It can feel pretty intimidating stepping into a pub or kicking back at a beer festival and having to choose a drink quickly from a huge list of craft beers, stouts and lagers without really knowing the difference between them all.
They certainly don’t educate you at school about the differences between beer and lager and if you went to University it’s likely that your drinking money mostly went on rounds of shots and cheap premixed alcopops. Fear not, we are going to expand your knowledge of these complicated alcoholic beverages with some beer drinking terms to impress your friends and make you sound like a real connoisseur!
Session beers are generally light in colour, full of flavour and tend to have low alcohol content in the region of 3-4% ABV range. The clue is in the name. Session or sessionable beers are particularly popular because of their ease of drinkability. They allow multiple pints to be consumed within a reasonable time frame without fear of becoming too intoxicated. We would highly recommend the Lizard Bitter as a good session beer.
High Gravity Beer
While you may feel a bit floaty like after sinking a few beers, the gravity of a beer purely refers to the density of it which is measured both before and after fermentation. High gravity beers are generally brewed with a higher density of wort (the liquid product formed by mashing barley) compared to water content. The result is a higher alcohol content than session beers and they can be produced much more quickly.
Filtered Beer refers to any lager, ale or fermented malt beverage where the sediment (hops, malt, yeast and microbes) that may be leftover from the brewing process, are removed. The filtering process produces a more consistent product which prevents refermentation in the keg or bottle.
Ales are brewed using a warm, fermentation method which produces a sweet, full-bodied fruity tasting beverage. Ales are more complex, full of body and can offer some surprising flavours. They come in many colours and strengths. We stock a fantastic selection of ales at Cornish Bottled Beer and Cider and if you are looking for a gift for an ale lover, take a look at our A Box Full of Lizards Ale Gift Box.
Lager is a type of beer that is conditioned at much lower temperatures, 7 to 15 degrees centigrade, compared to ales. It is probably the most popular, widely consumed beer and commercially available style of beer. Lager is heavily carbonated, light in colour and features a malt character. Top of our list is the Cornish Lager from St Ives Brewery.
Cask beer or cask-conditioned beer is unpasteurised, unfiltered and the yeast is usually still active in the cask when it leaves the brewery. It is served directly from the cask using a pump, without the need for refrigeration and with no additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure. Any fizziness in the brew comes naturally from the yeast. Once a cask has been breached, the contents need to be drunk within 3 days before it turns flat. Cask conditioned beer is a truly British brew!
There are so many more varieties of beers available in bars, pubs and supermarkets now compared to 10 years ago. The choice has slowly moved on from European beers to speciality and evolving craft beers. We hope that these beer-drinking terms will have expanded your knowledge and have you set for the weekend. Browse our full range of beers here and remember, always drink responsibly!