Beer Styles

Ale Styles

American Black Ale
Description: Also referred to as a Black IPA (India Pale Ale) or Cascadian Dark Ale, ales of this style range from dark brown to pitch black and showcase malty and light to moderate roasty notes and are often quite hoppy generally with the use of American hops. Alcohol can range from average to high depending on if the brewery is going for a “dobule / imperial” version.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.0-10.0%

American Blonde Ale
Description: More or less a creation from the craft-brewery movement, and also reminiscent of the German style Kölsch. Pale straw to deep gold for color. Usually an all malt brew, well attenuated with a lightly malty palate. Most have a subdued fruitiness. Hop character is of the noble variety, or similar, leaving a light to medium bitterness. A balanced beer, light bodied and sometimes lager like.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

American Brown Ale
Description: Spawned from the English Brown Ale, the American version can simply use American ingredients. Many other versions may have additions of coffee or nuts. This style also encompasses “Dark Ales”. The bitterness and hop flavor has a wide range and the alcohol is not limited to the average either.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%

American Double / Imperial IPA
Description: Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred name.
You can thank west coast American brewers for this somewhat reactionary style. “Thanks!”
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-14.0%

American Double / Imperial Stout
Description: The American Double Stout gets some of it inspiration from the Russian Imperial Stout. Many of these are barrel aged, mostly in bourbon / whiskey barrels, while some are infused with coffee or chocolate. Alcohol ranges vary, but tend to be quite big, and bigger than traditional Russian Imperial Stouts. Most tend to have cleaner alcohol flavors, higher hop levels, and more residual sweetness. Very full-bodied with rich roasted flavors far surpassing normal stouts.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-12.0%

American IPA
Description: The American IPA is a different soul from the reincarnated IPA style. More flavorful than the withering English IPA, color can range from very pale golden to reddish amber. Hops are typically American with a big herbal and / or citric character, bitterness is high as well. Moderate to medium bodied with a balancing malt backbone.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-7.5%
Uinta Hop Notch IPA

American Pale Ale (APA)
Description: Of British origin, this style is now popular worldwide and the use of local ingredients, or imported, produces variances in character from region to region. Generally, expect a good balance of malt and hops. Fruity esters and diacetyl can vary from none to moderate, and bitterness can range from lightly floral to pungent.
American versions tend to be cleaner and hoppier, while British tend to be more malty, buttery, aromatic and balanced.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Schlafly APA

American Pale Wheat Ale
Description: An Americanized version of a Hefe Weizen, these beers range within the pale to golden range in color. Reminiscent of a Hefe Weizen in appearance, unless filtered. Long-lasting head with a light to medium body, higher carbonation is proper. German Weizen flavors and aromas of banana esters and clove-like phenols will not be found. Most use a substantial percentage of wheat malt. Hop character will be low to high but most are moderate in bitterness. There may be some fruitiness from ale fermentation though most examples use of a fairly neutral ale yeast, resulting in a clean fermentation with little to no diacetyl. Often served with a lemon wedge (popularized by Americans), to either cut the wheat or yeast edge, which many either find to be a flavorful snap … or an insult and something that damages the beer’s taste and head retention.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Goose Island 312

American Porter
Description: Inspired from the now wavering English Porter, the American Porter is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew, using smoked malts, or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the burnt flavor associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session porters as well.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.5%
O’Fallon Smoke Porter, Schlafly Porter

American Stout
Description: Inspired from English & Irish Stouts, the American Stout is the ingenuous creation from that. Thankfully with lots of innovation and originality American brewers have taken this style to a new level. Whether it is highly hopping the brew or adding coffee or chocolate to complement the roasted flavors associated with this style. Some are even barrel aged in Bourbon or whiskey barrels. The hop bitterness range is quite wide but most are balanced. Many are just easy drinking session stouts as well.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

American Strong Ale
Description: Catch all style category for beers from 7.0 percent alcohol by volume and above. Some may even be as high as 25% abv. Characteristics will greatly vary; some have similarities to Barley-wines and Old Ales. Barrel aging is certainly not out of the question.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-25%
Widmer Brothers – SXNW (Brothers’ Reserve Series), Schlafly Special Reserve – Bourbon Barrel Ale

