You’ve always been interested in trying beer, but you don't know where to start. Maybe you’ve tried an IPA here or a Stout there, but don’t know what you like well enough to sample some other styles.
Don't worry - we’ve got your back! Below we’ll cover some of the basics about five different types of beers and give you tips on how to find out which one is right for you.
We'll also share our favorite local Maine brews based on your preferences. So grab a pint and get ready to learn all about beer!
1. IPA & Double IPA
If you like an American style, hop-forward beer, IPA (India Pale Ale) might be the perfect choice for you. This slightly bitter beer goes down smoothly and pairs well with seafood and many other light dishes.
New England IPAs aren't your standard IPA. Like their American elder, they’re also very hop-focused, both in aroma and flavor. But they're also known for being hazy, fruity, citrus-tasting, and even floral. Depending on the variety and brewery, you’ll find New England IPAs in a variety of orange-amber colors.
Double IPAs are simply a higher alcohol content than standard IPAs, starting in the 7%+ ABV (alcohol by volume) range.
Our favorite Maine IPA brews: Bissell Brothers Substance, Goodfire Prime, Definitive Ale, Fluvial River Haze
2. Pale Ale
In general, Pale Ales balance malt (think caramel and coffee) with hops (think citrus, earthiness, and herbal), making them a well balanced beer for those who like the best of both worlds.
Often copper or golden in color, Pale Ales go well with lighter dishes like seafood, as well as chicken or salads. Still relatively hops-forward, you’ll typically taste citrus and tropical fruit flavors in this beer.
Our favorite Maine Pale Ale brews: Austin Street Patina Pale, Mast Landing DDH Tell Tale Pale, Lone Pine Portland Pale Ale
3. Lager & Pilsner
Lagers are well-known around the world; in fact, they’re the most common type of beer! (Budweiser, Coors Light, Corona and Michelob Ultra are all lagers.) This type of beer is perfect for beginners as it’s known for its light, crisp taste and smooth flavor.
Pilsners, a type of Lager, are slightly more spicy than a traditional Lager and are typically higher in hops flavor.
Both Lagers and Pilsners are perfect for a hot Maine summer day and pair perfectly with quintessential New England dishes.
Our favorite Maine Lager & Pilsner brews: Oxbow Luppolo, Rising Tide Back Cove, Bunker Machine, Battery Steele Golden Path
If you already like Guinness, you’ll love a good New England Stout. These dark, rich beers often have flavors of coffee or dark chocolate.
Slightly bitter from hops with higher malt flavors, Stouts can be more milky or coffee-like, depending on how they are brewed. With rich and creamy notes, Stouts are often paired with rich, flavorful meals.
Our favorite Maine Stout brews: Mast Landing Gunner's Daughter, Fore River John Henry, Banded Brewing Jolly Woodsman
Just as it sounds, sour beer has a distinctively tart and acidic taste. Often flavored with fruit - like berries and citrus - Sours have a unique balance of sweet and sour flavors. Plus, they’re brewed with bacteria, so Sour beer even has some probiotic benefits!
Pair your Sour beer with seafood, a variety of cheeses, or salty meats. With its unique profile, Sour beer is enjoyed by many beer enthusiasts; but like every beer, it really depends on personal preference whether you enjoy it!
Our favorite Maine Sours brews: Banded Charms & Hexes, Fore River Preble, Barreled Souls Summer Jam
With so many types of beer available today, there has never been a better time to explore this delicious beverage. Give our favorite Maine brews a try or experiment on your own!
Interested in learning more about beer from the experts? If you’re in Southern Maine, stop in and visit us at Perk’s or order online to have your beer delivered in Scarborough or Old Orchard Beach!