Beer Tasting

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by CherLou Brewing, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Houses 3 Brewing

    Houses 3 Brewing New Member

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    Okay everyone, looking for an example to a question I get a lot. What is the difference between a lager and an ale? Most people think they are the same--so when I explain it--their eyes kind of glaze over, and walk away muttering something along the lines of "Okay, beer dork.". We are having a beer tasting and I want to have 2 VERY similar beers--1 lager and 1 ale-- for people to taste side by side. (I am a homebrewer, but do not make lagers, and I wouldn't have the time to make them anyway.) Do you all have any suggestions--2 nearly identical beers, one lager and one ale? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

    Lou
    Columbus, OH
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The lager in general will have less fruity ester flavors than the ale. But in some cases it may be hard to tell.
     
  3. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I think the OP is asking for commercial examples ?
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's how I answered. Light examples of homebrew may not be distinguishable.
     
  5. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    If you can find a commercially made cream ale and an American lager they should be similar except for the yeast.
     
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  6. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I think a cream ale or California common compared to a Budweiser might be fair. Ales have a “dirty” aspect to me. I know it’s not completely accurate description, but ales not only have fruity esters, but have esters that make them an ale.

    I think if you were to pick up a Samual Smith Nut Brown and put it next to a German Dunkel from Hacker Pschorr or Ayinger you would see the difference pretty quickly. I have always thought of a Dunkel as a German version of an English Brown, not completely true, but it should work. Samual Smith’s nut brown has a lot of fruity esters and and the Dunkel will be clean, lacking any esters. Samual Smith’s Nut brown is an excellent beer, definitely world class.
     
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  7. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Here's how I handled that question from a guy at a party who said he really had no reference point to appreciate the difference between them. Having been reading a book about the history of brewing in Maryland (Beer in Maryland, Maureen O'Prey) I said to him " clipper ships".

    After he finished looking at me like I had 3 eyeballs I explained to him how it came that America and all we had up until then was ales. Up until around the 1840's, it took a long time to cross the Atlantic from where most of the lager beer was made in southern Germany (Bavaria). The faster ships changed all of that.

    " With the construction of the clipper ship and the opening of the port of Breman, Germany, large-scale changes came to the brewing industry in America. Since these ships could carry passengers directly to Baltimore in less than 30 days, German immigrates could bring with them lager yeast. This was quite significant, as lager was a staple of the southern German brewing industry and had not been previously available in America as it was viable for only 30 days and could not survive the journey across the Atlantic. "

    If they can't appreciate a beer dorkie yet understandable and relevant fact like that, then at least they have a fun fact to think about next time they are drinking a lager...and if they don't get that tell 'em that "they just taste different."
     
  8. Houses 3 Brewing

    Houses 3 Brewing New Member

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    Thank you all for your info--much appreciated! Great ideas.
     

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