American Wild Ale
Description: Sometimes Belgian influenced, American Wild Ales are beers that are introduced to “wild” yeast or bacteria, such as: Brettanomyces (Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, Brettanomyces Lambicus or Brettanomyces Anomolus), Pediococcus or Lactobacillus. This introduction may occur from oak barrels that have been previously inoculated, pitched into the beer, or gained from various “sour mash” techniques. Regardless of which and how, these little creatures often leave a funky calling card that can be quite strange, interesting, pleasing to many, but also often deemed as undesirable by many.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: %

Black & Tan
Description: This applies to pre-blended packaged beers, where a brewery will blend a dark ale with a light ale or lager. It’s by no means a traditional style of beer, but rather brewers capitalizing on the concept practiced at bars where the beers are physically layered.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

Cream Ale
Description: Cream Ales, spawned from the American light lager style, are brewed as an ale though are sometimes finished with a lager yeast or lager beer mixed in. Adjuncts such as corn or rice are used to lighten the body. It is no uncommon for smaller craft brewers to brew all malt Cream Ales. Pale straw to pale gold color. Low hop bittering and some hop aroma though some micros have given the style more of a hop character. Well carbonated and well attenuated.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%
Schlafly Cream Ale

Pumpkin Ale
Description: Often released as a fall seasonal, Pumpkin Ales are quite varied. Some brewers opt to add hand-cut pumpkins and drop them in the mash, while others use puree or pumpkin flavoring. These beers also tend to be spiced with pumpkin pie spices, like: ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Pumpkin Ales are typically mild, with little to no bitterness, a malty backbone, with some spice often taking the lead. Many will contain a starchy, slightly thick-ish, mouthfeel too. In our opinion, best versions use real pumpkin, while roasting the pumpkin can also add tremendous depth of character for even better results, though both methods are time-consuming and tend to drive brewmasters insane.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Schlafly Spiced Pumpkin, O’Fallon Pumpkin Ale

Rye Beer
Description: Not to be confused with a German Roggenbier, beers that fall into this category contain a notable amount of rye grain in the grist bill. Bitterness tends to be moderate, to allow the often spicy and sour-like rye characteristics to pull through.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

Wheatwine
Description: A somewhat recent and over-looked American strong ale, the Wheatwine (or Wheat Wine) is akin to a Barleywine in strength, but contains a large portion of wheat malt; upwards of 50%. The wheat provides a soft and fluffy mouthfeel. Color and bitterness varies.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 9.0-14.0%
Goose Island – Bourbon Barrel Wheatmiser

Belgian / French Ales

Belgian Dark Ale
Description: Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters. Colors play within the amber to light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating. Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

Belgian IPA
Description: Inspired by the American India Pale Ale (IPA) and Double IPA, more and more Belgian brewers are brewing hoppy pale colored ales for the US market (like Chouffe & Urthel), and there’s been an increase of Belgian IPAs being brewed by American brewers. Generally, Belgian IPAs are considered too hoppy by Belgian beer drinkers.
Various malts are used, but the beers of the style are finished with Belgian yeast strains (bottle-conditioned) and the hops employed tend to be American. You’ll generally find a cleaner bitterness vs. American styles, and a pronounced dry edge (very Belgian), often akin to an IPA crossed with a Belgian Tripel. Alcohol by volume is on the high side. Many examples are quite cloudy, and feature tight lacing, excellent retention, and fantastic billowy heads that mesmerize (thanks, in part, to the hops).
Belgian IPA is still very much a style in development.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.0-12.0%

Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Description: Like a Belgian Pale Ale, the strong versions will also be pale to golden in color. What sets them apart is a much higher alcohol content that can range from hidden to spicy to devastatingly present. Expect a complex and powerful ale, yet delicate with rounded flavors and big, billowy, rocky, white head. Hop and malt character can vary, most are fruity and quite hoppy, but hop flavor and aroma will generally be within the low range and artfully balanced.
Duvel is the quintessential example of this style, and many others have tried to imitate it with similar references to the devil.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-12.0%
Goose Island Matilda

Bière de Garde
Description: The Biere de Garde is golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are moderate to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar-like, musty aromas and flavors are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.0-8.0%

Quadrupel (Quad)
Description: Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 9.0-13.0%
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Quadrupel

Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Description: Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there’s been a massive revival; especially in the US. This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.0-8.0%
Goose Island Sophie

