All About Beer Styles | Marty Nachel | Skillshare

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All About Beer Styles

teacher avatar Marty Nachel, Beer Me

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (37m)
    • 1. Introduction to Beer Styles

    • 2. Beer Style Origins

    • 3. Number of Beer Styles

    • 4. What are not Beer Styles?

    • 5. Classifying Beer

    • 6. Beer Style Parameters

    • 7. Beer Styles by Class

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About This Class

This course is designed to help anyone --whether they are a new homebrewer, a novice beer judge or just the average consumer-- to understand the concept of Beer Styles and how they are defined and differentiated.

This course is taught by professional beer judge, beer educator and the author of "Beer for Dummies" and "Homebrewing for Dummies", Marty Nachel

Meet Your Teacher

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Marty Nachel

Beer Me


* Author, "Beer for Dummies", "Homebrewing for Dummies"

* Beer Education Director for Tapville Social 

* Advisory Board member and adjunct instructor, College of DuPage (IL) "Business of Craft Beer" certificate program

* Professional International Beer Judge- Great American Beer Festival, World Beer Cup, Festival of Barrel Aged Beers, Copa Cerveza de Americas 

* Draught Master and former trainer for the Heineken brand



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1. Introduction to Beer Styles: hello and welcome to all about beer styles. I'll be your instructor for this course. My name is Marty Natural, and I've been in the Beer Judge certification program for about 34 years. I'm also professional beer Judge with international credentials. I'm the author of Beer for Dummies and Home Bright for Dummies, and I'm an adviser and instructor at the Business of Craft Beer Certificate program at a local college. As far as the course objective, it's my intent teach you as much about Bierce houses as possible to show you how they're differentiated between them. For the course, Project students must purchase and taste a variety of beer styles in order to gain a better understanding of how the styles differ and flavor and character. So that's it for the introduction. Be sure and come back for part one. When we start talking about beer style origins. Cheers 2. Beer Style Origins: Oh, welcome back to all about beer styles in this part, we're gonna be talking about beer style origins. Now there are a lot of different beer styles from around the world, many different locations. But the reality is, and most people don't know this that most of the beer styles in the world originate from these three countries. If if you were to name pretty much any beer style, chances are that either came from Belgium, Germany or Great Britain, or that it is a copy of a beer that came from one of these three countries Now, going back several 100 years ago, nobody really thought about the concept of beer styles. It wasn't particularly important Brewers brew whatever they, um, decided to simply based on whatever ingredients were available to them. It wasn't until about the 19 seventies or so when a gentleman by the name of Michael Jackson, uh, now known as the Bard of Beer, he's one of the world's foremost authorities on beer. He was a writer for a large newspaper in London, England, and he was approached by his editor, who asked him if he wanted to write a beer calm and of course, be already being a beer drinker. Michael agreed to, and he went on to a zai. Mentioned he was. He's considered the world's foremost authority on beer. He traveled very, very well on behalf of his Um, a Sfar is looking into beers, and it was in his travels, too many different countries and many different breweries that he realized that there are commonalities between different beers made in different locations, and we're definitely, uh, contrast is well. And what he realized was that a lot of different beer styles are defined mostly not just by the ingredients or by their fermentation method, but also their histories and their geography based on where they were on Earth and he histories that went into those as well as the ingredients in fermentation method. So it was Michael who really brought forward the concept of beer styles. Now, Michael passed from the scene several years ago, but before he did, he wrote several books, and those books are considered a very important source of information with regards to beer styles. Here in the United States, there are two major governing bodies that determine beer style guidelines for primarily for competition reasons you see on the left hand side of the screen. That's the logo for the Brewers Association. It's located in Boulder, Colorado. They are a representative of many of the craft breweries in the United States. They as part of what they do on an annual basis, they host to very large beer competitions. One is the Great American Beer Festival. It takes place every year in Denver. The 2nd 1 is called the World Beer Cup, and it takes place every other year on. It changes around from city to city Now the Be A provides guidelines for these two competitions for the judges to use as they're judging the many, many beers air submitted to these competitions. On the right hand side of the screen, you'll see the Beer Judge certification program of the B J. C P, of which I am a member. This is an all