Beer Style

Beer, ale, lager and stout styles and categories

Beers, ales and lagers come in many types, styles and variations. Please choose from the styles listed to find more of the beers you like.

Dark Ale

 Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale
69Sweetness lingers for a while but the finish is generally dry, bitter and malty, with more liquorice.

Alaskan Big Nugget Barley Wine Ale 2006

Alaskan Big Nugget Barley Wine Ale 2006
73A complex but not particularly satisfying barley wine. Not a patch on the same brewery's outstanding Alaskan Smoked Porter.

Alaskan Winter Ale
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Alaskan Winter Ale
80The piney additions enhance rather than dominate this sound, dark copper-coloured ale.

Anchor Old Foghorn

Anchor Old Foghorn
85The daddy of American barley wines: a big, sumptuous beer, defined by dry hopping with Cascade hops. It really hits the spot.

Arundel Old Knucker

Arundel Old Knucker
78A ruby-coloured old ale from Sussex that stumps up plenty of flavour and would wash down a chocolate pudding a treat. I'd love to try a bottle-conditioned version, which would add a touch of lightness...

Bank's Barley Gold

Bank's Barley Gold
78A strong, smooth ale in which the strength shows through perhaps a touch too boldly. It could also use more complexity.

Brooklyn Brooklyn Brown Ale

Brooklyn Brooklyn Brown Ale
78An ocean apart from British brown ales, this ruby coloured beer is a good example of the American take on the style, spiked with zesty hops. Easy to drink and very enjoyable.

Brouwerij Slaapmutske Slaapmutske Bruin

Brouwerij Slaapmutske Slaapmutske Bruin
78Not the most complex of Belgian browns but well made and enjoyable. Fairly bitter in the finish for the style.

Cains Cains Dragon Heart

Cains Cains Dragon Heart
75A solid enough brown ale, with decent flavours, but tired tasting on this evidence.

Cains Dragon Heart

Cains Dragon Heart
58A chestnut-coloured brown ale that doesn't really deliver, especially in the finish.

De Molen Bommen and Granaten

De Molen Bommen and Granaten
80This adventurous Dutch beer is meant to offer a Champagne-like mousse. Sadly, my sample was completely flat, with not a twinkle of carbonation. Maybe this will develop as the beer ages. I hope so beca...

de Proef SNAB Maelstrøm

de Proef SNAB Maelstrøm
79A complex, unusual, deep amber-coloured beer brewed for this Dutch enterprise by de Proef in Belgium.

Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown
World Beer Awards 2007 World's Best Standard Dark Ale - Winner World Beer Awards 2007 World's Best Brown Ale - Winner

Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown
Sweet, lactic, dry. Sweet, toffees, ‘soap powder' but in a good way. Malt, balanced palate. Oxidised note at first, full body. Good linger. Balanced. Bright. Pleasant, rounded palate.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
80A full and satisfying strong brown ale, made in part with caramelised brown sugar. Perhaps a touch too strong for its own good: the alcohol detracts a little from the complex dark malt character.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
76A complex beer, packing contrasting, intriguing flavours, but perhaps a little too strong for its own good.

Durham Benedictus

Durham Benedictus
81A robust and tangy – rather than smooth and mellow – barley wine, perhaps more akin to a strong IPA.

Elgood's Black Dog

Elgood's Black Dog
74A clean, tasty beer that doesn't disappoint, even if it is rather bitter in the finish for a mild.

Elgood's Black Dog

Elgood's Black Dog
75This award-winning Cambridgeshire brew has a rather bitter finish for a mild, but the moreish dryness is an enjoyable feature.

Exmoor Ales Brewery Beast

Exmoor Ales Brewery Beast
78The front label describes Exmoor Beast simply as a ‘strong ale', but when you read the small print on the reverse, its origins in the porter style are made clear.

Fox Nina's Mild

Fox Nina's Mild
75A ruby-coloured, bottle-conditioned mild with some interesting.

Fox Nina's Mild

Fox Nina's Mild
73A deep ruby, bottle-conditioned mild from coastal Norfolk, with plenty of taste.

