Differentiating Between the Different Types of Beer

By: Elijah Buchanan

Beer drinking is literally one of the world's most ancient past times. Some argue that the creation of beer saved the world (there is even factual evidence to support this, along with a documentary!). From the very early B.C. years when the ancient Egyptians stumbled upon an accidental beer recipe, beer has shaped the very fabric of the world. Egyptian children were even baptized in beer! To put it into perspective, the four founding fathers of the United States of America were all brewers and lovers of great beer. Since its humble beginnings in Ancient Egypt, beer has certainly evolved over time. You can now find many different beers, each with a distinct taste and flavor. With all of these flavors, choosing a beer to drink can be a confusing process! But surprisingly enough, all beers fall into one of two categories: Ales and Lagers.

Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley through the use of a warm-fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. Some of the most popular ales are Barley Wine (yes, it is a beer), English Bitter, Scottish Ale, Pale Ale, Belgian Strong Dark Ale, Porter, and Imperial Stout. All of these different ales have distinct tastes and are made differently. They also vary in the level of alcohol content. Ales tend to have fruitier flavors, such as orange, strawberry, or dessert apple flavors. Sometimes you can even find butterscotch and blueberry flavors! Coffee and chocolate flavors can also be found in these beers. Ales generally include more robust-tasting beers, bitter beers, have a more complex taste, and are enjoyed at warmer temperatures.

Lager is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. Some of the most popular lagers are American Lager, Pilsner, Bock, Oktoberfest, Helles, and Dunkel. Lagers represent some of the world's most alcoholic beers. Lagers tend to have an aroma of new-mown hay. Fresh bread, cookies, and caramel are some other flavors that can be detected in this type of beer. Lagers generally include lighter-tasting beers, tend to be crisp or highly carbonated, are often smooth and mellow, have a clean and balanced taste, and are served at cooler temperatures.

Ironically enough, ales tend to be higher rated and get more respect than lagers. This is despite the fact that brewing lagers is usually more difficult and a longer process than brewing ales. With all of this considered, ales and lagers are not completely black and white. There are some overlaps between the two, but you can get a general sense of their differences. Both lagers and ales have many different styles and tastes. If you want the more flavorful beer, you are better suited for an ale. However, if you prefer a more balanced and clean taste, you may consider going with the lager. Either way, you are bound to enjoy many different styles of beer, both lagers and ales. So drink responsibly and start experiencing the different types of beer flavors!

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You can visit a Margaret River brewery or any other brewery to know more about the different types of beers and how they are prepared. Check this site out to get more information.

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