Most beer drinkers tend to drink just a couple different beer styles without straying too far off the beaten path. But to fully understand and appreciate the wider spectrum of beer styles, here are a few types of beers that every beer drinker should taste at least once:
  • Belgian Fruit Lambic: Well-aged ale with surprising, effusive fruit aroma and taste; intoxicating fragrance

  • Doppelbock: Strong, dark, and caramel-like Bock Beer with two times the flavor and body of Bock (doppel your pleasure, doppel your fun)

  • Imperial Stout: Dark, rich, and creamy Stout with complex grain flavors; a brew to chew

  • Rauchbier: Oktoberfest beer made with a portion of beechwood-smoked malt; delicious and unique but takes somewhat of an acquired taste (great with smoked cheese or sausage)

  • Witbier: Perfumy Belgian Wheat Beer made with orange rind and coriander seed; like nothing else in the beer world

Certain brands of beer have become synonymous with distinctly different flavor profiles. The following short list includes some of the more famous brands along with a couple others that are still cultivating a following. True beer lovers should taste all of them at least once.
  • Guinness Stout (Ireland): Dark, dry, smooth, and roasty, with a creamy head; the perfect sipping pint

  • Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic): Crisp and hoppy with a touch of malty sweetness; the original, classic Pilsner beer

  • Rodenbach Grand Cru (Belgium): Sharply sour but refreshing, with fresh fruity notes; beer masquerading as Burgundy wine

  • Samichlaus (Austria): Incredibly malty-rich and spirited; a terrific tipple for the Christmas holidays

  • Samuel Adams Utopias (United States): Throat-warming malt complexity with hints of oak, like no beer you’ve ever had; that’s why you sip it like a brandy

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Marty Nachel is a beer educator, an award-winning homebrewer, a BJCP Certified Beer Judge, on the panel of professional beer judges at the Great American Beer Festival, and a former beer evaluator at the Beverage Testing Institute. He is also the founder and administrator of the Ale-Conner Beer Certification Program.

Steve Ettlinger is the author of seven books, most of which are about food and food-related subjects. His most recent is Twinkie, Deconstructed.

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