Is stout a lager or ale?

Answered by Willie Powers

Stout is actually an ale, not a lager. Ales and lagers are two different types of beer, categorized based on the type of yeast used and the fermentation process. Ales are fermented at warmer temperatures using top-fermenting yeast, while lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures using bottom-fermenting yeast.

Stout falls under the category of ale because it is brewed using top-fermenting yeast and is fermented at warmer temperatures. This yeast, known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ferments the sugars in the wort (the liquid extracted from malted grains) to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Stouts are known for their dark color and rich, roasted flavors. They are typically made with darker malts, such as roasted barley, which give them their characteristic deep brown or black appearance. The roasted malts also contribute to the flavors of chocolate, coffee, and sometimes even hints of smoke or licorice.

The use of unmalted roasted barley in stouts adds to their bitterness and gives them a distinct coffee-like taste. This bitterness is balanced with the sweetness from the malted barley, creating a complex and flavorful beer.

Stouts can vary in strength, from lower alcohol session stouts to more robust imperial stouts. Some popular varieties of stout include Irish stout (such as Guinness), oatmeal stout, milk stout, and Russian imperial stout.

In terms of serving, stouts are often enjoyed at slightly warmer temperatures compared to lagers. This allows the flavors to fully develop and be appreciated. They are typically served in a pint glass or a snifter, which helps capture and enhance the aromas.

While stouts may not be as popular as some other beer styles, they have a dedicated following and are beloved by many beer enthusiasts. Their rich, complex flavors and smooth mouthfeel make them a great choice for those looking for a bold and satisfying beer experience.

Stout is a type of ale, not a lager. It is brewed using top-fermenting yeast and is known for its dark color, roasted flavors, and bitter coffee-like taste. Whether you’re a fan of stouts or not, they certainly offer a unique and enjoyable beer-drinking experience.