We’ve made it here in America. “Beer Prominence”, that is. That’s due in a large part to how influential the following beer styles are in the marketplace. The world can thank us for them – they were born here! Which are your favorite red, white, and blue brews?
This is one of the most recognizable beers. It’s moderate to moderately strong abv (5.5-7.5%), with piney, fruity, citrusy notes of American hops (popular ones being Cascade, Amarillo, and Simcoe). There’s a bitter palate, and a dry finish.
To quote Thrillist, “With the exception of neckbeards, it’s arguably the most prolific style to come out of the worldwide craft beer movement. American IPAs showcase the assertiveness of (in the words of the BJCP) “American ingredients and attitude.”
Suggested food pairings are ahi tuna steak with mango salsa, barbacoa burritos, and burgers with blue cheese. You may not want too much heat in your meal with this beer. Its hoppiness will intensify spiciness on your tongue.
Some to try: AleSmith IPA, Maine Beer Lunch, Russian River Blind Pig, Alpine Beer Company Duet, Surly Furious, New England Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA, Breakside Wanderlust
American Pale Ale
Unlike the American IPA, this one has more floral hoppiness and less tongue bitterness, along with the piney, citrusy American hop varieties. It’s low-moderate to moderate alcohol abv (4.5-6.2%), making it a brewer’s favorite for cooking and a drinker’s choice for something that tastes good when you want more than one.
As far as food goes with this one, it’s truly versatile. Rice and pasta dishes, chicken and fish.We’ve heard it’s good with “everything”. We KNOW it’s a great option for cooking (and drinking with) stuff like white bean chicken chili.
Some to try: Half Acre Daisy Cutter, 3 Floyds Zombie Dust, Maine Beer Peeper Ale, Flying Dog Doggie Style, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Double IPA/Imperial IPA
We love what Thrillist said about this one. “To borrow and bastardize a phrase from the poet Rasheed Wallace: name don’t lie. Expect an IPA with more of everything, from hoppiness to maltiness to fruitiness to big-ass ABV, plus a meandering, bitter finish. In short, DIPAs are about as subtle as a sledgehammer. Or Blazers-era ‘Sheed.”
It’s strong to super strong abv (7.5-10%), using twice the amount of ingredients per batch to achieve the results. Whether you like the taste or not, it’s been found on most “best beer in the world” lists on ranking. Zach Mack says “It’s an amped-up version of an amped-up style that can be as endearing as it is polarizing, like Wes Anderson movies or cilantro.”
This one tastes great with most savory of foods – pork or beef sliders, BBQ, grilled stuff like scallops wrapped in bacon. But we couldn’t help but laugh when we read that legendary beer expert Randy Mosher recommends it with chocolate chip cookies. That’s next on our tatste test list!
Some to try: Russian River Pliny the Elder, Alchemist Heady Topper, Bell’s Hopslam, Stone Enjoy By IPA, Dogfish Head 90 Minute imperial IPA
This one’s light, crisp and goes down easy. It’s low-moderate to moderate abv (4.2-5.6%), with a slightly hoppy malt sweetness. There may be corn or rice in that malt to thin out the body, making it as laid-back on the palate as possible. Quoting Zack again “what makes this Franken-ale unique is that it has undergone a lagering period at colder temperatures (and even sometimes has lager yeast or beer added to it) to give it as broad an appeal as possible.”
Nothing fancy planned for dinner? This is the one to drink when eating and vegging. It’s great with leftovers, snacks, or “bad for you, but tastes so good” food.
Some to try: New Glarus Spotted Cow, Sixpoint Sweet Action, AleSmith Cream Ale, St-Ambroise Cream Ale
American Amber Ale
This is a malty low-moderate to moderate (4.5-6.2%) style, with some assertive American hoppiness. It falls between an IPA and a darker pale ale – kinda reddish in color.
As far food pairings go, that depends on your style. If you’re into gourmet cooking, it’s the one to enjoy with complicated dishes like chicken tikka masala, beef wellington, or boeuf bourguignon. If that’s not you, whatever you have home-delivered will taste great, too.
Some to try: North Coast Red Seal, Green Flash Hop Head Red, Troegs Nugget Nectar
California Common Beer
This has well-balanced mailtiness and hoppiness, although there are varying degrees of both. It’s a lager-ale hybrid with low-moderate to moderate abv (4.5-5.5%) and a dry, clean flavor profile.
It was originally developed in the 1800’s out of need – prospectors heading west had no refrigeration or cool caves needed for fermentation. And they HAD to brew lager.
Thrillist shares “Depending on who you ask, the nickname “steam beer” could’ve come from the way it hissed “steam” when a keg was tapped, or maybe from the steam that would rise from the rooftop shallow fermenters brewers would use to cool down the beer with the steady California breeze. Regardless, Anchor trademarked the whole “steam beer” term a while back, so now it’s the only one who can use it on a label.”
With the varying degrees of hoppiness, food pairings also vary. Serve lighter versions with ceviche or chicken salad, while hoppier versions do well with grilled pork chops and swordfish.
Some to try: Anchor Steam, Otter Creek Steampipe, Port City Brewing Derecho
American Brown Ale
This one’s low-moderate to moderate abv (4.3-6.2%), malt-driven, with increased chocolate notes, and American hop fruitiness through to its finish. Original recipes of this style came from Britian, and were recreated using American ingredients.
As far as pairings go, we’re HUGE cheese lovers here at Your Beer Show, and this beer works with ALL of our favorites. You may also know we LOVE pizza. And this one’s the winner with that, as well.
Some to try: Cigar City Maduro brown ale, AleSmith Nut Brown, Bell’s Best Brown
This is a STRONG, bold one – strong to super strong abv (8-12%) with complex, well-balanced hop and malt profiles, and mild fruit notes. There’s palpable alcoholic warmth, and a bitter finish, You may also find some with caramel notes. Many brewers like to barrel-age this one.
It’s flavors are best when served closer to room temperature. It works with strong cheeses. But THIS is our go to with CHOCOLATE. Check out the site for chocolate recipes – just type “chocolate” in the search bar, and try some WITH THIS BEER!
Some to try: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Knee Deep Stow the Croze, Prairie Beer Wasteland, Against the Grain This Is Not A Beer