How To Sound Like A Beer Expert


Ever go out with friends and not know what kind of beer you're really ordering? You liked something, but you can't remember if it was a lager, an ale, or an IPA? Do you even know what those terms mean? I didn't know anything about beer before living in Vancouver. With beer booming and breweries popping up everywhere I knew I needed to get with the times. I've listed a few beer types that every beer lover should know. Consider this your non-alphabetical beer glossary.

Beer can be judged by colour, flavour, strength, brewing method, history and by its attributes.

The following will help you better understand and identify different beers when ordering:


Beers are generally ales, lagers, stouts, or porters. From there they break down even further into sub types.



Ales Appearance: Gold to reddish amber Flavour: Fruity, acidic, bitter and hoppy Aroma: Fruity Method: Fermented at a higher temperature than a lager, top fermentation at a higher temperature



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Lager (most commonly consumed) Appearance: pale to black Flavour: refreshing and crisp, sweet or bitter, a smooth finish from aging longer and medium to high hops Method: stored and fermented in near freezing temperatures, bottom fermentation





Stout Appearance: darker with rich creamy head Flavour: roasted coffee-like character, full body Aroma: Sweet, coffee, burnt scent Method: flavoured by barley (not hops)





Porter Appearance: dark, almost black Flavour: crisp, bitter, dry or sweet taste Aroma: sweet, fruity Method: roasted malt. roast fermentation




Amber (lager or ale) Appearance: darker colour, full bodied Flavour: caramel sweet Method: excess malt

Blonde Appearance: golden Flavour: dry, crisp, low/medium bitterness Aroma: sweetness from malt and aroma from hops

Cream Appearance: golden (slightly darker than a blonde) Flavour: mild Method: wheat

Dark Appearance: medium to dark brown or black Flavour: caramel, dry and sweet Aroma: fruity Method: hops, yeast and malt

Pale Appearance: light copper Flavour: fruity, malty and woody

IPA (Indian Pale Ale) Appearance: golden Flavour: extra hoppy version of pale ale, bitter Aroma: bitter Method: extra hops

Wheat Appearance: hazy or cloudy Flavour: light with little after taste Method: additional hops added throughout the brewing process

Fruit (ales) Appearance: gold to reddish amber Flavour: low bitterness level Aroma: fruity

Brown Appearance: amber, brown Flavour: caramel, chocolate Aroma: citrus, malty

Golden Appearance: straw Flavour: citrus, spicy

Honey Appearance: creamy, copper Flavour: sweet, caramel Aroma: sweet

Light Appearance: golden Flavour: mild Method: fewer calories lower alcohol content

Smoked  Flavour: smokey Aroma: smokey Method: smoldering wood

Spiced Flavour: spicy Aroma: spicy Method: spices used in place of hops