The BJCP doesn’t recognize the fact that “ale” is a categorization used in English, Belgian, French, and US brewing traditions, but not in Germany. They would not have categorized ale versus beer, or ale versus lager. Bit of a pet peeve of mine, but I think we should respect the distinctions of a particular culture, and not apply our own rules just because that’s how we do it here.
So traditionally, German brewing would include four categories of top-fermented beer, grätzer, süssbier/einfachbier, weissbier, and lagerbier/bitterbier. (Rant over)