With a history of at least a few millennia, it’s no wonder there are so many styles and subtleties to beer. The good news is that you’re living in the golden age of beer, and we’re here to help. Explore, discover, become a brew master in your own right.
This category of beer uses yeast that ferments at the "top" of the fermentation vessel, and typically at higher temperatures than lager yeast (60°-75°F), which, as a result, makes for a quicker fermentation period (7-8 days, or even less). Ale yeast are known to produce by-products called esters, which are "flowery" and "fruity" aromas ranging, but not limited to apple, pear, pineapple, grass, hay, plum, and prune.
Lagers are the most popular beer style in the world. The name comes from the German word "lagern" which means, "to store". Lagers are brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast that work slowly at around 34 degrees F, and are often further stored at cool temperature to mature. Lager yeast produce fewer by-product characters than ale yeast which allows for other flavors to pull through, such as hops. The result is lighter-bodied, highly carbonated beers appreciated for their clean, crisp feel on the palette.