An alcoholic drink brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast.
Confused? Well, don’t be too hard on yourself. There is actually a lot to understand. Honestly speaking, you’re not the only one confused. Also, just because a young whipper-snapper throws out craft beer gibberish doesn’t mean they know it all either. Just nod your head and let them know how enamored you are at their knowledge. Then, run back here to our blog and take the remedial course with the rest of us. Heck, just keep an eye on our blogs and you’ll be able to impress the biggest beer snobs when you expound the phraseology and articulate all things malt, hops, barley and brewski-related.
Let’s get this party started with some easy stuff. What are the four ‘foundation’ beer styles?
All beer falls into two styles; Ales and Lagers. There. Now you know, the end. Good talk. HA! Well, unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple! Let’s dig a little deeper...
As with most words in the English language, there is usually a more scientific and complicated word that us regular-folk can’t seem to pronounce. In this case Lager = saccharomyces pastorianus. No. You probably didn’t pronounce it correctly. But, no worries. It’s unlikely that anyone is listening to you anyway. Told ya…pronunciation nightmare.
With Lagers all the yeast parties down at the bottom of the tank during the fermentation party (kind of like a frat-party, but yeast-centric). Lagers are usually crisp, and refreshing. Think Clydesdale Horses or The Colorado Rockies here.
Now, the saccharomyces cerevisiae(what us regular-folk call Ales), they prefer to do their socializing at the top. This is why these beers are very aromatic and a little fruity in nature.
Another factor is timing. Think of it like living here in America. You have the South and the North. Lagers are like Texans….they have a slooooow southern drawl and prefer to sit around for months at a time. The Ales, on the other hand, well let’s just say they’re more from places like New York or Chicago. The Ales are always in a hurry…..rush, rush, rush. The Ales “age” much quicker than the Lagers… just a few weeks at a time. Always in a rush, them Ales.
Anyway…I digress…but I can see you are starting to get the picture…and rolling your eyes.
Next is temperature. In a nutshell, the Ales like it hot! Well, not ‘hot’ per se…but warmer than the Lagers do. They both like a good to ferment (aka party like rock-stars) in the 32-55 degree range, with the Ales on the upper end and those Lagers chilax’n for months at a time at those colder temperatures.
Well, this barely scratches the foamy surface when it comes to beer. There are IPAs, Stouts, Porters, Wheats, Fruity beers, Seasonal beers, almost endless combinations. …and we haven’t even touched the topic of different types of Lagers, Ales, IPAs…well…you get the drift.
Whew! Not so bad, right? Hopefully, we were able to shed a little light on the topic of ‘Beer’. Don’t rush it! We’ll get there….Lager style. LOL!
What’s next? Please continue to join us as we progress through this exciting new journey and begin preparations for the brewing of our own #FirstonBolivar Ales and Lagers.
Until next time….