The brewing of a great beer is a complicated art. This is why we at the Big Five Breweries go through great lengths to create a world of untapped flavors in our state of the art craft brewery.
Alt or Altbier:
Alt is the German word for ‘old’ and thus, altbier is brewed using the old method at warmer fermenting temperatures using top-fermenting yeast. It is copper to dark brown in color and is a smooth, malty beer with high bitterness.
This very potent beverage has a high alcohol content and is full-bodied with a generous dose of malt. The color is deep copper, the aroma is fruity and high levels of bittering hops are used to counteract the sweetness of the malt.
Belgian Strong Ale:
This is a rich highly alcoholic beer similar to barley wine. It is malty-sweet, and it ranges in color from pale golden to deep brown.
Biere de Garde:
Translated as ‘beer for keeping’ and has a spicy quality, fruity aroma, mild hoppiness, heavy maltiness and dark amber in color.
Dry, heavily hopped pale ales with low alcohol content and gold to reddish copper in color. The three sub-styles include ordinary bitter, special and extra special (ESB). The maltiness and hoppiness come through most strongly in ESB.
Traditionally brewed in Eastern Germany, very dark in color, medium body lager with bitter chocolate tones. This is a strong tasting beer with a malty aroma.
Strong but smooth all-malt lagers, with chocolatey overtones, lightly hopped, range from medium to full body and golden brown to dark brown in color depending on the sub-style. The Bock, Double Bock and Eisbock are the traditional styles, Eisbock being the richer and higher in alcohol content out of three. The medium-bodied hellesbock and maibock are the paler variations on bock beer, offering a less chocolatey maltiness and a little more bitterness from the hops.
Similar to pale ales, but darker in color, smooth, mild with slight nutty or fruity overtones to the malt and mild hop bitterness.
Bottom fermenting lager created by the Americans. Very pale in color, light to medium-bodied, fairly sweet, low in hop flavor and aroma and highly carbonated.
The traditional beer of the Western German city of Dortmund. This is a medium to full-bodied lager, less hoppy and slightly sweeter than a typical pilsner with a pale to golden color.
The dark lager of Munich with a spicy maltiness, medium body, slight chocolate or caramel sweetness, light bitterness and copper to dark brown in color.
A lighter version of the Dunkel, pale or golden in color but slightly on the malty side and less hoppy compared to a pilsner.
Indian Pale Ale:
A style of pale ale developed in England to withstand the long sea journey to the far reaches of the British Empire, such as India with high levels of hops and alcohol, medium-bodied golden to amber in color.
Irish Red Ale:
Slightly sweet ale, malty and lightly hopped. The reddish hue is derived from roasted barley.
Pale blond, alt-style beer of Cologne with a medium bitterness, light body and clean taste.
Belgian style beer that retains the old method of spontaneous fermentation by wild yeast with a sour clean taste, medium-bodied, cloudy in appearance with several sub-styles (Faro, Gueuze, Framboise, Kriek). A lambic must contain at least 30% unmalted wheat in order to be assigned that name.
Amber or copper-colored lager also known as Oktoberfest a sit was traditionally brewed in March and aged until October. Similar to bock, very malty, smooth, medium-bodied and not as chocolatey.
Sweet, malty, dark brown in color and relatively low in alcohol.
Rich, high in alcohol, malty-sweet, full-bodied and deep amber color. Can be aged for several years.
Classic pale ale of England, bronze or amber-colored, high level of hops gives a bitter flavor and hoppy aroma which dominates any malt or fruit elements. Belgian pale ale has a spicy aroma, toasty malt and fruity flavors.
First produced in the Bohemian town of Plzen (Pilsen). Complex but well balanced malty character, medium-bodied, a flowery hop aroma and a dry finish. American Pilsner is lighter-bodied and the malt flavor is mild.
A dry, dark brown to black, usually opaque ale that is slightly lighter than a stout. Medium to full body with a sharp, bitter taste of chocolate and black malt.
German smoked beer with a strong smoky aroma and flavor. Made famous in the Bavarian city of Bamberg and can be made as either lager or ale.
Traditional to West Flanders getting its reddish hue from Vienna malt. Tart in flavor, sharp acidity, light to medium body and not at all hoppy.
Specialty beer where rye is used as a complement to barley malt.
Saison or Sezuen:
A spicy ale, tart but refreshing brew from Belgian, highly hopped, medium-bodied, well carbonated, copper or orange in color and bottle conditioned.
Maltier and less hoppy than English ales making them fuller in body.
A hybrid of ale and lager (uses lager yeast but is fermented at higher temperatures) developed in California, moderately hoppy flavor, aroma and bitterness and a light amber color.
Means ‘stone beer’ and is a German specialty beer using ancient brewing techniques of lowering hot stones into the wort to bring it to a boil giving a smoky but sweet flavor.
Full-bodied, opaque black in color with roasted flavors and medium bitterness. Several distinct classes exist notably the Dry or Irish Stout (roasted flavors & medium bitterness), sweet or milk stout (less roasty and more fruity), oatmeal stout (a kind of sweet stout where oats are added giving a fuller body and burnt toffee or coffee notes), Imperial stout (extra-strong, full-bodied) and other stouts (ie. oyster stout, espresso stout, etc).
Trappist or Abbey:
Trappists are ales brewed by a Trappist Monastery whereas Abbeys are brewed by other religious orders. Both are strong, rich and bottle conditioned. Some are sweet and dry but most are malty. They are subdivided into single, double and triple based on strength.
Amber red lager developed by an Austrian, medium-bodied and has a toasty, malty taste offset by mild hop bitterness.
Known as either Weizen (means wheat)or Weisse (means white) and is usually made with 50 to 60% malted wheat. It is top-fermented and so has the complex flavors of ale, often very fruity and a little spicy in aroma, particularly of clove and banana. There are three main types, hefeweizen (unfiltered), kristallweizen (filtered) and dunkelweizen (chocolatey flavors).
Belgian style wheat beer using unmalted wheat flavored with orange peel, coriander or other spices. It is fruitier, less acidic and light to medium body.