Beers of Europe – Lagers and Ales

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List of Beer Types by Country and Regions

Of the top 10 nations of beer consumption per capita in the world, 9 are in Europe. Nations of Europe have a long history of beer brewing and the varieties of beer can differ widely from nation to nation. Read on to discover the many styles of beers in Europe.

German Beer Styles by Region

Germany had the distinction, until very recently of having the most breweries of any country. The USA surpassed Germany with the most breweries with the boom of microbreweries in recent years. Germany still has the most breweries of any European country and if variety is truly the spice of life, than Germans have it made.

  • Bavaria (the southern region) is known for Helles style beers. Helles is a lager style beer that is pale and malty. At the Oktoberfest, Bavarian Marzen beer is the normal beer served, which is a malty, medium bodied lager.
  • Cologne is known for their Kolsch beer, which is ale that is pale with a light body.
  • Dusseldorf is known for its Altbier, which is ale that is dark and hoppy.
  • Dortmund is known for Export beer, a pale malty lager than is less hoppy than most beers.
  • Berlin is know for Berliner Weisse, a wheat ale that is pale and sour.

Even though each region has its specialty, there are many other varieties that are brewed throughout Germany. Pilsner style beer, a pale hoppy lager, is the most popular. Some the other styles of ales are Weizen (wheat), Weizenbock (strong wheat), Lepziger Gose (sour wheat), Roggenbier (rye). Other types of lagers include Eisbock, Bock, Dunklerbock, Mailbock, Doppelbock, Schwarbier, Dunkel, Rauchgier, and Spezial.

Beers of England – Ales Rule

England is one of the few countries in the world where ales are more the rule than the exception. Also beer is still traditionally matured in caskets at the pubs, instead of at he brewery. Beer in England is normally served at cellar temperatures.

Beers is eastern England generally contain more hops than other regions. Traditional styles of English beer are Bitter, Mild, Old Ale, Brown Ale, India Pale Ale, Porter and Stout.

Irish Beer – Lagers the Rule

Ah yes the home of Guinness. Even though Ireland is famous for its Stouts, Lagers make up the majority of beer brewed in Ireland today. Lagers and Stouts make up about 95% of the market in Ireland. The remaining 5% are ales, mostly dominated by Irish Red Ales.

Great Scottish Ales

Beer brewing in Scotland goes back thousands of years. When most of the United Kingdom weren’t using hops because of growing climates, Scotland imported hops extensively for their brews.

The Scots are known for their great ales and in Scotland beer is usually classified by alcohol content or alcohol by volume (abv).

  • Light – under 3.5% abv
  • Heavy – 3.5% to 4.0% abv
  • Export – 4.0% to 5.5% abv
  • Wee Heavy – over 5.5% abv

Trappist Beer of Belgium

Right up there with Germany, Belgium has a huge variety of different types of beers. Its history of brewing beer goes back to the Middle Ages and is noted for their beers brewed by monasteries. Belgium is known for their Trappist beer, which must be brewed and supervised by the monks of the Trappist Monastery.

Beside Trappist beers they’re many different beer types in Belgium. Some of these include Amber, Blonde, Dubbel, Enkel, Flemish Red, Lambic, Saison, Stout Tripel and White Beer, to name a few.

Danish Beer

Denmark has some similarities to the U.S. beer market, with beer production dominated by major breweries, with an insurgency of smaller microbreweries popping up in recent years. The most common beer is Pale Lager. Some other types of beer include Classic (all malt pale lager) and Hvidtol (white beer).

Czechoslovakia – Pilsner Style Lagers

Czechoslovakia has quite a history of brewing, with the first known brewery established in 1118. It’s rumored that Czech’s drink more beer per capita than any other country on earth. This is also the country where pilsner got its name and the largest percentage of the beer brewed is in the pilsner lager style. There are also some wheat beers and darker lagers brewed in Czechoslovakia.

Netherlands – Pale Lagers

Pale Lagers rule the roost in the Netherlands, with famous brands like Heineken and Grolsch. Other popular beers are mostly imported from other countries.

Norwegian Beer

Norway has a long history of brewing beer, but due to strict governmental regulations the climate for beer drinkers in Norway is somewhat unfriendly. Like the Netherlands, Pale Lagers are the norm with over 90% of the beer brewed being Pale Lagers. .

Europe certainly has a vast variety of beer styles. Only a small fraction of beers brewed in Europe can be found in other continents. If a person wants to sample the many varieties of European beers, a trip to Europe is essential.

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