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Hybrid Beers

Learn all about hybrid beers from beer expert Katherine Kyle in this Howcast video.


Hybrid beers are beers that have characteristics of both ales and lagers. Some people say that a beer is strictly defined by the yeast that is used, but there are also brewing techniques that have come to be associated with each of those yeasts. So some examples of hybrid beers are the cream ale. The cream ale is an ale version of the lager, so it's going to be light, crisp, a little bit sweet from the malts, but it really, you know, it really is brewed very much like a lager except it's using ale yeast. Another type of hybrid beer is the California common.

And that's a beer that uses, it's brewed like an ale but it uses lager yeast. I guess it's sort of the flip side of the cream ale. You could think of it that way. A real common example of it would be Anchor Steam, and, in fact, that's where the style may have originated. Now breweries such as Peekskill has put out the hop common and, you know, you're seeing a lot more of them. They tend to be a little bit more accessible than some of your higher hoppy, higher ABV beers, but, you know, they're very drinkable. And, you know, that's one of the things that is a real hallmark for the hybrid beer, is that people are looking to bring out some of what they consider the best qualities in either an ale or a lager and bring them together. So that is what a hybrid beer is. It's got qualities or properties of both an ale and a lager.

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