Fuller's 1845

Fuller's 1845
73Not the most complex sample I've tasted of this successful, deep amber/reddish beer, which can age beautifully to become even more malty-dry and sherry like.

Fuller's Gales Prize Old Ale
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Fuller's Gales Prize Old Ale
85This is the last batch of Prize Old Ale brewed at Gale's, now packaged at Fuller's in a bigger bottle than before and with a conventional cap rather than a cork. It much more lively and acidic than pr...

Fuller's Vintage Ale 2009

Fuller's Vintage Ale 2009
82A bit sticky and sweet at this early stage in its long life, but already a beer to seek out. It will dry and improve in time.

Fulstow Marsh Mild

Fulstow Marsh Mild
73A ruby-coloured mild with plenty of flavour, but perhaps a touch too dry and thin to be truly satisfying. Don't be confused by the label that gives the brewery name as Fugelestou. This is an old spell...

Grainstore Rutland Panther

Grainstore Rutland Panther
69A ruby beer with no shortage of flavour (and an unusual estery character) for the strength, but more a pussycat than a panther.

Green Man Dark Mild

Green Man Dark Mild
75A mild that delivers on taste even if it seems a touch too bitter for the style. The first of four beers from an environmentally-conscious New Zealand brewery.

Greene King Old Crafty Hen
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Greene King Old Crafty Hen
81A variation on a theme. This beer takes the oak-aged Old 5X that Greene King normally blends with a young beer to create Strong Suffolk and marries it with Old Speckled Hen.

Haand Bryggeriet Odin's Tipple

Haand Bryggeriet Odin's Tipple
69A potent, near-black beer from an enterprising Norwegian microbrewery, with enough warmth to keep out a polar winter.

Hampshire Mayhem
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Hampshire Mayhem
80A well-balanced and interesting mild, combining sweet and roasted flavours very nicely.

Harvey's Lewes Castle Brown Ale

Harvey's Lewes Castle Brown Ale
Aroma of liquorice, grape and toffee. Very balanced and pleasant.

Harvey's Old Ale

Harvey's Old Ale
Rich, complex dark fruit and malt, touch of citrussy hops... Very elegant... Excellent balance... An excellent low-strength dark ale... Toasty and somewhat toffeeish nose, hints of freshly cut fir woo...

Harvey's Quatercentenary Ale
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Harvey's Quatercentenary Ale
80An explosive ale to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 Years Old
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 40 Years Old
83The dark ale and whisky features combine really well, with both aspects discernible but complementary. More complex than the Ola Dubh 18.

Hoggley's Mill Lane Mild
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Hoggley's Mill Lane Mild
80A very drinkable and satisfying dark mild with clean flavours and excellent body for its strength. A product of a Northamptonshire micro that is turning out some fine bottle-conditioned beers.

Hook Norton Twelve Days

Hook Norton Twelve Days
78An attractive ruby ale with a chocolate orange character.

Iceni Honey Mild

Iceni Honey Mild
73A strange one: seems more like a dark bitter than a mild, with honey not very obvious at all. Still, a pleasant beer.

Iceni Thetford Forest Mild

Iceni Thetford Forest Mild
70An unusual take on the dark mild style. Somewhat heavily hopped and bitter, with unexpected floral notes. Our second beer this month from a prolific Norfolk brewer.

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask
66An attractive, red-amber ale matured in rum casks, but it doesn't quite deliver for its strength.

Joseph Holt Manchester

Joseph Holt Manchester
75Full flavoured for the strength, but perhaps a touch too astringent in the finish. A Lowry scene features on the label.

Joseph Holt Manchester Brown Ale

Joseph Holt Manchester Brown Ale
70Disappointing: the dryness and lack of body detract from the malt and hop flavours, and it all tastes rather tired. I didn't enjoy it as much as the last time I drank it, just over a year ago.

JW Lees Harvest Ale
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

JW Lees Harvest Ale
88A world classic barley wine that could easily be served in sherry schooners. It's brewed each autumn from the latest crops of barley and hops, and, though sweet, is exceptionally moreish – beware!

