Ale is a traditional term for a fermented beverage made mainly from malted barley, and covers all the beers fermented at a higher temperature. For centuries ale was the most popular type of beer. In general, they have a higher alcoholic content, a strong bitterness and are more aromatic.
It is believed that the word ”ale” comes from the Old English ”ealu”, which is meant to stand for sorcery or magic. In the Middle Ages it was a very important drink and, with bread along, was an important source of nutrition. Besides ”ealu” there is another therm reffered to ales, and that is øl (Scandinavian). The etymology of “øl” is traced back to the primordial Indo-European root, presumably with the meaning of “intoxication”. The origin is convincingly proved by the modern Danish and Norwegian øl, also the Icelandic öl, Lithuanian and Latvian alus, Estonian õlu and Finnish olut.
Ale‘s brewing started in colonial times in England and before hops became popular in Europe, ale was created without them. In England all beers were named ale until the 15th century when the Dutch introduced the hops into England. Since then, the name ale was applied to unhopped fermented beverages and the term beer was introduced to describe a brew with an infusion of hops.
Ale is typically fermented at temperatures between 15°C and 24°C, lasts three to eight days and involves adding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts to the malt. At these temperatures, the yeast rises to the surface of the malt once all the glucose has been used up. The result is often a beer with a higher alcohol content, slightly fruity notes, and less carbon dioxide. The important distinction between ales and other types of beer is that they are fermented at higher temperatures and thus ferment quicker.
These beers are consumed at a higher temperature, best served at 10–14°C. Chilling a bottle from room temperature to the perfect serving temperature takes about one hour in the fridge.
TYPES OF ALES
· Pale Ale
Includes English Pale Ales, American Pale Ales and Belgian Pale Ales
· IPA – India Pale Ale
· American Amber Ale/Red Ale
· English Special Bitter (ESB)
· English Extra Special Bitter (EESB)
· Scottish Ale
Includes Scottish Light Ales, Scottish Export Ales and Scottish Heavy Ales
· Golden / Canadian Style Ale
· Kolsch/Koln-style Kolsch
· English Mild Ale
Includes English Light Mild Ale and English Dark Mild Ale
· Brown Ale
· American Brown Ale
· Belgian Flanders/Oud Bruin Ale/Flemish Brown Ale
· Dusseldorf-style Alt Bier/German-style Brown
· Berliner-style Weisse
Includes Irish Dry, Sweet/Milk, Oatmeal and Imperial Stouts
· Strong Ale/Old Ale
Includes English, Scotch and Belgian Strong/Old Ales
· Belgian Strong Ale
· Barley Wine-style Ale
· Belgian Red
· Bier de garde
· Belgian Abbey Ale/Trappist Ale
· Belgian Dubbel
· Belgian Tripel
· Belgian White
· Belgian Lambic
· Belgian Fruit Lambic