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What types of brews to expect at the Williams Lake Beer Festival:

Whether you are a craft beer enthusiast or amateur taste tester, knowing a thing or two about your brew is essential! Let's try and avoid any unsatisfying moments and get ourselves educated with the basics.

• Pilsner:

The pilsner is not only the most favoured style of beer, it is also the youngest. Light, clean, simple and usually light to golden yellow in colour, the pilsner features a

strong hoppy flavour that is both fragrant and slightly bitter.

• Wheat Beer:

Wheat beers are quite similar to some of the eldest brewed beers. An flawless mixture of barley, wheat grains and very little hops have truly stood the test of time. Typically cloudy in appearance with a range of flavours that vary depending on the type of wheat used. Traditionally, wheat beers are a popular choice for many spring and summer season brews.

• Brown Ale:

The brown ale is an extremely old style of beer whose history can be traced back to un-hot ales. Dark brown or amber in colour, the brown ale typically has a higher malt level which gives it an earthy and less bitter flavour. Brown ales can also have a slightly sweet flavour.

• Pale Ale:

Rated most popular style of beer in the world, the pale ale is made by a warm fermentation process and pale malt. The pale ale can range in flavour and strength. For example, in the UK a pale ale has a strong malty flavour, whereas in the US and Canada it has more hops.

• India Pale Ale:

Commonly referred to as IPA, the India Pale Ale originates from the 1700's when English troops lived in India. To keep the beer from spoiling, the English added additional hops before their ships reached Indian shores. Known for it's strong hoppy flavour and slightly bitter taste, the IPA ranges in colour from golden yellow to dark red amber.

• Bocks:

Tread carefully with this one because a bock beer is stronger than your average beer. Originating from German monasteries, bock beer is a popular style of beer known for it's robust malt flavour. Traditionally used as a sustenance during Lenten fasts, now is commonly brewed all around the world.

• Porter:

Originating from London in the 18th century, the porter is very dark brimming with roasted malts and barley. Typically, a porter is mild with hints of chocolate and toffee.

• Stouts:

You can always spot a stout because of it's intense dark colour with a head which

is usually brown and extremely thick. It is widely believed that stouts have originated from porters; an opinion which strikes controversy with craft beer enthusiasts. Stouts feature a heavily roasted flavour and can sometimes contain hints of chocolate, licorice, molasses or coffee.

• Ales:

Full-bodied with hints of fruit or spice and a hoppy finish. They're also known to quench a mean thirst.

• Lager:

This is the beer style that almost everyone's familiar with, known for its crispness and refreshing finish.

• Malt:

Sweet thooth? Malts, often contain notes of caramel, toffee, and nuts, are dark and sweet in flavour. They're brewed like regular beer but with low or minimal fermentation. It is made from barley malt syrup, sugar, yeast and hops.

• Amber:

A very versatile beer, Amber beers are full bodied malt aromas with hints of caramel, these beers could be either lager or ale.

• Blonde:

Blonde ales are very pale in colour and tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops and some sweetness from malt.

• Cream:

Faint malt notes. A sweet, corn-like aroma and low levels of DMS are commonly found. Hop aroma low to none. Very mild, sweetish, golden style of sale. Pale straw to moderate gold color.

• Dark:

Dark ale is a British type beery, combining hops, yeast and a blend of malts. It's a medium chestnut brown colour, with a delicate fruity smell and robust, malty character. During the early days of the microbrewing movement, describing a beer as a "dark ale" was a simple way of making plain the fact that beer was dark in colour and therefore different from most beers then available.

• Strong:

This is a broad grouping that can describe any beer over 7% ABV. Strong beers are typically dark in colour, some are almost black. Different styles can include old ales, double IPAs, and barleywines.

• Red:

Red ales can either be red or light brown in colour. They are moderate to heavy in flavor and contain hints of caramel that is offset by the predominant hop characteristic of the beer. Unlike Amber ales, Red ales use specialty roasted malts that create a unique complexity within the finished beer and gives it a sweeter, butterscotch or caramelized flavour. While Red ales are darker and usually rich, they also contain components of a much lighter beer with a dry, crisp and hoppy finish.

• Lime:

Typically light in flavour with a refreshing lime taste. The intensity of the lime can differ from very subtle to strong.

• Golden:

First developed in the UK, Golden ales are straw coloured with a slight hint of citurs and vanilla. The beer can sometimes contain spicier flavours.

• Fruit:

Most fruit beers are ales, however, they typically do not carry an ale character. In order to allow for the fruit flavour to come through nicely, the malt's flavour is not dominant and there is a low bitterness level to the beer.

• Honey:

A full-bodied beer with a creamy texture and copper colour. Honey beers are slightly sweet with hints of caramel.

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