So, you’re tasked with grabbing beer for a party. What do you do? You reach the beer aisle (or aisles) and suddenly it hits you. You have no idea what you’re doing. Why are there so many kinds of beers? How could they possibly be all that different? Then you do the unthinkable. You grab some American Adjunct Lager (think Budweiser, Miller, etc) and head off. You just chose a beer with almost no hops, no malt, no fruity ester flavor, a beer that is crisp and carbonated at least, but flavorless in the big world of beers (no offense to fans of American Lagers).

How do you decide then? While there may be dozens upon dozens of beer varieties, there are only two styles of beer: ales and lagers. But both are beer, so let’s start there.

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