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A Guide To Popular Craft Beers – For Beginners!

3rd August 2023

A Guide To Popular Craft Beers – For Beginners!

There’s no denying that craft beer has taken the UK by storm over recent years. Growing in popularity worldwide, with some styles, like hazy pales and sour beers, really taking off here in the UK. Despite this, we often get a lot of people coming to our taproom unaware about the different styles of beer. So, we’re here to let you know – in simple terms, what’s what.

From lagers to IPAs, there are so many different styles of beer to choose from – over 100 of them in fact. So, if you’re looking for the best style of craft beer – we can’t tell you that, because they’re all great in their own way and may suit different occasions. But whether you’re an aspiring beer connoisseur or just want to confidently choose a beer at your favourite taproom – we've got the key points you need to know to aid your decision.

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to some of the key, most popular types of craft beer (our personal favourites). And, of course, highlight some of our own Triple Point Brewing examples for you to enjoy.

Cheers!

So, what exactly is craft beer?

Craft beer is simply a term for beer that’s been brewed by small, independent breweries like us! Using traditional brewing techniques and focusing on quality and innovation, craft breweries produce smaller amounts of beer compared to large breweries.

Unlike mass-produced beer, craft beer is often more creative, as breweries focus time and resource into experimenting with different styles and flavours of beer.

Fun fact, usually, a large brewery's ‘crafty’ beers aren't hand-crafted at all! As a small, independent brewery based in central Sheffield, we love hand-crafting our beers. Here are some examples of our favourite styles and interpretations.

Lagers

If you've drunk beer, you’ve almost certainly tried a lager before. It’s one of the youngest, yet one of the most popular beer styles in the world, having been around a mere 400 or so years. Lager is termed a ‘bottom fermented’. This means, unlike ales, the yeast collects at the bottom of the fermentation tank. It can also prefer lower temperatures, compared to ales. Leaving a crisp, clean, and refreshing brew – because that’s what we want from a lager, right?

Triple Point Brewing recommendation: 'Kerlsch' (4.9%). An ale-lager hybrid (originating in Cologne) that’s clean, crisp, yet rounded. Gently fruity and aromatic. Using Cryo Amarillo, East Kent Goldings, and Strisselspalt hops. Try 'Vote for Pedro' (5%) as a crossover between crisp lager and hoppy pale ale. Or, for the ultimate refreshing craft lager, keep our flagship Helles (4.1%) Bavarian-styled brew.

Pale Ales

Whether you’re into it, or just starting out. Pale ales are a must-try for anyone interested in drinking beer. These golden to amber-hued brews combine for a more malty, medium-bodied, and often a ‘hop-forward’ experience – this basically means the first aroma you get from the beer is hops. They’re warm-fermented, so the brewer's yeast creates more floral and fruity flavours. Completely delicious.

If you’re new to craft beer, you might feel nervous about trying the hoppier types, but don’t let it scare you! The great thing about pale ales is that there’s something for everyone. Always uber-drinkable but packed full of flavour & nicely balanced. From British to American pale ales, the family has grown over time. But there’s lots of variety available. For example, varying ABV strength, brightness, haze and cloudiness. And, of course, in the hop varieties used. So, you’ve got plenty to try out...

Triple Point recommendation: 'Cryo' (4.2%) - our best-selling hazy pale ale. Fruit bomb, super smooth, heavily hopped but with low bitterness. Using Galaxy, HBC586, Cascade, Centennial and Citra hops.

India Pale Ales

Although still considered a pale ale, India Pale Ales - more commonly known as IPAs, have evolved into a style of their own. They tend to be hoppier, more bitter, and carry a higher ABV compared to more traditional pale ales (usually within the 5% - 7% mark). Branching out a little further, you’ll find that American-styled IPAs are more citrussy and fruity, with emphasis now on tropical fruit flavours like mango, passionfruit, and pineapple. They tend to be stronger too, with alcohol percentages randing from 7%-11%.

Triple Point Brewing recommendation: 'Bullseye' (7%) - our new heavily dry-hopped IPA. We're not kidding when we say we hit the bullseye with this one! Passionfruit, mango, and grapefruit flavours throughout. Using three of our favourite hops that hit the spot with pinpoint accuracy – Amarillo, Citra, and Simcoe.

Sours

Less interested in a hoppy profile? Fancy something a little tangier & more unique? Then pucker up! You need to try a sour beer.

Sour beers are intentionally brewed with wild yeast or bacteria which creates an acidic, tartness or sour taste. Sounds a bit intimidating to some, but they’re actually very enjoyable. Many people love to embrace the sourness. Let's face it, wine & ciders balance sour with sweet fruit flavours. But if extreme sourness isn’t what you want from a beer, don’t worry! You’ll find plenty of slightly milder sours that are refreshing with a fruity flavour profile. It's a beer style that goes down nicely in the beer garden during the summer.

Triple Point Brewing recommendation: 'Catharina: Strawberry and Lime' (4.5%) - a vibrant Brazilian sour beer from Santa Catharina, with outstanding strawberry and kalamansi lime flavours. A super-fruity yet zingy, refreshing summer-style beer. The ultimate beer garden brew designed to refresh in the hot sun.

Stout & Porters

A classic Porter or Stout can’t go amiss. Particularly as the weather cools. Both are easy to identify thanks to their rich dark appearance. But what about the flavour? Stout and Porters tend to present deep flavours of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and sometimes a little smokiness. It’s a style of craft beer that goes down a treat during the winter months.

You’ll find traditional English stouts and porters are smooth, with a velvety mouthfeel. Whereas imperial stouts and barrel-aged variants can be bold and bit more intense. It’s a nice variety. Triple Point Brewing recommendation: 'Tinto' (10.3%) - our mocha Imperial Stout brewed with Altura Arabica coffee from our pals over at Cafeology in Sheffield. Although it’s strong, it’s easy drinking and enjoyable. With big coffee on the nose, creamy chocolate from Bullion Craft Chocolate (also based in Sheffield) and some Belgian chocolate powder for good measure.

So, there you have it. Five different styles of beer that are extremely popular in the UK and beyond. Next time you’re in a brewery taproom (hopefully ours), give one of these a try. You won’t regret it!

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