volunteer army. There are no paid employees that work for the B, J. C P. These are folks who very tirelessly put together their guidelines for their educational program. It's kind of two parts. One is that they are. They educate people who want to be good beer judges and In turn, those beer judges will judge beer submitted to various competitions around the country and by way of judge score sheets. Homebrewers learn how to become better home brewer. So for this purpose, whatever I am doing a class where I'm doing educating on behalf of your cells, I always lean towards the B J C P guidelines. They're a little bit simpler. There are actually fewer beer styles than with regards to be A and there's no profit motive in B J C. P where there is in the Brewers Association. So anyway, in order for you to take a look at these, I provide some links here. You can go ahead and check out these links, the top one being the B J. C P. You can go and check out their guidelines. Um, you could either look at their guidelines on their website or you have the option to download them, uh, under your computer. And there's also a phone app. If you own an iPhone, you can actually download the beer style guidelines to your phone. Now, with regards to the Great American Beer Festival in the World Beer Cup, you can check out these two links go directly to J B F Beer style guidelines and the WBC Our World Beer Cup, your style guidelines, and you can compare and contrast the various beer style guidelines and see for yourself which one works best for you. So that's it for this part. Come back for Part two. We're gonna talk about the number of beer styles that exist in the world. Here's 3. Number of Beer Styles: hello and welcome back to part two of all about beer styles. In this part, we to be talking about the number of beer styles that exists, and it's very difficult to pin down an exact number because it depends on who your source of information is. And I don't mean necessarily a person. I mean an organization. In the previous section, I discussed two different governing bodies that provide two different beer style guidelines . But suffice to say that there are well over 100 different beer styles in the world and this graphic in the background. You see, that's a beard taxonomic map. It gives you an idea of you see it at the bottom is lager, and up at the top is ales, and you see all the various beer styles dotted throughout. That gives you an idea of how many different ones there are and how they're inter related. We'll try and break it down for you here in the next slide, based on B J C. P guidelines, there are 34 different categories into which 120 different individual styles are placed, and you could break these down even more by saying that there are approximately 30 major beer styles and approximately 90 sub styles that ball underneath those major beer styles. Now it don't let all of these numbers confuse you. We're gonna talk about this in greater depth in the coming chapter, so stay tuned. Come on back for Part three. When we talk about what effects beer styles, Jerry. 4. What are not Beer Styles?: hello and welcome back to all about beer styles were now in Part three. Before we move on to talk about what beer styles are, I think it's important that we talk about what are not beer styles. So there's only one slide in this section, but it's gonna take a little while to talk through all these difference. What are, natch beer styles? I would like to make it clear that these uh, supposed beer styles on this on the screen right now are not true beer styles beginning with a land lager. Many people think that a Lizza style lager is a style when in reality, those air classifications of beer based on how their fermented so ale is a classification or category. Lager is a classification or category based on how it's fermented and all the other various beer styles while into place within the l category or within a lager category with regards to session beer. If you're familiar with the term session, as it applies to beer, session means a lower alcohol beer. Typically, the upper end is considered 4.5% so a brewer hypothetically, he could brew any beer style that could be a pilsner. It could be a porter. It could be a Munich Ellis. Whatever is long as he keeps the alcohol level down before below 4.5% he is going to essentially be creating a session pilsner or a session porter or session beauty. Callous. Okay, beer style doesn't change. It's simply about the alcohol content. So moving on to wheat beer. A lot of people think that there, any beer made with week is it all belongs to the same style, and that's simply not true. There are many different beer styles in which wheat is used as an ingredient, but the beer styles themselves a fairly different from one another, so we really can't lump them together like this. Wheat is simply one of many different ingredients that go into these styles, but the styles themselves retained their own identity as a style, so we can't lump them together based on their ingredient with regards to Belgian beer, a lot of people also like to lump all of the beers from Belgium together in one convenient package. Well, Belgium is a country. It's the country of origin for many, many different beer styles and those beer styles are all very different from one another. But they were talking about Flanders, red or Islamic or wheat beer, whatever the case, very