JW Lees Harvest Ales 2008

JW Lees Harvest Ales 2008
84A complex, orange-golden ale that offers something new with every sip. A year old but still on the sweet side.

Liefmans Fruit

Liefmans Fruit
76A pleasant if rather commercial, bright red beer that will not be challenging enough for most beer drinkers.

Meantime Winter Time

Meantime Winter Time
80A new, bottle-conditioned creation not far removed from the same brewery's Chocolate and Coffee beers (see porters section). Flavour packed but perhaps just a touch cloying in places.

Moorhouse Black Cat

Moorhouse Black Cat
72Rather tired-tasting and the finish is the best feature. Not a patch on its cask-conditioned equivalent, which was voted Champion Beer of Britain in 2000.

O'Hanlon's  Thomas Hardy's Ale 2005

O'Hanlon's Thomas Hardy's Ale 2005
82A beer currently in the wilderness, following the decision of O'Hanlon's to cease production. Hopefully, another brewery will pick up the reins as this remains a world classic, the perfect companion f...

Oakham Hawse Buckler

Oakham Hawse Buckler
Aroma of grapefruit and toffee. Clean and uncompromising. Dry palate with plenty of cocoa and coffee

Oakleaf Maypole Mild

Oakleaf Maypole Mild
78A well-rounded, balanced dark mild, with heaps of dark malt character and not too much in the way of bitterness.

Orkney Skull Splitter

Orkney Skull Splitter
83After all the unnecessary controversy over its name this year, this beer shows its class. It's packed with flavour yet also easy drinking for the strength, satisfying, rounded and smooth.

Otley O8

Otley O8
82A fruity, quaffable barley wine that drinks more like a 6% beer.

Port Brewing The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Port Brewing The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments
85Brave and bold, calls for an experienced beer palate. Brettanomyces yeast is added – the yeast that makes lambic beers musty and earthy – and will surely work its magic with time in the bottle.

Randalls Cynful

Randalls Cynful
75A fairly bitter mild, thin in body, as expected for the style, but not lacking taste.

Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf

Ridgeway Insanely Bad Elf
81A polished, well-rounded ‘imperial red ale' that will do a fine job of keeping out the winter cold.

Robinson's Old Ginger Tom

Robinson's Old Ginger Tom
75Old Tom blended with Fentiman's Ginger Beer, producing an interesting drink with quite a kick. I suspect, however, that most of us would prefer the original Old Tom on its own.

Robinson's Old Tom
World Beer Awards 2007 World's Best Dark Ale - Winner World Beer Awards 2007 World's Best Strong Dark Ale - Winner World Beer Awards 2007 World's Best Barley Wine Ale - Winner – Tied Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Robinson's Old Tom
80A complex and fascinating, award-winning red ale in an attractive new, chunkier bottle.

Roman Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold

Roman Adriaen Brouwer Dark Gold
77An easy-drinking, tasty, Belgian ruby ale, in which the generous natural condition makes all the difference to the drinkability.

Samuel Smith Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

Samuel Smith Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale
79A well-balanced but not particularly striking beer that delivers more in the finish than in the taste.

Samuel Smith Strong Golden

Samuel Smith Strong Golden
80A strong beer that doesn't disguise its power, even though there's a prominent oak note throughout.

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby
83A classic strong Midlands mild that has not been bottled for a few years. This sample was from a new trial bottling.

Sharp's Massive Ale
Tastingbeers.com Recommended - Winner

Sharp's Massive Ale
80Not the most complex of barley wines but deftly done.

Sharp's Massive Ale

Sharp's Massive Ale
82A substantial but fairly subtle ale that is very easy to drink for the considerable strength, with alcohol kept wonderfully in check.

Stone Old Guardian

Stone Old Guardian
82A chunky, take-no-prisoners barley wine with the hop rate of an IPA, or even a double IPA.

Teignworthy Martha's Mild

Teignworthy Martha's Mild
75A ruby mild from Devon that knows its strength and saves the best till last.

