Like, how many styles of beer are actually out there? Well, you can count them, but the Brewers Association (BA) says about 77 “common beers” (see below). Basically, there’s a shit-ton, but the BA is making it easy for us to navigate all these varieties. Whether you’re looking for an American amber ale or a Vienna-style lager, CraftBeer.com — the BA’s website for beer lovers — recently launched the new Beer Styles Guide to help.
Each beer style is showcased in a variety of ways. A photo-rich quick hit overview offers a visual representation of all the styles. Turning the Beer Style Finder “on” lets users sort styles by color, bitterness, alcohol and flavor. The interactive beer glass images launch a dedicated page for each style, offering an overview of color, appearance, aroma and sensations, along with recommended food pairings, proper glassware, suggested serving temperature and commercial brand examples. The guide is accompanied by an introduction video and the most concise and systematic tasting sheet ever published.
For those who want to dive even deeper, an extensive text guide uses an alphabetical list of triggers — from alcohol to yeast variety — to help describe possible characteristics of a specific beer style.
“At CraftBeer.com we aim to provide beer lovers with exactly what they want to know,” said Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association. “One of the best things about beer is the amazing variety of styles. From the beer beginner to geek from chefs to foodies alike these guidelines are presented in a groundbreaking new format designed for easy reference.”
The CraftBeer.com Beer Styles Guides are the result of a two-year review of the top beer styles being made in the United States, cross referenced with both Brewers Association and the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. The list was pared down to 77 common U.S. beer styles inside of 15 style families with unique information added specifically with the beer lover in mind.