A type of beer brewed using a warm fermentation method, resulting in a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste. Ale typically has a bittering agent to balance the sweetness of the malt, and act as a preservative. Historically the term referred to a drink brewed without hops. Ale, along with bread, was an important source of nutrition in the medieval world - small beer, known as table or mild beer, was highly nutritious. It contained just enough alcohol to act as a preservative, and provided hydration without intoxicating effects.
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