Beer Articles > The Two Main Types of Beer

The Two Main Types of Beer

Beer is beloved throughout the world. Despite the countless types of beer found around the world, there are only two main types of beer: ale and lager.

Beer is generally categorized into types according to the type of yeast used during fermentation. Ales are beers that use top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are those that use bottom-fermenting yeast. The choice of yeast provides the beer different characteristics, which can alter the look and taste of the brew.

The two types of beer are also different in other ways. For instance, ales are fermented in a warmer temperature, which is why it takes a shorter amount of time to ferment. On the other hand, lagers are fermented in moderate temperatures. The warm fermentation temperature also gives ales a nutty or fruity taste.

An Introduction to Ales

Ale, just like the lager, comes in a variety of types that vary in terms of body, color and flavor. Ales have three variants under it. These are:

  • Brown ale

    Derived its name from its copper-red hue. Among the three ale variants, it is the least strong in terms of flavor

  • Porter ale

    The mildness of the hop in this beer results in a flavor compared to chocolate.

  • Stout ale

    This ale is so dark in color it is almost black. Not only is it darker, but it is also richer: it has an intense barley flavor and hop taste.

Lager 101

Four beer variants fall under the lager category:

  • American Style Pale Lager

    This mass-produced beer variant is known for its light color and body. Compared to other lager beers, it has more carbonation.

  • Pilsner Lager

    It may be pale (light yellow to golden hue) like the American Style Pale Lager, but it is stronger in taste yet less bitter. Its clean, crisp taste makes it one of the most favored beer variants in the world.

  • Light Lager

    In comparison to others in the lager category, the light variety has less barley and hops; as a result, it has lower calories and lesser concentration of alcohol.

  • Dark Lager

    As the name suggests, the beer is dark in color. It is also made notable by a rich, full-bodied taste due to roasted barley and hops.

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