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  • Writer's pictureFelipe Antunes

Ale and Lager: Understanding the Craft Behind Your Favourite Beers

Hello, beer aficionados! Ever found yourself at a pub, puzzled over whether to order an ale or a lager? Well, you're not alone. These two types of beer have distinct histories, brewing processes, and taste profiles. Let's embark on a flavourful journey to understand these differences, so next time you're at Kennedys, you’ll know exactly what to pick.

Ale and Lager Beer

The Tale of Two Brews: Ale vs. Lager

The story of beer is as old as civilisation itself, and at its heart are two main characters: ale and lager. These beers aren't just different styles; they represent different chapters in the history of brewing.

The Brewing Process: It's All About Yeast

The fundamental difference between ale and lager lies in the yeast used and the fermentation process.

Ales are made with top-fermenting yeast, which, as the name suggests, ferments at the top of the brew. This process happens at warmer temperatures, typically between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius. The result? A quicker fermentation contributes to ales’ robust and complex flavours.

Lagers, on the other hand, use bottom-fermenting yeast. They require cooler conditions, around 7 to 13 degrees Celsius, and take longer to ferment. This slow and steady process gives lagers their crisp, clean, and refreshing taste.

Ale: A Journey Through Flavours

Ales are the ancient stalwarts of the beer world. Historically, they were brewed without hops, giving them a sweet, fruity profile. Today, however, hops are a key ingredient, bringing in a balance of bitterness and a range of aromatic possibilities.

Ales come in various styles – from the hoppy and bold India Pale Ales (IPAs) to the dark and mysterious stouts. Each style offers a unique taste adventure. The higher fermentation temperature of ales allows for a greater variety of flavours to develop, often resulting in a more pronounced character – think fruity, spicy, and nutty notes.

Ale Beer

Lager: The Crisp Revolution

The world of lagers is diverse and dynamic. Originating in Central Europe, lagers became popular for their crisp and clean profile. Unlike ales, lagers are generally smoother and more mellow. They're often described as ‘crisp’, ‘refreshing’, and ‘smooth’.

Lagers include styles like the light and bubbly Pilsners, the darker and caramel-noted Dunkels, and the amber-hued Märzens. Their cooler fermentation process ensures a purer beer taste, often with subtle flavours. Think of lagers as the cool, crisp breeze to ales' warm, flavourful embrace.

Lager beer

Ale and Lager at Kennedys

At Kennedys, we celebrate the diversity of beer. Whether you're a fan of the bold and complex ales or the smooth and refreshing lagers, our selection caters to every palate.

Our knowledgeable staff can guide you through our array of options. Pair an ale with a hearty stew to complement its rich flavours, or enjoy a lager alongside our lighter fare for a refreshing balance.

The Choice is Yours

Next time you find yourself pondering over Kennedys' beer menu, remember the tale of ales and lagers. Whether you crave the boldness of an ale or the crispness of a lager, your perfect pint awaits.

Join us at Kennedys and raise a glass to the art of brewing – where every sip tells a story, and every choice is an exploration of taste and tradition.

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