Beer Styles List & Tastings

After studying the 2021 Beer Judging Certification Program’s Beer Style Guidelines, we realized we tend to stay in our lane in terms of beer styles. In order to branch out to new areas, we decided to seek out at least one beer from each category of beer styles list to taste.

In an attempt to taste beer known to represent a style well, we’ve taken product recommendations from the BJCP list as well as beer reference books. We try to choose craft beer but sometimes one brand is so iconic in a particular style we chose a commercial product. For more obscure styles, we have to taste whatever is available.

There are no hard and fast rules. This whole thing is just for fun, let’s not get too serious about it!

This list is under development. Let us know if you have any recommendations for a certain beer in any given style.

1 Standard American Beer

1A American Light Lager

1a American Light Lager- beer styles list
Don’t laugh. It was alright.

Bud Light ABV 4.2%

ConditionsTasted 8/20/22, bottle from Total Wine, 53 degrees, pilsner glass
Appearancelight gold (2-3), lots of effervescence with larger bubbles, ½ inch loose white head
Aromafaint hops, malt and a little corn
Flavorvery subtle malt/corn sweetness, slight bitterness on the finish; flavors are very subdued, clean
Mouthfeellight body, highly carbonated, refreshing
Overallvery light beer flavor and body; refreshing and ubiquitous. Not nearly as bad as I remembered and pretty good with some fresh lime juice added!!

1B American Lager


Budweiser ABV 5%

ConditionsTasted 11/2/22, can bought at Walmart, 51 degrees, pilsner glass
AppearanceClear, pale gold (3) with 2 inch white head that faded quickly, effervescence in glass
AromaCorn, slight malt
FlavorBland, corn-y sweetness with metallic aftertaste
MouthfeelLight body, high carbonation
OverallBland flavor with off-putting aftertaste

Miller High Life ABV 4.6%

ConditionsTasted 11/4/22, 32 oz bottle from Walmart, 48 degrees, pilsner glass
AppearanceClear, straw to pale gold (2-3) with 3 inch white head with good lacing, slight effervescence in glass
AromaLight bread, slight malt
FlavorFlavor is very subtle but bitterness and sweetness are balanced 
MouthfeelLight body, high carbonation
OverallLacks complexity but inoffensive. Could see drinking a couple at a cookout. 
Kona Brewing Co. Long Board Island Lager

Kona Brewing Co. Longboard Island Lager ABV 4.6%

ConditionsTasted 9/24/22, can from Costco, 49 degrees, pilsner glass
AppearancePale gold, clear, 2 inch white head, nice bubbles, mod. lacing
AromaBread, crackers, low malt aroma, slight lemon
FlavorCrisp, dry finish, slight malt sweetness, low bitterness
MouthfeelLight body, high carbonation
OverallEasy-drinking crisp lager
1b American Lager

Wren House Brewing Co. Valley Beer ABV 4.6%

ConditionsTasted 8/20/22, can from Total Wine, 45 degrees, pilsner glass
AppearanceLight gold (3-4), clear, 1 in off-white head-fast dispersing, tiny bubbles rising in glass
AromaFaint bread, lemon, tangy green apple
FlavorMalty hint at sweetness, decent bitterness lingers on the finish
MouthfeelLight-medium body, lingers
OverallGood for the style-greatly upgraded Budweiser

1C Cream Ale

1D American Wheat Beer

1d American Wheat Beer

Bell’s Oberon American Wheat Ale ABV 5.8%

ConditionsTasted 8/20/22, can from Total Wine, 48 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceOrange-gold, very hazy, frothy 1.5 inch head
AromaSpice, orange
FlavorMild spice, orange, mild but lingering bitterness, refreshing
MouthfeelLight body, med. carbonation
OverallRestrained, easy drinking wheat beer 

2 International Lager

2A International Pale Lager

2B International Amber Lager

2C International Dark Lager

Spoetzle Shiner Bock ABV 4.4%

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 48 degrees, nonic glass, 11/7/22
AppearanceClear, med amber (12), tan head fades fast, ++effervescence
FlavorMalt, slight fruitiness, low bitterness
MouthfeelLight body, highly carbonated
OverallInoffensive but drinkable, kind of bland.

