Ale and Lager are two broad categories of beer, with many styles within each category. A beer style is a designation given to a beer that carries with it a specific range of measurements for color, strength, and flavor. Seasoned beer drinkers can often tell the difference between ales and lagers. Ales are usually described as “robusty, hearty and fruity”. Lagers are characteristically “smooth, elegant, crisp, fruity, and clean”. The real difference is that the yeast fermentation process when the beer is brewed is different for lagers and ales.

Ales can range from light to dark, from high in alcohol to low, from bitter to sweet. Lagers run the same spectrum. But once again, the fundamental difference between the two is simply that ales are fermented with a different group of yeasts than lagers.

Ale yeasts ferment at warmer temperatures than do lager yeasts. Ales are sometimes referred to as top fermented beers, as ale yeasts tend to locate at the top of the fermenter during fermentation, while lagers are referred to as bottom-fermenting by the same logic.

Lagers, as a result of their cool-fermenting yeast strains, have less yeast-derived flavors than ales, which contain a complex range of spicy/fruity flavors produced by a warmer fermentation. Usually described as clean-tasting, lagers offer a more clear expression of grain and hops.

In preparation for a new website we’re working on right now called “Craft Beer Planet”, (please like it on facebook for the time being and request a kickoff party invite), here’s a list of beer styles of ales and lagers that we’ll be featuring on this new social media project:


American Ales

  • American Amber / Red Ale
  • American Barleywine
  • American Black Ale
  • American Blonde Ale
  • American Brown Ale
  • American Dark Wheat Ale
  • American Double / Imperial IPA
  • American Double / Imperial Stout
  • American IPA
  • American Pale Ale
  • American Pale Wheat Ale
  • American Porter
  • American Stout
  • American Strong Ale
  • American Wild Ale
  • Black and Tan
  • Chile Beer
  • Cream Ale
  • Pumpkin Ale
  • Rye Beer
  • Wheatwine

Belgian / French Ales

  • Belgian Dark Ale
  • Belgian IPA
  • Belgian Pale Ale
  • Belgian Strong / Dark Ale
  • Belgian Strong / Pale Ale
  • Biere de Champagne / Biere Brut
  • Biere de Garde
  • Dubbel
  • Faro
  • Flanders Oud Bruin
  • Flanders Red Ale
  • Gueuze
  • Lambic / Fruit
  • Lambic / Unblended
  • Quadrupel (Quad)
  • Saison / Farmhouse Ale
  • Tripel
  • Witbier

English Ales

  • Baltic Porter
  • Braggot
  • English Barleywine
  • English Bitter
  • English Brown Ale
  • English Dark Mild Ale
  • English India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • English Pale Ale
  • English Pale Mild Ale
  • English Porter
  • English Stout
  • English Strong Ale
  • Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
  • Foreign / Export Stoout
  • Milk / Sweet Stout
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Old Ale
  • Russian Imperial Stout
  • Winter Warmer

Finnish Ales

  • Sahti

German Ales

  • Altbier
  • Berliner Weissbier
  • Bunkelweizen
  • Gose
  • Hefeweizen
  • Kolsch
  • Kristalweizen
  • Roggenbier
  • Weizenbock

Irish Ales

  • Irish Dry Stout
  • Irish Red Ale

Russian Ales

  • Kvass

Scottish Ales

  • Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
  • Scottish Ale
  • Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale


American Lagers

  • American Adjunct Lager
  • American Amber / Red Lager
  • American Double / Imperial Pilsner
  • American Malt Liquor
  • American Pale Lager
  • California Common / Steam Beer
  • Light Lager
  • Low Alcohol Beer

Czech Lagers

  • Czech Pilsener

European Lagers

  • Euro Dark Lager
  • Euro Pale Lager
  • Euro Strong Lager

German Lagers

  • Bock
  • Doublebock
  • Dortmunder / Export Lager
  • Eisbock
  • German Pilsener
  • Keller Bier / Zwickel Bier
  • Maibock / Helles Bock
  • Marzen / Oktoberfest
  • Munich Dunkel Lager
  • Munich Helles Lager
  • Rauchbier
  • Schwarzbier
  • Vienna Lager

Japanese Lagers

  • Happoshu
  • Japanese Rice Lager