Classic Beer Styles You Should Know How to Brew

As a new brewer, you have to know the classics! From pilsners to porters, being able to make a good version of the most popular beer styles is essential for any budding brewmaster. Explore some classic beer styles you should know how to brew, along with tips on ingredients and techniques to make the best versions of these beers possible.


First, let’s discuss the ubiquitous pilsner—a crisp, refreshing, and well-balanced beer adored worldwide. For the perfect pilsner, you’ll want to use high-quality Pilsen malt and noble hops like Hallertauer or Saaz. A clean and neutral yeast strain is essential to let the malt and hops shine through. Try to avoid high fermentation temperatures, which can lead to undesirable off-flavors. Remember, patience is key when it comes to creating clean, balanced pilsners: provide ample time for the lagering process to refine any harsh flavors and accentuate the crispness.


Next up is the hearty and robust stout. This beloved beer style has a wide range of flavors and aroma profiles, from roasty to sweet. To create the perfect stout, consider using a combination of chocolate malt, roasted barley, and caramel malt to create a rich and complex base. A moderate amount of hops will complement these malts, while an ale yeast is perfect for enhancing the stout’s roasty flavors. Opting for dark sugars like molasses or brown sugar can create a dense and heavy body that is characteristic of the stout style.


For the hop lovers out there, the IPA (India pale ale) is a must-know style. With its bold hop presence, this assertive and flavorful beer is a favorite among brewers. Choosing the right hops is one of the best tips for brewing IPAs. Citrusy, piney, or tropical fruit flavors are typically excellent, so look for hops like Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo to fulfill that expectation. The malt base should be subtle, using pale and caramel malts to support the dominant hops. A clean fermentation process using American ale yeast will allow those hops to shine through.


Lastly, we come to the charming and versatile porter. Like its counterpart, the stout, porters boast a rich complexity. Key malt types for porters include chocolate malt, crystal malt, and brown malt. Choosing a milder hop variety like Fuggles or Willamette will provide a pleasant balance to the malt profile. Also, a healthy dose of British ale yeast will enhance the malty characteristic of this classic style.

Learning the techniques and ingredients for producing these classic beer styles you should know how to brew is a fantastic way to start your journey into the world of brewing. Experimenting with different malts, hops, yeasts, and processes will leave you feeling confident and inspired as you continue to hone your craft.

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