(Step, step, step…..) (Slurp, Gulp) (Boing) Ahaaa…… (Burp) (English folk music) (Host: Mark Sparks) Ale is the oldest type of brew. It’s quite possible that it was discovered accidentally by some thirsty and very fortunate prehistoric beer lover. You see, unlike lagers, ale ferments with a top yeast. A process that can occur naturally and
doesn’t require excessive refrigeration. So, while widespread practicality of the lager
depended on the Industrial Revolution, European brewers have produced ale for centuries under almost any conditions without fear of its spoiling. (Doug McNair of Redhook Brewery) Most of the micros, not all, but most of them are making ales. Whereas the American style beers are lagers, and that right there is the first split in the whole world
of beers is between ales and lagers. And it’s based on the kind of yeast that’s used. But you end up with very very different products and then from either side of that family tree, if you will, you have all the styles coming down. On the ales you have the stouts and the
nut brown ales and the Belgian ales. They are almost in a category on their own, actually. On the other side you have pilsners and
all the continental style lagers you’d see. (Mark Sparks) The various styles, tastes,
and colors are steeped in a very old tradition. Many with an English or Celtic connection.