Beer Facts: Two Types of Beer
Going down the beer aisle now at any grocery store, one will notice that more and more, stores are stocking up on the unique flavors of different types of beer. One might encounter bottled brews from a local brewery in the city, or notice a national brand diversifying into niche markets. Whatever the situation is, consumers should be inundated with the types of beer that are now available to try. Those just entering into the world of beer might wonder, how are all these varieties of beer possible? What makes them different from each other? Just how many types are there? While the creativity of craft brewing makes the variety of brews virtually limitless, most beer can be classified into one of two types: the ale or the lager.
The production of ale dates back to at least 5000 B.C. While the ale is one of the oldest beverages of humankind, it is also one that goes through continual innovation and change from the creativity of craft brewers all over the world. Ales are brewed from malted barley in warm temperatures using top-fermenting yeasts–yeasts that float to the top of the beer during fermentation. Ales tend to have a full-bodied, sweet flavor because of their quick fermentation. Their color range from pale gold to rich brown, depending on the grains applied during the brewing process. Common types of ales include Pale Ales, Irish Ales, Stouts, Porters, and wheat beer. The differences between the ales stem from the variations in the ingredients and brewing process.
Lagers only started appearing in history a few centuries ago. Lagers are brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast, in which the yeast settles in the bottom during the fermentation process, and gives the beer darker, smoother flavors. Lagers are largely of German origin, and the variety of lagers available is demonstrative of that fact. Common styles of lager include Bock, Dunkel, Marzen, Munich and Dopple-Bock. Lagers are often described as malty, dark, and with hints of caramel and chocolate flavors. Among the two types of beer, lagers are a bit less common, but it is just as versatile and flavorful to brew.
Rubicon has been brewing beer in Sacramento since 1987, and is one of the oldest craft breweries in Northern California. Come over to Rubicon to enjoy a refreshing pint from the tap, and enjoy a staple of the Capital City life! Don’t forget that Sac Beer Week is February 26th through March 8th!
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