There are two basic categories of beer: lagers and ales.
Lagers are a bottom fermenting beer, use lager yeast and ferment at cool temperatures. They tend to be clearer and lighter in body and color. Bottom fermenting beers include Bock, Oktoberfest, Pilsner and malt liquor.
Ales are a top-fermenting beer that use ale yeast and ferment at warmer temperatures, then age for a short time. Ales include wheat beer, stout, porter and ale.
Alt - Derived from the German word for old, an Alt (or Altbier) is medium-bodied and slightly fruity with a medium copper hue, Alts generally drink lighter than they appear.
American Light - This variety of beer will usually have little or no hop characteristics. This type of beer is also light-bodied.
Bock - A bock is usually full-bodied, with a strong, malty flavor. The color is usually a very dark brown.
Bitter - A British-style ale, a bitter is usually reddish-copper in color, and similar to a pale ale.
Cream Ale - This variety of beer is usually light in color and body, with high carbonation. Cream ales usually have very little hop flavor
Framboise - Reddish in color. a lambic (see below) which has been fermented with raspberries.
Hefeweizen - An unfiltered wheat beer. Light in color, hefeweizen is fruity and light in body.
India Pale Ale - Often referred to as a IPA, and India pale ale will be very hoppy, medium-bodied and amber in color.
Lambic - A Belgian-style wheat beer, a lambic is not malted and very fruity in
Oktoberfest - Medium-bodied and malty, an Oktoberfest will be dark in color and very flavorful
Pilsner - A pale, light-bodies lager, with a hoppy, dry flavor.
Porter - Very dark in color, but medium-bodied, porter is usually dry and fruity with a discernable character.
Scottish Ale - Full-bodies, dark, and strong, Scottish ales have a strong malt aroma and flavor.
Stout - Very dark in color, this is a hopped brew with quite the bitter edge.
White - Also known as witbier, white beers are pale and cloudy in color, with a medium-body and apparent fruit, malt and hops flavor.