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.
- Abbey aleStrong, fruity, unctuous beer associated with Belgian Trappist monasteries. Made in traditional, dubbel and tripel varieties.
- Pale aleEnglish-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.
- PorterDark-brown ale with chocolatey malt flavor and often a refreshing hop bitterness.
- StoutPorter's bigger brother. A blackish-brown ale made with dark-roasted malts.
- Wheat beer, Weizenbier, WitbierAle 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.
- BockStrong brown lager with a characteristic malty sweetness. A Doppelbock ("double bock") is nearly twice as strong.
- Pilsenerolden 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.