Ale vs. Lager Beer: The 4 Main Differences

Every self-respecting beer drinker knows that Ale and Lager beer are not the same! The truth is most people think that the difference between the two types of beer comes from the yeast, but what many of us don’t know is that there are a number of differences, all of which are important for the final taste.  Let’s take a closer look at the main differences between ale and lager:
  1. The yeast
Ok, we agree on that! While ale is considered to be a top-fermenting yeast, lager doesn’t rise up to the top. This point originates from the observation that ale usually creates a big, downy foam (known as kräusen) on top of the fermenting beer, whereas lager’s kräusen is much smaller.
  1. The Fermentation temperature
Yeast typically works slower when the temperature is low and here comes the second difference. Ale is fermented at 16-24°C range (only on some occasions the temperatures rise up to 38°C), which means it is fermented warm. On the other hand, most lagers are at their best within 7-13°C – they are fermented cold.
  1. Alcohol content
The yeast presence is a certain condition for alcohol content in any kind of beer. Ale yeast is capable of surviving into higher alcohol levels, while with lager it’s the other way round. Simply put, ales have a higher alcohol content compared to lagers!
  1. Hops content

What is a beer without hops? Although almost all beer types contain hops, they are in diverse quantities. In lager hops tend to be in less content than ale, and while lager undergoes a cold treatment, this allows the delicate flavors of the hops to stand out and give the beer a very fine taste. The warmer brewing process of the ale requires higher hops content as those flowers serve as a protective element to the beer, although this is what usually gives the bitter taste of ale. 

So, here’s a quick summary: Ales are darker, warm-fermented beer types that have a stronger, fruitier flavor with bitter taste and higher alcohol content, while Lagers are lighter, cold-fermented, low-alcohol content beers that have sweeter tones. But after all, we should enjoy all styles because “The best beer in the world is the one in my hand!”  What about Greek Beers? You can find your Favorite Ale (Mythos, Alfa) or Lager (Vergina, Keo) by clicking here!


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