Grahamt • Link
Difference between Ale and Beer:
Officially beer is hopped and ale isn't, but that distinction isn't strictly observed. Hops preserve beer, as well as giving it its bitter flavour. Kent is the region of England famed for its hops, but Pepys talks of Margate (in Kent) ale as though it is famous, so the difference seems already to have been lost by 1660. (why brew a hopless ale in a hop growing region?)
Nowadays ale is used to refer to top fermented bitter (British) beers, as compared to bottom fermented lager (American, German, Australian, etc.) beers. That meaning would not have been valid in Pepys' time as true lagers only appeared in the 19th century
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