02: Beer, explained - Beacon & Buck

02: Beer, explained

19 Aug 2021

Cutting through all the specialist lingo and jargon to make finding great beers as simple as enjoying them…


Extremely drinkable; goes down easy and yet still begs for another sip; pale in colour with a low to light haze. Sound familiar? In many ways, Kolsch does have many similarities with lagers – it’s also sparkling and crisp, with very little bitterness – but it is, in fact, an ale. A very popular one, too.

Perfect in warm weather, with a crisp yet fruity flavour and a low alcohol percentage, this clear, golden style hails from Cologne, Germany. Technically, it’s not possible to make the real Kolsch out of Cologne, but craft brewers around the world have emulated the brewing style to make Kolsch-style beer almost as good as the real thing. If you like soft and delicate light beers, then Kolsch will prove a popular drink for you.

West Coast IPA versus New England IPA

So what’s the difference between New England IPA and West Coast IPA, we hear you ask…

While you can’t really go wrong with either – we would say that, sure! – they do satisfy different tastes. West Coast IPAs are all about their bitterness, whereas a New England IPA is a bit sweeter on the front end and distinctly juicy – it’s been said that they sometimes taste like you took a bite into a tropical fruit or citrus.

If you’ve only just started exploring craft beer, New England IPAs, with their more familiar flavours, are the safer option. But in the end, West Coast IPAs, with their bitter-heavy flavours, is what helped kick off the craft beer scene in the first place.

In short, then, we recommend keeping your fridge stocked with a few of both while working it all out for yourself. And we’ll save descriptions of all the other types of IPAs for another day.