different. And we can't lumped them together simply because they came from the same country that all very different. Therefore, we have to look at them very differently. We have to look at them individually. What they bring regards to their ingredients in their flavors. So very important. That's it seemed confused all dozen beers with one another. So for sour beers, Um, well, when we hear we talk about a sour beard, simply me, that's a beer that has acidity and it's it's tangy or it's sour. And like I was the analogy earlier when I was talking about session beer, a brewer and drew any particular beer style, whether it be Pilsner or Porter, whatever. And he can make it sour by using particular bacteria's so he could essentially make a sour pilsner for a sour porter. We're gonna have that acidity in common, but the underlying beer style does not change the pills. They're still gonna be a pilsner, and reporters still don't be a Porter porter, but they will have been acidified, so they're sharing the acidity in common. But that doesn't make them the same style simply soured, all right and similar to that argument for barrel aged beer. If you're familiar with how barrel age Beers made, a brewer will produce a particular style of beer and then he'll dump it into a barrel that previously housed a difference beverage, whether it was bourbon or whiskey or uh, or tequila or rum or maybe red or white wine. And what's going to happen is that beer is gonna become infused with the flavor and the character of the distillate or the wine it used to be in that barrel. But that doesn't change the underlying beer stout. If the beer went in a pilsner, it's going to come out of pills. It's just going to have the attributes of whatever was in that barrel. Same thing. If you if it goes in a porter, it's going to come out for the It will just have he aromas and flavours and character of whatever beverage was in that barrel previously. So I hope that's clear on all accounts here, just making sure you understand that these air, not beer styles. They're very convenient way of lumping beers together because of similarities. But that doesn't make these beer styles, so I just keeping that clear. All right, So you sure to come back, or, uh, part four. We're gonna define beer more, particularly cheers. 5. Classifying Beer: hello and welcome back to all about beer styles were now in part, or we're gonna talk about classifying beard. And in order to classify beer, we need to start with the definition of what beer is. Very simply put, here is a fermented beverage made from cereal grain. What sets beer apart from other Bevers like princess wine is made from grapes and fruit. Cider is made from apples. Need is made from honey, so that's where the source of the preventable sugars are. A beer source of preventable sugars. Notice Mull toes comes from cereal grains, so any beverage made from cereal brain is considered beer. So now it's classified this before We talk about ales and lagers. They are essentially classified by their method of fermentation. Hails are fermented with alia yeasts, which are also known as top fermenting, used and then fermented at warm temperatures for shorter periods of time. When I say warm temperatures, I mean essentially room temperature, ambient temperature, because going back hundreds and thousands of years ago, brewers didn't have means to modulate the temperature of the fermentation is it was done at whatever temperature was outside. Now, with regards to loggers, there, fermented with luxuries, which are referred to as being bottom fermenting yeast and a ferment, the cold temperatures for longer periods of time after the invention of compressed gas refrigeration. That gave brewers the ability to maintain colder temperatures over periods of time. So they were able to create what we now recognize his lagers. So technically, lagers have really only been around for a couple of 100 years or so. So here we see the what we call it a beer style hierarchy, and we start at the top tear. There we see the word beer and again that goes back to the definition and any fermented beverage made from cereal grain. In the second tier, we see the two major beer classifications of ale and lager that we just discussed. And then in 1/3 tier, we see the beer styles. These are the major beer styles that while into either the ale category or the larger category, and these are just a couple of examples. Stout is an ail India Pale ale, obviously is in jail. On the longer side, pill story is a lager and European. Amber's also lager. Now here's where it gets interesting on the fourth tier. Here we see where the styles break out into what we call sub styles. And this is just a very brief example that under the stout's style, we know that there is the dry style We know that there's a sweet Salin are also others. I'll show you now in this next slide. Here are two examples of how beer styles and sub styles work on the left hand side. We see stout that we were just talking about this a nail. But there are five different sub styles to stop everyone, or most everyone is familiar with the brand called Guinness. Guinness is actually it belongs in the right Irish style stout because also the sweet London style stout. There's open stockers, tropical style stout, and there's Russian Imperial stout, all different kinds of stuff that fall into the category of stout. On the right hand side of your