How to Tell the Difference Between Beers - Nagle's Wet Your WhistleChris Nagle
Summer days are coming. The smells of fresh cut grass and bar-b-que are in the air. The sounds of birds
and children playing echo in that summer time gentle breeze along with that *crack* of a fresh cold
beer. For many of us we have our specific type of brew that we like. I prefer lagers for the most part.
My one buddy he loves ales and another loves those hoppy IPA’s. For the next couple of weeks we are
talking beer and what make a certain beer an ale or a lager or whatever. This week we will focus on just
Ales. Just with in the ale category you have: brown ales, pale ales, Indian pale ales, wild and sour ales
just to name a few. Ales are for the most part top-fermented; the yeast that is used to ferment the beer
settles on top. Ales are cooked at a higher temper than lagers and produce a heavier bodied and more
complex beer. Ales do vary greatly in their A.B.V. as well as their I.B.U. (International bitterness units).
Brown Ales are more of a malty caramel flavor and a mild bitterness to them.
Pale Ales are a lighter but has a hoppier flavor but not a high ABV like Indian pale ale.
Indian Pale ales can be floral but are extra hoppy and can have a much high ABV than other types of
beer. Just a side note about how IPA’s came about, during the 1800’s when shipping beer from England
to India they found the beer was going bad. So, the brewed the beer at a high alcohol and hop content
to preserve the beer longer.
Wild and Sour ales are typically low in alcohol content, and are tart and sour due to the bacteria in the
mash. Think of a Lambic when thinking of these types of ales.
I am not going to make any suggestion on an ale this week. I will however suggest going to your local
pub or liquor store and try one from each category. Just keep in mind in each category the flavors can
vary greatly as well. Take an IPA for example: a 60 minute IPA will be hoppy but not as hoppy as a 120
minute one which are VERY hoppy.
Till next week…be save, drink responsibly and CHEERS!