Why different beers have different names and types. Beer is not beer. You cannot live in Europe and come back and drink Bud or Coors again... Neither can you toss out the 'Euro-wienie" name just to try to defend weak American beer. The men, knights, peasants, and monks of the Dark Ages that brewed their hearty stouts and ales were anything but wimps.
Different types of beer
Lager – Mainly continental. Made with yeast that bottom ferments in the barrel. The word comes from German lagern, to store. Aged longer than ale, often from spring till winter, done cold. Originally was darker, Pilsner name came from Pilsen CZ where they learned how to make it pale.
Bock – sub-type of lager, (thus also bottom fermented), from German town of Einbeck. Uses malts to make it darker and heavier than regular lager.
Ale – Mainly British. Made from yeast that rises to top and ferments there. Uses more hops. More fruity and bitter. Not aged as long as lager, often from Winter to summer, done warm.
Porter or Stout – Usually an ale, or mixture of ales (top fermented). Usually from the Isles. Made with roasted grain (oats) that has often caramelized and has more sugars, Dark in color, more bitter. Strength was indicated by X, XX, or XXX. Called Porter from the porters that would bring it to continental Europe on ships.
Wheat beer – A type of ale (top fermented) but made with wheat, thus is pale and cloudy. German usually.
Dry – a characteristic meaning it is fermented longer so all sugars are converted, less sugar leaves cleaner crisper taste with less after taste.