American Dictionary of the English Language

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ALE, noun

1. A liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation. It differs from beer, in having a smaller proportion of hops. It is of different sorts, chiefly pale and brown; the first made from malt slightly dried; the second, from malt more considerably dried or roasted. ale was the common drink of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. It is usually made with barley; but sometimes with wheat, rye, millet, oats, etc.

2. A merry meeting in English country places, so called from the liquor drank.

Medicated Ales are those which are prepared for medicinal purposes, by an infusion of herbs during fermentation.