Words related to ale
"belonging to a bride or a wedding," c. 1200, transferred use of noun bridal "wedding feast," Old English brydealo "marriage feast," from bryd ealu, literally "bride ale" (see bride + ale); the second element later was confused with suffix -al (1), especially after c. 1600. Compare scot-ale under scot (n.) and Middle English scythe-ale (mid-13c.) "drinking celebration for mowers, as compensation for a particular job." Bridal-suite is by 1857.
"whitish mineral salt used as an astringent, dye, etc.," late 14c., from Old French alum, alun, from Latin alumen "alum," also "the alum plant," from Proto-Italic *alu- "bitter substance" literally "bitter salt," cognate with Greek aludoimos "bitter" and perhaps with English ale and some Balto-Slavic words for "beer" (such as Lithuanian alus). The plant's medicinal use on wounds was known to Pliny.
alcoholic drink made from grain (generally barley), infused with hops and boiled and fermented, Middle English ber, from Old English beor "strong drink, beer, mead," cognate with Old Frisian biar, Middle Dutch and Dutch bier, Old High German bior, German Bier; a West Germanic word of much-disputed and ambiguous origin.
It is probably a 6c. West Germanic monastic borrowing of Vulgar Latin biber "a drink, beverage" (from Latin infinitive bibere "to drink," from PIE root *po(i)- "to drink"). Another suggestion is that it comes from Proto-Germanic *beuwoz-, from *beuwo- "barley." The native Germanic word for the beverage was the one that yielded ale (q.v.). "The word occurs in OE., but its use is rare, except in poetry, and it seems to have become common only in the 16th c. as the name of a hopped malt liquor." [OED]
Beer was a common drink among most of the European peoples, as well as in Egypt and Mesopotamia, but was known to the Greeks and Romans only as an exotic product. [Buck]
They did have words for it, however. Greek brytos, used in reference to Thracian or Phrygian brews, was related to Old English breowan "brew;" Latin zythum is from Greek zythos, first used of Egyptian beer and treated as an Egyptian word but perhaps truly Greek and related to zymē "leaven."
Spanish cerveza is from Latin cervesia "beer." Old Church Slavonic pivo, source of the general Slavic word for "beer," is originally "a drink" (compare Old Church Slavonic piti "drink"). French bière is a 16c. borrowing from German. U.S. slang beer goggles, through which every potential romantic partner looks desirable, is from 1986.