It takes only a glance at any beer store fridge to know that we are in a golden age of beer, and in particular one ruled by an ever-widening lineup of craft brews. But the dizzying array of hops, malts, and beer styles – and some fairly common misconceptions – can make this world a forbidding place to explore. In truth, though, a little guidance is all that's needed to learn which beers get better with age, the correct way to pour a pint, and what subtle factors will improve – or spoil – your precious draft. Here are the most important ones to get you started.
Joshua Bernstein is author of 'The Complete Beer Course,' a guide to navigating today's vast world of craft beer culture.
Pilsners spell summer.
Come summertime, few beer styles refresh like the pilsner. First brewed in 1842 in Plzen, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), the sparkling golden pilsner pairs a spicy and herbal bouquet with a light body and a dry finish. It's low in alcohol but full of flavor, making it the ideal companion for long summer days and hot nights. Our favorites include Victory Prima Pils, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Lagunitas Pils, and Trumer Pils.
Credit: Getty Images