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What Color is Beer?

Determining the color of a beer is actually a far more complex process than most people think. Every type of beer follows its own recipe, which dictates the color and taste.

From light gold to pitch black, beer comes in a wide variety of colors that each have its own characteristics.

Brewed from a variety of grains, hops, and yeast – it’s no wonder that beer has such an eclectic range of colors.

While many people assume that every type of beer is golden in color, this is far from true!

The brewing process is incredibly variable, so much so that you can find beers ranging from straw-colored pilsners all the way to pitch-black stouts.

Let’s take a look at what color your favorite beers are and what influences their appearance.

What Color Is Beer?

Most beers range in color from light yellow to almost reddish-brown. This variation occurs based on the ingredients used in each individual brew – some lighter and some darker – with different ingredients being added accordingly to determine flavor and hue.

The hue (or intensity) of the color comes down to malt – lighter malts result in lighter brews, while darker malts create darker beers.

Color of Beer According to Type

The type of beer you drink can also indicate what its likely color will be:

  • Light-Colored Beers – Lagers, wheat beers, blondes, or pale ales tend to be light yellow or straw-colored due to the use of light malts.
  • Dark Ales and Stouts – Darker ales and dark stouts are usually characterized by rich red or amber hues, created by dark malts like roasted barley or chocolate malt being added into the recipe.
  • Variety Of Beer Colors – Some beers even take on unexpected colors! For example, India Pale Ales (IPAs) are noted for their golden-orange hues while some Porters can appear deep brown or even black depending on how much malt content they contain.

Color Impact on Taste And Flavor

The color of your beer doesn’t just affect its look – it also influences flavor and aroma too! Generally speaking, lighter-colored brews tend to contain fewer aromatic compounds than darker ones because they don’t require as much roasting time during production – think Pilsners vs Stouts!

On top of this, they also tend to have a more subtle taste since their focus is on balance and drinkability rather than punchy bitterness.

For that reason, it’s important for brewers to carefully balance the levels of malt used when creating a particular brew – this way they can ensure consistency when it comes to not only does their beer look like what customers expect but also tasting like it too!

Factors That Influence Beer Appearance

Aside from malt content, there are other factors that influence the way your favorite beverage looks – lengthy boiling times during production, as well as hops additions, contribute towards increasing IBUs (International Bitterness Units) and intensifying colors while certain ingredients such as fruits or spices can add extra flavors and colors into the mix too!

Overall it all depends on how creative brewers feel when crafting each individual batch; so don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors for some truly unique results!


At the end of the day, no two batches will ever be exactly alike regardless if they follow a similar recipe because there are so many variables involved in brewing craft beer today!

From variations in grain selection to fermentation techniques and even yeast strains; brewers have endless possibilities at their disposal when creating new styles that could potentially make up a whole new category itself one day!

So don’t let opinions hold you back when trying something new – get out there and enjoy all kinds of colors tastes & aromas available today!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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