IPAs and lagers taste different, but do you know why? We're breaking down the key differences between an IPA vs lager here.

IPA vs Lager: The Key Differences All Beer Lovers Should Know

What’s the difference between IPA vs lager?

Without any doubt, the most popular style of beer worldwide is the IPA. These beers are packed full of flavor and are an itinerant drinker’s dream. If you aren’t aware already, there are many different types of IPA, as well as other styles of beer.

Read on to find out the main differences between lager and IPA, including the IPA vs lager debate.

Let’s get into it!


The Difference In Taste Between IPA and Lager

An IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a type of local craft beer brewery that has a significantly higher hop content compared to a lager, which as a result, gives it a stronger, more bitter overall taste. On the other hand, a lager is a type of beer that is brewed in a slightly different and more refined manner. Generally speaking, a lager has a lighter, more intense taste with a much cleaner finish.

In terms of color, IPA comes out much darker than lager, reflecting the malts used to brew the beer. In terms of texture, both IPA and lager can be either light or medium-bodied, depending on the beer. Ultimately, the difference in taste between the two styles is really up to the beer lover to decide, but both styles of beer have something to offer.

Strength and Alcohol Content Differences

What is an IPA? IPAs are known for their bold and hoppy flavors as well as higher alcohol content, ranging from 6-8%. Lagers, on the other hand, are known for their more subtle flavor and lower alcohol content. Lagers usually range from 3-7%, with some of the most popular lagers coming in around 4.5-5%.

Brewing Techniques Used in IPA and Lager

When compared to a lager, an IPA has a higher alcohol content, usually ranging from 5-7% ABV. IPAs also have a much bolder hop flavor – which gives beer its bitterness – and an intensity and complexity of aromas that lagers lack.

IPAs are known for their bold, hoppy flavor, which is achieved by adding a large number of hops during the brewing process. This provides an intense bouquet and flavor profile in the final beer. Lagers, on the other hand, are brewed with traditional lager yeast that produces a clear, crisp flavor.

How Is an IPA Made?

The beer is then strained, carbonated, and bottled for consumption. Lagers are made in a different process. They use more fermentable sugar, such as corn or rice, and are fermented at cooler temperatures using bottom-fermenting yeast. The result is a beer with a light color and a mild, malty flavor.

How Is a Lager Made?

Lagers are made from malts, hops, and enzymes that are cold fermented and then stored at low temperatures. This process creates a beer that is light, crisp, and easy to drink. IPAs, on the other hand, are brewed from malts, hops, and enzymes that are warm fermented and then stored at a higher temperature.

Explore the Differences Between IPA vs Lager

In summary, IPA vs lager have distinct differences in taste, aroma, and color. For the beer lover, it’s important to recognize the nuances between them to choose the right beer for any occasion.

If you’re interested in expanding your beer knowledge even further, look into craft beer and local microbreweries

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