Beer Guide

Friends stopping by for a beer? Before you head to the store to stock up, review these beer pointers.
Beer Basics

Don't know a pilsner from a lager? Here's a primer:

  • Among the many choices of beer are lager beer, pilsner or light lager beer, light beer, premium beer, dark lager or Munich-type beer, bock beer, keg beer, nonalcoholic beer, and alcohol-free beer.
  • Most beers produced in the United States are lager beers. They usually range between 3.2 and 4.0 percent alcohol. Pilsner or light lager beers are lighter in color than regular lager beer.
  • Don't confuse the term light lager beer with light beer, which usually has about half the calories of regular beer (brands will vary in their alcoholic content). Premium beer often simply refers to a particular brewer's best beer.
  • Imported beers are often more bitter than American beers. Dark lager or Munich-type beers are heavy and rich-tasting. They're chocolate brown in color. Bock beer is a special brew of heavy beer, somewhat darker and sweeter than regular beer. It's made in the winter, especially for the six-week-long bock beer season that beer lovers date as the beginning of spring. The alcohol content may be more than double that of lager beers.
  • Although the term nonalcoholic beer suggests that it is completely free of alcohol, it isn't necessarily so. By law, nonalcoholic beer must contain less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Don't look for the word beer on the label. These types of beer are called malt beverages, cereal beverages, or near beer.
  • Only malt beverages with no alcohol whatsoever may display the term alcohol-free beer. Typically made without fermentation, this product gets its beer taste from natural flavorings.

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