As the Peoria Jaycees International Beer Festival approaches, more than 300 craft beers will be available for beer nerds and novices alike to sample. These beers are brewed in dozens of stylistic variations that often defy easy categorization. However, most fall under common archetypes.
For those attending the festival that are a little unsure of what differentiates each craft beer style, we've assembled a little guide to a few of these different styles. To help, we consulted the head brewer at Industry Brewing Company in Peoria — Brian Buss — to lend his expertise in describing some different styles.
Study up in anticipation of the Beer Festival and then apply your newfound knowledge while you're sampling the widest selection of craft beers in the area next weekend.
Description: "Relatively high hop aroma, medium bitterness and low-to-medium body. Flavored aroma could be piney, citrus, some floral, some spiciness, some herb quality." — Buss
Description: "Stouts typically have a high degree of chocolate and roasted quality with a little bit of coffee notes. High bitterness, bigger-bodied than most beers with some sweetness from specialty malts." — Buss
Industry Brewing example: The Opener coffee stout brewed with CxT Roasting Company, which will be available at the International Beer Festival. Also, the Got Room? peanut butter stout.
Description: "Really light body, really low bitterness. Some tartness and sourness in the form of a Meyer lemon type of flavor. But you also get into some stone fruits like peach or cherry. Sour beers can be a sort of palate cleanser, especially if you're eating something very rich, almost like a sorbet." — Buss
New England IPA
Description: "One of the more popular subsets of IPAs now. New Englands are typically pretty hazy, with much more malt characteristics and medium-to-low bitterness. It's going to have a very hop-juicy quality. They are very highly hopped, and they do sometimes tend to develop an orange juice type of character." — Buss
Industry Brewing example: No Call No Show (technically a New England American Pale Ale), which will be available at the International Beer Festival.
Descriptions: "The beer is pretty pale and straw-colored. Clarity is a big thing and not a lot of haziness. Bitterness and hop character are going to be pretty low. The Kolsch is sort of the answer to the macro-beer: the Miller Lites, Bud Lights and Coors Lights." — Buss
Industry Brewing example: Happy Hour Kolsch.
Thomas Bruch can be reached at 686-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasBruch.