The craft brewing industry has exploded in popularity in the past few years, with new products bursting onto the scene each year.  While it may seem like there are a dizzying number of beer styles out there, an understanding of a handful of key types will stand you in great stead, as there’s a lot of overlap between the different varieties.

In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most popular styles of beer – you’ll be talking like a pro in no time, and become every beer lover’s favourite gift giver!


Lager is a typical starting point for beer drinkers, drunk by many all over the world.  Lagers are bottom-fermented at a lower temperature than ale, giving it a crisp and clean taste that has less of the bolder flavours of an ale.


Blonde ale, also known as golden ale, originated from brewers trying to lure commercial lager drinkers towards the world of craft beer. It’s a smooth, easy drinker that has a balanced taste without too many dominating malt or hoppy flavours – perfect for those looking for something a little more flavourful than a traditional lager.

Pale Ale

Pale Ales are an English style ale made with pale malt. They date back to 1703 where beers made from malts were dried with high carbon coke, resulting in a lighter colour than most beers at the time. This brewing process gives it a hoppy flavour, characterised by citrus notes and caramel sweetness.


IPA’s, short for India Pale Ale, is the stronger, hoppier cousin of Pale Ale, boasting bold citrus or fruity flavours (depending on the hops).  Legend has it that sailors added extra hops to the ale to help it survive the journey to India – resulting in the hoppy flavour and higher alcohol content. Go steady!

Bitter/Classic Brown Ale

An English classic, Brown ale is known for its comforting malty overtones, often with notes of caramel, chocolate and bread. Brown ales are actually tipped by brewers and beer experts as one of the most food friendly styles of beer as the malt and toasty flavours pair well with a wide variety of food.

English Trappist

Put simply, Trappist beer is beer that has been brewed by monks within the walls of a monastery. Niche, right!?  Of the 170 Trappist monasteries in the world, just 12 produce beer, but between them they brew some of the most famous and exceptional beers ever made.


If you’re a fan of a malty tasting beer, you’ll be sure to love a Belgian style Dubbel. One of the more popular beer styles to emerge from the aforementioned Trappist, it’s a fairly strong ale (6-8% ABV) with a deep colour that imparts chocolate, dark fruit and caramelised flavours.


Often labelled interchangeably with a stout, a Porter is actually the weaker version of the two. Porter is made with malted barley and a generous helping of hops, resulting in a dark medium-bodied beer with a perfect balance of malty sweetness and bitter hoppiness.