Ale is brewed with a ‘warm-fermenting’ yeast, which rises to the top during fermentation. The brewing process is quicker and often cheaper than lager, which partially explains why ale’s popularity has experienced a renaissance in recent years. The varieties of ale below don’t even begin scratch the surface of how many there are, but they are the more common that you’ll come across in the UK.
Pale Ale & India Pale Ale (IPA)
Pale ales and IPAs have been at the forefront of ale’s renaissance, particularly those brewed in the USA. More often than not they emphasise more hop characteristics which vary from tropical fruit and citrus to blueberry, pine and grassy. Traditional UK pale ales are more balanced than their newer American counterparts, which tend to have much more hops added.
IPAs differ from pale ales in that they are higher in alcohol content and have a more pronounced bitterness thanks to additional hops.