3 Czech Lager

3A Czech Pale Lager

3B Czech Premium Pale Lager

3C Czech Amber Lager

3D Czech Dark Lager

4 Pale Malty European Lager

4A Munich Helles

4B Festbier

4C Helles Bock

5 Pale Bitter European Beer

5A German Leichtbier

5B Kolsch

5C German Helles Exportbier

5D German Pil

6 Amber Malty European Lager

6A Marzen

6B Rauchbier

6C Dunkles Bock

7 Amber Bitter European Beer

7A Vienna Lager

Samuel Adams Boston Lager ABV 5%

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 47 degrees, pilsner glass, 11/5/22
AppearanceSlightly, amber-brown (12), 3+ inch light golden head, good lacing
AromaMalty, caramel, herbal
FlavorCaramel, bread, dry finish, moderate bitterness and slight sweetness
MouthfeelMed. body, low carbonation
OverallSimple but balanced. Our bottle was not that fresh so might have influenced quality.

7B Altbier

8 Dark European Lager

8A Munich Dunkel 

Hofbrau Dunkel ABV 5.5%

ConditionsTasted 8/27/22, bottle from Total Wine, 47 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceClear, amber-brown, moderate lacing, 1 finger head
AromaNutty, malty
FlavorNutty, toasty malt, tangy fruit
MouthfeelLight body
OverallEasy drinking, surprisingly refreshing for a dark beer

8B Schwarzbier

9 Strong European Beer

9A Doppelbock

9B Eisbock

9C Baltic Porter

10 German Wheat Beer

10A Weissbier

10B Dunkles Weissbier

10C Weizenbock

11 British Bitter

11A Ordinary Bitter

11B Best Bitter

11C Strong Bitter

12 Pale Commonwealth Beer

12A British Golden Ale

12B Australian Sparkling Ale

12C English IPA

13 Brown British Beer

13A Dark Mild

13B British Brown Ale

13C English Porter

14 Scottish Ale

14A Scottish Light

14B Scottish Heavy

14C Scottish Export

15 Irish Beer

15A Irish Red Ale

15B Irish Stout

Guinness Draught ABV 4.2%

Conditions12 oz bottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/5/22, 48 deg, pint glass
AppearanceOpaque dark ruby brown (24), 2 inch tan creamy head
AromaCoffee, roasted grain, caramel
FlavorHeavy roasted malt, caramel
MouthfeelLight with low carbonation
OverallFlavor and aroma make promises that remain unfulfilled by the flabby texture. 

15C Irish Extra Stout

16 Dark British Beer

16A Sweet Stout

16B Oatmeal Stout

16C Tropical Stout

16D Foreign Extra Stout

17 Strong British Ale

17A British Strong Ale

17B Old Ale

17C Wee Heavy

17D English Barley Wine

18 Pale American Ale

18A Blonde Ale

18B American Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ABV 5.6%, IBU 38

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/14/22, 48 degrees
AppearancePale amber (9), clear, white 1-inch head fades fast
AromaFloral, grapefruit, grass
FlavorGrapefruit, pine, mod. Bitterness well balanced by light sweet flavors
MouthfeelMed. Body with med-high carbonation
OverallRefreshing classic American pale ale, sets the standard

19 Amber and Brown American Beer

19A American Amber Ale

19B California Common

Anchor Steam Beer ABV 4.9%

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/8/22, 48 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceMedium amber (12), clear, 2 inch off white head that faded soon
AromaToasty, caramel, herbal character
FlavorSlight caramel, light fruit, dry finish moderate bitterness
Mouthfeelhigh carbonation, light-medium body
OverallEasy drinking flavorful every day beer.