screen, you'll see that we have bock beer now Bock beers, a representation of a lager, and below that we see the sub styles that come out of that style. There's traditional back. It was hell is Bach on the word hellis his German or pail So it's a pale version of back here. Below that we see my Bach, which in German simply means the month of May. This is a beer that's brewed in the month of May, and below that we see Dapple box, which in German means double back. This is basically a richer, more viscous, higher alcohol version of Bach and below That was he. I spot which in German means exactly It sounds the same, and it means the same. It's I see. I spot literally when you're distilling the beer and removing the water content. So this, of course, is the most alcoholic or the highest A BV of all the doctors. So you just get an idea representation of different styles that break out into their sub styles. Now, if I haven't confused you yet, I hope you don't start here. We just talked about beer classifications, and I mentioned that the two major branches in the beer tree are ales and lagers. Well, now I'm going to introduce 1/3 much, much smaller classifications. We refer to it as hybrid, and this is our hybrids work when we talk about hails, they fermented with top fermenting is that warm temperatures and lagers being prevented with bottom fermenting yeast that cold temperatures somewhere along the line. Maybe hundreds of years ago, a brewer or several brewers got the crazy idea that they were going to use one type of yeast with the with a different fermentation temperature. So here we see a mixed used in fermentation temperature schedule. In type one we see fermented a beer committed with values at a cold temperature and take to which is exactly the opposite. It's a beer fermented with Marjorie's at war. So there you have it. Major beer stuff. Classifications are ales, lagers and the third smallest branch, which is called hybrids. And we will look at it. Take a closer look at all three of those in an upcoming, uh, section of this course. So that is it. For now. Be sure to come back for part by we'll be talking about beer style parameters. Cheers 6. Beer Style Parameters: hello and welcome back to all about beer styles were now in Part five. This has to do with beer style parameters, and what we're going to discuss are three very specific parameters that helped differentiate beer styles from one another. Now this is after we already identify a beer is being either a nail or a lager or a hybrid in terms of the classification. Now we can break it down even further into these three beer cell parameters. You talk about the color of the beer, which is expressed in S. R. M. That simply stands for standard reference method. That's not something you really absolutely need to know. Just know that it refers to the beer's color. The second parameter is bitterness. This is expressed in Aib use or international bettering group. The third parameter is the alcohol content expressed in a BV, or alcohol by volume. What's important about these parameters is that they are extremely objective. These are scientifically measurable, so subjective analysis of a beer when you talk about how it smells or tastes or how it looks. Those air subjective analysis, these three parameters, our objective extremely objective. And like I said, they're scientifically measurable. And that's why they're important to standardizing various beer styles. Now, when we talk about the scales used for these, uh, different parameters on the S R. M or color scale, that scale runs from 1 to 40. And I'll explain that in greater detail coming up the I B you scale, international bettering units or the bitterness level of the beer. That scale runs from 1 100 which, when you understand how bitterness is perceived by the human palate, that's actually a little bit ludicrous. Human palate really can't discern. I be used above 80 or so, so to say that a beer has an eye view rating of 100. It's really off the charts and unnecessary Who brewers point of view. Lastly, we talked about the A B V scale. This is the alcohol content of the beer, and it can raise from zero, which means there's no alcohol in the beer, it all or non alcoholic beer. And then you see that I have 30 of the upper end of that scale with an asterisk, and that's simply denotes the fact that there really are no beers in the market that have 30% alcohol content in some rare instances, something like a Sam Adams utopias that very often runs in the high twenties. 25 26 27 maybe even up to 29 in certain years. But that's pretty much an anomaly. Uh, and yes, the argument can be made that there are a couple of beers out there that have been manipulated into the 50 and 60% alcohol range. But that's done by other methods that's not considered normal permanent ation. So when we're talking about normally fermented beers, that scale is actually much smaller than 0 to 30. Your typical average beer is gonna run between five and 7%. Certain beer styles I compare a stock's gonna run 10 12 in there and you'll find an occasional icebox runs maybe 14 15%. But again, I just It's rather arbitrary here that I made the scale 0 to 30. It's very rarely you see a beautiful in that high, so ah, you can't see up Holland beer. You can't see bitterness in a beer, but you can see color. And that's what this s R N scale is all about. And like I said, it runs from 1 to 40. And you