Styles of Beer

Styles of Beer

Ever wondered how all the styles of beer differ? How does a Pale Ale compare to an IPA for example?

Did you know beers can be classified as fruity, spicy, sweet, hoppy, roasty, or tart?

Styles of beer chart

Here’s a styles of beer chart so you can see the tipple-tastic taste differences between them all.

Pro tip – start from the top and try them all:

Styles of beer chart
Styles of Beer Chart

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Categories of beer


The clue’s in the name, with this category of beer being fruity. Fruity beers include hoppy and refreshing golden ales, the ever-so-strong barley wines, and of course fruit-flavoured beers like grapefruit, strawberry, and cherry.


Spiced beers include the extremely popular pales ales, inclusive of XPA (eXtra Pale Ale). Wheat beer, which hails back to 800 BC in Bavaria (now Germany), also falls into this category.

Saison beers, named after les saisonniers, 18th century Belgian farm workers, are a low-alcohol highly carbonated beer. Lucky for those chaps of old, potable water was a rarity, and instead their employers would give them 5 litres of saison beer per day to get them through a hard day’s work.

Spiced beers, understandably, also fall into this category.


Sweet beers include lightly-hopped light milds, and traditional Scottish beers which favour a malty taste.


This category includes the world-renowned IPAs (India Pale Ales), a name which stems back to the colonial era when this sturdy brew could withstand the trip to India to support the British India Army.

Bitters fall into this category, essentially an English dark amber pale ale, as do Burton Ales as a stronger, darker ale hailing from the English town of Burton on Trent.


A range of dark beers, inclusive of porters and stout, with the Irish stout beer Guinness being a key example in this category.

Roasty beers also include milk stouts, dark milds, old ales, and stronger varieties of old ales.


Tart beers, sour in nature, include rye beers, lambics, goses, and Berliner Weisse as a variation of wheat beer from Northern Germany.

Beer styles

Over the centuries many beer styles have come in and out of fashion. Some ancient beer styles occasionally make a reappearance based on local trends.


The grisette beer style, similar in many ways to the saison beer style, also originates from the Belgium/France border during the 18th century. The key difference in history is the grisette (meaning little grey one) was favoured by miners in the region rather than the farmers associated with the saison beer style.

But like the saison, the grisette beer style is a low-alcohol light-bodied beer, with a tartness similar to the saison and other farmhouse style beers.

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