Posted by the Black Wolf | Feb 27, 2014 |
Beer is not just beer. There are many various styles of real ale, ranging from a light, fruity summer beer to a rich, bitter dark ale.
Whatever your preference, you can be sure there is a beer to suit everyone’s taste buds.
Historically, Scottish beers tend to be darker, sweeter and less heavily hopped than English and Welsh ales: a cold climate demands warming beers. But many of the new craft breweries produce beers lighter in colour and with generous hop rates.
The traditional, classic styles are light, low in strength and so-called even when dark in colour, also known as 60/-, Heavy or 70/-, Export or 80/- and a strong Wee Heavy, similar to a barley wine, and also labelled 90/-. In the 19th century, beers were invoiced according to strength, using the now defunct currency of the shilling.
Bitter grew out of a pale ale but is usually deep bronze to copper in colour due to the use of slightly darker crystal malts. Ordinary bitter will give a spicy, peppery and grassy hopped character, accompanied by a tangy fruit and nutty malt bitterness.
With strong bitters, malt and fruit character will tend to dominate but the hop aroma and bitterness are still crucial to the style, often achieved by ‘late hopping’ ‘in the brewery or adding hops to asks as they leave for the pubs. Bitters fall into the 3.4 – 3.9 % ABV band.
When first brewed, pale ale was strong in alcohol and high in hops. Today, pale ale is known as a bottled version of bitter, though historically the styles are different.
Look for juicy malt, citrus fruit and a big spicy, peppery bitter hop character, with strengths of 4% upwards.
Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters. Our Stout brews are produced at 4.5%.
More or less a creation from the craft brewery movement Pale straw to deep gold for colour. Usually an all malt brew, well attenuated with a lightly malty palate. Most have a subdued fruitiness. Hop character is off the noble variety, or similar, leaving a light to medium bitterness. A balanced beer, light bodied and sometimes lager like.
Lager is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. This limits the formation of esters and other fermentation by products producing a clean flavour. The yeast strains that make them were originally propagated by accident. Pale lager is the most widely consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world.
Wheat beer is a beer that is brewed with a large proportion of wheat in addition to malted barley. Wheat beers are usually top fermented. Wheat has lot more protein in it than barley which contributes to its thick long lasting heads. This protein also creates a haze in most wheat beers. Wheat contributes very little flavour to a beer but it does contribute a distinctive silky mouthful. Wheat beers are highly effervescent and most are light in flavour, making them great summer beers.
A richly flavoured, sweet, hoppy, beer popular on the West Coast of the United Stated. Ranging in colour from light amber to dark amber red they have a sweet malt flavour from the use of caramel malts, and a strong hop character often including grassy notes from dry hopping.