The 2 most common types of beer in the world right now are IPA’s & Lagers. Smooth, refreshing Lagers have been a popular brew for about 500 years whereas the bitter complex IPA’S are much newer, first crafted in the mid-1800s. IPA’s lost popularity for many years until the American Craft Beer Renaissance refueled this once-forgotten brew. Both of these beers have a rich history which has not only fueled their creation but also the way we keep them in popular culture. Let’s compare these two titanic brews and help you decide what type of suds to go for next!
Yeast – All beers use similar ingredients but the main ingredient in all alcoholic beer is yeast, the key difference between Lagers and Ales is the type of yeast used. The two types of brewing yeast are top-fermenting yeast and bottom-fermenting yeast respectively. Bottom-fermenting yeast does better in colder temperatures while top-fermenting yeast does better in slightly warmer climates.
Lagers – bottom-fermenting yeast – The older brew of the two, lagers have a limited and specific ingredient list. The law in Germany is that you can only use these 4 ingredients to brew: water, yeast, barley, and hops. Many brewmasters consider the lager to be the purest and most difficult brew process. Usually, lagers of today are not the “traditional” lager which America had built its pallet around. This, in part, is due to the insufficient aging time current brewers provide for their modern lagers. Lagers originate from places such as The Czech Republic and Germany, two of the most notorious beer-drinking countries, ever.
Ales – top-fermenting yeast – Ales have more humble origins, starting from being brewed in monasteries and typically used as hydration for farm hands due to a lack of fresh water. Belgium is now home to some of the most historic and traditional ales, but not quite the home of the IPA.
Indian Pale Ale – Originally made during the 1800s by adding more hops to traditional ales for preservation purposes. During this time the English were constantly sailing and importing goods to India, and due to the long voyage, they needed a more alcoholic beverage to keep it from spoiling while at sea. It is said by some brewers that hops have taken over the beer flavor spectrum and in the IPA’s case are now the main focus of beer recipes worldwide. This more complex brew allows for more wiggle room, enabling more flavors and ingredients to be added by playing off the bitterness, as opposed to trying to hide it or change the flavor.
The best way to enjoy any beer, whether lager or IPA, is through a refreshing tap into a cold beer glass. Keeping your tap system up-to-date, and clean, will always produce the best results. Make sure you enjoy your brew at optimum taste. Call us today to service your tap-line system!