When it comes to beers, many people might not expect for there to be a lot of variants. However, just like with wines, the different beer types all bring something a bit different to the table. Knowing these types can help you decide which kind fits your tastes the best…

Beer Types: What’s the Difference?


The first of the beer types to take a look at are lagers. The name “lager” comes from the German word for “storage”. This actually gives a hint as to how breweries make this kind of beer. Brewers make lagers by using bottom-fermenting strains of yeast in cold temperatures, usually between 40-52°F.

Lagers are the most popular beers choice for the average drinker. In fact, most of the beer brands you find commonly at stores or gas stations are lagers, or closely related. Lagers tend to have lighter colors, and have a crisp, clean taste to them. Odds are, when you think of beer, a lager is the first to come to mind!


Still, lagers aren’t the only beer types out there. There is also the ale. The difference between lagers and ales can be traced back to that brewing process. Brewers will use top-fermenting yeast for ales instead of bottom ones. Also, they’ll use higher temperatures, usually around 55-77°F.

Ales are the second-most popular beer option out there. In fact, they’re becoming especially popular with drinkers in the craft beer scene. This is because ales can have a lot more unique flavors due to how they’re brewed. For example, ales can have flavors ranging from chocolate, to fruits, to even bubblegum!

Other options

While lagers and ales are the two most popular options, there are a few other ones out there as well. For example, you might’ve heard about porters and stouts. Porters are a dark beer that have a distinct roasted flavor to them. Stouts are like lighter porters, as they have less alcohol content. 

There are also specialty beers, which are becoming more common. Specialty beers are basically any beer that doesn’t fit any of the other categories. In a way, these beers can be whatever their brewer wants them to be. A lot of new, unique craft beers tend to fall under this category.