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Ale vs. Lagers – What is the difference?

‘Seekers of a fine pint of craft beer, behold!
We shall demystify various craft beer styles for you.’

Ever wondered how fascinating various styles of craft beer are and what differentiates them? Many craft enthusiasts take immense pride in their favourite craft style and often swear by it. If you wish to be one of them, this blog will give you a brief understanding.

To begin with, every beer is either an ale or a lager. Both the styles are made from a basic combination of water, malts, hops, and yeast. So what distinguishes an ale from a lager?
Craft beer enthusiasts or any beer drinker usually differentiate a beer by the look, aroma, and taste of the beer. For them, ales tend to be on the fruity-er edge while lagers are usually crisp and clean on their palate. Only a brewer knows that the difference is way more than just the looks of it.

The difference is yeast – Ales are made with yeast that ferments at the top and lagers are made with yeast that ferments at the bottom.

Ales

Brewed with a top-fermenting yeast that thrives at mid-range room temperatures, the mix for ales is stored between 60°F and 75°F (use metric scale) during the fermentation stage. The combination of the character of this type of yeast and the fermentation temperature gives ales, a fruitier, funkier and spicier edge over the lagers. However, ales are complex in their flavour profile when compared with a lager. A few of the common styles of ale include Pale Ales, India Pale Ales, Amber Ales, Porters, and Stouts.

Lagers

Much to the contrary, lagers are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast that performs or ferments best at lower temperatures, ideally between 35° to 55° F. The process of fermentation is slower, which results in a cleaner taste profile beer than the complicated taste notes of ales. The lager strains are better at flocculating than their ale counterpart, resulting a much paler and clear beer. The flavours of the hops and the malt are more perceivable in lagers as compared to ales. A few stars from the lager family would be Pilsners, German lagers, Vienna lagers etc.

Well, now that you know the difference between ales and lagers, you can choose your next pint wisely. Whether you’re feeling ‘Lager than life’ or ‘Ale I need is love’, our taps at The GRID will satiate your mood. Out of our selection of craft beers at The GRID, which one is your favourite? Tell us in the comments section!