What is the difference between Ale and Lager?

Key Difference: The main difference between ale and lager is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process.

Lagers are made with bottom-fermenting yeast, while ales are made with top-fermenting yeast.

This difference results in different flavor profiles for each style of beer. Lagers are typically smoother and more crisp than ales, while ales are often fruitier and more complex.

It’s also worth noting that lagers tend to be lighter in color than ales.

The two styles of beer are often enjoyed by different types of drinkers, with lagers being more popular among casual drinkers and ales being more popular among craft beer enthusiasts.

What is Ale?

Ale is a type of beer that is brewed from malted barley and hops. It is typically top-fermented, meaning the yeast rises to the top of the fermentation vessel and has a fruity or spicy flavor.

The most common variety of ale is bitter, but there are also sweet and mild ales. Often served in a pint glass, ale is a popular drink in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.

In the United States, ale is becoming increasingly popular, with microbreweries producing a wide variety of styles. The alcohol content of ale ranges from about 3% to 6.5%.

What is Lager?

Lager is the most popular type of beer in the world. It is a light, refreshing drink that is made with malt, water, hops, and yeast. Lager is usually served cold and can be enjoyed either on its own or with food.

The word “lager” comes from the German word “Lagerbier,” which means “storeroom beer.” or the “beer brewed for keeping”.

This beer style was developed in the 1840s in Bavaria, and it soon became popular all over the world. It is now produced in many different countries and comes in a variety of flavors.

Ale vs Lager

One of the biggest differences between ale and lager is the temperature at which they are brewed

Lagers are brewed at colder temperatures, typically around 48 degrees Fahrenheit, while ales are brewed at warmer temperatures, around 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

This difference in brewing temperature results in different flavor profiles for each style of beer.

Lagers tend to be crisper and cleaner-tasting than ales, while ales tend to be fruitier and more complex.

Another major difference between ale and lager is the amount of time they are aged.

Lagers are typically aged for longer periods of time than ales, which allows the flavors to mellow and blend together more.

Main Differences

Key differences between Ale and Lager include –


One of the important distinctions between ale and lager is the cost. Lagers are typically more expensive to produce than ales, due to the longer fermentation process.

This means that lagers tend to be more expensive in bars and liquor stores. However, there are some high-quality ales that are more expensive than the average lager.

The average price for a pint of lager is about $5, while the average price for a pint of ale is about $4.

Alcohol Content

Ale is typically higher in alcohol than lager. Alcohol by volume is a standard measure of how much alcohol is in a drink.

The ABV of Ale is typically higher than the ABV of Lager.

Average Ales range from 4.5% to 6.5% ABV, while Lagers generally have an ABV of 3.8% to 5.2%. The ABV of Lager is typically around 4.2%.

The alcohol content in Lager can vary depending on the brewing process and the specific ingredients used. However, the range is typically from 3% to 5%.


The taste of ale and lager also varies significantly.

Ales are typically fruity or spicy, while lagers are more malty and smooth.

There are many different types of ales and lagers, so it is difficult to make generalizations about their flavors.

However, most people find that they prefer one type of beer over the other.


Ale is typically darker in color than lager. This is because it uses darker malts, which give it a richer flavor.

On the other hand, lagers are light in color and often have a slightly yellowish hue.


The fermentation process is also different for ale and lager. Lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures, while ales are fermented at warmer temperatures.

This difference in temperature affects the flavor of the beer, as well as how long it takes to ferment. Lagers typically take longer to ferment than ales.


The type of yeast used in the brewing process also affects the taste of beer.

Ale yeast is a top-fermenting yeast, while lager yeast is a bottom-fermenting yeast.

This means that the yeasts rise to different parts of the fermentation vessel.

Ale yeasts produce more esters, which give the beer a fruity flavor. Lager yeasts produce more compounds called phenols, which give the beer a smoother taste.