The Essential Guide to Ordering Beer

We break down the most popular beer styles to make ordering a breeze.

Kaley W.
ByKaley W.

"What'll it be?" used to be so much easier to answer. Now, the calling card of a trendy city is a taproom with too many trendy beers to keep track of. We've come a long way since the days of Bud vs. Bud Light. But when did beer become something we describe as juicy? For those who can "barley" tell their stouts from their porters, this is the TL;DR on all things beer. 


Let’s start with the basics. All beers are either ales or lagers, it just depends on the type of yeast used during the fermentation process. The yeast in lagers ferments at the bottom of the beer, leaving you with a refreshing brew that’s best served cold. 


A pilsner is a type of lager that originates from the Czech Republic. It’s a bright beer that pairs well with many types of food, particularly seafood. 


Ales are made with yeast that ferments at the top and at warmer temperatures. Because of this, ales take longer to ferment than their lager counterparts. 


India Pale Ale, or IPA, originates from Britain. British sailors would gear up for trips to India by loading their barrels of beer with extra hops to preserve the liquid gold. And that’s how the slightly bitter, malty British IPA was born. 

West Coast IPA

H/t to the Golden Coast for that blood orange IPA you’re sipping on. The West Coast is credited with introducing a fruitier flavor profile in place of the bitterness. This type of beer could be described as ‘juicy,’ referring to a taste and smell reminiscent of stone fruit or citrus.  


Stouts walked so espresso martinis could run. It’s a dark beer with a slightly roasted flavor and notes of coffee and cream. You’ve likely heard of Guinness, the most popular producer of stout beers. 


Porters can be traced back to the UK. They’re dark like a stout, but taste more chocolatey rather than coffee-like.

Wheat Beer

Aptly named, a wheat beer refers to any kind of beer that uses a large amount of wheat to brew. It has a light color and bright taste, and is often paired with lemon or orange slices. This type of beer can also be described as hazy, or slightly cloudy, due to some insoluble ingredients.

There are still over 100 different types of beer, but we hope this helps you feel like a pro the next time you visit your local watering hole. Let us know what you’ll be ordering next, hoppy sipping!