You’d better know what you’re looking for before walking into the beer section of a liquor store or sidle up to a bar. The options are dizzying, and if you don’t know the difference between a pale ale and a lager there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to walk out with something you don’t really want to drink (or pull a Scott Walker and settle for a commercial beer when there are far superior options).
While you may think “a beer is a beer,” that’s not at all true. There are tons of characteristics that distinguish one type of beer from another, so before you waste another dollar on a beer you don’t like, it’s a good idea to understand the qualities you like and don’t like in each style.
India Pale Ale, More Popularly Known As IPA
Andy Cross via Getty Images
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Joe Raedle via Getty Images
The AGE via Getty Images
Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
zmurciuk_k via Getty Images
Reuters Photographer / Reuters
Andrew Lahodynskyj via Getty Images