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Our Brewing Style

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 colour and is a smooth, malty beer with a high bitterness.

Barley Wine:

This very potent beverage has a high alcohol content and is full bodied with a generous dose of malt. The colour 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 a rich highly alcoholic beer similar to barley wine. It is malty sweet, and it ranges in colour 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 colour.


Dry, heavily hopped pale ales with a low alcohol content and gold to reddish copper in colour. The three sub-styles include ordinary bitter, special and extra special (ESB). The maltiness and hoppiness come through most strongly in ESB.

Black Beer:

Traditionally brewed in Eastern Germany, very dark in colour, 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 bown in colour 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.

Brown Ale:

Similar to pale ales, but darker in color, smooth, mild with slight nutty or fruity overtones to the malt and mild hop bitterness.

Cream Ale:

Bottom fermenting lager created by the Americans. Very pale in color, light to medium bodied, fairly sweet, low inhop 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 colour.


The dark lager of Munich with a spicy maltiness, medium body, slight chocolate or caramel sweetness, light bitterness and copper to dark brown in colour.


A lighter version of the Dunkel, pale or golden in colour but slightly on the malty side and less hoppy compared to 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 colour.

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 coloured 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.

Mild Ale:

Sweet, malty, dark brown in colour and relatively low in alcohol.

Old Ale:

Rich, high in alcohol, malty-sweet, full bodied and a deep amber colour. Can be aged for several years.

Pale Ale:

Classic pale ale of England, bronze or amber coloured, 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 blanced 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.


Geman smoked beer with a strong smoky aroma and flavor. Made famous in he Bavarian city of Bamberg and can be made as either lager or ale.

Red 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.

Rye Beer:

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 colour and bottle conditioned.

Scottish Ale:

Maltier and less hoppy than English ales making them fuller in body.


A hybrid of an ale and lager (uses lager yeast but is fermente at higher temperatures) developed in California, moderately hoppy flavor, aroma and bitterness and a light amber colour.


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 colour 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 Monastry 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, dubbel and tripel based on strength.


Amber red lager developed by an Austrian, medium bodied and has a toasty, malty taste offset by mild hop bitterness.

Wheat Beer:

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.