The Seven Moods of Craft Beer

350 Great Craft Beers from Around the World


By Adrian Tierney-Jones

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350 international craft beers are divided into seven categories — or moods — for drinking, including social, adventurous, poetic, bucolic, imaginative, gastronomic, and contemplative — ensuring the perfect beer for every occasion.

The Seven Moods of Craft Beer brings together the best 350 beers from around the world and then divides them into specific moods meant as the perfect guide for what to drink, when.

There are beers that are social, like Funky Buddha Hope Gun from Florida, which are to be sipped in the backyard to the hum of conversation and kids playing. There are beers that are imaginative, like the Broken Dream from the UK, meant for contemplative nights with old friends. And there are gastronomic beers, like Sovina which pairs perfectly with a carnitas taco.

Each of the seven chapters offers profiles of approximately 50 beers that cover tasting notes, history and information on the brewery, and alcohol percentage. Sidebars throughout include histories of the world’s best bars and information on styles of beer, brewers and breweries, and the world’s most famous festivals.




Whether you want to call it craft, artisanal, independent, or real, the world of beer has never been so exciting, as the traditional countries of brewing (Germany, the Czech Republic, UK, Belgium, the USA) have been joined in the quest for great beer by the likes of Spain, Brazil, and Italy, where brewers are both following global trends and trying to develop styles using raw materials native to their countries.

I am a writer and journalist, a beer-writer if you like, and my day-to-day job involves inspecting and introspecting about beer (as well as drinking it and visiting breweries). Writing this book has been a reminder that my journey is never really over, as I continue on a quest to discover a world of bold-tasting beers from breweries that are encouraging new flavors, rediscovering old flavors, and exciting the palate in the process.

So what have I discovered? First of all, that there are a lot of India Pale Ales (IPAs) being made. This is the beer style that every brewer from Shanghai to Sydney, from Brussels to Portland, Oregon, wants to brew. Little more than thirty years ago, the IPA was an invalid beer style, resting in the wings, slumbering in the armchair of history, the province of no more than a few British brewers, low in alcohol, and, apart from the odd exception, an afterthought. Then came the American beer revolution, in which breweries such as first Sierra Nevada and later the likes of Stone used American hops such as Cascade to revitalize the style, in the process helping to create the American-style IPA (as opposed to the British style). Both now co-exist (in many countries) and have been joined by several variations of the IPA: black, red, Session, Belgian, Imperial, and, more controversial to my mind, tart and fruit IPAs. I recently drank a Raspberry Smoothie IPA—it was interesting and intriguing, but to my mind it was not an IPA; on the other hand, you could argue that beer styles, as in styles of cuisine, music, art, and literature, never stand still, and that the devoted brewer should always be forging ahead.

Let us not forget, though, that other styles are available. There are porters, stouts, golden ales, pale ales, bitters, saisons, and wheat beers (of both the Belgian and the Bavarian traditions); there are beers that have been soured, aged in barrels of various woods, played host to different yeast varieties, and then been blended; and, of course, there is the splendid family of lagered beers, whether they be Pilsners (Bohemian and Bavarian), Dunkels, Viennas, Märzen, or the new kid on the block, the India Pale Lager, or IPL.

One of the more fascinating directions in which the new brewers are taking beer is toward the rediscovery of past traditions. Maybe IPA and porter were the first rediscoveries, but we have also seen the growth of wood-aging and blending, a practice that British brewers in the 19th century were very adept at. Take a look at the brewing books and journals of that century and you will see etchings of the massive wooden tuns that held porter, a dark beer that was aged and blended with a fresher variant. As the 20th century progressed amid world wars, prohibition, changing social patterns, and the emergence of global beer companies, brewers forgot their traditions, the local beers, the quirky beers, the beers that needed time.

Take Leipziger Gose, for instance. I first read of this beer in the pages of one of Michael Jackson’s books in the late 1990s and was immediately smitten with the idea of a soured wheat beer that had salt and coriander in the mix. At the time, it seemed like only a couple of breweries were producing one. In 2010, I was in Leipzig on a travel assignment and finally tried one, at Bayerischer Bahnhof, where I spent an afternoon discussing Gose and other beers with the brewmaster, Matthias. How times have changed. Gose is now another fashionable beer style for brewers all over the world. I have had Gose from the USA, the UK, and Italy. Not every one is good, and there is a tendency to flirt with the style and to add all manner of extra ingredients, but the style is saved. On traveling through the pages of the book, you will see evidence of other ancient styles revived: Grodziskie, Adambier, Lichtenhainer, and Berliner Weisse.

