A complete guide to ale

Badger Beers Golden Champion Golden Ale 17th May 2024

Few beverages evoke as much curiosity and debate as ale. From its ingredients to its categorisation, ale remains a subject of intrigue among beer enthusiasts and novices alike.


Today, we delve into the essence of ale, shedding light on its composition and answering some frequently asked questions.

What is ale made from?

At its core, ale is a fermented beverage crafted primarily from malted barley, water, hops, and yeast. Unlike lagers, which employ a bottom-fermenting yeast and undergo a cooler fermentation process, ales typically utilise top-fermenting yeast strains. This difference in yeast and fermentation temperature results in the distinctive fruity and robust flavours often associated with ales.


The malted barley serves as the primary source of fermentable sugars, contributing both sweetness and body to the final product. Hops, the flowers of the hop plant, provide bitterness, aroma, and act as a natural preservative. Water, often overlooked but crucial, constitutes the bulk of ale’s composition, influencing its mouthfeel and overall character. Finally, yeast transforms the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide during fermentation, imparting complexity and depth to the brew.

Is ale a type of beer?

The answer to this question lies in understanding the broader categorisation of beer. Beer, in its simplest definition, refers to any alcoholic beverage produced through the fermentation of cereal grains. Under this expansive umbrella, both ale and lager fall into the category of beer.


However, within the realm of beer, ales and lagers represent distinct styles with unique characteristics. While both are brewed using malted grains, hops, water, and yeast, the differences in yeast type and fermentation process result in discernible disparities in flavour, aroma, and appearance.


Ales, characterised by their fruity esters, complex flavours, and often higher alcohol content, encompass a wide range of styles including pale ales, stouts, and porters, among others. Lagers, on the other hand, are known for their crispness, clean taste, and subtle maltiness, achieved through a longer, cooler fermentation process.

Badger’s Ale Range

At the Badger Brewery, the adventure begins with a diverse range of ales that cater to every palate and preference.


For those seeking a crisp and refreshing experience, the Golden Champion is a golden ale that takes the spotlight with its delicate elderflower hints, earning accolades such as the 2023 World Beer Awards Silver England Winner for Flavoured Beer. Meanwhile, Golden Glory (a peach ale) sets sail with bold peach notes, offering a fruity and fresh journey that captivates loyal fans and intrepid explorers alike.


Amber ale enthusiasts will find solace in the Fursty Ferret, a malty and full-bodied brew boasting moreish hoppy notes and a mischievous backstory that reminisces about the antics of a certain furry thief. And let’s not forget the enigmatic Cranborne Poacher, a rich and fruity ruby ale that tantalises the taste buds with its complex flavour profile of damson and liquorice.


Last but not least, the Hopping Hare, our pale ale, emerges as a hoppy and refreshing contender, delivering citrusy punches straight from the fields of Dorset.


The distinct characteristics of beer

While ale falls under the broader category of beer, its distinct characteristics set it apart as a unique style.


Crafted from malted barley, water, hops, and yeast, it stands as a quintessential representative of the beer family. Its rich history, diverse styles, and complex flavours continue to captivate enthusiasts and connoisseurs worldwide, cementing its status in the world of brewing.


Before you enter the world of Badger, we just want to check — are you of legal age to drink where you are? Please remember to drink responsibly.