Tripel
Description: The name “Tripel” actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist “Simple.” Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish. Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well. Tripels are actually notoriously alcoholic, yet the best crafted ones hide this character quite evil-like and deceivingly, making them sipping beers.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 8.0-12.0%

Witbier
Description: A Belgian Style ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due to it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that’s used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other oddball spices or herbs in the back ground. The crispness and slight twang comes from the wheat and the lively level of carbonation. This is one style that many brewers in the US have taken a liking to and have done a very good job of staying to style. Sometimes served with a lemon, but if you truly want to enjoy the untainted subtleties of this style you’ll ask for yours without one. Often referred to as “white beers” (witbieren) due to the cloudiness / yeast in suspension.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Hoegaarden Wit, Shock Top Belgian White

English Ales

English Barleywine
Description: Despite its name, a Barleywine (or Barley Wine) is very much a beer, albeit a very strong and often intense beer! In fact, it’s one of the strongest of the beer styles. Lively and fruity, sometimes sweet, sometimes bittersweet, but always alcoholic. A brew of this strength and complexity can be a challenge to the palate. Expect anything from an amber to dark brown colored beer, with aromas ranging from intense fruits to intense hops. Body is typically thick, alcohol will definitely be perceived, and flavors can range from dominant fruits to palate smacking, resiny hops.
English varieties are quite different from the American efforts, what sets them apart is usually the American versions are insanely hopped to make for a more bitter and hop flavored brew, typically using American high alpha oil hops. English version tend to be more rounded and balanced between malt and hops, with a slightly lower alcohol content, though this is not always the case.
Most Barleywines can be cellared for years and typically age like wine.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-12.0%
Schlafly Reserve – Barleywine Style Ale

English Brown Ale
Description: Spawned from the Mild Ale, Brown Ales tend to be maltier and sweeter on the palate, with a fuller body. Color can range from reddish brown to dark brown. Some versions will lean towards fruity esters, while others tend to be drier with nutty characters. All seem to have a low hop aroma and bitterness.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

English Stout
Description: As mysterious as they look, stouts are typically dark brown to pitch black in color. A common profile amongst Stouts, but not in all cases, is the use of roasted barley (unmalted barley that is kilned to the point of being charred) which lends a dry character to the beer as well as a huge roasted flavor that can range from burnt to coffee to chocolate. A different balance of hops is up to the brewers preference, but the roasted character must be there.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Description: ESBs are essentially more aggressive and more balanced Bitters, both in alcohol and hop character, but nothing overpowering. Color range will be similar, though leaning towards the darker end of the scale; dark golds to copper. Low carbonation. Malts tend to be more pronounced, often toasty and fruity, with maybe some notes diacetyl. And despite “bitter” being in its name, ESBs are not really all that bitter. They key to an ESB is balance.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Red Hook ESB, Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale

Milk / Sweet Stout
Description: Milk / Sweet Stouts are basically stouts that have a larger amount of residual dextrins and unfermented sugars that give the brew more body and a sweetness that counters the roasted character. Milk Stouts are very similar to Sweet Stouts, but brewers add unfermentable sugars, usually lactose, to the brew kettle to add body and some sweetness.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat, Widmer Brothers Milk Stout

Oatmeal Stout
Description: These are generally medium to full bodied stouts that have an unreal smoothness to them from the addition of oats to the mash. The oats not only add a lot of smoothness to the mouth feel but give a touch of sweetness that is unlike any other type of stout. Both levels of roasted flavor and hop character will vary.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Schlafly Oatmeal Stout, Potosi Brewing Fiddler Oatmeal Stout

Russian Imperial Stout
Description: Inspired by brewers back in the 1800’s to win over the Russian Czar, this is the king of stouts, boasting high alcohol by volumes and plenty of malt character. Low to moderate levels of carbonation with huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavours. Often dry. Suggestions of dark fruit and flavors of higher alcohols are quite evident. Hop character can vary from none, to balanced to aggressive.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 8.0-12.00%

German Ales

Dunkelweizen
Description: Similar to a Hefeweizen, these southern Germany wheat beers are brewed as darker versions (Dunkel means “dark”) with deliciously complex malts and a low balancing bitterness. Most are brown and murky (from the yeast). The usual clove and fruity (banana) characters will be present, some may even taste like banana bread.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%

