The Differences Between Lager and Ale

So, what is the difference between lager and ale, anyway?

This is a question that troubles beer amateurs the world over. Well, the good thing is that you no longer have to be troubled by it!

We are going to explain exactly what the ale and lager difference really is, and we will also give you some choice bits of information along the way.

Get ready to wow your friends at the bar!

What Is Lager?

Lager is one of the most common types of beer that you will find in the fridges of local bars and homes. Like all beers, lager is produced through a process of fermentation

To create this process, brewers use a particular kind of yeast. In the case of lager beer, the yeast used is what is known as bottom-fermenting yeast. 

The word lager comes from a German word that means ‘storage’ or ‘to store’. This naming reflects the fact that lager beer was usually brewed and allowed to ferment in storage, whereas also was often fermented for quicker consumption.

This fact leads to one of the biggest differences between ale and lager beer. Lager beer is a drink that bars traditionally serve cold. On the other hand, ale is traditionally served at room temperature. 

The cold, refreshing taste of lager beers like star beer has made it a more popular choice for many in modern society.

The reason lager is traditionally served cold is that it was stored in cold caves. So, when you order a lager beer, you are more or less ordering a beer straight from the fridge!

What Is Ale?

Ale beer has a much older history than lager beer. Arguably, it is the oldest type of beer in the world.

Like lager, ale production is through a process of fermentation. But brewers use top-fermenting yeast to make ale.

The biggest lager and ale difference is that ale has traditionally been brewed at room temperature. In fact, traditional ale was drunk less for its alcohol content than for the fact that it was safer to drink than water.

This is because the alcohol produced in the fermentation process acts as a preservative, stopping germs from forming in the beer. 

This is why ale was drunk by absolutely everyone in the middle ages (and even earlier), including children. It was safer to drink than water!

The Lager and Ale Difference

There are too many lager and ale similarities to mention since they both use a standard fermentation process.

But, to recap, we can say that the two biggest differences between lager and ale are:

  1. The type of yeast used in the fermentation process
  2. The temperature of the fermentation process and storage

Find Your Own Beer

Now you know the difference between lager and ale. But, as a parting word of advice, it’s good to remember that you really need to find the beer that suits your tastes.

So, buy a few lagers and a few ales, see the difference, and make up your mind about what you like best!

If you’ve found this information useful, why not check out some of our other great articles on beer topics?