For most people, “beer” means only one thing: a straw-colored, highly carbonated, mildly flavored drink—the sort of beverage that is served in response to the request “Just give me a beer.” But more and more beer drinkers realize that there are many styles of beer, each with its own characteristics, occasions and story to tell. Given the growth of beer selections on the shelves, an understanding of beer styles can be the secret to finding the beers that you’ll enjoy most.

Click on the links below to learn more about individual beer styles within these categories.


British and North American Ales

Belgian and Continental Ales

Wheat Ales

Stouts and Porters

Seasonal and Specialty