Beer Style Guide 

What are you drinking?

American Pale Lager: This is the classic American light beer. A lager may taste slightly of the grain used, and should finish cleanly. Even if it gets warm, a good American lager should still drink easily. This one's great to sip after mowing the lawn. (Payette Northfork Lager)

Blonde Ale: Similar to an American pale lager, a blonde ale may have a slightly fruity aroma from the ale yeast and more of a residual aftertaste. These are good to drink after floating the river. (Kilted Dragon Dirty Blonde Highland Honey, 10 Barrel Boise Blonde)

Hefeweizen: This straw-colored, German-style wheat ale pours with a cloudy haze and has an intriguing aroma of cloves, bananas and bubblegum. This brew will taste a little sweet with some carbonation on the tongue. Drink a hefeweizen while manning a grill full of bratwurst. (Kilted Dragon Wise Heff Hefeweizen)

American Wheat: This clean-finishing beer is similar to a hefeweizen, but not as sweet and doesn't have the same intriguing aroma. Sometimes served with a lemon slice, American wheats are great to drink on a bicycle pub crawl. (Crooked Fence Whole Wheat Ale, Slanted Rock Worth the Squeeze, Edge Commodity Wheat, Highland's Hollow Ginger Wheat, Sockeye Woolybugger Wheat)

Belgian Tripel: A tripel is deceptively strong and sweet, usually clocking in at around 9 percent alcohol. This tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it style, and one that lots of non-beer drinkers find enjoyable. Try it sometime with a soft cheese instead of a bottle of pinot grigio. (Edge Belgian Tripel, Woodland Empire Gold Days)

Pale Ale: This is the standard-bearer for craft beers--a full-bodied brew that's a good balance of malt and hop flavor. A little bit of everything should come through, but nothing should be overpowering. This is a good beer to drink all the time. (Crooked Fence Rusty Nail Pale Ale, Payette Pale Ale, Slanted Rock Afternoon Delight, Kilted Pale Ale, Edge Brewing Onomato Pale Ale, Highland's Hollow Spoon Tongue, Sockeye Hell Diver)

IPA: The India pale ale was developed to appease English colonists in India. An IPA is stronger than a pale ale and has more hop bitterness and flavor. IPAs have become the most popular craft beer style, surpassing pale ales in sales. A bitter IPA is great to drink after a bad day. (Crooked Fence Devil's Pick IPA, Payette Outlaw IPA, Slanted Rock Initial Point IPA, Kilted Dragon Blue Steel IPA, Edge Obligatory IPA, Woodland Empire City of Trees IPA, Sockeye Dagger Falls IPA, 10 Barrel Apocalypse IPA)

Amber Ale or Brown Ale: This is a catch-all category for beers that are between a pale ale and a porter. There should be a bit of sweetness and some fruitiness on the nose, but these are usually very clean beers. A perfect beer to drink on the porch during a warm fall day. (Kilted Dragon Bonnie Heather Amber, Edge Amber the Enabler, Sockeye Angel's Perch Amber, Woodland Empire Rabbit Fighter, Payette Mutton Buster, Kilted Dragon Badass Brunette Brown Ale, 10 Barrel Bull Moose Brown)

Barleywine: These brews have the alcohol strength of wine, but are made with barley instead of grapes. Barleywines are usually only produced as winter seasonals by craft breweries. It's a nice beer to sip while watching the snow fall outside.

Porter: The original drink of the working class, the porter takes it's name from the workers who drank it most. Porters are dark, rich and taste like chocolate and coffee. They're great beers to drink by the fire while having a David Bowie sing-along. (Crooked Fence 3 Picket Porter, Sockeye Powerhouse Porter, Kilted Dragon Knuckle Dragger Porter)

American Black Ale: Black IPA and Cascadian dark ale are other names given to this bitter black brew. A black ale has all the dark, rich character of a porter or stout, but with the hop bitterness of an IPA. Drink a black ale with some fancy salted chocolate.

Stout: A stout is blacker than the heart of your ex. The flavors usually range from freshly ground coffee to slightly burnt toast, and there's often a slight bitterness from the dark grains used. Stouts are perfect for breakfast, if that's how you roll. (Highlands Full Moon Stout, Kilted Dragon Hand & a Half Oatmeal Stout)


Session Beer: These can be any style, but they're lower in alcohol. Session beers are common in England but have been gaining popularity in the United States. The name comes from the idea of a drinking "session," or hanging out for a few hours at the local pub and not getting too drunk. They're a great option when you want to throw back a few.

Imperial or Double: These words can be applied to any style, but generally convey that it's a stronger, more full-bodied version of the regular style. A double IPA has more hop flavor and alcohol than a normal IPA, while an imperial stout tastes stronger and richer than a regular stout.

Wild or Sour: These brews aren't sour because they went bad, rather brewers intentionally use wild yeasts that produce certain acids during fermentation. It might sound bad, but it's a good thing--like somebody squeezed a bunch of fresh lemon juice into your beer.

Barrel-Aged Beers: Most craft brewers now seek out oak barrels in which to age their beers. Some use barrels that were previously used to age wine or spirits, while others use new barrels. The time and money required to put out barrel-aged beers usually raises the cost substantially, but the reward is often worth it as barrel-aging adds a unique complexity.

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