The Beer Chronicles

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Types of Beer

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People have been drinking beer for centuries now and since then Beer has evolved into many different types. There are two primary types of beer, Ales and Lagers. These two classes of beer collectively make up thousands of different varieties of beer.

The first difference between these two types is the temperature at which the beer is fermented. Ales are fermented at higher temperatures 18-21 degree Celsius, whereas Lagers are fermented in colder temperature at about 7-11 degree Celsius.

However both Ales and Lagers contain hops, malted barley, yeast and water.

In Ales and Lagers classes there are many different beers. Following is the hierarchy of many types of beer. Though this is not the complete list, since the types could be numerous.

types of beer - ale

The other difference between these two types is the type of yeast used to brew them. Ale uses yeast that ferments best at warmer temperatures. Ales generally use top fermenting yeast. This means that the yeast floats on the surface for the first few days and then settles on the bottom. While Lager uses yeast that ferments best at cooler temperatures. Lagers use bottom fermenting yeast, which does not float to the surface before settling.

types of beer - lager

Reference: Drinking Beer


Written by admin

April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

One Response

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  1. This is a really interesting chart, and would be very useful for the many people who’ve asked me about the many types of beer. Where did you get it? Did you make it yourself?

    There are some arguable points — is the difference between lager and ale the temperature, or if it’s top-fermenting or bottom-fermenting, or if the beer has really truly been “lagered”? Altbier, for one, was originally a warm-fermented beer and would fall squarely into the “Ale” category, but many today are fermented colder and it even affects the tastes, and I’d say those would be more accurately thrown into the lager category. (Disclaimer: I lived for 5 years in Duesseldorf, the Altbier capital of the world! So it’s got a special place close to my heart.)

    There are probably some others that are equally fuzzy (I notice that Weizenbock is under both categories) but as a general guideline it’s great! I wish I’d had it when we were coming up with the categories for Barley Buddy.


    April 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

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