strong.
Pilsener—olden lager typified by a crisp, clean flavor and a floral, sometimes herbal, aroma.
Schwarzbier—“Black beer,” a chocolatey lager that looks like a stout but is lighter bodied, with a more bitter flavor.