Drinks & Beverages

Difference Between Beer and Lager


Main Difference

The main difference between the Beer and Lager is that Beer is a warm, top-fermenting drink with moderate to high-calorie content, whereas Lager is cold, bottom-fermenting drink with high-calorie content.

Beer vs. Lager

Beer includes a group of drinks, whereas lager is a type of beer. Beer is the word that has an origin from old English language word “beow,” which means “barley” and also to Latin word “bibere which means “to drink,” while lager is derived from a German word “lagern” which means storage. Beer requires less aging time for fermentation of about two to three days; on the other hand, lager requires more time than the beers of about two weeks to months.


Beers in the brewing process use the yeast “Saccharomyces cerevisiae” for fermentation; on the flip side, lagers use the yeast “Saccharomyces pastorianus” for the fermentation. Beer is commonly warm fermented with less aging time; on the other hand, lager requires more aging time, so they are cold fermented. Commonly beer is top-fermenting yeasts, whereas lager is bottom-fermenting yeasts. Beers fall in all categories of calorie content, while lagers fall in the high calories content.

Beer contains from 95 to 294 calories energy; on the flip side of the coin, lager contains about 233 calories of energy per servings. The alcohol content of the beer is about 13.9g, whereas the alcohol content of the lager is about 21.1g.


Comparison Chart

Beer is a top-fermented drink as requires warm conditions for fermentation, with less aging time.Lager is a bottom-fermented drink that requires cold conditions for fermentation, with more aging time than the beers.
Old English or Latin originGerman origin
A major group of drinksKind of beer
Yeast for Fermentation
Saccharomyces cerevisiaeSaccharomyces pastorianus
Aging Time
2 to 3 daysTwo weeks to months
Kind of Fermentation
Warm conditionsCold conditions
Calories Content
95 to 294 calories233 calories
Alcohol Content

What is Beer?

Beer has been originated from the old English word “beor” with some roots with the English word “beow,” which means “barley” and Latin “bibere,” which means “to drink.” Beer comprises of remarkable history throughout the world, starting from the Haifa(Israel) 13000 years ago. Beer is prepared by the brewing of malted barley, maize, cereal grains, and wheat as well. Color, bitterness, and strength are three factors determining the quality of the beer. Variation in kinds of beers is varied with the alcohol content, flavor, and composition (brewing ingredients) as well. Non-alcoholic beers are also available with less than 0.5% alcohol.

Beers are served with temperature levels, established by Michael Jackson as well chilled, chilled, lightly chilled, cellar temperature and room temperature.

Types of Beer

  • Pale Ale: It uses the method of top fermentation of yeast, is pale malt.
  • Real Ale: It includes the secondary fermentation process using traditional ingredients.
  • Mild Ale: It is darker colored and malty in taste.
  • Wheat Beer: The brewing ingredient is wheat also uses the top-fermentation process.
  • Lambic: The use of yeast for fermentation includes Brettanomyces lambicus instead of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Beer Servings

  • Draught Beer: It is directly served from the container without pasteurization.
  • Dry Hoping: The beers are in wooden casks with hops present.
  • Primings: The solution of sugar is added for taste.
  • Kegs: It has the qualities of primings and dry kegs.

Health Effects

  • Overdrinking causes hypertension, cancer risks, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood sugar, hypothermia.
  • Long term use can cause mental problems, addiction, pancreas inflammation, liver failure, and heart problems as well.

What is Lager?

Lager is a type of beer drink which has been originated from the German origin word “lagern” which means storage or storeroom. Lager uses the bottom-fermenting yeasts at the colder temperatures for the fermentation during the brewing process. Lager requires the aging time of two weeks to months, which is more than the beers; therefore, they are fermented at colder temperatures. Lagers also use the maize, barley, wheat, cereal grains as an ingredient during the brewing.

Lagers involve the use of Saccharomyces pastorianus yeasts for the fermentation process. Lagers are well-carbonated drinks. Lagers are also determined of their quality by the factors which include, color, flavor, composition, and alcohol content as well. Depending on the styles they are served and ingredients, they have colors like a pale lager, Vienna lager, dark lager, craft lager.

Types of Lager

  • Pale Lager: It is light to golden with mild taste being the most common lager in the wmnckcndjhduhjhdyifjotfgkjbgkg.gvkblnorld.
  • Vienna Lager: Traditional Vienna lager is reddish-brown to copper with sweet malt taste, whereas Mexican Vienna lager is darker with roasted taste.
  • Dark Lager: It is a dark reddish-brown lager with the chocolate flavor.

Health Effects

Lager increases the risks of gout disease in humans. It may cause drug addiction, damage to the nervous system, and intoxication.

Nutritional Content

Lagers are comprising of about 233 calories of energy per servings with 17.6g carbohydrates, 1.6g of protein, and 21.1g of alcohol.

Key Differences

  1. Beer is a group of drinks; on the other hand, lager is the type of beer.
  2. Beer is top-fermenting yeasts, whereas lager is bottom-fermenting yeasts in the fermentation.
  3. Beer is usually comprising of the moderate to high-calorie content; on the other hand, lager contains high-calorie content.
  4. Beer is usually aged for less time of about two to three days, while lager is aged for a larger time of about two weeks to months.
  5. Beer is fermented at a higher temperature; on the other side of the coin, the lager is fermented at a lower temperature, which also serves for the increased age time.
  6. Beers use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for fermentation; on the flip side, lagers use the yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus.
  7. Beers use the alcohol content of about 13.9g, whereas lagers use the alcohol content of about 21.1g.
  8. Beer causes more health effects that can lead to long term addiction, liver failure, mental problems, heart problems; on the other hand, lager causes effects, which include gout, intoxication, and mental problems.


Beer is the major group of drink with moderate to high-calorie content as warm top-fermenting yeast, whereas lager is the type of beers with high-calorie content as cold bottom-fermenting yeasts.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson