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Know your beer: How not to get knocked down by the wide variety of beers in India

#InternationalBeerDay: The difference between types of beer can be distinguished by it's fermentation process and type of yeast used in it. From lagers to wheat beers to pale ales and sour ales – name it and it can be yours.

Written by Sukanya Nandy | New Delhi | Updated: August 3, 2018 1:49:48 pm
international beer day, beer day, types of beer, lager beer, wheat beer, dark ales, ales, sour beer, belgian beer, pale ale, indian pale ale, stouts, pilsners, porters, indian express, indian express news International Beer Day 2018: From ale beers to lagers, know the types of beers. (Source: Thinkstock/Getty Images)

Gone are the days when the only choices which Indian beer offered up was lager, and in case you wanted some international variety, you’d end up burning a hole in your wallet. Now, we are spoilt for choice. From lagers to wheat beers to pale ales and sour ales – name it and it can be yours.

In case you’re wondering what differentiates one beer from another and which one to choose, brewer Nishant from The Drunken Botanist, Gurugram has the answer to your question. “Beers are brewed with different ingredients that carry different ratios of ingredients. While some have different hop flavour, others are brewed with different yeast strains. Each type of beer is also served in specific glasses to get proper flavour of the same”.

Wheat beers

Usually brewed with a large proportion of wheat, they are light in colour and top fermented. The two main varieties of wheat beers are Weissbier and Witbier. While the former has 50% wheat to malt barley in it, the latter has flavours such as coriander and orange peel. These go well with most Indian foods, and spicy food.


Lagers are the perfect choice for beginners as they are made with bottom-fermenting yeast and have a lower alcohol quantity. These usually taste light and a little malty.

Pale Ales

Like lager, pale ales too carry a lower alcohol content. They have a golden to amber colour and most types of pale ales taste malty and a little bitter. Types of pale ale include American amber ale, blonde ale and English pale ale.

Dark Ales

These have a flavour of roasted malt and unlike pale ales are darker in colour. These include Erdinger Dunkel, a dark brown ale that has a strong bitter taste, while Old Tom has a high alcohol quantity.

Indian Pale Ale

India Pale Ales or IPAs include flavours of hops and herbal or citrus and fruity undertones. They contain high alcohol levels and are bitter in taste.


Stouts are dark in colour and sport flavours such as bitter coffee and dark chocolate, but the alcohol quantity is comparatively lower than other beers.


Similar to Stouts, Porters are dark in colour due to the presence of ingredients such as chocolate and other dark-roasted malts.


Originating from Czech Republic, Plisners are pale gold in colour and have a high bitter taste.

Which one would you pick? Let us know in the comments section below.

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