Gose
Description: An old German beer style from Leipzig, Gose is an unfiltered wheat beer made with 50-60% malted wheat, which creates a cloudy yellow color and provides a refreshing crispness and twang. A Gose will have a low hop bitterness and a complementary dryness and spice from the use of ground coriander seeds and a sharpness from the addition of salt. Like Berliner Weisse beers, a Gose will sometimes be laced with various flavored and colored syrups. This is to balance out the addition of lactic acid that is added to the boil.
Somewhat recently, Gose has seen a mini-revival with a handful of breweries bringing back the style in the Leipziger area and pubs like Gosenschenke “Ohne Bedenken” serving traditionally brewed Gose.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-5.0%

Hefeweizen
Description: A south German style of wheat beer (weissbier) made with a typical ratio of 50:50, or even higher, wheat. A yeast that produces a unique phenolic flavors of banana and cloves with an often dry and tart edge, some spiciness, bubblegum or notes of apples. Little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol. The “Hefe” prefix means “with yeast”, hence the beers unfiltered and cloudy appearance. Poured into a traditional Weizen glass, the Hefeweizen can be one sexy looking beer.
Often served with a lemon wedge (popularized by Americans), to either cut the wheat or yeast edge, which many either find to be a flavorful snap … or an insult and something that damages the beer’s taste and head retention.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Schlafly Hefeweizen

Kölsch
Description: First only brewed in Köln, Germany, now many American brewpubs and a hand full of breweries have created their own version of this obscure style. Light to medium in body with a very pale color, hop bitterness is medium to slightly assertive. A somewhat vinous (grape-y from malts) and dry flavor make up the rest.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-6.0%
Goose Island Summertime

Weizenbock
Description: A more powerful Dunkel Weizen (of “bock strength”), with a pronounced estery alcohol character, perhaps some spiciness from this, and bolder and more complex malt characters of dark fruits.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 7.0-10.0%

Irish Ales

Irish Dry Stout
Description: One of the most common stouts, Dry Irish Stout tend to have light-ish bodies to keep them on the highly drinkable side. They’re usually a lower carbonation brew and served on a nitro system for that creamy, masking effect. Bitterness comes from both roasted barley and a generous dose of hops, though the roasted character will be more noticeable. Examples of the style are, of course, the big three, Murphy’s, Beamish, and Guinness, however there are many American brewed Dry Stouts that are comparable, if not better.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-6.0%

American Lagers

American Double / Imperial Pilsner
Description: Similar to a Pilsner in appearance, but expect a more pronounced malty backbone and an intense bitterness. Malt flavors tend to be quite sweet in many examples. Alcohol can be quite aggressive and lend some spicy notes to the flavor.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.5-9.0%

American Malt Liquor
Description: For the most part, Malt Liquor beers are sold in the infamous 40 oz sized bottles. Straw to pale amber in color, most use excessive amounts of adjuncts, such as corn, rice, refined brewers sugar (dextrose) and as a result there are very few “all malt” brewed malt liquors. Hops are barely used, just enough is added to balance off any cloyingness. Higher alcohol versions tend to have a loads of fusel alcohol, which gives off solvent or fuel like aromas and flavors. They are attenuated very well, meaning a higher ratio of fermentable sugars are present over other beers, but without using as many ingredients and still ending up with a high alcohol content. Some breweries enable the use of special enzymes to further breakdown the malt and adjuncts so they will yield a larger percentage of alcohol. This makes for quite a dry beer, with only a small amount of unfermented sugars and a kick that will knock you on your ass.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.0-9.0%
King Cobra Malt Liquor, Hurricane High Gravity

American Pale Lager
Description: Sometimes referred to as “all-malt,” this category of beer refers to lagers brewed without cereal adjuncts (mainly rice or corn). Though often still yellow and fizzy, these beers will display a broader depth of malt flavor and a more complex bitterness vs. their adjunct counterparts.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-6.0%
Kona Longboard, Uinta Brewing Skipping Stone

Light Lager
Description: The Light Lager is generally a lighter version of a breweries premium lager, some are lower in alcohol but all are lower in calories and carbohydrates compared to other beers. Typically a high amount of cereal adjuncts like rice or corn are used to help lighten the beer as much as possible. Very low in malt flavor with a light and dry body. The hop character is low and should only balance with no signs of flavor or aroma. European versions are about half the alcohol (2.5-3.5% abv) as their regular beer yet show more flavor (some use 100% malt) then the American counterparts. For the most part this style has the least amount of flavor than any other style of beer.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 2.5-5.0%
Bud Light, Mich Ultra

