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Different Types of Beer

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying beer is a popular alcoholic beverage. Whether it’s having a drink with mates at a pub, or visiting a brewery to try out new offerings, there are many different types of beer to choose from. As a general rule, darker beers tend to have a stronger flavor than pale ales which are lighter in both colour and taste.

In today’s article, we take a look at some of the different beers out there, and explain a little about what sets them apart. Read on to learn about some of the different beer types.

What are the main types of beer?

Generally, the main types of beer can be split into two categories – ales and lagers. The main difference between the two is that ales are brewed at higher temperatures with top-fermenting yeast, while lager beer uses colder temperatures and bottom-fermenting yeast. This difference in creation leads to different tastes and looks for the beers.

Pale Ale

A largely popular type of beer, pale ales tend to have a lighter flavour than lagers. This milder flavour can make them a good choice for those beginning their beer drinking journey. Pale Ale can be further divided into other types; for example IPAs (India Pale Ales) are pale ales that often have a stronger taste and alcohol content. IPAs are craft beers, and different varieties can often be found at breweries. These beers can be fruity, hops-heavy, bitter, and more – it just depends on what’s added into the mix while brewing.


Lager is another popular beer for both newcomers and seasoned beer drinkers. These beers are made using bottom fermenting yeast, which makes them smooth and easy to drink. They generally have a mild flavour than other beers, and tend to be highly carbonated. There are many different subtypes of lager, including Pilsner, Bock, Helles, and Vienna. Each of these beers has a unique taste and look, with varying alcohol content.


Third on our list is Porter, which is a dark type of beer. These beers usually have an ABV (alcohol by volume) of between 4 and 12 percent. Porters are similar to stouts, and can be found in many places around the world. These beers are historically associated with pubs and breweries in England, Scotland, and Ireland. There are various types of porters such as Robust Porter, Baltic Porter, and American Porter – each one with a distinctive taste.


Stout is another dark beer on this list. Top-fermented, and made with dark-roasted malted barley, these beers have a strong flavour. Some types of stout also include smoked malts or chocolate malt – making them even more flavourful. These beers are often on the bitter side, and offer a tasty alternative to those who don’t enjoy lighter beers. Varieties of stout include Dry Stout, Chocolate Stout, Oatmeal Stout, and Imperial Stout.


Sours are a bit of a unique beer. Generally, sour beer isn’t brewed using brewers yeast – with creators preferring to use wild yeast instead. This technique gives sours a distinctive, acidic taste – which is why they’re often referred to as ‘sour ales’. Those wondering what kind of beer is sweet may find solace in certain sours. Sours often have a balanced flavour of sour and sweet. This type of beer tends to have a bit of an acquired taste, and isn’t as popular as others, however it’s worth a try for those who enjoy tart and sour flavours.


A variety of lager, Pilsner is light and clear, with an ABV that generally falls between the 4.5-5 percent range. These beers take their name from Plzen, the city in Bohemia where they were first brewed. They are a light-hop pale lager, brewed using lager yeast and Pilsner malt. This type of beer tends to be quite popular among those who want a light-bodied brew. Varieties include Bohemian Pilsner, American Pilsner, and German Pilsner.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some of the different types of beer available in Australia. When it comes to beer, there are many varied options to choose from. Those looking to delve deeper into the beer culture and find the types they enjoy may wish to enrol in a tasting session at their local brewery.

If you wish to learn more about the different types of beer on the market and how to serve them, you might also like to consider enrolling in an online Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course. Express Online Training provides online RSAs that offer information on different types of alcohol and the correct way of serving them. These courses allow you to work within licensed venues such as pubs, clubs, and bottle shops. Our courses are affordable and flexible, allowing you to complete an RSA at home and at your own pace.


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