Beer 101: What is ale?

1 min read

Ale is one of the two major styles of beer, the other being lager. The primary characteristics of ale are:

  • It is top fermented, meaning the yeast floats on the top of the wort in the fermenter rather than settling to the bottom.
  • It is fermented at warmer temperatures, generally above 60?F.
  • It is the oldest form of beer.
  • Ale is typically fruitier and more full-bodied than lager.

Random facts about lager:

There are many different kinds of ale:

  • Pale ale
  • Dark ale
  • Brown ale
  • Light ale
  • Irish red
  • Belgian
  • German
  • Scotch
  • Old ale
  • Cream ale

Here is a nice diagram of all beer types arranged in a sort of family tree. Michael Jackson also has a decent beer styles section on his Beer Hunter site.

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