Alcohol by volume: Amount of alcohol in beer in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer.
IBU: International bittering units. This is an objective measure of the bitterness of a beer. This number is based on the amount of a natural resin in the hops, how much hops are used, and when the hops are added to the beer.
Malt: The base grain for all beer, malt is almost always made from barley. (However, wheat is used in addition to barley for particular styles of beer such hefeweizen or wheat beer.) Malt is created by soaking barley in water and allowing it to germinate before drying and kilning it. This process enables the production of enzymes, which, during the brewing process, will convert starch into fermentable sugar. The kilning process can also result in malt with characteristics that impart different flavors and colors in the final product.
Hops: The herb added to fermenting beer or boiling wort to produce a bitter flavor and aroma.
Dry-hopped: Refers to the addition of hops after the boil, during transfer to the fermenter, in the fermenter itself, or even after fermentation. This technique adds a lot of hop aroma without adding much more bitterness to the beer.
Wet-hopped (“fresh-hopped”): Normally hops are dried before being used to make beer. Wet-hopped beer uses hops that have been freshly harvested and not dried, producing unique flavors and aromas. Drink your wet-hopped beer as fresh as possible.
Bittering hops: Hops that are added to the beginning of the boil, resulting in more bitterness and less aroma in the final product.
Aroma hops: Hops that are added at the end of the boil, producing less bitterness and more aroma in the final product.
Ale yeast: A top-fermenting yeast used to make ales. Ale yeast ferments at warmer temperatures (close to room temperature).
Lager yeast: A bottom-fermenting yeast used to make lager-style beer. Lager yeast ferments best at lower temperatures, such as cellar temperatures that range from 40º to 50º F.
Brettanomyces (aka “Brett”) and wild yeast: A special yeast used to make sour or wild beer. Barrel-aged and sour ales almost always have Brett or another “wild” yeast strain in order to produce the acidity and funky aromas.
Session: The basic idea of a session beer is that you can drink multiples of these beers over the course of an evening without falling off your stool. A session beer could almost be considered the opposite of an imperial.
There are four basic ingredients used to make beer: malt, hops, yeast and water. Depending on the style of the beer, other ingredients such as grains or even fruits and spices may be added. Let’s take a look at some of these beer styles!
American Lager: Full, light balanced. ABV: 4.5-5.5%
Amber Lager: Malty, sweet & balanced. ABV: 4.5-5.5%
Pilsner: Very light with distinct hops. ABV: 4.5-5.0%
Dunkel: Dark, malty flavor. ABV: 4.5-6%
Bock: Strong, rich & toasty ABV: 6-7%
Pale Ale: Hoppy, bitter. ABV:4.5-6.5%
Witbier: Spicy, fruity, citrusy & tangy.
Hefeweizen: Banana & clove-like taste.
Brown Ale: Bolder, nutty, sweeter & maltier. ABV:4.5-6.5%
Irish Red Ale: Malty, biscuity & drier.
India Pale Ale: Heavily hopped & higher ABV. ABV: 5.3-9.9%
Barley Wine: Hoppy, bitter, strong. ABV: 8-12%
Sours: Sour & tart.
Porter: Dark, rich, malty, smoky & robust. ABV: 6-8%
Stout: Dark, rich, malty, roast coffee & chocolate taste. ABV: 6-8%
Lambic: Dry, fruity & sour. ABV: 3.5-5%