could see by looking at this chart that on the low end of skeleton, you know, the ones to freeze. That's gonna be your Berliner Vice, your coal share American light lager. And then as you progress into these sevens eights and nines, Now you're getting into the pale ales and I ps on the next row, you're going to see some of your amber ales and red ales next scale you're going to see your, uh, you're rough beers, your brown ales, beers like that, Google, Belgian, Google's. And then when you find to get into the thirties now you're looking into darker beard is gonna be the shorts, beer, the porters and the stouts running up into the upper thirties and into 40. So there you have it. That's all the skinny on the three beer stout parameters. Fairly simple stuff. Easy to understand. I hope you got it. Uh, be sure and come back with part 61 were actually to talk about beer styles like class cheers 7. Beer Styles by Class: Okay, welcome back to all about beer styles were now in part six. We're gonna take a look at beer styles by class, and this is really the heart of this course. We're gonna take a look at individual beer styles and sub styles. We're start with hails. This is again one of the major classifications of beer. Um, I'm going to walk you through these, uh, just a little bit. Can't go into great detail on all of them, but, uh, I'm the top row there. Let's start with pale ale. That is a very common beer style that comes to us from the from Britain. Next, that is I P Air India Pale Ale. That's also a British based beer. Even though it's extremely popular in the United States. Brown ale is a working class veer from the north of England. Scotch Ale, as the name suggests, comes to us from Scotland. It's a very multi rich beer tends to be on the, uh, slightly higher scale of a BV bites and beer comes to us from Germany, specifically Bavaria. Word bites and refers two weeks, and this beer, of course, is made with wheat. It's ultimately known as vice beer and where advice in German means white. But that's somewhat of a misnomer, because beer is really not white, and yet it is made with weak. I think whites and beer makes more sense. Porter was invented in London in the late 1717 seventies. Thereabouts, it was named after the, uh, the laborers who works of the down on the docks and in the train stations. Yeah, so the beer was named after the porters who worked there. Stout is a beer style that actually emanated from Porter. After Porter was created, brewers had a tendency to start expanding this down, making a darker, richer and more highly alcoholic and eventually became known as Stop Porter and eventually stopped became a style unto its own. Next to that is a specific style of starting on imperial stout. It got its name from the Imperial Court Russian Court at ST Petersburg. It's a again. It's a darker, richer, more holly alcoholic version of Stop Barleywine is a type of ale that's very, very multi, very, very rich and somewhat on the same level of imperial stout. In terms of its alcoholic content, usually 10 to 12% old ale. It is sometimes referred to a stock ale. Brewers would grow back to this and keep it on hand and release it occasionally. Throughout the years, also referred to as a provisioned beer, you'll see the next three double triple and quadruple in the next level. Those are all Belgian styles very often made by Trappist and Abbey. Breweries brought Belgium were also fairly popular in the United States, where a lot of breweries will replicate those styles. Belden Strong is more or less a catch all category for beers that needn't fit into other categories, such as quadruple. Technically, quadruple is a Belgian stronger, but because it already has a style designation, the Belgian strong category acts as a catch all for other beer styles that don't have their own style designation. Brett Beers uh, Brett. Part of that who's down refers to a wild use known as Britannia, my sees. And when Brewers used bartender, my sees to eight per mental age their beers. It gives it a very unique character, and, um so a lot of people refer to it as being wild. You'll see on menus that's a wild aylor, wild beer and that suggests that the beer was fermented and were aged with pretend Almazy. Next to that is goes in. That's the beer style come from Germany. They make it with salt and coriander. Actually, that is Berliner Vice, a za name suggested comes from the city of Berlin. This is a beer that has some acidity to it. It's rather tangy, and that's why it's often served with a dollop of syrup to cut through that acidity and make it more palatable. Flanders Red and Planters Brown both come from a region in Belgium that produced these beer styles. Flanders red is rather high in acidity, so it's quite tang yin and sour. But this beer is aged in oak, wooden barrels and food, Ra's and, uh, whereas the Flanders Brown is more Maltin selected, and it does not have much of the acidity of the planners Red on. It's also not aged in open anyway, those aged insane list wheat beers, Belgian style. It's made with coriander and orange peel sorts, very citrusy. The name witbier and Flemish means white beer. Because of its white cast, it has a lot of particulate matter in it. It's mostly protein and yeast. Cezanne is a beauty comes from the south of Belgium in the north of France. Word is actually French means seasons. This beer was brewed seasonally, Um, as was Beard, a guard that