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A guide to beer styles Too much choice when it comes to beer? Absolutely not! With a passion for craft beer, we love recommending new and exciting delicious treats which are bound to intrigue your taste buds. However, we understand that as there are so many beer styles to choose from, it’s hard to decide which one you’d like to try sometimes.

So, we’re going to do the hard work for you. In today’s article, we’re going to provide you with a complete guide to beer styles, and recommend a few to try from each category.

Pale ale

The first beer style on our guide is a ‘pale ale’. This has been around for a number of years, and it first originated in the UK. In recent years, it has become hugely popular with beer lovers and newbies across the globe; and it’s one of our absolute favourites. These beers are typically hop-forward, with a moderate to high hop bitterness that gives them a distinctive floral or citrusy aroma. This delicious beverage is perfect for those who are looking for a flavourful, refreshing beer without being too heavy or overpowering. Arguably, this is the perfect gateway to delving into the world of beer, as there are so many to choose from that will suit your preference.

At The Epicurean, we offer a wide variety of pale ales that are sure to cleanse your palates; and keep you wanting more. Every week, new pale ales arrive, and we can never decide on our favourite - so we have multiple! Our current favourites are: Pomona Island, Polly's Brew, and Deya. So why not give them a try today?

Refreshing pale ale - The Epicurean

Dark lager

Next on our list is dark lager. Now, when it comes to beer, most people associate lagers with light, refreshing beers that are perfect for warm weather. However, dark larger is a lesser-known type of beer that's brewed with dark, roasted malts; which gives it a dark colour, ranging from reddish-brown to almost black, and a rich, complex flavour profile. Due to the high-calorie content of the lager, it’s common to drink this during the autumn/winter season; as its rich ingredients help keep your energy levels up in the cold. If this sounds appealing too, then there are multiple options for you to choose from. We recommend you try one of these  dark lagers. They’re often overlooked which is a shame as they are definitely worth exploring.

 Dark lager - The Epicurean

Brown ale

Another ale, and not the last, that’s next on our guide is a brown ale. Unless you’re a beer fanatic, you might not have heard of brown ale before. But don’t worry, we shall enlighten you. Brown ale is a beer that's brewed with roasted malts, which gives it a dark brown colour and a rich, nutty flavour profile. Unlike other types of beer, which are typically hop-forward, brown ale is a malt-forward beer that's perfect for those who enjoy a beer with a bit more complexity.

It’s known for its smooth, easy-to-drink taste, making it a popular choice among beer drinkers. If you’re an experienced beer drinker and you want to try something different, why not check out these 8 best brown ales.

Brown ale beer - The Epicurean


One of the most common beer styles which is continuously growing in popularity is a stout. The most famous example of a stout beer is undoubtedly a Guinness. It’s arguably one of the most popular beers in the UK - especially in Ireland where its brewing factories are located. Stout is brewed using roasted barley, which gives it its characteristic dark colour and distinct flavour profile. The use of roasted barley also contributes to stout's full-bodied mouthfeel, which sets it apart from other types of beer.

Interestingly, stout was originally brewed in England during the late 17th century, and it was once considered a health tonic due to its high nutritional value and low alcohol content. Look how that’s changed in today’s society! If you’re a fan of stout or you're a novice looking to broaden your palette, we recommend you try one of these 12 stout beers.

Stout beer - The Epicurean


India pale ale

India pale ale, or IPA, is a hugely popular beer style that is arguably the best on our list. The origins of IPA can be traced back to the early 18th century when British brewers began adding extra hops to their beer to help preserve it for long journeys. It quickly became a popular export to British colonies around the world, and over time, it evolved and became more refined.

Today, there are several different styles of IPA, each with its own unique flavour and brewing process. At The Epicurean, we offer a huge variety of IPA’s with our current roster boasting over 50 different styles to choose from! Our most popular IPA is undoubtedly the Marble, Earl Grey. Its unique, stunning flavour makes it stand out from the rest - which is why it’s so popular. So what are you waiting for? Buy an IPA online today to see what all the fuss is about!

