What Is the Most Popular Style of Craft Beer?

You may have noticed that whenever you step into a craft beer bar, the taps are often dominated by one particular style: the IPA.

But is it truly the most popular style of craft beer? While the IPA has indeed seen a surge in popularity, there are other styles quietly vying for attention and challenging its reign.

As we explore the diverse landscape of craft beer, we'll uncover the nuances of various styles and perhaps discover a new favorite that defies the IPA's stronghold.

Key Takeaways

  • IPA (India Pale Ale) has revolutionized the craft beer industry and offers diverse flavors and styles
  • Pilsners and Belgian Tripels are popular choices among craft beer enthusiasts for lagers
  • Pale Ales, particularly American pale ales, are praised for their versatility and enduring appeal
  • Stouts, with their bold and complex flavors, are beloved by craft beer enthusiasts and provide a delightful contrast to other styles

The Rise of IPA in Craft Beer

The rise of IPA in craft beer has revolutionized the industry, capturing the attention of beer enthusiasts worldwide. Craft beer brewing has been significantly impacted by the soaring popularity of India Pale Ale.

With its diverse range of flavors and styles, IPA has become a dominant force in the beer market. The India Pale Ale's versatility in accommodating various hop profiles and brewing techniques has contributed to its widespread appeal.

From the crisp and refreshing Session IPAs to the robust and intense Imperial IPAs, the spectrum of IPA styles continues to enthrall beer lovers. The surge in popularity of New England-style IPAs, renowned for their hazy appearance and juicy flavors, underscores the evolving preferences within the craft beer community.

The ongoing enthusiasm for Imperial / Double New England IPAs, characterized by their high ABV and haziness, further illustrates the ever-growing adoration for this beloved beer style. As the craft beer landscape evolves, the enduring prominence of IPA highlights its enduring influence and enduring appeal.

Exploring the Diversity of Lagers

Amidst the widespread adoration for India Pale Ales in the craft beer community, it's time to turn our attention to the diverse world of lagers.

Craft beer enthusiasts have shown a growing appreciation for the variety of lagers available, with Pilsners standing out as a popular choice. This pale lager style, dating back to 1842, features noble Saaz hops and has amassed over one million check-ins this year, solidifying its position as a beloved choice among beer aficionados.

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Additionally, Belgian Tripels, known for their strong golden ale style with a typical ABV of 9% or higher, have also gained significant traction within the craft beer community, recording almost 1.2 million check-ins this year.

The appeal of lagers extends beyond traditional styles, as evident in the increasing interest in diverse options. As the craft beer landscape continues to evolve, the allure of lagers and their diverse range of flavors and profiles is becoming increasingly apparent, further enriching the tapestry of popular beer choices.

Whether it's the crispness of a classic Pilsner or the robustness of a Belgian Tripel, the world of lagers offers a wide array of options to explore within the realm of craft beer.

All About the Versatile Pale Ale

Praised for its versatility and wide range of flavors, the Pale Ale stands out as one of the most popular styles of craft beer. Specifically, American pale ales offer a unique twist on the classic English style, featuring medium hop bitterness and floral, fruity, or dank notes. This style has gained prominence with notable beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and has attracted almost 2.2 million check-ins this year. Moreover, the highest-rated American pale ale of 2021 was Edward from Hill Farmstead Brewery, showcasing the enduring appeal of this style.

When it comes to popular types of craft beer, American pale ales continue to be a favorite among enthusiasts, despite slipping to the sixth position on Untappd's Top Styles list. This enduring popularity is a testament to the wide appeal and adaptability of the pale ale style.

Key PointsDetails
Flavor VarietyMedium hop bitterness, floral, fruity, or dank notes
Notable BeersSierra Nevada Pale Ale, Edward from Hill Farmstead Brewery
PopularityAlmost 2.2 million check-ins, enduring appeal among craft beer enthusiasts
Untappd RankingSlipped to sixth position on Untappd's Top Styles list, but still widely enjoyed by many

Uncovering the World of Stouts

Uncovering a world of bold and complex flavors, stouts are rich, full-bodied beers with a dark, malty profile often featuring notes of coffee and chocolate. When delving into the world of stouts, you'll find a diverse array of options that cater to different palates and preferences.

