Know your beer: 4 common types explained

Know your beer

4 common types explained

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The bars are open! It’s finally time for a pint of the good stuff.

But the world of beer can be a confusing place with new varieties seemingly appearing over night. Below you will find four of the most common beer types explained.

Why not try something new next time you’re at the bar?


India Pale Ale, or IPA as it is more commonly known, has seen a massive resurgence over the last two decades.

Packed full of hops (the bitter, florally taste) and often finished with a fruity, citrus twist, IPA is a popular style of craft beer (trendy beer typically brewed by smaller independent breweries).

As well as a keg, IPA is commonly produced in a real ale cask and hand pumped into the pint glass.


Ranging from light gold to bright amber

Tasting notes:

Bitter, floral, citrus

Well known varieties:

Brewdog Punk, Brewdog Elvis Juice, Stone IPA, Deuchars


Stout beer is recognizable for its dark colour and strong, rich taste.

Often bitter, it is commonly flavoured with coffee, chocolate, milk or oats.

Stout beer is filling and tends to pour thicker than a lager or an ale.


Dark brown to black

Tasting Notes:

Bitter, dry, creamy

Well Known Varieties:

Guinness, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Henhouse Brewing’s Oyster Stout

Pale Ale

The term pale ale encompasses many different beers, including the already mentioned IPA, Amber Ales and Scotch Ales, just to name a few.

They are darker in colour than a lager style beer and tend to be more complex in taste.

The pale ale has become a popular style of beer in America, characterised by a bitter, floral flavour.


Ranging from light gold to bright amber

Tasting notes:

Bitter, floral, citrus

Well known varieties:

Sierra Nevada, Fuller’s London Pride, Old Speckled Hen, Camden Town, Brewdog Dead Pony Club


Last but not least; when it comes to beer, lager is the most popular style the world over.

It is both a typical entry-level beer for new beer drinkers as well as a tried-and-tested pint of choice for many seasoned beer fans.

Refreshing, light in flavour, easy to drink – lager is the ultimate beer garden pint. 


Light, yellowy gold

Tasting notes:

Crisp, mild, mellow

Well known varieties:

Peroni, Carling, Heineken, Tennent’s, Corona

Feeling thirsty?

Explore Parsley Box’s range of beers