Types of Beer
The word "beer" is often used as a generic noun used to describe a cold refreshing beverage. For example, "Hiya Mike, let's go for a beer." However, beer lovers around the world will heartily agree that there's nothing generic about beer.

When it comes to types of beer, there are many, many options to choose from. It's impossible to say which type is best, because they all have very different characteristics. You'd be surprised at how a pilsner can differ from a porter, or how a stout stands out from a cider.

The names given to different styles of beer generally reflect individual characteristics of the product, such as where it originated. Most beers, particularly those sold commercially, are processed using traditional methods.

Different types of beer have unique qualities like appearance, taste, origin and aroma. There are several styles that make up the world' most common types of beer:

Styles of beer have a lot to do with how they taste, what they look like, how they smell and of course where they are made. Some common choices include these:

* Lager: Some of the most popular types of beer are lagers. These include American styles including basic lager, all-malt lager, light lager, double pilsner, malt liquor and low-alcohol or "light" beers. Popular international choices include Czech, European, Japanese and German lagers.

* Ale: American amber, brown ale, porter, strong, sour and wild ales are also common American beers. Also falling under the category of "Ales" are Chile Beer, Pumpkin Ale, Belgian and French ales, English, German, Irish, Finnish, Scottish and Russian ales.

* Cider: While not an official beer, cider is still enjoyed by many beer drinkers. Favorites include standard cider, New England cider and many specialty ciders.

* Hybrids: combining different beer styles or ingredients create this "experimental" beer. Berbed, smoked, fruit and vegetable beer and spiced beer are all types of hybrids.

* Mead: Mead is not a beer, rather a honey wine that has been adapted from centuries-old recipes. Melomel is a type of mead blended with fruit or vegetables. Braggot is concoction of beer and mead, while Metheglin is mead blended with spices.

Variety is the spice of life. If you're a beer drinker, you're likely loyal to a tried and true brand. But remember that variety is the spice of life. There is a world of options available to you, so try something new next time you're ready to crack open a cold one.