The word Lager comes from the German “Lagern,” which means to store. In the early days of Lager brewing, many brewers would store their Bier through the summer in the caves of the Bavarian Alps. These caves were cooled with blocks of ice taken from frozen lakes in the winter months. The long maturation over the summer let the yeast settle to the bottom and left the Bier with a cleaner taste and paler colour than other Biers of the time. These Bavarian Lagers were much darker than the golden Lagers that dominate the market today. These dark brown or black Lagers, known as Dunkel or Dunkles, are still produced in Bavaria today. Today, Lagers come in all shapes and sizes, from crisp, golden Pilsners to dark, roasted Dunkels.
In the early 19th century, Bavarian brewers began experimenting with brewing techniques that involved storing their Biers in cold Bier cellars for prolonged periods, using bottom-fermenting yeast. After an initial fermentation, the Bier would be given a second lagering period at a low temperature, and then would be stored in refrigerated Bier cellars. They could be kept for a few weeks or several months, during which time the drink would mellow and clear.
The Amber Lager was first introduced around 1840 in Vienna Austria by Anton dreher, the renowned brewer of the Schwechat Brewery. he lightly roasted a new type of malt in his kilns and was rewarded with an elegantly reddish new Bier style that came to be known as Vienna Lager.
Before the invention of modern kilning techniques all Biers were dark... even Lagers. These traditional Biers have been replaced in many parts of the world with their more modern cousins, Blonde or Amber Lagers, but still have a significant place in the hearts of many Bier drinkers in the czech republic and germany. This classic style is enjoying a renaissance in the hands of many north American craft brewers. These Biers are easy drinking and refined, with a slightly sweet, roasted nuttiness.
The town of Plzen in Bohemia had been making Bier since the 1200s and, in 1842, the Bavarian brewer Josef Groll travelled there and tested a new Lager recipe. Groll’s new brewing techniques produced the very first golden, clear Bier in Europe. This drink became known as Pilsner, which means “from Plze” in german. Made with neutral and hard water. Tend to be golden in colour with a dry, crisp, and somewhat bitter flavour. Pilsner stands out from other lagers due to its more distinctive hop taste.
Although the first incident of fermentation is lost to the pages of history, our favourite tale of Bier’s beginnings is as follows: After baking bread, a young woman got caught in a rainstorm and abandoned her loaf to the elements. When the woman returned after the storm, she found the bread soaked in water. After tasting the water-soaked bread, a mild sense of “happiness” came over her — and the rest is brewing history.
One of the two main families of Bier, Ales have been around much longer than their Lager counterparts. Ales are fermented with a top-fermenting yeast strain that usually performs well at warmer temperatures. This made Ale ideal for brewing in the days before refrigeration. Ales tend to be more complex and bolder than Lagers, and are credited with starting the craft Bier movement.
This is a light- to medium-bodied ale, with a low malt aroma that has a spiced and sometimes fruity-ester character. Sugar is sometimes added to lighten the perceived body. This style is medium in sweetness and not as bitter as Belgian-style tripels or golden strong ales. It is usually brilliantly clear. The overall impression is balance between light sweetness, spice and low to medium fruity ester flavours.
Strong Dark Ales
This is a light- to medium-bodied ale, with a low malt aroma that has a spiced and sometimes fruity-ester character. Sugar is sometimes added to lighten the perceived body. This style is medium in sweetness and not as bitter as Belgian-style tripels or golden strong ales. It is usually brilliantly clear. The overall impression is balance between light sweetness, spice and low to medium fruity ester flavours.This is a broad designation assigned to a group of robust, high ABV Biers ranging from 6.5% to 11%. Most Biers in this style are produced in Belgium or in craft breweries in north America. Many of the Biers represented in this category are brewed in the classic Belgian style and hail from some of the most acclaimed abbeys, monasteries and historic breweries in the world! These Biers are bold and complex and often showcase aromas of dark fruit.
Like many Bier styles, Pale Ale resulted from an innovation in brewing technology. The brewers in Burton-on-Trent in england were looking for a way to produce a more consistent and paler Bier. The kilns of the time used wood, which was difficult to control and often resulted in dark roasted or even scorched barley. They found that coke, a processed form of coal that burns hot and steady, gave them the desired effect — a clear, amber or copper-coloured Ale.
Indian Pale Ale
In order to provide Bier to British soldiers stationed in Bombay, india, in the late 1700s, the brewer george hodgson, decided to create a Bier to weather the sea voyage. george increased the hop (a natural preservative) content in the Pale Ale, which he knew would help the Bier in transit. he also understood the impact of increased alcohol as a preservative and brewed his Bier accordingly to accommodate the long journey. ibus (international Bittering units) are also used to describe these Biers. This scale is based on the bitterness of Bier upon completion of aging and ranges from 0 to 100.
