1. Czech Republic Beer Styles
Pilsner, one of the world’s first golden lagers, was first produced in the region still known as Bohemia, in the town of Pilsen in former Czechoslovakia. Sometimes the designation is spelled “Pilsener,” or it may be abbreviated to “Pils.” Pilsner is a golden-colored beer that has good malt and hop character, with a strong, clean, assertive flavor. The hop bouquet is impressive, with a floral aroma and a dry finish. Bohemian Pilsner is malty and well-hopped, with a smooth finish. It often has a caramel taste and a hint of diacetyl, adding complexity and sweetness. The light to medium-bodied Bohemian-style Pilsner impresses with the bitterness, flavor, and aromatic character of the spicy Czech Saaz hop.
2. French Beer Styles
Bière de Garde
Although France is not known for its beer, the northeastern district of French Flanders nevertheless possesses strong brewing traditions, which it shares with its Flemish cousins across the border. Traditionally, bière de garde was made from February through March and was consumed in the summer. It is characterized by a malt accent and ale-like fruitiness, with an earthy taste ranging in color from deep blond to reddish-brown. Bière de garde may have caramel flavors from a long boil and is often packaged in champagne bottles.
3. Irish Beer Styles
Irish ales, a minor category, range in color from light red-amber to light brown. These ales have a pleasant toasted malt character and a candy-like caramel sweetness. They are lightly hopped with low levels of fruity-ester and aroma. Diacetyl should be absent. Irish ales are similar to Scottish ales but lighter and paler.
Irish ales are malt-accented, often with a buttery note (diacetyl). They are rounded with a soft but notable fruitiness. They are similar to Scottish ales but lighter and paler. Hop bitterness is usually low.
Ireland is one of the first countries to brew stout, and it is considered a national beverage. Ireland’s dry stouts are markedly aromatic, with rich maltiness and intense hop flavors. Hop bitterness is medium to high. The beer is extra-dark, black opaque ale, with low to medium body, and a creamy brown head. Dry stouts vary in sweetness and dryness but are all top-fermented and have the unique character of roasted barley, producing a slightly roasted (coffee-like) trait.
4. Scottish Beer Styles
If England is famed for the bitter hops flavor of its “bitters,” Scotland is famed for its full-bodied, malty ales. Scotch ales are sweet and very full-bodied, with malt and roast malt flavors predominating. They are deep burnished-copper to brown in color. Scottish ales are invariably rich and mouth-filling because they are quite high in unfermentables. They have a maltier flavor and aroma, darker colors, and a more full-bodied and smokier character than British ales. Bitterness and hoppiness are not dominant factors in Scottish ales and they are less hoppy than their British counterparts. They are similar to British bitters but less estery, generally darker, sweeter, and maltier. Some Scottish heavy ales exhibit a peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels.
Scottish ales are often known by names such as “Scottish Light 60/,” “Heavy 70/,” and “Export 80/.” The strong Scotch ales are designated with higher values, ranging from 90/- to 160/-. The significant differences are reflected in their maltier flavor, relatively darker colors, and occasional faint smoky character. The “shilling” designation is believed to be from the old method of taxing in which the tax rate was based on the gravity of the beer.