All beer is traditionally divided into two main types- ale and lager. In this article, we will see what the differences between them are.
The history of ale goes back to medieval times, when it was, along with bread, a source of nutrition. Ale contained a little alcohol, which made the beverage possible to preserve, in turn providing hydration without strong intoxication. Modern technology allows the presence of all the qualities original ale had, while adding all sorts of additional tastes and components to the beverage.
Lager is a type of beer that is fermented at low temperatures. The practice of fermenting lager is thought to have started in the fifteenth century. The increase in production of lager is connected with the development of refrigeration, as this process made it possible to brew lager year-round.
Ale vs Lager
What is the difference between Ale and Lager?
Ale is a top-fermenting type of beer, meaning that during the fermentation process the yeast ferments at the top of the container. Lager, on the other hand, involves the bottom-fermenting process, meaning that yeast is at the bottom of the container during the process of making of beer.
The yeasts used in the fermentation process in ale are fermented under a relatively warm temperature (about 70- 75 degrees Fahrenheit). This is the reason why ales ferment and mature significantly faster than lagers, which are fermented under cooler temperatures (46- 59 degrees Fahrenheit).
There are different yeasts used in the making of ale and lager, and they are referred to sometimes as “ale yeast” and “lager yeast.”
The difference in yeast used also results in the difference of the taste of a beverage. While ales are more bitter and robust, lagers are generally mellower and are lighter.
While ales are served warm in most cases, lagers are usually served cold.
|Is top-fermenting||Is bottom-fermenting|
|Is fermented under warmer temperatures||Is fermented under cooler temperatures|
|Generally more bitter||Generally mellower|
|Is more robust in taste||Is lighter in taste|
|Has a more intricate taste and flavor||Has a more balanced taste and flavor is not pronounced|
|Is served warmer||Is normally served cool|
|Is less carbonated||Is highly carbonated|
|Ales are older||Lagers are younger|