Around the world in 80 beers? Not quite, but here's a quick survey of beer's most famous styles, connected with the areas that put them on the map. Grab your passport and go, or just pick up a couple of mixed sixes and enjoy a tasty world tour without stepping on a plane.
Czech Republic: Pilsner
Developed in the 1840s, this generously carbonated style typically utilizes Saaz hops to impart a crisp and spicy bitterness to the light-bodied lager.
Ireland: Irish Dry Stout
Nitrogen conditioning brings out dry stout's full flavor and mouth feel, characterized by low carbonation, deep-roasted malt aromas and almost no bitterness.
Caribbean: Island Beer
South American/ Island beers typically have lower alcohol content and a subdued taste suited for island life, with only the slightest traces of malt and hops.
Poland: Polish Lager
Comparable to Czech Pilsners, Polish lagers generally have a higher alcohol content with buttery, earthy flavors and less pronounced hop bitterness.
Traditionally, porters were a blend of three separate brews: a spoiled ale, a brown ale and a low alcohol ale. Today, porters are brewed to imitate those traditional flavors, with a creamy body, mild smokiness and bitter hints of roasted malt.
England: India Pale Ale
English brewers in the 1700s used abundant doses of hops as a natural preservative in brews meant for India, resulting in a style characterized by a floral aroma and bitter taste.
Colorado: American IPA
These pale ales use American hops more aggressively than the traditional English IPA, with some producing double- and triple-hopped varieties that can boast alcohol contents of more than 20 percent ABV.
Key West: Amber/Red Ale
Somewhat more subdued and less sweet than the Irish Red Ale, the American Amber is smooth, with roasted malt flavors and a bitterness factor that can range from intense to nonexistent.
Oregon: Malt Liquor
In America, any beer that uses fermentable materials other than wheat or malted barley — like corn, sorghum, or rice — is a malt liquor. Most mainstream American beers do not use all-malt recipes, so, technically, they fall into this category.
Japan: Rice Lager
Similar to mainstream American brands like Budweiser which mix barley with rice, a large portion of rice is used to produce this beer; here, it also provides a cultural link between beer and traditional sake.
After fermentation the yeast is not filtered from the brew, which produces a complex mix of banana, bubblegum and citrus flavors in this rich, creamy ale.
Before modern refrigeration, you couldn't brew beer in the summer, so these mildly hopped, dark lagers — called Marzen (or March) for the month they were brewed — were kept in cold storage until October.
Belgium: Trappist Ale
Although only seven monasteries are allowed to oversee Trappist beer production, many breweries imitate the rich malt, mild hops, sweet caramel flavors and fine carbonation of these classic beers.
Belgium: White Ale
Like hefeweizen, these unfiltered brews appear cloudy and are made with a large percentage of wheat, along with flavorings that range from orange peel to herbs.
Scotland: Scotch Ale
Thanks to a long boil, the wort in these beers is highly caramelized, producing a dark color and caramel flavors that allow the intense malt to shine through.
This traditional farmhouse ale isn't boiled, leaving the beer extremely rich, often tart and very cloudy with balance provided by the resin from juniper branches instead of hops.
This low-alcohol, bitter brew is often sold in plastic liter and two-liter bottles containing beer fermented from whatever grains are handy — even leftover rye bread — and flavorings like herbs, fruit, sugar and tree sap.