The difference between beer and pale ale is a fairly obvious to an experienced beer drinker. However, for those beer drinkers who are not as experienced, the difference can be harder to articulate. When most inexperienced beer drinkers think of beer they think of a brands like Budweiser. However, Budweiser is a lager. In this article, the differences between a lager and a pale ale will be explained.
The first difference between a lighter beer like a lager and a pale ale will be the color. Pale ales tend to be copper, amber or reddish in color, whereas a lager will be more of a clearer, golden color. All you have to do is pour your beer into a glass in order to tell the color difference between a pale ale and a light beer like a lager.
When figuring out the difference between a beer like a lager and a pale ale, the main distinguishing element will be the taste. A pale ale tends to have a more complex taste. A brewer may use fruit or extra hops, which can leave a stronger flavor on the palate of the beer drinker. Lagers will normally be crisper and have a cleaner more direct taste. The reason why most of the commercialized beers are lagers is because the taste of a lager tends to go over well with the average beer drinker, while sometimes the flavor and perceived "heaviness" of an ale can appeal to the more experience beer connoisseur.
Another noticeable difference between a lighter beer such as a lager and a pale ale is the perceived weight that the beer drinker feels after finishing the beer. The complex flavor and often extra sugars can make a pale ale feel heavier to a beer drinker once they taste it. In addition, many pale ales have extra carbonation to add to their flavors, which causes an extra sensation of heaviness in the beer drinker's stomach. Many lagers have high levels of carbonation, but because of their cleaner taste, beer drinkers tend to feel less bloated after drinking them. This is why they are often perceived as lighter beers.
There are a wide variety of variables that go into the brewing and crafting of all the different kinds of beers. The differences that can be added to the brewing process between ales, porters, lagers, stouts range from temperature changes as well as a vast array of ingredient combinations. These three categories were meant to mark out the three most frequently and easily noticeable differences between a pale ale and the everyday beer that most people pick up from their local grocery store.