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What makes ale different from other types of beer?


An ale is a style of beer made by warm-fermenting brewer's yeast. The yeast ferments quickly, creating a full-bodied and sweet beer. Many ales also include the addition of bitter hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Depending on the temperature it is fermented at, the yeast can produce a variety of esters and aromatic products, which may result in fruit flavors such as apple, pear, pineapple, banana or cherry.

Styles of ale include brown ale, which often has a nutty taste, and pale ale, which has become synonymous for ales that are bitter, because they have more hops than other ales. The primary difference between an ale and a lager is that ales are made from top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are made with a bottom-fermenting yeast.



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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.