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Here is some beer terminology. This will be added to as time goes by. Let me know if you have any suggestions for terms to include here.


Ales are top-fermented beers, in contrast to lagers which are bottom-fermented. There is an almost-infinite variety of flavours within the ale category of beers, but most display caramel flavours, varying degrees of hoppy bitterness, and fruity aromas. There are a number of different beer types in this category, including bitter, mild, brown ale, Scottish and Irish ales, and a number of European and American ales.

Cask Ale

Cask ale, or “cask-conditioned ale”, is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask, usually without any additional gas pressure. Cask ale is sometimes referred to as “real ale”, a term coined by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), though this term has now been extended to cover bottle-conditioned beers as well.


Lager is bottom-fermented beer. The name derives from the German “lagern” meaning “store”, referring to the time these beers spend in cold storage. Lagers are usually crisp, clean, refreshing and lightly hopped. Usually best served chilled.


A style of lager created in the Czech Republic.

Wheat Beers

These beers, brewed mainly in Germany and Belgium, are also known as “wit” or “weiss” because of their very pale colour. Unlike most beer styles, where clarity is desirable, wheat beers are intentionally cloudy. They are zesty, low in bitterness and may contain notes of orange peel, coriander, cloves or banana