The Difference Between Ale and Lager Beer

Beer is a centuries-old drink that has been brewed for generations. It is a carbonated alcoholic beverage made from fermented cereal grains combined with hops and water. Ales and lagers are the two main subgroups of beer, which can be classified, among others, into porters, stouts and bitters (ale) and pilsners, bocks and darks (lagers). The main difference between the types of beer is reduced to the type of yeast used to ferment it.

Ales are created through top fermentation, a process in which yeast ferments at warmer temperatures and settles on top of beer. Lager beer is brewed by a cold fermentation method, resulting in a crisp, clean taste. The yeast used to make lager beer tends to settle to the bottom of the beer, and the fermentation process is longer and takes place at colder temperatures. Exploring the difference between ale and lager beer begins with understanding what it contains and how it is made. Ales are fermented with top-fermented yeast at warm temperatures (60° to 70° F), and lagers ferment with lower-fermented yeast at cold temperatures (35° to 50° F).

Due to their warm fermentations, ales can generally ferment and age in a relatively short period of time (3-5 weeks). On the other hand, lagers take much longer to ferment (up to 6 to 8 weeks) because they ferment cold. Yeast also has no impact on the color of beer: both ales and lagers can be light or dark. People can make other generalizations about things like color, taste, aromas, alcohol by volume (ABV) and other factors, but the bottom line is that an ale is a top-fermented beer and a lager is a bottom-fermented beer. Within the two different types of fermentation used, there are infinite variations, so you will find many subcategories of ales and lagers. Maybe you can even guess if a stranger is more likely to drink beer or lager because, although there are many varieties of each, both drinks have their own followers and culture.

Today there are hundreds of known strains of ale and lager yeasts, and brewers can select them as if they were selecting a certain type of grain or hops. For some reason, I thought that beer originally contained no alcohol and that was the main difference between beer and beer. However, in today's craft beer market, beers are generally more common among craft brewers because ale yeast can produce beer in as little as 7 days, making it more convenient for small breweries that may not have room in the fermenter to produce beers on a regular basis. Lager beer is widely served in Germany and other European countries, although some German specialty beers are actually ales. When brewers boil beer and beer to eliminate alcohol, a lot of flavor is lost, so non-alcoholic beer turns out better than non-alcoholic beer. I think non-alcoholic beer liked it better than non-alcoholic beer because beer has a stronger aroma and flavor. The term “lager” is often interchanged with “beer”, especially outside Germany, which is why some consumers make a distinction between beer and ale, rather than lager and ale.

A glance at any restaurant's beer menu may make you wonder about the difference between ale and lager. Fermentation is the main difference between ale and lager beer and is the only consideration when labeling a beer an ale or a lager.