With there being dozens of different styles of ale existing around the world, and with new ones being added regularly, staying on top of all of them can seem an arduous task.
Thankfully, most of the common and popular styles of ale can be narrowed down to a relatively small number, found in most of the bottle shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and pubs available, all of which are explored below.
For more on some of the less common varietals, consider this article.
Perhaps the most popular style of ale produced in varying sub-styles all over the world by craft breweries and big brewing companies alike, pale ales are defined by their generous use of hops and moderate malt profile. To find out more about all of the different sub-styles that exist, the flavour profiles for each, and common food pairing options, follow through to our thorough guide to the world of pale ales.
Wheat ales have been growing in popularity due to their timeless style and sacred place as one of the first styles of ale ever produced in Europe. In their taste, they can range from light and refreshing to dark and silky, making them a very diverse style. To find out more about them, follow through to our complete guide to wheat ales, where you can discover the prominent sub-styles, flavours, and food pairing options that exist.
Considered some of the best beers to be had during the summer months when the weather is warm and you’re relaxing by the beach, the many bottles of tropical, summer, and pacific ale that now exist offer us a world of thirst quenching enjoyment. Our complete guide to these beers will assist you in exploring the common flavours and general characteristics of these beers as well as some of the best food pairing recommendations.
Though there can be significant diversity in the flavour profiles and characteristics of the various sub-styles of bitter ales that exist, they are often highly sessionable beers that balance a generous amount of hoppy bitterness and fruit flavour alongside a hefty dose of malty sweetness. For more on the various sub-styles that exist, including their flavour profiles, characteristics, and food pairing options, follow through to our comprehensive guide.
Whilst golden ales are often grouped together with the more marketable tropical, summer, and pacific ale style, they sit proudly on their own as the original summer-friendly brew that is perfect for those seeking easy-going refreshment. In our thorough guide to golden ales, we detail what to expect when exploring them and explain some of the best food and dish combinations to enjoy alongside them.
Commonly referred to as just ‘stouts’, these beers represent the dark and malty side of the ale category, with most examples being dark and rich in both their appearance and flavour profile. With a number of distinct sub-styles making up this unique category, be sure to review our complete guide to stout ales, where you will be able to find out the most common sub-styles that exist, their flavour profiles, and the best food and dishes to match with them.
Characteristically intense in their hop character, India pale ales are notoriously full-flavoured beers with a big and boozy reputation. Although they now sit as one of the most widely brewed and consumed styles of ale today, we explore each of the unique sub-styles in our comprehensive guide to India pale ales, going over the flavour profiles and characteristics of each as well as offering some appropriate food pairing options.
Sitting somewhere between a regular pale ale and porter in both their colour, general character, and typical flavour profile, brown ales represent the slightly more roasted side of the ale category. In our complete guide to brown ales, we examine the two main sub-styles that dominate the collective style and explain the prominent flavours and differences in character between each before finally offering some suitable food pairing guides.
Often renowned for balancing hoppy fruit flavours of citrus, fresh and resinous pine, and tropical fruits against malty notes of caramel, toast, and toffee, amber and red ales represent a step towards the darker side of the ale category. With there being three main sub-styles that dominate the category, each is explored in depth in our guide to amber and red ales, with dominant flavours, characteristics, and pertinent food pairing options provided.
Porter ales, usually just referred to as “porters”, are silky smooth, mouthcoatingly sweet, and richly flavoured beers with intense depths of malty sweet flavours and little to no carbonation. Often considered some of the best dessert beers to ever exist, each of the important sub-styles, including the optimal food pairing options and general characteristics of each, are explored in our comprehensive guide to porter ales.
Sour ales are experiencing a monumental surge in popularity recently thanks to their wonderfully refreshing sourness and presence of tart fruit flavours. With there being a few important sub-styles to be aware of when exploring this category, follow through to our complete guide to sour ales in order to discover the best food pairing options with these brews as well as their specific flavour profiles.