Craft beer has become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more people joining the ever-growing ranks of weekend home brewers. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at brewing? Or are you curious about how many different varieties of beer there are out there?
If so, then we’re here to help – in this blog post, we’ll explore the exciting world of craft beers and discuss some of the differences between the various types. From ales to lagers to stouts, let’s take a closer look at all things beer!
Exactly What Types of Beer Are There?
Both ales and lagers are the foundation of any beer you've ever served, whether at a brewery, bar, or restaurant. The yeast employed in the fermentation process is the primary determinant of whether a beer is classified as an ale or a lager.
It may seem trivial to use a new yeast strain for fermenting beer, but doing so has a dramatic effect on the final product's flavour and aroma.
Brewing techniques, especially fermentation, play a huge role in beer genres, while other brews defy categorisation.
Hybrid beers use elements of lagers and ales to create a new style. There is a specific strain of yeast used to brew lagers, while a different yeast is used to brew ales.
Another distinguishing feature of the former is that its fermentation takes place at cooler temperatures than that of the latter.
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How Were Ales Made?
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the yeast used to make ales, ferments all the way through the brew before floating to the top. Because yeast works most efficiently between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, that's where most fermentation takes place. Ales can handle higher alcohol content and typically have more robust and nuanced flavours than lagers.
How Were Lagers Made?
Lager beers use bottom-fermenting yeast called Saccharomyces pastorianus. Between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for fermentation with this yeast. Lagers take longer to complete fermentation than ales do because they ferment at lower temperatures. Lagers are typically more refreshing and lighter in flavour than ales.
The technical distinction between ales and lagers is the type of yeast used in their production. Lagers are brewed using yeast strains that ferment best at very low temperatures. Lagers are sometimes known as bottom-fermented beers because the yeast and bacteria responsible for fermentation sink to the bottom of the container.
But when it comes down to it, drinkers care most about how something tastes. Lagers, in contrast to ales, are commonly dry and crisp, and have a unique capacity to quench one's thirst. Take a look at some of the top players in this mouthwatering industry.
This beer goes well with many different dishes because of its refreshing crispness, low body, and moderate hoppiness. It's easy to see why this look is so popular.
The phrase "light lager" describes a style of crisp, clear beer that originated in Europe in the 19th century. Its ability to satisfy thirst caused it to become a worldwide phenomenon. Pilsners are light gold in colour and have a distinct hop flavour. They go well with a wide variety of cuisines, but particularly tempura, calamari, and crispy cutlets, all of which are gently cooked.
Red And Amber Coloured Beers
Lagers can be made with a darker hue by using malted barley that has been toasted to a golden brown. It also affects the taste. While similar to their lighter counterparts in terms of body and carbonation, amber and red lagers also have the richer flavour and scent of caramel, toffee, and toast. You can find countless instances of this style; the challenge is picking one that suits you best.
Ales, as opposed to lagers, are fermented with yeasts that thrive in warmer temperatures, often around room temperature. Ales are sometimes referred to as top-fermented beers due to the yeast's tendency to float to the surface during fermentation.
There is no way to generalise about the flavour of these beverages. Ale yeast comes in a wide variety of strains, each contributing its own unique flavour profile—from fruity to earthy—making for a wide range of styles to try, from malty brown ales to refreshing pale wheat lagers.
These foams are clear in colour, have a mild taste, and are not very bitter. You could easily mistake a cream ale for a pale lager if you didn't know any different. It's a relief that it's just as invigorating and adaptable to a wide variety of dishes.
India Pale Ale (IPA)
This is the type to try if you like your beer on the bitter side. India pale ales, which had their genesis in England in the nineteenth century, were fortified with more alcohol and hops so that they could make the ocean voyage to India. Strong IPAs, known for their bold and fruity flavours, match well with fatty, spicy, and fruity dishes.
English-style dark ales tend to be more sugary and malty, whereas Belgian-style dark ales tend to be drier and sometimes fruity. Caramel, possibly some spice, and the scents of sweet fruits like raisins or baked apples will be present in any case. Get cosy and enjoy one of these beverages.