19C American Brown Ale

Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool Brown Ale ABV 5.0%

ConditionsCan from Total Wine, tasted 11/6/22, 48 
AppearanceAmber brown (18), clear 2 inch light tan persistent head
AromaMolasses, toasted grain
FlavorToasted grain, citrus fruit, moderate bitterness balanced with sweet maltiness, caramel finish
MouthfeelMedium body, high carbonation
OverallBalanced and complex brown ale. Yum. 

20 American Porter and Stout

20A American Porter

Deschutes Black Butte Porter ABV 5.5%, IBU 30

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/7/22, 48 degrees, nonic glass
AppearanceBrown (20), clear, 2 inch tan head that has some persistence and a little lacing
AromaCoffee, dark chocolate, nutty, slight floral aroma
FlavorDark fruit-dried cherries, coffee, chocolate
MouthfeelMedium body, smooth, medium carbonation
OverallClassic porter, very good

20B American Stout

20C Imperial Stout

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout ABV 9%, IBU 75

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/5/22, nonic glass, 48 degrees F
AppearanceDark ruby brown to black brown, huge light brown head that persists, great lacing
AromaDark roast coffee, dark chocolate, dried fruit, some herbal
FlavorSimilar to aroma, fruity tangy finish, moderate bitterness, long finish
MouthfeelMedium body and medium carbonation
OverallComplex stout with well-balanced dark and light flavors and avoids cloying caramel qualities.

21 IPA

21A American IPA

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA ABV 7.5%, IBU 75

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 11/20/22, 48 degrees, nonic glass
AppearancePale amber (9), slightly hazy, 2 inch head with good lacing
AromaSlight tropical, subtle hay
FlavorCitrus, malt, marked bitterness, long finish
MouthfeelMed body, med to high carbonation
OverallClassic WCIPA with only subtle fruitiness
21A American IPA-Bell's Two Hearted Ale

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale ABV 7.0%, IBU 55

ConditionsTasted 9/6/22, can from American Vape and Smoke Shop, 48 degrees, nonic glass
AppearanceDeep amber, clear, 3 finger off white head
AromaGrapefruit, pine
FlavorGrapefruit, sweet malt, ++bitter, long finish
MouthfeelMedium body and carbonation
OverallSuper classic and well-balanced. Should be in the dictionary next to “American IPA.”

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA ABV 9%, 90 IBU 

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 50 degrees, nonic glass, 11/20/22
AppearancePale amber, clear, effervescent, 2 inch persistent head with slight lacing
AromaFloral, mango
FlavorCitrus, nutty, dried fruit, slight sweetness with moderate bitterness
MouthfeelMed to heavy body, med carbonation
OverallSurprisingly easy drinking with good balance, classic

Lagunitas IPA ABV 6.2%, IBU 51

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 48 degrees, nonic glass, 11/16/22
AppearancePale amber (9), clear, 1 finger off white head faded fast
AromaGrapefruit/citrus, pine
FlavorGrapefruit, sweet malt, ++bitter
MouthfeelMedium body, smoothe and med carbonation
OverallWell balanced and avoids extremes, good classic IPA

Stone IPA ABV 6.9%, IBU 51

ConditionsBottle from Total Wine, 48 degrees, nonic glass, 11/16/22
AppearancePale amber (9), clear, 1.5 finger off white creamy head
AromaGrass, hay, citrus
FlavorGrapefruit, resinous, fresh hops
MouthfeelMedium body, med carbonation
OverallGood American IPA that leans toward bitter WC side

21B Specialty IPA

Specialty IPA: Belgian IPA 

Specialty IPA: Black IPA 

21A Specialty IPA: Black IPA

Simple Machine Brewing Co. Dark Side of the Mash ABV 6.5%, IBU 85

ConditionsTasted 8/27/22, can from Craft Beer Hop Stop, 55 degrees, ? beer glass
AppearanceFascinating nitro style fizz, HUGE rocky reddish tan colored head, mod. lacing
AromaToasted pine nuts, hops
FlavorRoasted malt, dark chocolate, bitter
MouthfeelMedium body
OverallUnusual combination of malty and hoppy beer

