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All about beer

Types of beers you should try at least once in your life

There are almost as many beer styles as there are stars in the sky. For example, have you ever enjoyed an ale during a party with friends? If so, you're likely familiar with this beer style's full-bodied and malty taste. Ale beers can be pale, amber-colored or dark, based on the color of the malt. Let's not forget porter, a type of ale with dry and roasted flavors.

If you prefer a hoppier and more bitter taste, try India pale ales (IPAs), which feature notes of fruits, citrus and pine. American pale ales (APAs) are similar to IPAs, but they contain American hops.

Lager beers are crisper than ales, with a pleasantly light flavor that makes them easy to drink. Most lagers are pale, but you'll also find some dark varieties. They frequently have a lower alcohol content than ale, as well as a smoother taste.

Stout beers are dark and full-bodied, with a creamy texture. With dry stouts, sweet stouts and oatmeal stouts, there's a style to satisfy everyone's taste buds. For something different, consider cider, which comes from apples instead of malt. Hard ciders are on the lighter side in alcohol content but contain bubbles for a refreshing drink.

How do you define craft beer?

Who doesn't love a refreshing beer in the summer? Brewers have been making this popular drink for at least 5,000 years, but the trend of craft and seasonal beers became mainstream in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, with artisanal breweries committed to making quality products, you'll find an endless choice of beers.

The definition of craft beer is blurry. The Brewers Association, an advocacy group for small brewers, has never given a specific definition of the "craft" term. However, the association defines what a "craft" brewery is. The three categories are small, independent and traditional. A small brewery can produce up to 6 million barrels per year. The definition for an independent brewery is slightly more complicated: A person who is not a craft brewer can own only 25% of the company. A traditional brewery must use traditional brewing techniques. Basically, craft beer is a drink that comes from breweries within these categories.

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