Common Types of Beer in America

Lagers

  • The most common type of beer in the U.S. is the American-style pale lager, which is based upon the Pilsner style of beer. Unlike the European style Pilsners, American lagers only have a moderate hops flavors but in common with the style of origin uses rice, wheat, corn or barley malt as adjuncts in production. Budweiser, produced by the Anheuser-Busch brewery, is the most well-known beer made in this style. Together with Budweiser, Miller Genuine Draft and Busch are the most popular premium American-style lagers in the U.S.

Light Beer

  • According to statistics of beer sales gathered by Beer Marketer's Insights, in 2009 four brands of light beers were among the top five highest selling beers in the U.S., namely Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light and Natural Light. Altogether light beers account for 53.8 percent of all U.S. beer sales. Light beers are called such because they have a reduced alcohol content, although low carbobydrate beers which have a full strength alcohol content are also labelled as lights. Most commonly, light beers are American-style lagers.

Ales

  • American brewers have also developed their own various ales including amber, blond, cream, India pale, brown, stout, pale and barley wine varieties. Among the top 30 selling beer brands in 2007 were Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale, Shiner Bock and Sierra Nevade Pale Ale. Ales are characterized my their sweet, fruity and full bodied flavors and unlike lagers are brewed using a warm fermentation process.

Craft Beers

  • Sales of craft beers have increased into the mid and late 2s, with that segment of the beer industry having the highest growth rate in 2008. Craft beers are produced by smaller independent regional breweries, brewpubs and microbreweries. While the major national brewing companies Coors, Anheuser-Busch and SAB-Miller produce the majority of lagers and light beers in America, craft breweries produce a range of different types including ales, stouts, Belgian-stye beers as well as new innovative styles. "Men's Journal" included the following brews on their list of America's 25 best beers: Ommegang Three Philohophers, Lagunitas IPA, Flying Fish Exit 4, Allagas Confluence and Left Hand Polestar.

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