One of the most commonly asked brew questions we’ve encountered here at Frankenmuth Brewery is, “How many different kinds of beer are there really?” The answer is not as tricky as you think. Read on to discover the secret of brew classification.
At Frankenmuth Brewery, we have several varieties of Michigan beer, from our Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen to Red Sky Ale and Munich Dunkel. However, out of all these different kinds of beer, there are truly only two categories that nearly all brews fall under. Depending on the yeast used and the fermentation process, these beers will either be dubbed ales or lagers.
The brewing process of ales is centered on the yeast gathering at the top of the brew during fermentation. Throughout this series of chemical reactions, the brew is stored in a warm place (60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit), which results in the aromas that ales have become known for. Michigan beer from Frankenmuth Brewery that falls under the ale category includes our American Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen Ale, Batch 69 American Style IPA, Red Sky Irish Style Ale, Harvest Ale and Easy Brown Ale.
When it comes to the other different kinds of beer, the rest fall into the Lager family. Frankenmuth’s include our Munich Dunkel, Pilsener, Oktoberfest, Winter Bock, Baltic Style Porter Lager and 150th Anniversary Lager. This style of beer is brewed at colder temperatures than ales, usually around 46 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, the yeast that is used to produce lagers is more aggressive and actually ferments at the bottom of the beer tank. This process allows the beer to tend to have a sweeter flavor.
Whether you prefer lagers or ales, there are hundreds of different kinds of beer that fall into these two categories and will please the sensibilities of any brew drinker. Take a trip to Frankenmuth Brewery and allow our brew staff to show off the different varieties of lagers and ales we have on tap at our Michigan brewery and become a more informed beer drinker.