Beer Varietals: Staff Recommendations
Beer lovers in Middle Tennessee shop at Cool Springs Wines & Spirits. Why? We stock the best selection in the area: your favorite IPAs, seasonals, stouts, barely wines, meads, porters, Belgians and bocks. Not to mention, we have the largest custom growler station in the Southeast with 28 beers on tap.
Ale is distinguished from other beers based on the yeast used in the fermentation process. Ale yeasts tend to flocculate near the top of the fermentation tank, where they ferment at a warm temperature (usually between 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Ales are aged for a wide variety of times in bottles or barrels, producing a broad range of Ales on the market.
- Chimay Péres Trappistes – Red Label – Belgian Brown Ale
- Pranqster Belgian Style Ale
- Kwak Belgian Ale
Originating in England, Barley Wine is a style of strong Ale. Called Barley Wine because it can be as strong as wine, it typically reaches an alcohol content of 8 to 12% by volume or higher. The American style of Barley Wine is hoppier and bitterer than the English style.
- Green Flash Barley Wine
- Stone Old Guardian
- Meantime Barley Wine
Ciders, mostly fermented from apple fruit, are most likely to have been made by humans for over two millennia. A variety of apples are used to make the sweet, bitter or balanced presentations. Acidity, effervescence and alcohol levels vary by style and country.
- Woodchuck Private Reserve Barrel Select Cider
- Angry Orchard Cider
- Trabanaco Cider
Pilsner is a type of pale lager. Typically, Pilsner is light brown or golden in color and has a strong hoppy flavor. Pilsner’s name comes from the city of Pilsen (Plzeň, Bohemia, Czech Republic) where it was first produced in 1842. The original Pilsner beer is still produced in this city today.
- Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner
- Rogue Imperial Pilsner
India Pale Ale (IPA) is included in the broader category of Pale Ale. Originally, Pale Ales were produced from pale malt. India Pale Ales were developed to allow shipments of beer to survive transport from England to India. American IPAs are brewed with a single hop or a blend of varieties, including Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo, Tomahawk, Warrior and Nugget.
- Bridgeport Hop Czar
- Terrapin Hopsecutioner
- Sierra Nevada Hoptimum IPA
The yeast used to ferment a Lager gathers at the bottom of the fermentation tank, where fermentation occurs at cooler temperatures (usually between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit). Lagers are usually aged for months, which tend to create a clearer and cleaner beer. This aging process is commonly referred to as lagering. Strong lagers have a higher finishing gravity.
- Dog Bite Strong Lager
- Carlsberg Elephant Strong Lager
Mead is produced by the fermentation of a honey and water solution, which is why it has also been referred to as honey wine. The honey and water solution is mixed with grain mash, then strained to produce Mead ale. Mead can be flavored with spices, fruit or hops.
- Chaucer’s Mead
- Viking Blod Mead
The Porter originated in London in the 18th century, is known for its dark brown color, and received its name because of its popularity with London transportation workers. Typically a blend of an old ale (stale or soured), a new ale (brown or pale ale) and a weak ale (mild ale), Porter can produce a variety of combinations.
- Nogne Imperial Porter
- Yazoo Sue Smoked Porter
- Meantime London Porter
French for season, Saison beer is pale ale that was named in the French (Flemish) speaking region of Belgium. This style of beer was historically brewed seasonally, in the cooler months, then stored until the summer months for consumption. Modern Saisons are generally highly carbonated, fruity and spicy.
- Ommegang Hennepin
- Le Merle Saison
- Saison Dupont
Scotch ale is sometimes known as “Wee Heavy” and is a type of strong pale ale that is bittersweet. Scotch Ale was first used as a term for strong ales that were exported from Edinburgh in the 18th century. In the United States this term has become popular to describe strong ales, which are available in Scotland and then sold in America.
- Sam Adams Wee Heavy
- Oscar Blues Old Chub
Characterized by its tart or acidic taste, Sour Ale is not brewed like traditional beer. Encouraging yeast strains and bacteria into the brew produces Sour Ale, which can take months to make and years to mature.
- New Belgium Lips of Faith Le Terroir
- Jolly Pumpkin Roja
- Boon Ouede Geuze Mariage Parfait
Strong Ale, the name originally given to pale ale brewed in England, has an alcohol content with a volume of 5% or higher in England. American Strong Ale has an alcohol content of 7% or higher. This term is loosely used today as many high craft brewers produce high gravity ales.
- Unibroue 17
- Victory Yamika Glory Ale
Stout was thought of only as dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Now with many different varieties of Stouts, including Imperial Stouts and Dry Stouts Stouts can be found both dark and blonde in color.