Beer Basics, because information is power!

Understanding your product(s) is a key ingredient to increasing your sales, When your staff are well versed in the products they sell, it gives them a huge advantage. When they truly understand the products they are providing guests, they can turn that knowledge into revenue, through suggestive selling.

While hospitality is the driving force in our business, we can not forget that we are selling products!

So for a bit of fun, and education here are some beer basics to pass along to your staff…

What is beer?  Beer is the fermented, alcoholic product, made with the careful combination of water, malt, hops, and yeast. That’s it. Okay, so hops weren’t always included in the mix, but have become common place in today’s craft beer industry.

What are the different “types” of beer?  Beer traditionally consisted of two types (Ales and Lagers), over the years that expanded to include Malts and Stouts. 

Ø  Ales: Full bodied, with hints of fruit or spice, and hoppy finish. Ale is the oldest form of beer, and has been described as “thirst quenching”.  There are 11 styles of ale including Brown Ale, Pale Ale, IPA (India pale ale), Cask Ale.

Ø  Lagers: The most commonly known beer style in North America.  Lagers are crisp, light and refreshing. There are 3 styles of lager including Pale, Vienna, and Dark.

Ø  Malts: generally sweet and contain hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts.  They are generally dark in colour. Malts generally have a lower alcohol content.

Ø  Stouts: A dark beer, with strong flavor.  Stouts come in 8 varieties including, Milk, Dry Irish, Porter, Oatmeal, Chocolate, Oyster, Imperial, and Baltic Porter.  The most common variety is a Dry Irish Stout.

What are the different “styles” of beer?  On top of beer types, most beer will also be described by its style. Because of the specific nature of Lagers and Stouts, these styles with most often be used when describing Ales.

Ø  Amber: Full bodied, malt aromas and hints of caramel. You may see this style in either an Ale or a Lager.

Ø  Blonde: Pale in color, crisp and dry. These tend to have low to medium bitterness and hoppy aromas and slight sweetness.

Ø  Brown: Amber or brown in color, with evidence of caramel and chocolate.  These will have a slight hints of citrus or malt depending on where they are made.

Ø  Cream: A mild, sweetish golden style ale.

Ø  Dark: Generally a British ale that combines malt, hops, and yeast.  It will be chestnut brown in color and tends to have a slightly fruity smell.

Ø  Pale: Copper colored style with a robust flavor.

Ø  Strong: This is a broad style that can include any beer over 7% alcohol volume. They tend to be darker ales or IPA’s.

Ø  Wheat: Light and easy to drink with little after taste. Can sometimes be hazy with a touch of spice. These beers are often served with a citrus fruit (orange, lemon, or grapefruit)

Ø  Red: Red to brown in color, heavy in flavor with a hoppy caramel taste.

Ø  IPA: A hoppy version of a pale ale. Originally brewed in England.

Ø  Pilsner: Golden in color, dry and crisp – Pilsners are a Lager.

Ø  Golden: Straw in color with a light crisp citrus note.

Ø  Honey: Full bodied, creamy and slightly sweet.

Ø  Fruit: Most fruit beers are ales, and flavoring depends on the variety.