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Elena

Ale and beer

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Which is the difference? As a non native English speaker, the dictionary gives to both the same word. If you look an English-French dictionary (which I did), again, "biere" is the equivalent. So... I have the impression English people differentiate them. How?

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Nowadays, it has to do with where the yeast ferments. In earlier times it was a difference of whether or not hops were added during brewing. Before hops became widespread in Europe, ale was a beer created without the use of hops, while lager (beer) combined hops with the other ingredients. As hops began to pervade breweries, however, this distinction between beer and ale no longer applied. Brewers began to differentiate between beer and ale on the basis of where the yeast fermented in the cask: ale uses yeast that gathers on the top, and lager uses yeast that ferments on the bottom

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Thank you very much. So it is how I understood it from the beginning, ale is a specific kind of beer. Just like lager, guiness, etc. are different others.

What I had seen written in a few places that confused me was the specification "ale, not beer", and that it would have been incorrect in a period environment to use the word beer.

Edited by Elena

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