All this excitement and exhilaration bode well for the future of beer, although there remain challenges with some countries experiencing high taxation, others having to deal with the insidious rise of what my beer-writing colleague Pete Brown calls “neo-prohibition”—the closure of pubs (a big issue in the UK)—and what some people see as the biggest threat to global independent beer—corporate takeovers. For example, Anheuser-Busch InBev is now responsible for 30% of global beer sales and half the world’s profits on beer. Anheuser-Busch has also been very active in buying up craft breweries, especially in the USA, although their modern approach is radically different from the days when such an action would usually have meant closure. We have seen the likes of Goose Island, Camden Town, and Birra Del Borgo go beneath their “Local Champions” wing, while other breweries such as Ballast Point have been bought by other companies. So far, little seems to have changed apart from the beers being more easily found, but this is a future trend that could change and needs to be carefully watched.

The idea for this book came from my wife, Jane. She is not a beer drinker, but we were having a brief discussion on how one could approach a beer book from a totally different angle and out of the blue she said: “the seven moods of beer.” The idea developed from there. Allied with this is that I am often asked what my favorite beer is, and I have long used the stock answer: “It depends on what I am doing at the time.” If I want to drink beer in the company of friends, then a brisk bitter or a sprightly Pilsner is more appropriate than an Imperial porter, and so with this in mind I began to develop the idea of suggesting beers that would go with a range of different occasions and frames of mind. This is about beer being flexible, a friend; about something gelling with how the drinkers feel, that might surprise and lead them to surmise how little they knew about the beer in the hand.

I want this book to be a guide that not only charts the global beer revolution but also becomes a companion, that gives drinkers a sense of how important beer can be, a reflection of how they feel when the beer in their hand is drunk and savored.

I hope that you, dear reader and drinker, enjoy it… and now there is only one thing left for me to ask:

Are you in the mood for a beer? Of course you are.

Adrian Tierney-Jones


ADAMBIER—an old German beer style from before the days of the Reinheitsgebot.

ALT—amber in color, a hint of citrus, a bitter finish: the beer of Dusseldorf.

BALTIC PORTER—a historical remnant of the beers sent to the Russian Empire; dark, full-bodied, creamy, and bittersweet.

BARLEY WINE—vinous, fruity, full-bodied, potent; pour one and place yourself in your favorite armchair.

BELGIAN ALE—amber colored, with hints of citrus alongside a chewy malt character.

BELGIAN BLONDE—honeyed and sweetish with citrus, a creamy mouthfeel and a dry finish.

BELGIAN STRONG ALE—whether dark or pale, this is a fruity and boozy beer that is best drunk in small measures.

BERLINER WEISSE—tart, acidic, refreshing, brisk in its carbonation.

BIÈRE DE GARDE—the classic beer of northern France, which can be gold or amber and has a nutty, chocolaty, praline note mid-palate in between a light oranginess.

BITTER—English hops and biscuity maltiness usually produce a potent and boisterous character.

BOCK—dark and sweetish, with Doppelbock being its strong and virtuous elder sibling.

BROWN ALE—generally sweetish, although American styles have more hop character.

CHAMPAGNE BEER—usually strong in alcohol with a Moussec-like mouthfeel, brisk carbonation, gentle citrusiness, and a dry finish.

CREAM ALE—light and refreshing, a whisper of malt sweetness.

DUBBEL—bittersweet, nutty; dark amber in color, often produced by Trappist breweries.

DUNKEL—dark grain, chocolate, and coffee.

EAST FLANDERS BROWN ALE—thirst-quenching, bittersweet, slightly tart, clean finish; also known as Oud Bruin.

FLEMISH RED ALE—tart, refreshing, lightly acidic, dry finish; historically brewed in West Flanders, Belgium.

GOLDEN ALE—lightly malty, gently fruity, finishing bittersweet.

GOSE—refreshing, slightly tart, hint of brine, clean finish.

GRODZISKIE—light and smoky, refreshing and tart; Lichtenhainer is a close relative.

GUEUZE—the champagne of beers; expect a gentle acidity, sharp citrus, and full mouthfeel.

HEFEWEISSE—cloves and bananas and brisk carbonation mark out this Bavarian classic as a refreshing if slightly strong (5%+) beer, ideal with food; a hoppier variant is Hopfenweisse, while a stronger version is Weizenbock.

IMPERIAL STOUT—strong and seductive, dry and roasty, as strong as a hammer on an anvil; foreign stout is a weaker but still powerful variant.

IPA—the beer of the moment, the beer that every brewery makes whether it’s American or British style or session, imperial, black, fruit (an abomination in the author’s view), tart, or Belgian (look out for Czech, German, and Polish IPAs as well)—oh and let’s not forget India Wit Ale and India Pale Lager (or even India Helles Lager).

KÖLSCH—delicate beer with a light fruitiness and a dry finish; the beer of Cologne.

LAMBIC—tart, grapefruit-like in its fruitiness, fino-like in its dryness; Kriek is a lambic that has been matured with cherries.

