Top 10 Dark Beers

Whether you are just beginning to explore the world of beer or you are a seasoned beer snob, these are brews that you should know. In no particular order, this list is comprised of beers that:

  • Are solid representatives of their respective styles
  • Seem to have a decent market saturation so you will have a chance of finding them
  • Generally cover the spectrum of beer styles
  • 01 of 10

    Sierra Nevada - Pale Ale

    sierra nevada pale ale
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    Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is a great example of the American interpretation of this classic English brew. It is amber colored and has a nice balanced flavor. It is hopped with distinctive Cascade hops.

  • 02 of 10

    Fuller's ESB - Bitter

    fuller's esb beer
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    Fuller’s ESB is the selection for the huge family of bitters. The name might stand for Extra Special Bitter though no one really agrees on what ESB means. This beer is dark with rich malt flavoring. Light hops and low alcohol make this a good session beer.

  • 03 of 10

    Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter

    taddy porter
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    Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter might be as close to the original porter that you can get in the beer world. Taddy has a rich dark color and a medium body.

  • 04 of 10

    Pilsner Urquell - Bohemian Pilsner

    pilsner urquell
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    Bohemian Pilsner can only really be represented by the one beer – Pilsner Urquel, the original. Despite changes in brewing and lagering methods over the years, this is more or less the same beer that came out of the Plzen casks on October 5, 1842, and harkened a new era in brewing.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Guiness - Dry Stout

    guinness stout
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    Guinness is perhaps one of the best-known beers in the world. With a small dose of beer soured by lactic acid bacteria in each batch, Guinness might not be the prototypical dry stout but it is so ubiquitous it is hard to deny it a spot on this list. Other, perhaps more correct, choices for this style would be Murphy’s or Beamish Stout.

  • 06 of 10

    German Pils

    German pilsner
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    With pronounced hops and a lighter malt profile than even Bohemian Pilsner, German ​Pils will be the most familiar beer on this list to those that normally drink mega brewery beers like Coors or Bud.

  • 07 of 10

    Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

    hefeweizen beer
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    Hefe-Weizen - the best representation of this style, Paulaner, is easily found almost anywhere. Chill a bottle and pour it in a glass making sure to get all of that yeast out of the bottom of the bottle. Many fans of this style like to squeeze a lemon into their glass. That’s fine but save that for the second one. For the first, just enjoy this hallmark of Bavarian brewmasters’ craft all on its own.

  • 08 of 10

    Thunderhead IPA - India Pale Ale

    thunderhead ipa
    Don LaVange/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0/Cropped Image

    India Pale Ale is a brew whose history is as interesting as the beer itself. Recently it has become a favorite of that odd breed - the American hop-head. Brewed by Pyramid, Thunderhead is an excellent version of the American interpretation of this style.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Hoegaarden - Belguim White

    hoegaarden wheat beer
    James Cridland/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Hoegaarden is at the fore of a revival of the Belgium white, an unusual wheat beer. This is one of the best examples of the mix of spicy yeast and cloudy white that marks a Belgium white.

  • 10 of 10

    Chimay Trappist Ales

    chimay trappist ale
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    The entry for the Trappist ales, a rich malty style noted for being crafted by monks, is Chimay. You will find that a few varieties are available from the Chimay brewery but any of them will do nicely.