Specialty IPA: Brown IPA 

Specialty IPA: Red IPA 

Specialty IPA: Rye IPA 

Specialty IPA: White IPA 

21B White IPA Little Sumpin Sumpin

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ ABV 7.5%, IBU 64 

ConditionsTasted 9/2/22, bottle from American Vape and Smoke Shop, 50 degrees F, nonic glass
AppearanceClear, deep gold, 2 finger head with good lacing
AromaCitrus, floral and biscuit aromas
FlavorOrange, spice, floral hops, bitter with slight tangy sweetness on finish
MouthfeelLight-med. Body and carbonation
OverallIPA with a little orange spice. Nicely balanced easy drinking especially for such a high ABV

Specialty IPA: Brut IPA 

21C Hazy IPA 

21C Hazy IPA Hazers Gonna Haze

Belching Beaver Brewery Hazers Gonna Haze Hazy IPA ABV 6.6%

ConditionsTasted 9/2/22, can from American Vape and Smoke Shop, 48 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceDeep gold, small frothy 1 finger head; hazy
AromaGrapefruit, candied orange
FlavorGrapefruit, tropical fruit and juicy with faint sweetness and moderate bitterness
MouthfeelMedium body
OverallDelicious, juicy, hazy IPA

22 Strong American Ale

22A Double IPA

22a Double IPA Port Brewing Co. Mongo Double IPA

Port Brewing Co. Mongo Double IPA ABV 8%, IBU 85

ConditionsTasted 8/29/22, can bought at Total Wine, 51 degrees, nonic pub glass
AppearanceSlightly hazy, deep amber color with 2 finger off white head
AromaFresh hay, orange citrus, barley grain
FlavorStrongly bitter opposed by sl. sweet orange citrus 
MouthfeelMedium body, medium to heavy carbonation
OverallExcellent, balanced WCIPA

22B American Strong Ale

22C American Barleywine

22D Wheatwine

23 European Sour Ale

23A Berliner Weisse

23B Flanders Red Ale

23C Oud Bruin

23D Lambic

23E Gueuze

23F Fruit Lambic

23G Gose

24 Belgian Ale

24A Witbier

Blue Moon Belgian White beer

Blue Moon Belgian White ABV 5.4%

ConditionsTasted 11/2/22, bottle bought at Total Wine, 51 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceHazy, deep amber (9) with fast fading 1 inch white head
AromaOrange, coriander, spice
FlavorOrange peel, moderate malty sweetness, low bitterness, too dry-falls off on the finish
MouthfeelMedium body, high carbonation
OverallNot bad for a macro beer, would order over most other US macros

24B Belgian Pale Ale

24C Biere de Garde

25 Strong Belgian Ale

25A Belgian Blond Ale

25B Saison

Saison Dupont Belgian Farmhouse Ale ABV 6.5%, IBU 30

Conditions330 mL bottle from AJ’s Fine Foods, 48 degrees F, stemmed glass
AppearanceDeep gold (6), hazy, abundant rocky off white head with great lacing
AromaOrange peel, pepper, earthy
FlavorProminent yeast character with fruit and spice, medium bitterness, bitter spicy after taste, dry
MouthfeelLight-med. body, fluffy, high carbonation
OverallDesert island beer, a solid 10

25C Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Delirium Tremens beer

Delirium Tremens ABV 8.5%

Conditions16 oz can from AJ’s Fine Foods, stemmed glass, 48 F
AppearancePale gold (4), clear, large white head, good lacing
AromaAlcohol, fruity, slight hops
FlavorPear, pepper, clove
MouthfeelLight, high carbonation
OverallGood variation on Belgian with much less spice than a saison or a tripel

