A beer is any alcoholic beverage fermented from grains and flavoured with hops. Lagers are beers, as are Ales and Lambics! The main difference between the beer families is the yeast type used and how it ferments. Beer is made from 4 simple, natural ingredients: Pure Water, Malted Barley, Hop Flowers and Yeast.
The colour of beer doesn't necessarily give away the style nor does serving temperatures!
The fermentation differs by beer style; Ales use cultured yeast strains which ferment at warmer temperatures and collect on the top of the beer once fermented. This is known as top fermented. Lagers also use cultured yeast strains, however these strains tend to ferment at cooler temperatures and sink to the bottom after fermentation. Lager is therefore bottom fermented. The final beer type, Lambics use a wild yeast that is non-cultured and bacteria from the surrounding environment. Lambic beers are often cloudy.
Some brewers add fruits and additional ingredients to give their beers the hugely varied flavours and styles available. Irrespective of what additional ingredients are added the beer will still be a variant of an Ale, Lager or Lambic.
Beer doesn't need artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Alcohol and hops act as natural preservatives and contain anti bacterial properties. How these four simple ingredients are used makes all of the difference when it comes to the taste and look of beer. Other sources of starch or sugar other than barley malt can change the flavour away from malty or introduce flavours of their own, this in turn creates the characteristics that we grow to love in our favourite beers.
Browse the selection of beers in our product range.