Beers, lagers and ales! We love to try them all, and sometimes when we’re just enjoying sampling them, we might wonder what is the difference between them, since they all have the same effect on us. Once we’ve sampled a few more, we don’t really care what the difference is.

Just in case you really do want to know, we’ll give you a brief heads up on the differences. Firstly, there is no difference between beer and lager. That’s because lager is a type of beer. So is ale for that matter. Beer is the name given to a group of alcoholic drinks that include lager and ale.

The technical difference between the beer categories is in how they are brewed. Lager is a German word that translates as “storage,” which gives a hint as to its method of brewing. Lagers are beers that are ferment slowly at low temperatures. They also ferment from the bottom up. Ales ferment quickly from the top down and are brewed in a warm environment.

In practice, the distinction between beer, lager and ale has become blurred, which, when you think about it, is hardly surprising! In most countries, when you ask for a beer, you will be given what looks like, and probably technically is, a lager. In fact, in most non-English speaking countries, there is no specific word in their language for lager or for ale. In many English-speaking countries, if you ask for a beer you will get ale, and you will have to ask specifically for a lager if that’s what you’re after.

So, next time somebody at a beer fest asks you “What is the Difference Between Beer and Lager?” feel free to quote what you’ve learnt here, secure in the knowledge that you are absolutely correct. If they want to argue, just tell them you’re off for another beer. Cheers!