 India pale ale - The Epicurean


Next in our beer style guide is Porter, and this is definitely a style you don’t want to miss out on. Dark in colour that’s not dissimilar to coffee, chocolate or caramel; this beer is full of complex flavours which will blow you away. There are a few key differences in the brewing process which makes this beer stand out from the rest. The malt used is roasted for a longer period of time, which intensifies the flavour drastically. Due to its unique flavour, it’s seen a resurgence in the last few years and there is no sign of it stopping either.

If you’re looking for a porter beer to try, then there is no better place to start than the ‘Titanic plum porter’. Full of fruity goodness, this porter beverage is a no-brainer, and we can’t encourage you enough to try it.

 Porter beer - The Epicurean

Belgian-style ale

Originated in Belgium, a Belgian-style ale is notoriously known for its spiced, fruity flavours and high alcohol content. These types of ales are brewed using a combination of malted barley, hops, and yeast, but what sets them apart from other types of beer is the use of unique strains of yeast and spices. The Belgian yeast strains are known for the complex flavours it produces, such as bubblegum and banana. Which makes it hugely popular among beer lovers.

They’re unique in almost every way, and we’re proud to offer this delicious beverage here at The Epicurean. With 64 Belgian-style ales in stock, you’re spoilt for choice. We offer a Belgian triple, Belgian Saison, Belgian Dubbel, and a Belgian Witbier; each of which carries an incredibly smooth taste.

 Belgian ale - The Epicurean

Wheat beer

Typically brewed using a mix of malted wheat and barley, along with hops and yeast. Wheat beer is another popular style on our list which dates back to ancient times. Generally lighter in colour, wheat beer is full of flavour that is perfect to have on any occasion. Most notably after a hard day’s work.

At The Epicurean, one of our most popular wheat brands we offer is a ‘schofferhofer’. It’s known for its remarkable, crisp taste, and it contains grapefruit juice too! Hugely popular among our customers, this wheat beer is one to not pass on, and it’s great to enjoy during a hot summer’s day - which is right around the corner.

 Wheat beer - The Epicurean

Wild & sour ale

With just 3 beer styles left on our guide, the latest addition is wild & sour ale. Typically, wild & sour ale is low in alcohol which makes it an attractive proposition for casual drinkers. Interestingly, the sour texture you taste is actually from safe bacteria in the brewing process. In recent years, it’s gained popularity among beer craft enthusiasts due to its funky flavour and originality.

As beer craft lovers ourselves, we can provide you with a range of wild & sour ales. Each beer varies in terms of flavour and strength, so you’re sure to find one to your liking. Our current favourite is the Deep Creek, Peach Ginger Sour!

 Sour ale - The Epicurean

Pale lager & pilsner

The penultimate beer styles on our list are pale lager & pilsner, which are two of the most popular beer styles in the world. They share many similarities, but there are a few key differences. Pale lager is characterised by its light colour and crisp, refreshing taste. Pilsner, on the other hand, is known for its golden colour and its distinctive hoppy flavour, which is achieved by using a specific type of hop known as Saaz.

Typically, Pilsner is more ‘hoppy’ than pale lager due to its bitter taste. Whereas pale lager is lighter and less hoppy which can be easier to drink and consume with food. Hells is a popular brand that brews pale lager, and it’s one of the reasons why we offer this to our customers. Our current favourite from them is the Ayinger, which is a top-rated beverage.

A must-try pilsner lager you have to indulge in is the Mongozo. As well as being full of rich flavour, this beer is gluten-free so it’s the ideal drink if you’re gluten intolerant.

 Pale lager & Pilsner - The Epicurean



And breathe…

We hope you enjoyed reading our latest article, digging into each beer style. If you have any questions about the different beers on offer, or you’re looking to try some of them, get in touch with us today and we can provide you with our favourites and offer recommendations.

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