There are many different styles of beers but the two main categories are lagers and ales.
- Lagers range in taste from the lighter-flavored to the more flavorful Creamy Dark.
- Many style types fall under the lager category.
- Ingredients play a major role in the final beer characteristics of a lager.
- Generally, lagers take longer to brew and age than ales.
- Lagers are traditionally produced with a "bottom- fermenting" lager yeast: Saccharomyces carlsbergensis.
- Lager yeast prefers fermentation at temperatures of 60°F and lower.
- Lagers are characteristically clean and balanced.
- Ales were the first beers produced in the world.
- Ales have traditionally been distinguished by use of a "top- fermenting" ale yeast strain: Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
- Top-fermenting yeast prefer warmer temperatures during fermentation and rise to the top of the fermentation tank at the end of fermentation.
- Warmer-temperature fermentations (60-75°F) tend to ferment rapidly and produce fruity, estery qualities with a pronounced palate - the characteristic flavors of ales.
- Ales tend to have very pronounced fruity aromas and flavors from "esters" - by-products of fermentation - and from the hops used.
- Ales tend to use more specialty malts and hops to complement the flavor developed during fermentation