Bitters, or English-style pale ales, have a malty and earthy flavour profile. American pale ales are typically more bitter and hopped, and they often have a citrusy flavour. When compared to the other two styles, Belgian-style pale ales tend to be less sweet and more malty, although they can still have a peppery aftertaste. What is it, then, that characterises all pale ales? You may pair them with a wide variety of dishes because of how well they're balanced and tasty.
Considering that the phrase is applied to so many various beer varieties, these beverages are in a category all their own. Belgians have refined a wide range of ale varieties, from tart red and brown ales to robust abbey beers that pay homage to the brews first made in the region by monks, despite the country's relatively small size compared to other European countries. Lots of breweries all around the world now produce their own takes on beers in this style.
Brown or nut brown ale is the name given to an English-style ale that has a particularly sweet and nutty flavour. You can't go wrong with these brews when you're serving anything from spicy ribs to a decadent dessert that features a lot of sugar and fat.
Incorporating wheat into the brewing process results in a beer with a creamy head, a smooth mouthfeel, and a unique sweetness. In reality, the aroma of bananas or bubble gum can be detected in some wheat beers. Wheat beers, which can range in colour from nearly clear to a dark brown, are all tasty.
Which Craft Beer Should I Drink?
As you can see from this list, there are countless varieties of beer to try, making it difficult to choose a favourite. But there are some rules to follow, especially if you're just getting started in the world of beer aficionado-dom.
Always keep an eye out for allergens
Barley and wheat, two common ingredients in beer, may trigger allergic reactions in people who are gluten intolerant.
When sampling beers, keep in mind that some varieties, such as Milk Stout, contain lactose.
Beers include a wide variety of ingredients, some of which are listed here. We recommend starting with the components list. That way, you won't have to worry about accidentally bringing on your allergy.
Think About How Much Alcohol You Can Handle
Let's be honest: we were under the impression that craft beers weren't really alcoholic. But as you can see, there are a few here that hit 14% ABV or higher.
Even though the alcohol content of a few pale lagers (to provide just one example) is quite low to moderate, drinking several of them in rapid succession can have a significant impact.
You should probably start with session beers or non-alcoholic beer if you think you have a low tolerance. Here's why you should give na-beer a shot and some tips on how to create it at home.
These beverages can be any style of beer, from an IPA to a pale lager, and have been prepared with a lower alcohol content so that they are more refreshing during the warmer summer months.
Start off slowly, and only when you've built up your tolerance should you start exploring various varieties of craft brews.
Frequently Asked Questions
Including all the major beer styles and all of their sub-styles (see below), there are believed to be over 100 different beer styles in the world.
Lager is the most popular beer style in the world. Budweiser, Coors Light, Corona and Michelob Ultra are all lagers.
The healthiest are stouts and porters, and higher hoppy beers, such as DIPAs and Imperial IPAs, Trappist beers, and spontaneous fermented beers, such as Lambics and Gose. Trappist-style beer is probably the most famous of the Belgian beers.
Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Examples of one drink include: Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 millilitres) Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 millilitres)
Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.
In this essay, we go into the fascinating realm of craft beers and dissect the distinctions between them. The yeast employed in the brewing process is the technical distinction between ales and lagers. Ales are stronger than lagers and have more complex flavours because of the greater alcohol concentration. Because of the lower fermentation temperatures, lagers take longer to finish than ales. Yeasts that do well at warmer temperatures, such as those found at room temperature, are used in the fermentation of lagers as opposed to ale yeasts.
Caramel, toffee, and toast aromas and flavours are heightened in amber and red lagers. Pilsners are light in colour and have a bitter hop flavour, making them a versatile pairing beer. The flavour of ale can be altered by using a certain strain of yeast. You can't generalise about the taste of these drinks at all. So, what is it that defines every pale ale? They are well-balanced and flavorful, so you may enjoy them with a wide range of foods.
- Over the past few years, the demand for craft beer has skyrocketed, and the number of people who brew their own on the weekends has mushroomed to unprecedented levels.
- Or maybe you're just interested in learning about the plethora of beer choices available.
- If that's the case, you've come to the right place, because in this post, we're going to delve into the fascinating world of craft beers and talk about some of the distinctions between them.