Duvel Belgian Strong Blond ABV 8.5%

Conditions11.2 oz bottle from Total Wine, tasted 11/7/22, stemmed glass, 48 degrees F
AppearancePale gold (4), slightly hazy, huge white head/persistent, good lacing
AromaStrong clove and other warm spices, 
FlavorPapaya, coriander, pepper, mod-high bitterness balanced by a fruity sweetness, dry finish
MouthfeelMedium body, med to high carbonation
OverallSuper spicy and fruity–fun to drink

26 Monastic Ale

26A Belgian Single

26B Belgian Dubbel

26C Belgian Tripel

26c Belgian Tripel

St. Bernardus Tripel ABV 8%

ConditionsTasted 8/20/22 (St. Bernardus Day), bottle from Total Wine, 50 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceDeep gold (6), hazy, thick rocky persistent head, good lacing
AromaLots of spicy clove and pepper, orange
FlavorClove, mango, orange zest, dark brown bread, sweet tangy finish
MouthfeelMedium body
OverallLike an entire heavenly meal in a glass, as good as it gets

Chimay Cinq Cents ABV 8%

Conditions750 mL bottle from AJ’s Fine Foods 10/25/22, 48 degrees F, stemmed glass
AppearanceDeep gold (6) to pale amber (9), clear, off-white VERY tall and persistent head, good lacing
AromaFloral (honeysuckle), pome fruit, pine, pepper and clove spice
FlavorPine, subtle warming spice, malty undertones but quite dry
MouthfeelLight to medium body with high carbonation
OverallThis is the Belgian tripel beer IPA lovers should start with, strong but very approachable in flavor

26D Belgian Dark Strong Ale

26D Belgian Dark Strong Ale-St. Bernardus Abt 12

St. Bernardus Abt 12 ABV 10%

ConditionsTasted 9/6/22, bottle from Craft Beer Hop Stop, 52 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceRuby brown to deep brown, hazy; 3-4 finger soft tan persistent head, lots of lacing.
AromaDried fruit-raisins, cherries; caramel; spice
FlavorCola, dates, walnuts; toffee sweetness with moderate bitterness.
MouthfeelHeavier body, carbonation high
OverallOMFG: nirvana attained.

27 Historical Beer

Historical Beer: Kellerbier

Historical Beer: Kentucky Common

Historical Beer: Lichtenhainer

Historical Beer: London Brown Ale

Historical Beer: Piwo Grodziskie

Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Lager

Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Porter

Historical Beer: Roggenbier

Historical Beer: Sahti

28 American Wild Ale

28A Brett Beer

28B Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer

28C Wild Specialty Beer

28D Straight Sour Beer

29 Fruit Beer

29A Fruit Beer

29B Fruit and Spice Beer

29C Specialty Fruit Beer

29D Grape Ale

30 Spiced Beer

30A Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer

30B Autumn Seasonal Beer

30C Winter Seasonal Beer

30D Specialty Spice Beer

31 Alternative Fermentables Beer

31A Alternative Grain Beer

31B Alternative Sugar Beer

32 Smoked Beer

32A Classic Style Smoked Beer

32B Specialty Smoked Beer

33 Wood Beer

33A Wood-Aged Beer

33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

34 Specialty Beer

34A Commercial Specialty Beer

34B Mixed-Style Beer

34C Experimental Beer

34C Experimental Beer

New Belgium Brewing 1554 ABV 6.0%, IBU 21

ConditionsTasted 8/21/22, bottle from Total Wine, , 47 degrees, stemmed glass
AppearanceFine but thick, light brown, 3-finger head; clear amber brown, light lacing
AromaYeasty, malty, spice, stone fruit?
FlavorLight malty flavors, roasted grain, coffee, pipe tobacco, dry
MouthfeelMed-heavy body, mod. carbonation
OverallInteresting improvisational between-styles beer

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