Beer Styles – info for the craft beer drinker
Hopefully the following info will help you to decide what type or style of beer that you like. There are so many styles of beer and it would be impossible to list them all in this post but here is a selection of popular styles that Melwood like and brew currently. The latter styles we have plans to brew in the future although we don’t think we’ll be brewing Mild any time soon as we find that there is very little demand for this style of beer so this is included just for info!
So here goes….
English Pale Ale (EPA)
The English Pale Ale can be traced back to the city of Burton-upon-Trent, a city with an abundance of rich hard water. This hard water helps with the clarity as well as enhancing the hop bitterness. EPA can go from golden to reddish amber in colour and has a mix of fruity, hoppy, earthy, buttery and malty aromas and flavours. All ingredients must be English.
The Bitter style came from brewers who wanted to differentiate their ales from other mild brews but they used pale malts and more hops. English bitters are gold to copper in colour and are light bodied. They have a moderate Hop bitterness and most have a fruitiness in aroma and flavour. All ingredients must be English.
American Pale Ale (APA)
This style is now popular worldwide and uses American hops, which are becoming very popular. There is usually a good balance of malt and hops and they tend to be fruity with bitterness that can range from lightly floral to pungent.
Melwood’s APAs: Whiter Shade of Pale, Liberty, Lovelight, Sunshine Daydream
Amber / Red Ale
Amber or red ales range from amber to deep red hues. This style of beer tends to focus on the malts, but hop character can range from low to high usually resulting in a balanced beer, with toasted malt characters and a light fruitiness.
Pale straw to deep gold colour with a light to medium hop bitterness. A balanced beer which is light bodied.
An Americanised version of a Hefe Weizen, these beers range from pale to golden in colour. They look like Hefe Weizen (cloudy) unless they have been filtered. Brewed using substantial percentage of wheat malt they are moderate in hop bitterness but gain a fruitiness during fermentation.
Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter and range from reddish brown to dark brown. Brewed using brown malt, they usually have a low hop aroma and bitterness
English India Pale Ale (IPA)
First brewed in England and exported to India during the late 1700s. IPA’s were Pale Ales that were more malty, had a higher alcohol content and were well-hopped. The English IPA traditionally had a lower abv and used less, English hops than the American IPAs but they are evolving to include hops from all around the worlwith an increased abv.
Stouts are typically dark brown to black in colour. They are brewed using roasted barley which gives dry character to the beer as well as a big roasted flavour that can range from burnt to coffee to chocolate.
Porter is said to have been popular with transportation workers of London, hence the name. Porters are typically brewed using a pale malt base with the addition of black malt, crystal, chocolate or smoked brown malt. Hop bitterness is moderate on the whole and colour ranges from brown to black and are complex and interesting beers.
Melwood’s Porter: Old Hall Porter (brewed once with plans to brew again)
These are generally stouts that have the addition of oats to the mash. The oats add a lot of smoothness to the mouth feel but they also have an extra sweetness that is unlike any other type of stout.
Saisons were farmhouse ales that were traditionally brewed in the winter and are a complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavour. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.
A Belgian Style ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that’s used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices or herbs in the back ground. . Often referred to as “white beers” (witbieren) due to the cloudiness / yeast in suspension.
Similar to an ordinary bitter yet not as hoppy, the English Mild is a delicate malty brew. Hops are generally mild with a balancing bitterness. Fruitiness, sulfur and buttery flavours.
If you would like more info on the Melwood beers listed here please go to our contact page for details on how to order.