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What's The Difference Between Ale And Lager?

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A lot of people are interested in different kinds of craft or micro brews. The problem with that is that not everyone understands the different kinds of beers there are, and that may cause you to not want to even try any of the craft or micro beers out there. Beers break down into two basic types, ales and lagers. But what's the difference?


Ales have been around for millennia. Of the two kinds of beer, ale is the older type. Ales tend to be more robust beers, and they often have an aromatic or fruity taste as well. However, the ale category also includes some bitter beers. An ale is also best served a little warmer. Part of what makes up the difference between ales and lagers is the yeast that is used to ferment the beers. An ale is made with what would be called a top-fermenting yeast. This means that when the beer is fermenting, the yeast will start to rise during the fermentation process and stay at the top. The yeast that is used to brew ales also adds in some flavors, in most cases, although there are some strains which don't add in any flavor. Ales also tend to have a lot more leeway when it comes to experimentation, so it's possible to get all kinds of different flavors added to the beer, especially with craft breweries or micro breweries. 


Lager is pretty new in relation to the ale. It's only been around for a few hundred years. A lager can have some carbonation. It could also be called crisp. A lager tends to be a more mellow beer than an ale is. They are also generally served colder than the ales are. The yeasts that are used in lagers are bottom-fermenting yeasts and can be reused for successive batches of lager. However, unlike an ale yeast, they don't add in any flavor. Lagers also need cooler temperatures to ferment and will take a longer time to ferment than an ale would. 

If you are interested in trying out different kinds of beers, it will help to know the difference between ales and lagers. That will let you figure out which style you prefer, and then from there, you can try out different kinds of that category. For example, if you decided that you like ales better, you can start looking around and trying different types of ales until you find your favorite. To learn more, contact a company like HWC.