Whether it’s turkey or beer, some like it light and some like it dark. The debate over dark beer vs. light beer can get rather intense. Beyond color, few people know what is the difference between light and dark beer and why each have their distinctive aromas and flavors.
Grains Differ Between Light and Dark Beer
The difference between light beer and dark beer boils down to the grain that is used in the brewing process. The majority of beers are made with barley, wheat or oats. These grains can be roasted to varying degrees. The more they are roasted, the darker the grain becomes. The darker the grain, the darker the beer.
The Roasting Process
Naturally, the roasting process has a considerable impact on the flavor of the beer. The more the grain is roasted, the more complex and rich the brew becomes. In particular, roasting tends to bring out stronger flavor notes, including chocolate and toffee. Darker beers also tend to have a higher alcohol content than light beers.
Flavor Profiles and Food Pairings
The rich flavor of dark beers can overpower light foods so it is best to drink them by themselves or with foods such as smoked or grilled meat.
On the other side of the glass are light beers, whose grains are only lightly roasted. This gives the finished brew a smoother, subtle and gentler flavor. Depending on the grain, the flavor of the grain is often overpowered by the flavors emitted by the hops.
In lighter beers, it’s the hops that are used in the best Texas craft beers that determine whether the brew will have floral, fruity or bitter notes. The light flavor of the beer makes it easier to pair light beers with a wide variety of foods, including fish, chicken, pork and beef dishes.
So, which is better? The dark beer or light beer from the breweries in Fort Worth and elsewhere? It really boils down to your individual tastes.
Light beers have less alcohol, fewer calories and fewer carbohydrates. They are great for parties and outdoor events. Dark beers have richer flavors and plenty of body to wrap your tongue around and are perfect for cool evenings and a hearty meal of stew or steak.
Taps & Caps
Taps and Caps has a vast selection of light and dark beers on tap for you to experience. If you love craft beer in Fort Worth, you are going to fall head over heels for the selection of the best Texas craft beers we offer from breweries in Fort Worth and throughout the country.
We invite you to stop by, pull up a seat, pour a pint, and let our bartenders walk you through the many fascinating differences between light and dark beer.