Low Alcohol Beer
Description: Low Alcohol Beer is also commonly known as Non Alcohol (NA) beer, which is a fallacy as all of these beers still contain small amounts of alcohol. Low Alcohol Beers are generally subjected to one of two things: a controlled brewing process that results in a low alcohol content, or the alcohol is removed using a reverse-osmosis method which passes alcohol through a permeable membrane.
Very light on aroma, body, and flavor.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 0.1-1.0%
O’Doul’s NA, Busch NA

German Lagers

Bock
Description: The origins of Bock beer are quite uncharted. Back in medieval days German monasteries would brew a strong beer for sustenance during their Lenten fasts. Some believe the name Bock came from the shortening of Einbeck thus “beck” to “bock.” Others believe it is more of a pagan or old world influence that the beer was only to be brewed during the sign of the Capricorn goat, hence the goat being associated with Bock beers. Basically, this beer was a symbol of better times to come and moving away from winter.
As for the beer itself in modern day, it is a bottom fermenting lager that generally takes extra months of lagering (cold storage) to smooth out such a strong brew. Bock beer in general is stronger than your typical lager, more of a robust malt character with a dark amber to brown hue. Hop bitterness can be assertive enough to balance though must not get in the way of the malt flavor, most are only lightly hopped.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-7.5%
Michelob AmberBock, Schlafly Rye Bock

Doppelbock
Description: Bocks–you know, those beers with goats on the label–are relatively strong German lagers. Doppelbocks–as the name might suggest–are typically even stronger and contain enough malty goodness that they’ve been considered a meal in a glass for centuries. Generally they have a very full-bodied flavor and are darker than their little Bock brothers and sisters and a higher level of alcohol too. They range in color from dark amber to nearly black, and dark versions often have slight chocolate or roasted characters.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 6.5-9.0%
Schlafly Doppelbock

German Pilsener
Description: The Pilsner beer was first brewed in Bohemia, a German-speaking province in the old Austrian Empire. Pilsner is one of the most popular styles of lager beers in Germany, and in many other countries. It’s often spelled as “Pilsener”, and often times abbreviated, or spoken in slang, as “Pils.”
Classic German Pilsners are very light straw to golden in color. Head should be dense and rich. They are also well-hopped, brewed using Noble hops such has Saaz, Hallertauer, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Tettnanger, Styrian Goldings, Spalt, Perle, and Hersbrucker. These varieties exhibit a spicy herbal or floral aroma and flavor, often times a bit coarse on the palate, and distribute a flash of citrus-like zest–hop bitterness can be high.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-5.5%
Schlafly Pilsner

Märzen / Oktoberfest
Description: Before refrigeration, it was nearly impossible to brew beer in the summer due to the hot weather and bacterial infections. Brewing ended with the coming of spring, and began again in the fall. Most were brewed in March (Märzen). These brews were kept in cold storage over the spring and summer months, or brewed at a higher gravity, so they’d keep. Märzenbier is full-bodied, rich, toasty, typically dark copper in color with a medium to high alcohol content.
The common Munich Oktoberfest beer served at Wies’n (the location at which Munich celebrates its Oktoberfest) contains roughly 5.0-6.0% alcohol by volume, is dark/copper in color, has a mild hop profile and is typically labeled as a Bavarian Märzenbier in style.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-7.0%
Beck’s Oktoberfest, Schlafly Oktoberfest

Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Description: A generic form of flavored beer, some breweries actually use real fruit or veggies, though most use an extract, syrup or processed flavor to give the effect of a particular fruit or vegetable. Usually ales, but with not much ale character to them and commonly unbalanced. Malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: %
Shock Top Raspberry Wheat, Wild Blue, O’Fallon Wheach

Herbed / Spiced Beer
Description: This style takes on and beer that is specially herbed and or spiced. This is anything from the common spiced Fall Pumpkin beer to Christmas beers with nutmeg and cinnamon to ginger beers to heather ales. Some brewers will throw just about anything into the brew kettle; hot peppers, hemp, ginseng or spruce needles. Keep you mind open when you are trying some as brewers will always keep on trying to expand the limits of what beer is.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-8.0%
Schlafly Christmas Ale