The two Beer Types: top five differences between Ale and Lagers

Although, there are many different types of beers, this popular drink is broadly classified into two types depending on the basic differences in preparation. These two types are Ale and Lager, which has several contrasting differences. The top distinctive aspects between Ale and Lager beers are as follows:

Differences in Taste

Ale beer are full-bodied drinks with a typical bittering agent. This type of beers is with aromas that makes them complex in taste. Most of ale beers has a bitter taste. In contrast, lager beers are lighter in taste. They are with a crisp feel, but they are smooth to drink. Lager beers has a moderate aroma and a well-balanced taste. However, as both groups have many different qualities and types, many times their features overlap.

Preparation process, fermentation

This is the basic difference between Ale and Lager; the type of Yeast used in fermentation. In Ale, top-fermenting yeast are used, while in lager, it is bottom fermenting yeast. The yeast used in fermentation of Ale is Saccharomyces cerevisia, which is commonly used in making wine and bread. These yeasts will rise to the top during the fermentation process and will finally sink to the bottom of the vessel.

On the other hand, lager beer uses Saccharomyces uvarum. This type od yeast does not rise to the top and will settle at the bottom as fermentation process completes. Ales are fermented in higher temperature, while lager are fermented in low temperature.


Ales has a darker or cloudier appearance, while lager beers look clearer or lighter. Also, ales contain more hobs content than lagers. This creates the darker shades in the former. Ales are fermented fast in high temperature, while fermentation process of lager is slow and is carried out in low temperature. These affects the appearance attributes of the beers.

What food to eat with ales and lagers

Although there are sharp selection criteria defining food pairing for ales and lagers. As ales have stronger malty flavor, roasted, barbecued or broiled foods are preferred more. Meat items pair good with ales. On the other hand, fresh, soft cheeses, unripe and uncooked food are good to pair with lagers.

Storage of Ales and lagers

Lagers are traditionally known as beers that are stored for longer time. Lagers need a fairly low temperature while storage. Generally, lager beers are brewed for a period of four to ten weeks in cold temperature. In contrast, ales are not kept for longer period after brewing. Lager beer are fermented below 10 degrees Celsius, while Ales are fermented in a warmer temperature of 15 to 25 Celsius.

Some common types of ales are porters, stouts, Belgian specialty beer, German beers. Lagers include pilseners, blocks and dopplebocks, Oktoberfests and Dortmunders.