How to find the right beer for your style

It may be a time-consuming process to find the right beer as there is such a high variety of styles of beer to pick from, and to further complicate things there are even more sub-categories of beers! This is why some people may be under the impression that they are not fond of beer until the moment they actually find that specific style of beer that is perfect for them.

Be open to trying different kinds of beer

You can start with the most basic styles such as craft beer, pale ale, lager, stout or pilsner to familiarize yourself with the most common beers. There are some supermarkets and beer clubs that provide a build-your-own 6-pack, so you can pick 6 different styles of beers in one go.

Here are some basic beer styles with its most representative tastes

  • Ale – this beer is full-bodied and packs the flavors of fruits, herbs, hops. 
  • Lager – the most popular beer with a crispy and a hint of bitter taste.
  • Malt – gives you notes of caramel, nuts, sweet in flavor and typically darker than the Ale and Lager.
  • Stout – has a dark color due to the use of roasted barley, it has notes of caramel, toffee chocolate, nuts, etc.
  • Strong – this group includes any beer over 7% ABV. Strong beer is typically dark, black and has different distinct flavors.
  • Craft beer – made by micro-breweries, the tastes vary greatly depending on the producers.

There is a chance that you may come across a disappointing flavor, but don’t be discouraged! Like in many other things, there is a better flavor waiting for you out there somewhere!

When visiting a new pub or a restaurant, do not hesitate to be open to trying new types of beers. For instance, I stumbled on my most favorite beer, Tiger Crystal beer, at a local pub after years of drinking the Larue beer brand. Tiger Crystal beer is full of floral aromas and it has a low bitterness level that is a perfect match to my mouthfeel.

Once you find the right style of beer, try different beers in that style

How to find the right beer for your style

Each brewery brand has its fermentation process that is used to create the unique flavor and thickness of the beer. Therefore, the ale beer of Tiger brand will have different aromas and bitterness levels compared to Budweiser, Sapporo, etc. This is also a great time to grab your build-your-own 6-pack from the supermarket! 

Switch to different strengths

The typical alcoholic content of a beer will range from 4.5 % to 5.2 %, which is suitable for most people. However, if you feel that the beer is too strong, you could opt for a less alcoholic beer and lager. It’s not a problem to find an alcohol-free beer with a distinct flavor that won’t get you drunk. 

Try imported beers

There are thousands of international beers all over the world and you will miss out a lot if you don’t give them a try. Imported beer is fermented with different ingredients, water sources, hops flower types, etc., which ultimately contributes to its unique flavor profile. 

You can try popular beers worldwide such as Budweiser (USA), Sapporo (Japan), Ottakringer (Austria), Guinness (Ireland), Chang (Thailand), Sai Gon (Vietnam). These beers are quite popular and can be easily found in supermarkets around the world. 

Top 3 hacks to find your perfect beer

How to find the right beer for your style

Taste beer correctly

Many of the people I know who are fond of beer do not actually drink it the correct way. There is a lot of stuff you can get in just a sip of beer. Before deciding whether you like a particular beer or not, you should take a small sip. Take note of each taste and connect it to the overall taste of the beer.

Sniff the beer to intake its aroma. You can sometimes identify distinct aromas such as floral, nutty, herbal, smoky. As the beer has over 250 essential oils in its flavor profile, sniffing the beer is a crucial step in tasting the full profile of the beer.

Take a small sip of the beer and swish it around in your mouth to evaluate and feel the acidity, the bitterness, the sweetness, the malty level, and its overall flavor profile. A satisfied mouthfeel is often achieved by a moderately carbonated beer with a full-bodied brew. 

Drink beer at the correct temperature

Beers are served at a different temperature in order to preserve its unique flavor profile. As a rule of thumb, light beer is often served at a low temperature (1-7 degrees Celsius). Meanwhile, strong and dark beers are at their best when served at room temperature.

Moreover, it is not necessary to add ice cubes to your beer if it is already chill. The ice cube will dilute your beer and make its body flat and unpleasant to the taste.

Use the right cup

The cup the beer is poured in may also affect the flavor of the drink. You may have noticed that frothy beer is often served in a tall pilsner, draft beer is served in a glass and that bottled beer is considered to taste better than a canned one. 

Another useful tip is that whenever opening a canned beer, bottled beer, you should finish the whole thing in a single go or get rid of it. This is recommended because of the contact of beer with oxygen results in a deterioration of the flavor. Left-over beer is simply not the best option.

At the end of the day, the perfect beer in this world is the one that you like the most. If you have yet to find the perfect beer, do not be discouraged as there are thousands of beers out there waiting to be discovered by you. And sometimes it’s not the final destination, but the journey towards this discovery that matters the most!


Former employee of Vietnam Brewery Limited, Nicky is a Vietnamese blogger specialized in the beer industry.

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  1. I’m not really a beer drinker. I guess it boils down to preference. Your tips are helpful though. I’ll try these when I go beer tasting woth my friends.

  2. Want to try ale. We don’t easily have them back in the Philippines. Any suggestion? I’m currently in Thailand

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