Theakston Old Peculier
Tastingbeers.com Editors Choice - Winner

Theakston Old Peculier
78A delightfully mellow yet complex old ale, but lacks the full character of the cask conditioned version.

Thornbridge Bracia

Thornbridge Bracia
84This near-black beer is a meal in a glass, but you need to like honey to really enjoy it.

Thwaites Good Elf

Thwaites Good Elf
76This is a brown ale for Christmas, so is hardly going to be at its freshest at this time of the year. Nevertheless, it's obvious that this is a tasty, satisfying beer with interesting, balanced flavou...

Tryst Brockville Dark

Tryst Brockville Dark
75CAMRA's Champion Bottle Conditioned Beer of Scotland last year: a nicely balanced, fruity, ruby-coloured mild, with the only downside the slight astringency that puckers the mouth. Otherwise, good fre...

Vale Black Swan Dark Mild

Vale Black Swan Dark Mild
75A beer from rural Buckinghamshire that bottles very well for its modest strength. Lots of flavour for its ABV.

Williams Brothers 80/-

Williams Brothers 80/-
79A well-rounded, ruby ale, a welcomingly autumnal beer in both colour and taste.

Wolf Woild Moild

Wolf Woild Moild
72Arguably too hoppy and bitter for a mild, but this is a fine, red beer with a good combination of malt and hop flavours.

Wood's Christmas Cracker

Wood's Christmas Cracker
73A bottle-conditioned beer that seemed a touch young. Another month in the bottle may have helped round off the coarser alcohol notes.

Woodforde's Head Cracker

Woodforde's Head Cracker
83A full-value, golden ale that initially veers off in the sweet direction but comes together very well once the hops kick in.

Woodforde's Norfolk Nip

Woodforde's Norfolk Nip
73An interesting and flavoursome, bottle-conditioned ruby beer that, on this occasion, lacked carbonation.

Wye Valley The Best 4x4

Wye Valley The Best 4x4
78An easy-drinking beer that doesn't, however, lack character. Brewed to celebrate 60 years of Land Rover production.

Wye Valley Two Swans

Wye Valley Two Swans
75A refreshingly malty alternative to the current wave of golden, hoppy ales. Brewed to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, whose ‘two swans' logo was designed ...

Top of the chocs (Beer & Chocolate)
Ben McFarland gets all gooey at a beer and chocolate tasting

Toronto the good
Canada is a major player in the beer revolution that is sweeping North America. Robert Hughey seeks out the beer venues in its largest city.

Belgium - Beer country
Charles D cook explores Belgium, the ultimate destination for any beer fan.

The Netherlands - Beer in the Netherlands
Des de Moor shows that the Dutch have more to offer than just Grolsch and Heineken

Hampshire, Kent and Sussex: In the garden of England
Andrew Catchpole looks at the brewers of Hampshire, Sussex and Kent

Beer Styles and Definitions
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World Beer Awards 2011
world beer awards 2011 intro html pthe 2011 world beer awards saw a surge in entries and judging began its lengthy meticulous process in june with more rounds and judges taking part more than ever in ...

    Harviestoun Brewery
  • Alva Industrial Estate. Alva. Clackmannanshire. Scotland. FT12 5DQ
  • Tel : +44 1259 769 100
    Heineken UK
  • Melbury House 51. Wimbledon Hill Road. Wimbledon. London. Greater London. England. SW19 7QW
  • Tel : +44 20 8879 8080
  • Fax : +44 208 879 8037
    La Pettite Brewery
  • St Peter Port. Guernsey. Channel Islands. GY1 3JG
  • Tel : +44 1481 720 134
  • Fax : +44 1481 713 233
    La Pettite Brewery
  • St Peter Port. Guernsey. Channel Islands. GY1 3JG
  • Tel : +44 1481 720 134
  • Fax : +44 1481 713 233
    Sarah Hughes Brewery
  • 129 Bilston Road. Sedgley. West Midlands. England. DY3 1JE
  • Tel : +44 1902 883 380
    Theakston Brewery
  • Masham. Ripon. North Yorkshire. England. HG4 4YD
  • Tel : +44 1765 684 300