Have you ever felt that
intense, overwhelming sensation that occurs when you’re handed a drink menu in
a bar or restaurant? You think to yourself, “Holy smokes, I didn’t even know
there were this many kinds of beer!” With over 20,000 different brands of
beer worldwide, the simple task of ordering one can be quite daunting. But never fear. Breaking
down the two basic types of beers will help you to better understand the major
differences and allow you to more easily determine what you might like.
There are two basic types of beer Ales and lagers. Generally speaking, ales
share many common characteristics with lagers, but here are a few pointers that
might help make your beer selection process a little easier.
The major difference between
the two starts with yeast. The yeast is the key differentiator that
distinguishes the ales from the lagers. Ales are most notably known for
fermenting at the top of the tank, at a hotter temperature ranging from
65-75°F. While lagers ferment more aggressively, closer to the bottom of the
tank at cooler temperatures, ranging from 46-55°F.
Ales tend to be complex,
flavorful beers with rich aromas and are served closer to room temperature. They
are sweet, tasty beers that range in color from pale gold to rich brown. Some
of most common styles of ales are: Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Bitter, Irish Ale,
Barley Wine, Stouts, Porter and India Pale Ale (IPA).
Lagers are clean, refreshing
beers with typically light aroma and flavor. They are well known for their
crisp, filtered taste and tend to be highly carbonated for a smooth balanced
flavor. The lager is also the most
popular style of beer in the world, with research stating that it accounts for 90% of all beer
consumed. Some of the most common lager styles are: Bock, Dunkel, Marzen, Pale
Lager, Munich Dark Pale, Dopple Bock and Pilsner.
Become a cerevisaphile! Attending beer tastings and food pairing (link
to events page) events are great ways to spend time with your spouse or
friends. You can learn more about your palate, your individual tastes and each
other. Exploring the vast world of beer can be educational, enlightening and
most of all, fun! Don’t be intimidated. If you don’t like it, there’s always
another one to try.