Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chapter 1: Ale and Lager

Guinness Stout - Samuel Adams Boston Lager


Ales are darker, full bodied beers. These beers can contain anything from fruity, floral flavors to more earthen flavors (like grass), because of the temperature the beer is fermented at. The different flavors produced depend on the different types of yeast used in the brewing process. Characteristically, ales will to be darker in color , cloudy in terms of liquid clarity and will contain more flavors than lagers (of course there are exceptions to all these rules). Some beer styles that fall under the ale family, besides all of the styles that end with the word ale, include wheat beer, porter and stout. Ales are meant to be consumed at around room temperature in order for all of the flavors and aromas to be experienced.

The three beers below fall into three of the different types of ale - (from left to right) Amber Ale - Stout - Pale Ale


The Lager style of beer is the domestic and worlds most popular as lagers top most sales lists of the beer drinking countries around the world. These types of beers include brands such as Budweiser and Coors here in the USA, Heineken in the Netherlands, Corona in Mexico and Fosters in Australia (just to name a few). Lagers are characterized by their smooth, mild, crisp taste and lighter body - which many beer drinkers (just look at top 10 selling beer lists here and around the world) find very enjoyable. Most brewers suggest that lagers be consumed refrigerated in order to keep the crisp, clean characteristics of the beer.


Lori said...

yes, so sad that so many college kids are only exposed to the Paps and Bud Light. No wonder so many girls hate beer! I did too, until I tried Ales. You don't go back.

Jeff said...

Very informative!

VSanchez said...

I agree with the brewers that lagers need to be consumed refrigerated. There is nothing better on a hot day than a nice cold Corona! Corona is my favorite type of beer, but now I have to try an Ale beer. What are your favorite types of beer?

Geoff (jefepwnzer) said...

Actually, I like Corona a lot. A lot of people seem to be turned off by the "skunk factor". There are a number of beers that have the "skunky" taste but Corona seems to pull it off the best. To me, that makes the beer a little more interesting. Sometimes I add a lime, sometimes I don't. I think it tastes fine either way.

If I had a favorite I would have to pick Fat Tire, an amber ale, which I think would be a popular pick of those in our region who like ales (Fat Tire is brewed in Colorado and has a limited presence in the east). I think I like it because it's a middle of the road ale. The taste and smell aren't overpowering but there are enough flavors to make it interesting.