OLD ALE—dark and malty, usually produced for the winter.

PALE ALE—pale, as in veering toward amber at times; American-style pale ales have more grapefruit/citrus character, while British pale ales boast a robust bitterness.

PILSENER—Bavarian adaptation of Bohemia’s great gift to the beer world, with delicate citrus on the nose and bitterness in the finish.

PILSNER—the Ur-lager, the godfather of every blonde lager; Saaz adds floral and spice notes, which are complemented by a bittersweet character.

PORTER—the beer of 18th- and 19th-century London; the modern version has a creamy, bitter character.

QUADRUPEL—with rich and spirituous, alcoholic and bittersweet love from Belgium.

RAUCHBIER—the classic smoked beer of Bamberg, Bavaria.

SAHTI—earthy, fruity, slack in its sweetness, a gift from Finland.

SAISON—flinty, dry, spicy, and bitter in the finish with a Moussec-like mouthfeel; Wallonia is its homeland.

SCHWARZBIER—a refreshing dark lagered beer that is soft and elegant.

SOUR BEER—the term can cover a multitude of brewing sins, but the style is a favorite among many craft brewers who look to the traditions of lambic and Berliner Weisse to produce tart, refreshing beers.

SPÉCIALE BELGE—amber-colored ale that is dry and bitter with a soft caramel sweetness.

STOUT—dry, roasty, and bitter unless it’s a creamy Oatmeal Stout or its equally smooth younger sibling, Milk Stout (and not forgetting coffee stout).

TRIPEL—a saintly sip first brewed in Belgium; bittersweet and crystalline, honeyed and muscular in its alcohol.

VIENNA LAGER—another classic style dating from the 19th century; caramelized malts with a breadiness and sweetness.

WITBIER—classic Belgian wheat beer that is spicy and refreshing.

WOOD-AGED BEER—beer that has been matured in wooden barrels, which could be sherry, Bourbon, Scotch, or wine.




Magic Rock Brewing, Huddersfield, UK

Stuart Ross is a softly spoken Yorkshireman who began brewing in 2004. I met him four years later when he was at a small brewpub in Sheffield, a job that gave him the chance to experiment (smoked Oktoberfest, anyone?). However, it was US beer that crystallized everything for him on being asked to join as head brewer with brothers Richard and Jonny Burhouse when they began Magic Rock in 2011. “The idea,” he told me, “was to bring the wonderful fresh flavors of US West Coast IPAs and pale ales to the UK.” The result was a range of hop forward and boldly flavored beers.


Brasserie de la Senne, Brussels, Belgium

Yvan De Baets founded De La Senne with Bernard Leboucq in 2006 and is one of the most articulate and passionate brewers in Belgium. He is an outspoken advocate of bitterness, and often rails against the tide of sweetness that has seemed to sweep through the Belgian brewing scene. It’s a good thing he has a superb range of beers to back up his rhetoric, with Taras Boulba, Zinnebir (a Christmas version is often aged and served in the Brussels bar Moeder Lambic), and Jambe de Bois.


Hopworks Urban Brewery, Portland, OR, USA

Before he started Hopworks in 2007, Christian Ettinger was head brewer at a neighboring Portland brewery, Laurelwood, where he brewed two organic beers. At Hopworks, he has gone the whole gamut, and all its beers are organic, which he says is why he is more concerned with the level of quality of organic raw materials than with beer styles. Hence, for instance, Survival Stout, which deviates from the traditional stout style in its use of ancient grains and cold-pressed organic coffee.


Pivovar Matuška, Broumy, Czech Republic

Even though he’s only in his late twenties, Adam Matuška is one of the most accomplished figures on the Czech new-wave brewing scene (mind you, this is no surprise, given that his father, Martin, is also a well-respected brewer). As well as top-class pale lagers, he produces British, American, and German beer styles, which is perhaps a result of his studies at a brewing college in Prague, where he was the first in his class to use dry hopping. Another feather in his cap was an invitation to judge at the Great American Beer Festival at the tender age of 21.


Le Baladin, Piozzo, Italy

“The Jim Morrison of Italian craft brewing,” is how one Italian beer writer described Teo Musso, and there is certainly a rock star aura about him, with his tousled hair, trailing multi-colored scarves, and rack-thin figure. However, he’s also a towering presence on Italy’s beer scene, a creative and restless genius who has overseen the creation of a variety of eclectic beers that were originally influenced by a Belgian brewing mentor and have since gone on their own unique path, using a variety of spices, speciality grains, and different fermentation processes.


8 Wired, Warkworth, New Zealand

Eriksen’s beer epiphany came when he was living in Perth, Australia, and he tasted the beers of Little Creatures. Home-brewing followed (not a great success, he has admitted), but then, after moving to New Zealand, he landed a job with Renaissance, where he brewed 8 Wired beers in his spare time. Now he has his own facility where he makes boldly flavored beers that make generous use of New Zealand hops; he is also a big advocate of barrel-aging beers.


