In the world of the beer drinker, choice is such a big deal. What to drink, where to drink it, who to drink it with, just when to drink, and it goes on and on. We can’t help with the who, when or where, but on the question of what to drink, your favorite Beer of the Month Club is here for you!

If you want to split hairs, you can insist there are countless beer styles to choose from, and you would be right. But there are really seven major ones to consider:

American Lager is a pale yellow beer that has a distinct fizz and very muted hop flavor. This is the style favored by America’s giant national breweries.

Bock, which was born of Bavarian and German parentage, is a strong, rich, malty lager that’s usually (but not always) dark in the glass.

Pale Ale (with English roots) is big on strong hop flavors and aromas, and is recognizable by its copper color.

Pilsner has a sweet, malty flavor and good hop bitterness. It is a golden lager with a great hop bouquet. (Who’s your daddy? The Czech Republic!)

Porter is a sturdy brew of medium body and friendly roasted flavor. This deep reddish-brown ale is of London lineage, and helped the working class in earlier times fortify themselves for the hard labor they did on the docks.

Stout has roasted, coffee-like characteristics and is easily recognized by its dark brown or black color. Carry on a conversation with a stein of stout and you’ll detect definite English and Irish brogues.

Wheat Beer, sometimes served with a wedge of lemon, is a mild and refreshing ale brewed using wheat and barley.

So now you have a thumbnail sketch of the seven major players in the beer game. It should be relatively easy to choose your team, now that you have their resumes! Proceed with the tryouts!

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Tracie Burket
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