The brewer explained the processes and I am going to do my best to sum it up…Evidently, the main difference between and Ale and a Lager is the yeast that is used to make each come from a different group. Lagers are made from colder fermenting yeast and that leaves a much less “yeasty” taste than those that are warmer fermenting used in Ales. Ales have what can be described as a much more fruity taste due to the yeast and the taste it provides. So as an example, I enjoy a strong fruity Dutch Ale in the winter when it is cold outside. These strong ales can warm you from the inside out just like red wine. Lagers are usually described as a much more clean taste and allow the flavor of the beer’s hops to shine through. Lagers can be brewed to be much more subtle in taste and alcohol. I usually go to light lagers when I know I will be drinking for a few hours like on the beach or at a cook out.
Ale as a style of beer has been around much longer than lagers. Ales are thousands of years old; the technology to brew a lager at colder temperatures was just simply not around back when beer was first being brewed. Also, ales are brewed much faster than lagers, think weeks vs. months. Lastly, I think, and this is just one person’s opinion, that a lager is much better served cold, like right out of a cooler of ice on a summer day and an ale is better served closer to cool just a little less than room temperature. Not sure why, but I can pick up a lot more of an ale’s nuances at a warmer temperature.
I hope this quick guide helps you understand the difference between an ale and a lager. I am by no means an expert, just a guy who enjoys good craft beer. I am passionate about good beer and I believe that good beer should be enjoyed out of a proper beer glass. There are many different beer glasses designed to accompany many styles of beer. Pouring a beer in a beer glass wakes it from its sleep inside that bottle. (Just think about wine, we do not drink it right from the bottle!) To learn which beer glasses and beer glassware are intended for particular brews, check us out at www.brewglasses.com.