Burning Sky, Firle, UK

When the affable Tranter founded Burning Sky in 2013, he decided to do things a little bit differently from his former brewery, Dark Star. Yes, he produced an IPA and a pale ale, but what has made him one of the most highly rated brewers in the UK is his fascination with Belgian beer, especially saisons and the wood-aged beers of Flanders. Hence his brewery has its own “barrel farm” in the neighboring barn where a variety of beers slumber until Tranter judges them to be ready.


The Alchemist, Stowe, VT, USA

Kimmich and his wife, Jen, originally started The Alchemist in the town of Waterbury, where it was a brewpub. After 2011’s Hurricane Irene destroyed the building, he decided to set up a stand-alone brewery (the couple now have another in Stowe), and made the momentous decision to focus on a single brew, the Imperial IPA cult beer Heady Topper. This was a decision he has never regretted, as he recalled in 2015: “We knew there was nothing like Heady Topper available anywhere around us. So we were pretty confident that we made great beer, and people agreed.”


Brasserie Thiriez, Esquelbecq, France

Thiriez was working in supermarket management when he bailed out and began his own brewery in 1996. He had long nurtured visions of brewing, but he was also in search of the good life: “I wanted to be independent and live in the countryside.” Since then, he has made his beers (which are produced in an old village brewery that had previously been closed since 1945) some of the most accomplished on the French craft beer scene, a tribute to his foresight and the risk he took back in the 1990s.


Private Landbrauerei Schönram, Petting, Germany

This is a tale of an American going to Bavaria to boss it over a traditional brewery and then turning it into a worldwide star of beer. Toft originally crossed the Atlantic to study brewing, and ended up as the brewmaster in a small village close to the Austrian border. As well as producing a magnificent Pilsner, he was one of the first brewers in Germany to turn his hand to an IPA and an Imperial stout. What makes his achievements all the more remarkable is that he works within the constraints of the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law.


Feral Brewing, Perth, Australia

Back in 2002 Varis co-founded Feral, about which he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to “craft beers that were a little on the wild side.” He is now the sole owner and has been described as the country’s first “rock star brewer.” Rock star or not, he’s certainly been an impressive figure, overseeing the production of award-winning beers such as Watermelon Warhead and Hop Hog, but he is not the kind of brewer to rest on his laurels. For instance, he has conceived a series of sour beers, some of which have been fermented with wild Swan Valley yeasts.


La Sirène, Melbourne, Australia

Wine claimed Nikias first before he turned to beer, an original calling that he readily admits influences La Sirène’s focus on French/Belgian-style farmhouse ales. “As an ex-winemaker who used to make Pinot Noir,” he told me, “I understand barrels very well, and hence our barrel room that is now 120 strong has many barrel-aged beers fermenting away.” This fascination (or could it be obsession?) is also behind him brewing his first 100% spontaneously fermented ale. He says: “Our intention is to focus on wild–fermented beers that reflect our brewery’s surroundings and give our products a real sense of place.”




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King Street is Bristol’s “craft beer quarter,” which is where Small Bar (above) is located. It’s a high-ceilinged corner bar that isn’t that small, as it has an adjoining drinking space as well as a cozy upstairs space. In this case, small refers to the measures offered in the bar, 1/3rds or 2/3rds, but no pints (the Hanging Bat was a pioneer in this). The beer is judiciously chosen, featuring such stars as Siren, Moor, Magic Rock, and the bar’s own brewery’s Left-Handed Giant.



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  • "Everything about the book is a delight. It's well produced in a handy format. It has striking black and white pen drawings of brewers and beers, and it comes at an affordable price. Above all, Adrian's infectious writing not only carries you along from one section to the next but also - liver and kidneys be warned - demands that you sample every one of the 350 world beers he has chosen."—Roger Protz, author of 300 Beers to Try Before You Die.
  • "The book is a fine snapshot of what's going on in the world of craft beer at the moment, nicely illustrated with line drawings and well laid out for easy browsing."—Jeff Evans,
  • "Brilliant title and conceit to new book from Adrian Tierney-Jones-lyrical but practical."—Keith Miller, Daily Telegraph
  • "Adrian is a fabulous writer, if you want something with soul then buy this."—Melissa Cole, author of Let Me Tell You About Beer

On Sale
Apr 24, 2018
Page Count
224 pages

Adrian Tierney-Jones

About the Author

Adrian Tierney-Jones is an award-winning journalist who specializes in beer, food, pubs, and travel. He was the editor for 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die and the author of Great British Pubs, Britain’s Beer Revolution, and Brewing Champions. He has also contributed to The Oxford Companion to Beer and World Beer. He lives in England.

Learn more about this author