The history of beer dates back hundreds of years prior to written history. Besides water and tea, beer is one of the most-frequently consumed beverages in the world. Contrary to popular belief, that all beers are typically the same, there are many variances in color, flavor, strength, production method, ingredients and origin. Beer can be divided into 2 broad sub-categories: ale and lager.
Ales were the first type of beer ever created before brewers knew the role yeast played during the beer making process. Ale yeasts flocculate at the top of the fermentation tank and are brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation. The yeast ferments the beer quickly, which gives it a full bodied and fruity taste. They also contain hops, which gives the bitter herbal flavor that helps balance the sweetness of malt and preserve the beer. After fermentation, ales are usually aged no more than a few weeks or so. Most are served close to room temperature and contain rich aroma and flavor. There are many different types of ales including brown ales, pale ales, dark ales, mild ales, strong ales cream ales, Burton ales, German ales, Belgian ales, and more. Each type of ale differs in color, flavor, strength, and origin.
The second type of beer is called a lager, the most popular style of beer in the world. Some have stated that lagers account for 90% of beers consumed across the globe. Many feel that this is attributed to the more watered down lagers produced in the United States. Lager is derived from the word “lagern” in German, which means, “to store”. A lager is a type of beer that is brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast at lower temperatures and is aged for a much longer time than ales creating a cleaner, clearer beer. The yeast used in lagers, Saccharomyces Uvarum, produces fewer ester by-products than seen in ales, allowing other flavors, such as hops, to become more noticeable. The range of flavors noticeable in lagers is more limited than ales. They are always...
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