what does it mean if a beer is a lager, pilsner, ale or ipa?


What are the differences and how can I recognize them from taste?

In: 41

Yeast turns sugar water (made from grain: barley, wheat) into beer. There are two main types of yeast: ale and lager.
Ale yeast tends to make beer more fruity tasting. (Esters is the technical term)
Lager test tends to make beer taste cleaner and is what is used is most mainstream beers.

IPA is short for Indian Pale Ale and is an ale. It was developed by the English accidentally when shipping beer to India because the additional alcohol and hops (cones from a plant that make beer bitter) helped preserve the beer for the journey.
Pilsner is a beer developed in Pilsen, Czech and is a lager.

If you practice tasting lagers and ales, I think you’d be able to taste the difference.

Technically, larger refers to a beer brewed traditionally with a cool fermentation method and is German for “storage room”, and ale with a warm fermentation method. Pilsner is named for the city where it was first created, but mostly just means a pale lager these days, as the pilsner was the first. IPA is a specific kind of ale that has a high hops content, and traditionally had a specific method used.

These are all different styles of beer, made with different methods and ratios of the primary ingredients of beer (water, hops, malted grains).

The two top-level types of beer are ale and lager. These are differentiated by how they are made – primarily differentiated by the temperature conditions of the fermentation. A five year old doesn’t need to know the fine details of fermentation so I will leave that out.

IPA is a style of Ale (India pale ale).
Pilsner is a style of Lager.

Lagers tend to be described as “crisp” “clean” and “refreshing” whereas ales tend to be described as “fruity” and tend to be more substantial and filling.

In a lot of Europe – Britain especially – many ales are served flat and at room temperature, whereas lagers are served cold and carbonated.

IPAs – to answer your question – tend to be citrusy and piney in flavor and can tend towards bitterness. They are also supposed to be particularly high in alcohol content as the traditional method of production required.

Pilsners tend to be hoppy rather than malty, so a crisp bitterness with some floral notes, but there are also many types of pilsners and tastes can vary.

Ale is produced through an age-old process of fermenting barley and wheat using yeast. If just left to ferment under ambient temperatures, a certain species of yeast will thrive. This is how brewing was done for most of history. However, it was discovered in the 1400s that fermentation could occur at lower temperatures, and if this was done, a different strain of yeast would dominate and impart a different flavor and clarity to the finished product. Because it had to be brewed and stored underground – the only place cold enough before refrigeration – it was named “Lager beer,” from a word meaning “underground storehouse” and related to the English “Lair”. Because of how the respective strains of yeast behave in the brew, these are called “bottom fermenting” and “top fermenting” despite that actually being a kind of misleading terminology.

So that’s the difference between Ale and Lager. Pilsner was the first popular type of lager that began to be mass-produced, and always drunk cold, with the advent of refrigeration.