December 2, 2013 by Prost Brewing
Any and every beer review will mention a beer’s color, but what does beer color actually tell us about the beer? Does a beer’s unique color reveal something about a beer’s particular flavor profile? To unveil the answer to this question, we must first consider how a brewer creates a beer’s color.
Beer color is determined from the length of time in which the grain is roasted. As you might guess, the malt used for darker beers is roasted much longer than that used for lighter beers. Thus, the color of beer does tell us about the type of malt used in the brewing process. In the end, this may have some effect upon the flavor of beer. For example, deep roasting may add an entourage of flavors such as cocoa and coffee.
While a beer’s color may tell us something of the flavor, it often deceives us. Beers of the same color can vary tremendously in their flavor and mouthfeel. One dark beer may have a rich and deep flavor profile complete with nuances of coffee, while others may be light bodied and taste nothing of the daily ground. Similarly, light colored beers that are often thought of as mild in flavor may actually taste strongly of hops, fruits, or even chili peppers. Light colored beers are also commonly thought to be light bodied, lower in alcohol, and with fewer calories, all of which are complete beer myths.
It is true that many flavors may be imparted from grains roasted to varying degrees, however, the color of the malt and the subsequent brew does not reveal the beer’s texture, richness, or overall flavor. Next time you are ordering a beer at Prost, don’t let color deceive you. From the pale yellow Prost Pils to the golden Weißbier, the reddish-orange Märzen Oktoberfest, and on to the Altfränkisches Dunkel Bier, Prost brings you beer to taste from every part of the beer color wheel. With the full color lineup at hand, one can begin to understand how color may often deceive even the most devoted of beer drinkers. Time to continue on with your beer education!