The sheer number of beer styles that make up the craft beer scene is exciting, but it can also be intimidating - and that’s okay. With all of the different beer styles and beer names, it is tough to remember what differentiates them from one another. That is why we’ve created a detailed list of the types of beer that make up the craft beer world, complete with a few beer names and beer styles to help you find your favorite types of beer.
Simple answer is no. Craft beer styles are not governed by laws as wine is, rather guidelines. Craft beer resides at the intersection of art and science. It is up to each individual brewer to decide whether they want to create beer within specific style guidelines or forge a new path and break the mold of traditional styles.
Craft brewers use a wide variety of ingredients to achieve the aroma, body, flavor and finish they desire in their beer. They often take classic, old-world styles from great brewing countries like England, Germany and Belgium and add their own twists by modifying the amount or type of ingredients or the brewing processes. Due to the popularity of craft beer in America, there are now multiple beer styles uniquely credited to the U.S.
Due to the constant experimentation and exploration by today’s U.S. brewers, new beer styles are constantly evolving. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to fully document all types of beer being made at any given time. Another factor is that new beer styles usually become established by developing a track record of multiple breweries making the same type of beer over years and years. In other words, it takes time before any trendy new type of beer is deemed a recognized beer style.