This Tool Can Help You Pick the Right Beer

Jeff O'Heir

With more than 3,000 breweries in the United States making dozens of different types of beers, trying to find the perfect brew that fits the right mood, food, or event can be an exciting adventure filled with discovery. It can also be confusing, time consuming, and disappointing if you make the wrong choice., the Brewers Association site for all things beer, hopes to alleviate the guesswork for beer lovers across the country with its new, interactive Beer Styles Guide.

Looking for a light refreshing beer to cool off with by the pool, or something a bit darker to enjoy while relaxing by a roaring fire? How about something crisp and fruity to complement those barbecued ribs, or an assortment of beers, ales, and stouts to pair with a five-course dinner?

You can start with the “Styles Guide” tab at the top of the site. It provides a deep dive into the styles, tastes, and textures of different beers. A downloadable “Tasting Sheet” helps you log the color, aroma, flavor, aftertaste, palate, balance, and drinkability of your latest find.

Just below those tabs is the “Beer Style Finder” button. Turn it on and use the sliding tabs to discover the style that best fits your search, based on levels of color, bitterness, alcohol, and flavor.

The rest of the page is something out of a beer-lover’s dream. The quick-hit overview features photographs of 77 styles of beer from 15 style families, all perfectly poured into the type of glass they should be drunk from. Hovering over the glass brings up a short description of the style. Click through to launch a dedicated page that explains color, appearance, aroma, ingredients, sensations (body, carbonation, finish length), suggested serving temperatures, recommended food pairings, and brand examples.


Get the lowdown on’s new Beer Styles Guide

The guide is the culmination of a two-year review – cross-referenced with the Brewers Association and the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines – of the top beer styles being made in the U.S., said Julia Herz, publisher of and craft beer program director at the Brewers Association.

“As the beer culture advances, so does the information for beer brands and styles,” Herz said. “The guides that were released in the past were more for beer judges, not beer lovers. This is for beer lovers.”

Check out the Beer Style Guide here.

If you have a favorite craft beer, and we know you do, let us know about it.

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