Stout & Porters
The name Porter was first used in the 18th century because of this style of Bier’s popularity with dock and hotel porters. Originally created from a blend of Brown Ale, Pale Ale and “stale,” or well-matured Brown Ale, Porter has gone through many style and colour transitions over the years but has come to be known as a dark brown to black Bier with a nice roasted malt character. The term Stout was applied to stronger, darker versions. Stout flooded into ireland from London and Bristol when a dublin brewer named Arthur guinness decided to fashion his own interpretation by blending Porter with some unmalted roasted barley, and in so doing produced a style known as dry irish Stout.
Wheat beer has a very long history, dating back to Germany in the Middle Ages and some argue, to the first century AD. It’s a style that’s found throughout Europe, and called “white beer” or weissbier in its native country of Germany, wit beer in Belgium and bière blanche in France. German versions are known for their banana and clove flavours, produced by the yeast, while Belgians stand out for the coriander and orange peel that's added to the ale. Most wheats are naturally fermented in the bottle, so these "living ales" explode with tons of tiny bubbles. Explore all the flavours and decide which you love best.
For almost 300 years, Bavarian law dictated that only the royal family held rights to brew this classic style of Bier. Then, in 1872, georg Schneider of the Schneider Brewery negotiated the rights to brew this formerly exclusive Bier. Brewed with a large portion of malted wheat and fermented with a particular yeast, these Biers are famous for their clove and banana aromas.
Similar to a Hefeweizen, these southern Germany wheat beers are brewed as darker versions (Dunkel means "dark") with deliciously complex malts and a low balancing bitterness. Most are brown and murky (from the yeast). The usual clove and fruity (banana) characters will be present, some may even taste like banana bread.
Although brewing was once commonplace at abbeys across Europe, today there remain but a handful of these monastic breweries. The most famous are the celebrated Trappist breweries of Belgium and the Netherlands – Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren and La Trappe. While the size of the breweries and the types of Ales produced vary dramatically from abbey to abbey, each one must meet stringent criteria in order to maintain its Trappist designation.
1. The Bier must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
2. The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must depend on the monastic community.
“Double” Bier. Dubbels are a strong brown Ale with low bitterness, a heavy body and a malty, nutty finish. These Biers have an ABV of 6.5% to 8%, a colour that runs the range from dark amber to copper and bitterness from 15 to 25 IBUs.
“Triple” Bier. Tripels run from 7.5% to 9% alcohol by volume, and are brewed with high carbonation and high attenuation yeasts to reduce the taste of alcohol. Colour runs lighter than Dubbels and bitterness ranges from 20 to 40 IBUs, though most Tripels have greater than 30 IBUs.
Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian-style Ale of great strength with bolder flavour compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Sweet with low bitterness and an ABV range of 9% to 13%.
Made with a mix of beer and lemonade, Radler is the German equivalent of the British shandy. Enterprising innkeepr, Franz Kugler, invented the "radlermass," or cyclist's litre, in 1922 after he had a bike trail built from Munich to his forested inn. On the first day the trail opened, he had more thirsty cyclists than beer, so he mixed it with lemonade. Its low alcohol (between 2-4% ABV) makes it an ideal after-sport thirst quencher. At last, this beer-and-juice combination has hit the North American radar, with many craft brewers creating their own unique versions with lager or wheat-beer bases.
Apple trees were growing in the uK well before the romans came, but they were the ones who introduced organized cultivation. Cider was produced in substantial quantities on farms across England and it became customary in the 18th century to pay a portion of a farm labourer’s daily wage in cider. A typical allowance on a farm was three to four pints per day. Labourers were rated by the amount they drank; a two-gallon-a-day man was considered worth the extra he drank!
There is evidence to suggest that fruit and Bier have been companions since the first days of brewing. Long before hops were used to “season” Bier, fruit, herbs and spices were used to balance the malt character of the Bier. fruit Biers can range from sweet and fruity to tart and vinous.
The flanders red Ales of west flanders and the Oud Bruin Ales of east flanders are Biers that get their signature sweet and sour flavour from the blending of young and aged Biers that have been exposed to wild yeast strains during the brewing process or during maturation. These Biers are often described as wine-like and fruity, with refreshing tartness and acidity.
Brewed in the Zenne Valley of Belgium, Lambics are Biers brewed through spontaneous fermentation thanks to the presence of a specific wild yeast. Probably the oldest recognizable style of Bier, they date back to 1559. Lambics are loved by connoisseurs but an acquired taste for many, as the wild yeast gives them tart, acidic qualities that make them unlike most other Biers. Lambic-style Biers can take years of aging and careful blending of multiple batches before they’re ready to drink. Lambic can be drunk direct from the barrel, but usually it is used as base for these six other Biers (geuze, faro, Kriek, framboise, Pêcheresse and cassis).