Glossary

A far from complete list of beer terms, I’ll try to keep adding things to this as I have time and ideas…

ABV- Alcohol by volume, the percentage of ethanol in the total volume of beer. Beers can range from below 3% (very light) to over 15%, but typically fall in the 4-8% range.

DIPA- A double or imperial IPA, typically higher in alcohol and more bitter than a standard issue IPA.

IBU-International bitterness unit, a measure of beer’s bitterness. Malty beers, like stout and brown ale with have low IBU’s (under 20), while IPA’s will have very high IBU’s, usually over 60. Some double IPA’s have over 100 IBU’s, even though there is a limit to the amount of bitterness the human tongue can detect.

IPA- India Pale Ale, a highly hopped ale initially made in Britian for transport to India and other British colonies. Before refridgeration the hops acted as a preservative, keeping the beer from spoiling during transport. While British IPA’s are usually balanced, American versions have huge hop flavors and high IBU’s.

Marzen: A German style lager, usually amber red and strongly malty. One of the most common beers brewed for German Oktoberfest.

Saison- A Belgian style farmhouse ale. Traditionally brewed by farm workers in the winter for consumption in the spring and summer. Due to the differing ingredients used from region to region (and even farm to farm), there is a wide variety of flavor profiles that fall under the saison heading.

Session Beer- A lower alcohol beer (typically less than 4.5% ABV), which allows you to drink multiple beers in a session without getting drunk. Many brewers are now focusing on making beers with lower alcohol but still high amounts of complexity and flavor.

Tripel- A Belgian Abby style ale, typically with lighter color, but still high alcohol, usually due to the addition of Belgian Candi sugar, which adds fermentable sugars without changing the color. Craft brewers in the US have adopted the style and added American hops, making a variety of the style with a more hop-forward character.

Unicorn Beer- A hard to find and sought after beer, the type of beer some people are willing to wait in line for hours to buy.

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