As Saint Patrick’s Day draws near, beer is on the mind of many thirsty citizens. While “green beer” is a commonly sought after product during these festive times, it’s become apparent that many amateur enthusiasts are not sure what to ask for once they are posted at the bar. As a premier brewpub in Minneapolis, The Herkimer is here to provide educational services to our parched patrons. Our brewery bar provides the best food and in-house beers for your enjoyment. From the novice consumer to the expert brewer, we aim to amaze with our unique beers. Today, we’ll take a look at the most common beer types and the differences between each. This way, you’ll be able to impress your friends the next time you are ordering drinks. If this blog helps you get a free beer, then our mission was a success!


This common style of beer is produced with top-fermenting yeast, where fermentation actually occurs throughout the wort. This indicates that the yeast will initially rise to the top, dropping to the bottom once the fermentation process is done. Your typical ale will be brewed at “cellar temperature”, typically ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This warmth catalyzes a rapid fermentation process, where the chemical activity is amped up. The yeast used for this process, Saccharomyces cerevisia, is a common product that is handy for multiple uses. This yeast is also known for its hardiness and pliability, where varying brewing conditions will not impede the process too much. The temperature and alcohol content both hold higher ranges for ales, giving this beer the ability to hold a higher alcohol content. The end result is a robust, complex flavor that holds a variety of delicious aromas.


Ale’s more popular sibling, the lager, is a beer that goes through an entirely different process. While technically called a bottom fermenting beer for organizational purposes, the yeast in lagers simply does not rise to the top. Since it wasn’t seen at the top originally, people assumed it sat at the opposite end. This beer is fermented with a more sensitive yeast called Saccharomyces uvarum. While being more fragile sounds like a negative, the unique composition of this product provides a basis for creating sweeter, smoother beer.

Lagers use a yeast that can function below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, the entire fermentation process moves much slower, often requiring months to brew at cold temperatures. This yeast can also ferment sugar, creating a smoother taste when compared to an ale’s hearty flavorings. Coming from the German word lagern, which means storage, lagers are then stored at cold temperatures to foster more clarity in the mixture.

Ales and lagers are both beers, but the similarities pretty much stop there. Next time, we’ll look at a few more differences between these two behemoths of brewing and the benefits of each. As a top-notch craft brewery, our mad scientists are constantly at work to create bolder, smoother beers. The Herkimer is your top brewpub in Minneapolis thanks to our dedication to quality foods and service. From the delicious menu to the engaging events, our sports bar is the perfect place for you to come and enjoy your free time. We’re confident that you’ll be a fan of our brews. Look over our menu here, then come in and experience The Herkimer difference!