FAQ: Ale vs Lager

Do you know the difference between ales and lagers? 

What are the differences between the two? 
The primary difference between Ales and Lagers lies in the yeast. During fermentation, lager yeast sits on the bottom of the tank. They are most active between 45° F to 55° F and can take as little as 3 weeks to longer than 6 months to become beer. Ale yeasts, on the other hand, like warmer temperatures of 68°F -72°F. Ales can typically handle more stress during fermentation, and can have a much quicker turnaround time. Simple home brew ales can be finished within 2 weeks!  

Where do you notice these differences in the finished product? 
Next time you drink a beer, whether it's an ale or a lager, take note of the flavors you taste and the mouthfeel. Ales are prized for their esters, or fruitiness, that are typically not found in lagers. Esters can include apple, pear, pineapple, grass, hay, plum, and prunes, but can vary widely. Lagers tend to be smooth, clean, and free of esters, but may have fleeting yeast-derived sulfur notes. As a result, any hops that are used in lagers will be more prominent. 

Who uses what yeasts? 
Lager styles range from Pilsners, Marzen, Bocks, California Commons, Rauchbiers, and American Lagers. 
Ale styles include but are not limited to IPA's, Pale Ales, Porters, Stouts, Altbiers, Kolsch, sours, Saisons, Lambics and Wheat Beers. 

When is the perfect time to drink them? 
Whenever you like! Beer has a magical way of being right for almost any occasion. For warm sunny days I always like to go for a Helles (lager) or even a pilsner if I want something crispy. Wheat ales are soft and fruity (think bananas and cloves) and can spice up any picnic. Any fire situation screams Rauchbiers and porters, whether it's a warm camp night or wrapped in the blankets for the holidays. The options are limitless! 

What are some amazing beers I can try? 
Check out some of our best sellers in all styles!


New England Sea Hag IPA - Connecticut
Allagash White - Maine 
Thimble Island American Amber Ale - Connecticut 
Reissdorf Kolsch - Germany 
Ayinger Brau Weisse - Germany 


Two Roads Ol' Factory Pilsner - Connecticut 
Brooklyn Lager - New York 
Sixpoint Crisp Pils - New York 
Pilsner Urquell - Czech 
Anchor Steam - California 


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Anchor Steam Beer Bott (667)
Anchor Steam Beer Bott (6 pack 12oz bottles)

Anchor Steam Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a brewing process like none other. It is a process that combines deep respect for brewing tradition with many decades of evolution... Read More

Price:   $11.99
Ayinger Brau Weisse (500)
Ayinger Brau Weisse (500ml)

Fragrance and taste of the yeast-cloudy wheat beer are distinguished by a refined top-fermented flowery-yeast character and an unmistakable, distinct banana aroma. First sensation on the taste buds is full-bodied, very soft and... Read More

Price:   $3.99
Brooklyn Lager Bottles (667)
Brooklyn Lager Bottles (6 pack 12oz bottles)

Brooklyn Lager, the Brewery's flagship label, is New York's 'hometown' beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Brooklyn Lager has won numerous... Read More

Price:   $11.49
Reissdorf Koelsch 4 Pack Cans (415)
Reissdorf Koelsch 4 Pack Cans (4 pack 16oz cans)

The town of Cologne, the namesake for Koelsch, not only has more breweries than any other city in the world, but also has a federal law protecting its right to brew this pale, top-fermenting ale (appellation controlee). Koelsch,... Read More

Price:   $12.99
Sixpoint Brewing The Crisp Pils 6 Pack Cans (62)
Sixpoint Brewing The Crisp Pils 6 Pack Cans (6 pack 12oz cans)

Tettnang and Hallertau Hops, 100% sourced directly from Germany, give THE CRISP that signature floral aroma. Cargill Pilsner Malt is the backbone, and helps make the finish snappy and clean. Legit pilz has a hop aroma that leaps... Read More

Price:   $11.49


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