Brewers of Pennsylvania

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ‘craft brewery’?

The term originated here in America after pioneering breweries surpassed the ‘microbrewery’ designation and the moniker speaks to quality, not quantity, as the ‘microbrewery’ designation applied only to breweries producing 15,000 barrels of beer per year or less. Craft beers are of many flavors and colors, so the definition is very inclusive with respect to the diversity of the brewer’s craft. Simply put, a craft brewery is typically small in scale, independently owned and producing quality beers with respect to traditional brewing methods. Learn more here.

What is the difference between ales and lagers?

Ales are fermented warmer than lagers with yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae) said to be “top-fermenting.” Ales often feature a more pronounced aroma and impression over lagers as warm fermentation leaves fermentation byproducts in the ale that lager processing minimizes. Lagers, from the German word “lagern” – meaning to store, are made with a cold-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces Uvarum) that contributes less fermentation flavors to the brew. Tradition post-fermentation storage (“lagering” ) for periods of a month or more at cold temperatures tempers the brew rendering generally cleaner, smoother, crisper, and a more mellow taste than commonly found in ales. It should be noted that America’s first lager beers were brewed right in Philadelphia in 1840 by a Bavarian immigrant, John Wagner.