Different Styles of Beer
Beers are classified into two types: Ale and Lager. What differentiates the two is the yeast which is used to make the beer. The yeast used makes the beer ale or lager. Here we will take a look at the differences between both types of beers and what makes each of them special.
Ale Beer Vs Lager Beer
Ale Beer is produced using the Ale Yeast. Ale yeast is a top fermenting yeast. The yeast rises to the top of the tank during fermentation. Lager on the other hand is bottom fermenting. The yeast sinks to the bottom of the tank. Lager usually ferments more aggressively than Ale.
Ale usually ferments at normal room temperatures (15-20 deg C), while Lager will ferment at colder temperatures (5-10 deg C). After the fermentation gets completed then comes the aging process. Ale is usually aged only for a few weeks at the around 15-20 deg C. Lager however, requires more time for aging. Usually it's aged for months at very cold temperatures thus creating a cleaner and clearer beer.
Lager is a clean refreshing beer that has a light flavor and aroma. It is light in color because of the more time it goes through the aging process. There is also a high amount carbonation present in lager beers. Lager beers deliver a smooth uniform taste and aroma of hops and malt. It tastes best when chilled and it can be served along with a variety of foods.
Ales on the other hand are a complex sweet and fruity beer. It is very much darker than lager beer and has a higher alcohol content. Ale has a stronger hops taste than lager. It tastes best at room temperature and goes well with a selective variety of foods.
More about ale
Ale beer has bitter agents that balances the sweetness of malt to act as a preservative. The bitter agent used first is known as gruit (a herb mixture), later this got replaced by hops. Ale, along with bread, was a common form of nutrition in ancient times. Ale is typically fermented at around 15-20 deg C. At temperatures above 20 deg C, the yeast will start to produce secondary flavors and aroma.
Varieties of ale include Brown ale, Pale ale, Scotch ale, Mild ale, Burton ale, Old ale and Belgian Ales.
More about lager
There are two types of lager that are usually available. One is Pale Lager and another is Dark Lager. Lager was usually dark till the 19th century. It was during this period that methods for brewing Pale Lager got developed. Pale Lager is the most commercially available style of beer.