One of the most common misconceptions about beer is the fact that people will associate light beer with the term ‘lager.’ Fortunately, that’s not the case. All beers fall into one of two categories, and that’s Ales and Lagers.
They both range quite drastically. Ales range from Blonde Ales which is created in the craft beer industry to mimic the light lagers such as Bud Light® and Coors Light®, all the way up to your Imperial Stouts. Same with Lagers. They range all the way from a light Lager, like a Bud Light® to a Doppelbock or Icebock which can be just as heavy as some stouts.
So what is the difference between an Ale and a Lager?
The difference is going to be the way it ferments, and the yeast type. Your Ale yeasts are going to come in at a higher temperature, and they will also sit on top of your wort while fermenting, as opposed to your Lagers, which are going to ferment at a much lower temperature and the yeast will sit on the bottom. What this does is, Lager yeast will yield a lot less of its character and have a much dryer and crisp finish. As opposed to an Ale yeast which will have much more yeast character, phenolics, esters, and you’re going to have a lot more residually yeast flavors such as in a Belgian Ale.
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Special thanks to Aces and Ales for the use of their VIP room for our video shoots.