We often have customers on our tours that say "oh, I don't usually drink dark beers", which opens the door for us to ask why not? The responses are usually one of the common myths...
Well, guess what...all of these myths are NOT TRUE!!
Colour is not an indicator of body or weight of a beer.
Colour has no relation to Alcohol by Volume (ABV) of a beer. Beer colours are derived from the amount that barley is malted by drier and/or roaster. Dark beers can range from amber, to brown to black depending on the how dark the barley malt is. Barley malt can be roasted for longer periods at low temperature giving more caramel, malty flavours which are often used in Porters. If roasted for shorter periods at higher temperatures it can produce more bitter, nutty, coffee flavours which are often used in stouts. However, the colour and flavour does not affect the ABV of beer!
Dark beers are not always higher in calories or higher in alcohol.
Generally speaking beers with higher alcohol content are higher in calories. Dark beers are not always high in alcohol, for example a Guinness stout is only 4.2% ABV where as some of the best Indian Pale Ales (IPA) in the world are up around 7.0% ABV.
So what makes a higher ABV beer?
Well, if a brewer wants to make higher ABV beer they will aim to increase their recipe to get the desired ABV. The brewer will use a calculation to determine the amount of water and barley malt to use to create a sugary liquid called 'wort' which beer yeast will eat. The bi-product of the yeast eating the sugar is the amount of alcohol in your beer.
So next time you're passing on the dark beer believing it will be too 'heavy'...instead join a Brewbus tour and let us educate you and your taste buds, to the smooth wonders of dry malty porter, to a stout with chocolatey coffee notes or even a Czech Dark Lager!