Gleeson’s Liquors, located in Ocean View has an ever expanding craft beer selection, as well as a growing import section. Craft brews are the corner market in the beer world these days. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with choices as the consumer, here is a crash course in beer basics.

There is a wide range of styles but all beer falls into two main categories, either a lager or ale. The type of yeast used and the temperature to which the beer is fermented separates these two categories. Lagers require yeast that ferments at cooler temperature whereas the yeast used in ales ferments better in warmer conditions. Lagers generally pour light and lend to subtle flavor such as pilsners, crisp lagers and bocks. Ales generally pour dark in color with fully body flavor such as stouts, pale ales & porters. However, the term “ale” has been more widely used as a generic term for hard to classify beers. The various styles that fall into these two categories can seem endless. Some of the most common varieties that can be found at Gleeson’s Liquors are Belgian Ales, which can range from light and drinkable to dark with high alcohol content.

The currently trendy variety, which is the Indian Pale Ale, more commonly referred to as an IPA. Just like all the other subcategories IPAs have various ranges as well. Traditional IPAs can variety in their pour from a gold/amber color to copper red and in flavor from floral and earthy notes to a citrus and fruity finish. The typical alcohol content of an IPA ranges from 5 to 7.5% and Imperial IPA’s can be as high as 10% alcohol per volume. Session IPAs carry the same characteristics of the traditional IPA with less alcohol, usually falling under 5%, similar to the more mainstream domestic beers. Session beers have become more popular in the last couple of years, allowing consumers the option to have a couple more without sacrificing flavor.

Blonde lagers have also become popular in the last few years, specifically the Shandy and Radlar variety. Both brewed with about half lemonade or lemon flavoring and half beer, usually pilsner. Traditional Radlars are only brewed with lemon juices, whereas Shandys can be brewed with various other fruits, such as grapefruit, apples & orange juice. Both varieties are light in alcohol; traditional Radlars are under 3%, whereas Shandys are usually under 5% per alcohol volume.

Gleeson’s Liquors offers a wide range of seasonal favorites, local and imported specialty brews. Looking for something specific, specialty orders are available. Whether you’re looking specialty imports, a favorite craft brewery or a rare find, with over 250 craft beers and growing, Gleeson’s Liquors selection is sure to please all palates. Stop in and check out their entire selection of domestic, imports, ciders, gluten free and craft beers. And don’t feel overwhelmed, their friendly staff is willing to assist with any questions.

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