is a French terming beer for laying down both Cezanne and beer to guard our traditional farmhouse ales of the only too true farmhouse ales in the beer world. Next to that, we have New England I P. A, which is a truly American style. It's also known as N E I P. A and colloquial cloak. Really speaking, it's referred to as being juicy or hazy because it looks extremely. It's It's more than hazy, is actually cloudy, and in terms of how it tastes, it's actually quite juicy purchase. So let's progressive bloggers as you could see the top row there. Those are all bock beer and back here, derivatives. Bock beer, Hellis Pocket. The pill version about my buck is a happier version of Bock Beer, brewed in the month of May. Topple Back as the name suggests, that double box it's multi earned. More highly alcoholic Icebox is a unique beer style. It's brewed or aged out in a way that they freeze it and the remove the ice crest of this called ice distillation. They make the beer richer and stronger by that method, although, that we have pulsar and the original coaster beer was brewed in the town of pills and in the well we Curly recognized as the Czech Republic. So Pilsener gets its name from pills and and this was the first golden lager produced anywhere in the world. They expect 18 42 boredom under is a German beer style that comes from the city of Portland . I think it it's one of the beer styles that offers the best that Germany has to offer. It has the more richness of the very in beers and has me, um, the nice, happy all right aroma and flavor of a lot of the northern German beers. Erickson is a beer that was traditionally brewed in the month of March. Therefore, the merits in NRZ is March, and it was laid down throughout the summer months, when brewers took the summer off brewing and whatever was left in storage at the end of summer or the beginning of harvest season, they would bring it out and ceremonies to consume it in that became owners. Octoberfest Munich Ellis is a pale lager brewed in Munich. Munich Dunkel is a dark beer brewed in Munich. It's essentially the same as the hellis, just which they had darker greens. Well, here is a very traditional style to which they add, uh, grades that were I smoked over choir. And, uh, when they add the reins to the beer would take on the smoke character in the Roman, the flavor that is very strongly associated with the town of Bomberg in Franconia in northern Bavaria. Sharks dear, if you know that the word Schwartz means black in German, that means black beer. It's the equivalent of a black pilsner beer in terms of its body and strength. Vienna, as that name suggests, comes to us from the city of the Austrian city of Vienna. It's it's sooner to a in on Octoberfest beer, but it's made with toasted malts with slightly darker and slightly more toasted character. So now we're gonna progress to the hybrids, of which there are only five recognized in the world. Appeared means old beer in German, and it does complement the city of Dusseldorf. In Germany, push comes to us from the sea of code in Germany, which is otherwise known as cologne in the French tongue. These are both brewed with, uh, I'm sorry fermented with ale yeasts at Cold Temperatures Cream Ale in California Common. Both come from the United States. Cream Ale is a beer that's brewed with lager used at a low temperatures. Likewise, with California Common. Ah, that's typified by the trademark brand called Steam Beer, made by the Anchor Brewing Company that is again like cream ale that is fermented with lottery used. That's warm temperatures and bulk of porter. This, actually its origins are found in the porter that was invented in London. But when that beer style migrated to the Baltic states, Latvia, Lithuania etcetera, uh, they kind of changed it around a little bit. They made it stronger, and they started fermenting it as a lager. They still used aliens, but they used hold fermentation toe, so it became a very different beer and a new beer style unto itself. So those are the three different classes of beer. This next slide is a chart that shows you many different beer styles on the same chart. We'll see by the key up in the upper right hand corner that the loggers are represented by the blue diamonds. The males are represented by the red triangles, and you'll see the X and Y, uh, parts of the scale on the left hand side to see represented in bitterness. Scale goes from 0 to 100 in the darkness scale or example scale. You see it go from 0 to 40 and you see how all the beers play out in terms of their darkness running to the right and their bitterness running towards the top, you'll see that obviously the stouts occupy the darkest section of the chart and the imperial Double I P. A's in the barley wine in the U. S. Strong ales. Those are the bitterest beers. You see those Jordan topping charts, and what's interesting is you see, a lot of the blue diamonds tend to occupy much the same region of the chart. They don't get to better. They don't get too dark, so it's interesting to see all the beer styles together. In one chart, you get a better sense of how the ales and lagers compare and contrast one another, so that is it? Or beer styles by class? That brings us to the end of this part as well as this course. Uh, hopefully you learned a lot about it. You could always review, but thank you for tuning in. And that is it for now. Thank you very much. And cheers.