Last year, I've published an article about why you should make eye contact while drinking beer. What's fascinating about beer is that there are numerous types of beers out there for you to try at the bar, liquor store or at a party. While Spoon already has a few articles on the different types of beer, I want to get into more detail about the difference between lager vs IPA.


beer, lager, alcohol, shandy, ale, liquor
Charlotte Hinrichs

Lagers are by far the most popular beer. With the development of technology and improvements in appliances, lagers were born. Unlike ale, which is brewed and fermented under room temperature, lagers are brewed and fermented in much cooler temperatures. Known as bottom-fermenting yeast, this cooler temperature allows yeasts in lagers to sink to the bottom of a glass and results in a longer fermentation process. Unlike ales, lagers are a golden-like color, and have a refreshing after-taste. 

Simply knowing what a lager is won't get you far, as the variations in lager brews are astounding. So I've made a few suggestions on what types of Lagers you may consider getting.

Pale Lager

ale, lager, liquor, alcohol, beer
Yatin Arora

Also known as European lager, this is the most common type of lager you can drink. Heineken is an example of a pale Lager if you want to give it a try.

juice, lager, ale, ice, tea, liquor, alcohol, beer
Suzy Hampson

First made in Czech Republic, pilsners have a more vibrant and translucent color compared to a pale ale. Pilsners also have a hoppier taste compared to pale lagers. If you want to give it a try, the Pilsner Urquell is a great start.


Image from WikiCommons

Image from WikiCommons

Unlike normal lagers, Bocks use more ingredients and take extra time for it to go through fermentation. As a result, bock beers have a stronger taste, as well as higher average alcohol by volume compared to other Lagers.


Image from WikiCommons

Image from WikiCommons

IPA, also known as the Indian Pale Ale, originated as a form of an ale, as the name suggests. Brewed in warmer temperatures, ales take less time to ferment compared to lagers. As a result, this provides a stronger taste compared to a Lager.

IPA was created during the British invasion of India. To make sure their ales wouldn't go bad during the long ship ride for exportation to British citizens living in India, brewing companies began to put in extra alcohol and ingredients such as hops. 

Normally, beer that contains high hop creates a very bitter taste. What's special about IPA, however, is that the hop's bitter taste goes perfectly with barley. Ultimately, it creates a unique aftertaste, flavor, and aroma. IPA does take time to get used to with its strong smell and taste, but once you find one you like, you may never be able to go back to other beers. 

So here's a simple comparison between lager vs IPA. Of course, I'm not suggesting that one's better than the other, but that they are merely different. It's 100% up to you to taste each one and figure out what your favorite beer is.