- Your experience serving beer in a brewery, bar, or restaurant likely includes pours of both ales and lagers.
- The yeast used during fermentation is the major factor in identifying whether a beer is an ale or a lager.
- Changing the yeast used in the fermentation process of beer may seem like a little adjustment, but it has a major impact on the flavour and aroma of the final product.
- Beer styles can be narrowly defined by the methods used to make them, with fermentation playing a significant role in most of them.
- Hybrid beers are a new type of beer that combine characteristics of lagers and ales.
- Lagers require a special yeast strain, while ales call for a different yeast variety.
- The fermentation process for the former takes place at lower temperatures, which is another way in which it stands apart from the latter.
- Ale yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ferments all the way through the beverage before rising to the surface.
- Most fermentation happens between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimal range for yeast activity.
- Ales are stronger than lagers and have more complex flavours because of the greater alcohol concentration.
- Lager beers use Saccharomyces pastorianus, a bottom-fermenting yeast.
- The ideal fermentation temperature range for this yeast is between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Because of the lower fermentation temperatures, lagers take longer to finish than ales.
- Lagers, in comparison to ales, tend to be more refreshing and have a subtler flavour.
- Taste is the most important factor for drinkers.
- Lagers, as opposed to ales, tend to be drier and crisper, and they have a special way of quenching thirst.
- Explore the leading companies in this delectable market.
- The moderate hoppiness, low body, and refreshing freshness of this beer make it a versatile pairing partner.
- The term "light lager" was coined in the 19th century to describe a type of clear, crisp beer that was developed in Europe.
- Because it quenches thirst, it quickly gained popularity all over the world.
- Pilsners have a bright gold colour and a bitter hop flavour.
- They pair particularly well with delicately prepared dishes like tempura, calamari, and crispy cutlets.
- Malted barley that has been toasted to a golden brown gives lagers their distinctive dark colour.
- The flavour is also altered.
- Amber and red lagers are identical to their lighter counterparts in terms of body and carbonation, but they have a more robust flavour and aroma because of the addition of caramel, toffee, and toast.
- There are innumerable examples of this style out there; the trick is finding the one that works best for you.
- Yeasts that ferment well at warmer temperatures, about room temperature, are used to make ales instead of lagers, which are cooled to roughly six degrees Celsius for fermentation.
- Due to the yeast's natural tendency to rise to the surface during fermentation, ales are frequently referred to as top-fermented beers.
- You can't generalise about the taste of these drinks at all.
- Beer lovers can experiment with a wide range of types, from malty brown ales to refreshing pale wheat lagers, thanks to the wide variety of ale yeast strains available.
- These foams are transparent in appearance, and their flavour is light and not at all bitter.
- If you didn't know better, you could think a cream ale was a pale lager.
- Thank goodness it retains its stimulating qualities and versatility with different foods.
- India If you're looking for a beer with a strong bitter flavour, you should choose an IPA, or pale ale.
- India Pale Ales, which originated in England in the nineteenth century, were boosted with extra alcohol and hops so that they could survive the long ocean passage to India.
- Pairing a strong IPA, famed for its powerful and fruity flavours, with a fatty, spicy, or fruity dish is a natural choice.
- Dark ales brewed in the English tradition are typically sweeter and more malty than their Belgian counterparts, which tend to be drier and sometimes fruitier.
- Scents of caramel, probably some spice, and sweet fruits like raisins or baked apples will be present.
- Relax with one of these drinks and take a break.
- English pale ales, sometimes known as bitters, have a malty, earthy flavour profile.
- Pale ales brewed in the Belgian tradition are often less sweet and maltier than those brewed in the American or British traditions, though they may retain a peppery aftertaste.
- They are well-balanced and flavorful, so you may enjoy them with a wide range of foods.
- Considering the widespread use of the term "craft beer" to describe a wide range of brews, it's clear that beers of this type stand apart from the pack.
- Despite being comparatively tiny compared to other European countries, Belgians have perfected a wide range of ale kinds, from sour red and brown ales to powerful abbey beers that pay homage to the brews first created in the region by monks.