7 Craft Beer Terms All Beer Drinkers Should Know
By Christopher Rivera
Long gone are the days of giant corporations peddling their mass produced and flavorless ales and lagers to all who are unsuspecting and unaware to the fact that small batch brews often times contain more flavors and varying levels of alcohol content. In short, you can find and select many beers that fit your exact specifications for flavor and potency by trying out the plethora of smaller batch brews that are currently available. Getting to know the language of this beverage takes some effort so here are 7 craft beer terms all beer drinkers should know.
ABV is the acronym that stands for alcohol by volume which represents exactly what it states- the amount of alcohol per volume of liquid the brew contains. Small batch crafted beers can contain ABV’s that are both lower and higher than mass produced ones. Often times certain styles such as IPA’s and stouts will contain slightly higher ABV’s in general.
Beer is primarily made from a mixture of barley and hops that are boiled, mashed up, and fermented as the main ingredient. Hops provide the spice and bite commonly found in India Pale Ales. Raw hops will have a strong scent and flavor resembling that of a pine cone. Many drinkers enjoy highly hopped brews and there has been a trend to see how “hoppy” you can make a brew without thoroughly ruining it.
As previously mentioned, this drink is created from a mixture of barley and hops. At first boiled and malted barley are mixed with hops and boiled to create a sugar rich liquid that then ferments once yeast is added. Wort is the beginning ingredient for all styles and may be brought up in conversation when discussing how particular flavors are introduced.
4. Specific Gravity
Similar to ABV the specific gravity of a beer will eventually refer to the total amount of alcohol that resides in a glass. However, a major difference is the specific gravity will usually refer to the amount of sugar in the wort prior to fermentation. The higher the gravity of the wort, the more sugars included to ferment and convert to alcoholic content.
5. Session Beer
A session brews is a slightly reduced alcohol version designed to be enjoyed over longer sessions. They generally contain ABV’s of less than 5% and became more and more popular as a trend for lighter brews arose.
A growler is not a wild animal, it is a container made from ceramics, glass, or steel used to transport draft brews that are not created for retail sale.
Some brews are given an extra infusion of yeast after being bottled for the purpose of a secondary fermentation process that will bring out more complex and desirable flavors in the bottle. These beers are known as bottle conditioned and are sometimes more expensive.
By becoming more familiar with beer terms you can quickly become an expert and impress all your friends at your next brew session social.
To learn more about craft beer, visit Flixbrewhouse.