What Is the Difference Between a Beer and a Lager?

What Is the Difference Between a Beer and a Lager?

Beer, lager, IPA, stout, ale; the list of alcoholic drinks that taste very similar, but also very different can go on. Whether you’re curious to find out what makes the taste different or you want to learn how different types of beer are made, then this guide is here to help.

But first, let’s answer one question that keeps popping up: what’s the difference between a beer and a lager? In short, a lager is a type of beer, so if you use the term ‘lager’, you’re referring to that specific drink. In contrast, the term ‘beer’ can refer to lager, IPA, ale or any other style of beer. All lager is beer but not all beer is lager.

Read on to learn more interesting facts about beer and about the nitty gritty of beer brewing.

Are Beer and Lager the Same Thing?

No, they’re not the same thing. Lager is just one type of beer and it doesn’t share the same properties and, of course, taste the same as other types of beer. 

If you order a lager, you’d get exactly that – a beer that’s brewed at a cool temperature using bottom-fermenting yeast. However, if you order a pint of beer, you might get a lager, but also it might be an IPA, a stout or another type of beer.

In other words, all lager is beer but not all beer is lager.

Your Guide to Different Types of Beer

We’ve clarified the difference between lager and beer, but what about the other types of beer? What makes them different from lager? Let’s have a look.

Difference Between Lager and Ale

There are three main differences between lager and ale:

• Yeast – for lager, a bottom-fermenting yeast is used as part of the brewing process, whereas a top-fermenting yeast is used for ales.

• Brewing temperature – lager is brewed at a cool temperature, while ale is produced in a warmer environment.

• Time – the brewing process of lager can take multiple weeks or even months, while ale can be enjoyed in as little as  2-3 weeks.



Yeast used for brewing Bottom-fermenting yeast Top-fermenting yeast
Brewing temperature Cool temperature Warm temperature
Brewing time Multiple weeks or even months 2-3 weeks

Difference Between Lager and IPA

The main difference you’ll notice between lagers and IPAs is the difference in taste, which is a result of the brewing methods and the hops content. IPAs are highly hopped and have a higher IBU (international bitterness unit) than lagers.

For example, Skinny IPA has an IBU of 30, while Skinny Lager weighs in at 13 IBU. If you prefer the bitter taste of beer, then give our Skinny IPA a try. And if you like more of a lighter and crisper, but still full-flavoured taste, then Skinny Lager is for you.

Difference Between Lager and Pilsner

There is actually not much of a difference between a lager and a pilsner because pilsner is a type of lager. They’re both brewed in the same way – in cool temperatures and with a bottom-fermenting yeast. The only differentiating property is that lagers can be pale, amber or dark while pilsners are always pale.

Difference Between Lager and Stout

Lagers and stouts are easy to distinguish due to the difference in colour: stouts have a very high dark malt content, which gives them the distinguishing dark colour, while lagers tend to be lighter. 

However, there are a few other differences in characteristics, including:

Malt and hop content –  stouts have a higher malt and lower hop content compared to lagers.

Fermentation – lagers are fermented at the bottom at around 0-2°C, while stouts are top-fermented at 18-20°C.

Flavour – stouts have a more bitter and intense, ‘hoppier’ flavour compared to lagers.

Which Beer Will You Try?

Now that you know the difference between lager and different types of beer, we won’t keep you any longer. Head for a pint or order online our refreshing, premium Skinny Lager or our hoppy, full-flavoured Skinny IPA and let us know on our socials which one is your favourite. 

Bottles and cans of the gluten-free Skinny Lager with a BUY button