Ales are top-fermented beers.
They are distinguished by their colour and the type of malt used.
The most common varieties are :
Brown ales made from kilned malt. They usually have a nice amber colour.
The IPA (India Pale Ale) is a blonde ale, richer in alcohol and hops, which enables a better conservation. Historically speaking, these beers were exported to the British colonies, and had to resist long distance journeys.
Pale ale is an ale made from light-coloured malts with little hops. It is moderately hopped.
Scotch ale is a very malty, strong beer with low hops. It contains the same malt as those used to make whisky, which gives the beer a rather smoky taste. Its alcohol teneur is relatively high.
Saison type beers or farmhouse ales were historically brewed on Belgian farms for seasonal workers. Brewed in winter, they were kept for a long time, giving them special flavors like Bières de Garde (“beers for keeping”).On the palate, it is distinguished by a dry and even slightly acidic finish.
Ales are best enjoyed between 9 and 12°C, in wide-necked glasses, that help reveal the richness of their aromas.