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Here's what you can expect:

  • Variety of Flavors: Stouts come in a range of flavors, from classic coffee and chocolate notes to more adventurous additions like vanilla, coconut, and even chili peppers. Each sip promises a new and exciting experience.
  • Popular Choices: Imperial and double stouts have been gaining popularity, earning a spot on Untappd's Top Styles list. Notably, Beer : Barrel : Time (2020) from Side Project Brewing was the highest-rated double/imperial stout of 2021, showcasing the enduring appeal of this style.
  • Beloved by Craft Beer Enthusiasts: Stouts hold a special place in the world of craft beer, beloved for their rich and robust profiles. Whether it's the smooth creaminess of a milk stout or the bold punch of an imperial stout, there's a stout out there for everyone.

With stouts continuing to captivate the craft beer scene, it's clear that these flavorful brews are here to stay, offering a delightful contrast to the hop-forward world of pale ales and the hazy brews of New England.

Embracing the Tartness of Sours

Savor the vibrant and tangy allure of fruited sours as they captivate craft beer enthusiasts with their unique flavors and unconventional brewing techniques.

Fruited sours have surged in popularity, climbing two spots on Untappd's Top Styles list and reaching over three million check-ins. Craft brewers are experimenting with various fruits and aging techniques, defying traditional brewing rules and attracting fans with their distinct flavor profile.

The highest-rated fruited sour of 2021, EVEN MORE HYDRA – ETNYC EDITION from Evil Twin Brewing NYC in collaboration with Mortalis Brewing Company, exemplifies the innovation and creativity within this style.

Fruited sours continue to impress and gain popularity among craft beer enthusiasts, garnering significant attention and solidifying their prominent position in the craft beer scene.

Embracing the tartness of sours provides a refreshing contrast to other popular types of ales, making them a compelling choice for those seeking new and adventurous flavors in the world of craft beer.

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The Appeal of Wheat and Belgian Ales

The vibrant allure of fruited sours has captivated craft beer enthusiasts, and now, let's explore the enduring appeal of wheat and Belgian ales.

  • Wheat beers, such as American wheat, are favored for their light, refreshing taste and slightly sweet flavor with nutty notes. They offer a perfect balance of flavors, making them a popular choice.
  • Belgian ales, including Belgian Tripel, have a unique flavor profile and strong, golden ale style, capturing the attention of over 1.2 million check-ins. Their distinct flavors and aromas contribute to their widespread appeal among craft beer enthusiasts.
  • The variety of Belgian-style beers, such as quadruple, dubbel, and saison, showcases the rich and colorful beer culture of Belgium, making them a popular choice among craft beer enthusiasts.

The enduring popularity of wheat and Belgian ales is further evidenced by their retention of their positions on Untappd's Top Styles list. With their distinct flavors and aromas, these popular types of craft beer continue to captivate and satisfy the palates of beer enthusiasts, making them an essential part of the diverse and dynamic craft beer landscape.

Understanding the Popularity of Porters

With their dark color, rich malt flavor, and hints of coffee or chocolate, porters have steadily gained popularity among craft beer enthusiasts. The versatility of porters makes them suitable for both warm and cold weather consumption, appealing to a wide range of beer drinkers. Their historical significance in the craft beer world, dating back to 18th century London, adds to their allure. Many breweries are now experimenting with unique ingredients and flavor profiles, leading to innovative variations of this classic beer style. The complex and robust nature of porters makes them an appealing choice for those seeking a full-bodied and flavorful beer experience.

Popular Types of Craft BeerExamples
American Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
IPADogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager
StoutGuinness Draught
PorterFounders Porter

Craft beer enthusiasts often enjoy the rich flavors and diverse offerings from different brewing Co.s, and porters have certainly carved out a significant place in the world of craft beer.