Beers Explained – Ales, Lagers and More

Beer is bliss. And, we say with certainty that it’s delightful to sip a cold one on occasion. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that America is home to more beer styles and brands than any other market in the world. But with over 100 varieties of beer, your brain probably can’t handle all of that beer knowledge. Luckily, we have the cliff notes on everything you need to know about beer types; the ales, lagers, malts, etc. That way, the next time you hit the bars with your buddies, you can tell them all about that tasty beer right before you shotgun it.
Beers Explained - Ales, Lagers and More


Ales are a rich and full-bodied beer, with hints of fruit or spice and a pleasant hoppy finish. During the fermentation process, the yeast gathers at the top, and it is fermented at relatively warm temperatures for short periods of time. The resulting taste is fruity, acidic, and often bitter. Also, Ales come in many varieties, including Bitters, Milds, Abbey Ales, Pale Ales, Nut Browns and more. The color of Ales ranges from rich gold to reddish amber. Some familiar brands that you may have tasted are Stout Guinness, Pale Ale Sierra Nevada, and Brown Ale New Castle.


Lagers are the world’s most popular beer. During fermentation, Lager yeast sinks to the bottom of the vessel and ferments at a colder temperature than Ale yeast. Thus, slowing the process down. Interestingly, Lager is the German word meaning “to store”. And, because the process of storing the beer is longer than Ales, the resulting taste is crisp and refreshing with a smooth finish and a high hop flavor. The color of Lagers ranges from pale to medium color. Some common Lager brands include Budweiser, Red Lager-Yuengling, Oktoberfest Spaten, and Sam Adams Winter Lager.


Stouts are a dark beer, first brewed by Guinness in Ireland. This beer is made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water, and yeast. Notably, Stouts have a very dark black, essentially opaque appearance. And, they have a full-bodied, assertive flavor of bitter chocolate and espresso. There are many different varieties of Stout ranging from the light-bodied, low-alcohol Dry Irish Stout to the rich Imperial Stout. Other Stout variations are Foreign Stout and Sweet or Milk Stout, as well as Porter, Imperial Porter, and Baltic Porter. You may have tried the world’s best-selling stout before, Guinness Draught.


Malts are generally a crisp, balanced sweet beer with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuits, and nuts. The clean finish is a result of removing the corn or rice and using 100 percent malts in the brew during the fermentation process. These beers range from copper to dark brown in color, from light to full bodied, and low to high in alcohol content. Some popular all-malt brands include Sail Session Premium Lager, Kona Longboard Island Lager, Bell’s Lager, Shiner Blonde, Kingfisher Lager, and Moosehead Lager.

Now that you have some beer knowledge under your belt, come join us at Adam’s TapHouse and Grille in Severna Park for $3 Craft Beers every Wednesday Night! And, be sure to check out our Craft Beer Menu too.