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Two Basic Styles - Ales and Lagers

Almost all beers fall into one of these two basic beer styles.

Ales:
These are full flavoured malty beers with aromatic qualities & some fruitiness in the taste. Yeasts used to make ales ferment quickly at warm temperatures (typically above 20C) contribute to the aromatic fruitiness of ales.

Lagers:
These are smooth mellow fresh tasting beers with subtle flavours. Lager yeasts work best at lower temperatures than ale yeasts (less than 20C & typically 4C to 10C). The beer takes longer to ferment & because it was more stable than ales before the days of modern sanitation, it was allowed to mature for weeks or months before consumption. This was done in cold cellars and it allowed the beer to develop improved flavour. The name "lager" comes from the German word that means "to store".