National Beer Day, Which Beer Should You Drink?


April 7 is National Beer Day. This celebration is a great excuse to raise a pint or two in observance.

Did you know that beer is the most popular alcoholic drink? Beer has been drunk all through history. From culture to culture, beer has played a role in most civilizations’ history. It makes sense that beer would have its own holiday, National Beer Day. How will you celebrate?

Luckily many bars and restaurants will be celebrating this beer drinking holiday. From your favorite local watering hole to national chains, there is at least one location near you to drink a cold one. While locations may be plentiful, how do you know which beer to drink?

Beer has several styles, flavors, and types. Even within a particular type of beer, the flavors can vary depending on the brewery. Instead of describing the numerous, complicated styles of beer, let’s simplify the list into four categories: lager, wheat, ale and stout. One of these types will go down smoothly on National Beer Day.

National Beer Day, photo by Cristine Struble


A lager is generally a lighter beer. For example, an American lager, like Budweiser, is a lager. These beers are easy to drink. From watching a baseball game to a lazy day at the beach, the light bodied beers go down smooth. The flavors are generally crisp and the beer goes with just about anything. Just about anyone will drink a lager.


A wheat beer is cloudier beer made from wheat. Often these beers have fruit served with them. Think Blue Moon with an orange. These beers are a little heavier and often have a sweeter flavor. Overall, they are refreshing and great with a lighter meal. If you are okay with a lager and looking to try another beer, a wheat beer is a good next step.


Ales are a quite broad category. Pale ales, amber ales and IPAs are types of ales. With the boom of the craft beer industry, IPAs (India Pale Ales) are quite plentiful. These beers are medium colored, from dark golden to almost red in some cases. Depending on the beer, the taste can be quite hoppy, meaning there is a bitter quality to the beer. Bitter isn’t bad; it’s the flavor from the hops. Finding the right ale can be tricky. If you are looking to try a new ale, ask a bartender about the options, read bottle labels or just experiment. The only way to truly determine what you like is to taste it.


Stouts are the darkest beers on the list. Some people see these dark, sometimes almost black beers and run scared. Many stouts are quite delicious to drink, though. The layered flavors make for interesting flavor combinations. Sometimes, stouts can have coffee or chocolate flavors in them. Instead of a big dessert, end the meal with a drinkable dessert, like some stouts.

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This list is a quick, simple discussion of beers. True beer fans, brewing enthusiast and beer snobs will laugh at my generalities. But on National Beer Day no one needs a dissertation on beer. Everyone just needs to raise a glass in celebration.