Brewed with top fermenting yeast at cellar temperature, ales are fuller-bodied, with nuances of fruit or spice and a pleasantly hoppy finish. Generally robust and complex with a variety of fruit and malt aromas, ales come in many varieties.
Ales are often darker than lagers, ranging from rich gold to reddish amber. Top fermenting, and more hops in the wort gives these beers a distinctive fruitfulness, acidity and pleasantly bitter seasoning. Ales have a more assertive, individual personality than lager, though their alcoholic strength is the same.
Lager originates from the German word lagern which means 'to store' – it refers to the method of storing it for several months in near-freezing temperatures. Crisp and refreshing with a smooth finish from longer aging, lagers are the world's most popular beer (this includes pilseners).
A lager, which can range from sweet to bitter and pale to black, is usually used to describe bottom-fermented brews of Dutch, German, and Czech styles. Most, however, are a pale to medium colour, have high carbonation, and a medium to high hop flavour.
There’s very little distinction between a Porter and a Stout, but they do have their differences.
Porter is a dark, almost black, fruity-dry, top fermenting style. An ale, porter is brewed with a combination of roasted malt to impart flavour, colour and aroma. Stout is also a black, roast brew made by top fermentation.
Stout, not as sweet to the taste, features a rich, creamy head and is flavoured and coloured by barley. Stouts often use a portion of unmalted roasted barley to develop a dark, slightly astringent, coffee-like character.
Generally dark and sweeter in flavour, malts contain hints of caramel, toffee, and nuts. They can be light to full bodied.
A very versatile beer, Amber beers are full bodied malt aromas with hints of caramel, these beers could be either lager or ale.
Blonde ales are very pale in colour and tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops and some sweetness from malt.
Dark amber or brown in colour, brown ale have evidence of caramel and chocolate flavours and may have a slight citrus accent or be strong, malty or nutty, depending on the area of brewing.
A very mild, sweetish, golden style of ale.
Dark ale is a British type beer, combining hops, yeast and a blend of malts. It's a medium chestnut brown colour, with a delicate fruity smell and robust, malty character.
Most fruit beers are ales however, they typically do not carry an ale character. In order to allow for the fruit flavor to come through nicely, the malt’s flavor is not dominant and there is a low bitterness level to the beer.
First developed in the UK, Golden ales are straw coloured with a slight hint of citrus and vanilla. The beer can sometimes contain spicier flavours.
A full-bodied beer with a creamy texture and copper colour. Honey beers are slightly sweet with hints of caramel.
Extremely light in colour and mild in flavour. Light beer has fewer calories and/or lower alcohol content.
Pale ale has a fruity, copper-coloured styler. It originiated from England. Pale ales are robust beers that can be enjoyed with strongly spiced foods.
This is a broad grouping that can describe any beer over 7% ABV. Strong beers are typically dark in colour, some are almost black. Different styles can include old ales, double IPAs, and barleywines.
Light and easy to drink with very little aftertaste. Wheat provides a soft character to beer and is sometimes hazy or cloudy with a touch of spice notes.
This proto-typical beer glass is wonderful for lighter tasting beers. It has a narrow mouth to concentrate the aromas at the top of the glass and a handle to avoid warming the beer up.
Lagers, typically, have fewer aromas than ales and should be consumed at a colder temperature. This stemmed glass offers benefits to the drinker - tall and narrow to focus the great aromas at the top and a stem to keep your hand away from the beer.
Who says snifters are only for brandy? They’re also great for specialty beers. The short stem invites the drinker to envelop the glass, bringing up the temperature in the beer, creating a fuller taste and allowing the body of the beer to be appreciated. A sloped lip on the top of the glass keeps the foam in tact and focuses the aromas.
A pub glass is great for a variety of ales. Ales, like red wines, need a glass with a wide open mouth. The abundance of aromas can rise to the top to greet the drinker while the narrow bottom allows the glass to warm up slightly. Pub style glasses are an excellent partner to a stout.
An hourglass is a multi-dimensional glass. Tall and narrow, it also has a mouth that presents a variety of flavours and aromatics. Fill it with an amber lager or amber ale such as a honey brown and truly savour the great beer.
This is a great glass for a typical Canadian ale. These ales have the fruity, floral aromas of an ale but are refreshing and smooth like a lager. The aromas are not overly abundant and this glass narrows the focus for the drinker.
Pilseners are lagers with slightly more bitterness and aromas and therefore need a glass that embodies the style. This tall glass with the flared opening help concentrate the aromas of the beer on the top of the glass.
Full bodied ales are a good choice for this glass. The handle is large enough to get your hand around the glass if you want to warm it up. Like it a little colder? Use the handle! A nice wide mouth will bring all those great flavours to your tastebuds very easily.
Another great glass for a great ale - whether it's a dark, amber, brown or even a stout, this glass truly showcases the terrific attributes of the beer.
This glass is designed to accentuate the aromas and flavours found in most wheat beers (especially German Weiss Biers). Naturally more effervescent, this tall glass requires a slow gentle pour at the beginning and when the beer is 3/4 full, a more direct pour to create a thick, creamy foam. The wide open mouth of the glass showcases the variety of aromas to the drinker.
Strong beers are well presented in the tulip glass. The open mouth brings the nose of the beer to life while the round body allows you to warm it up, intensifying those wonderful flavours. A tulip-shaped glass is also a good fit for fruit beers.