Beer culture is full of all kinds of odd words, and to someone trying their first craft beer, it may feel like your more beer-savvy friends are talking in code. Here’s our ever-growing beer dictionary to help you figure out why the flocculation in the fermenting may have caused the tickers and haze bois to recruit mules and chase that whale.
This is by no means an exhaustive beer dictionary. Since we’re the guys that write a beer blog, our friends will text us and ask us about certain terms from time to time. That’s when we add them in here – plus a few extras that are good to know.
This beer dictionary isn’t meant to be the end-all-be-all, but if we’re doing our job right, it ought to make you a little more knowledgeable in the beer aisle. If there’s a term you’d like to know and Google’s giving you mixed answers, hit us up on IG, Facebook, or shoot us an email here.
Alcohol by volume. The higher the percentage, the stronger the beer.
An off flavor, a chemical bi-product of fermentation that tastes and smells like green apples
Extra fermentable carbohydrates used in brewing. Unmalted grain is most common and is usually either rice or corn. Honey, syrups, and lots of other sources of fermentable carbohydrates can be used. Adjuncts are common in mass produced light American lager-style beers. (See BMC)
AHA (American Homebrewers Association)
Advocates for hombrewers rights and creates Zymurgy Magazine. The AHA is a division of the Brewers Association and hosts the world’s largest beer competition, GABF. The AHA was founded in 1978.
Alcoholic is an adjective that can describe aroma, taste or physical warming sensation when describing a beer in a review (Winter Warmers are named for this reason). The flavors can be described as spicy and vinous sometimes. The higher the alcohol by volume (ABV) of a beer, often the larger the mouthfeel it has.
IPAs traditionally have higher alcohol content and are more aggressively hopped than pale ales. Expect citrus and hops.
The preferred grain in beer. The starch in a grain of barley isn’t ready to be fermented into alcohol, so the barley is generally converted into malted barley.
Belgian (or Brussels) lace:
The latticework of foam from the head of the beer that is left on the glass after a drink of beer has been taken. Reflects both the care taken in brewing the beer and the cleanliness of the glass from which it is being served.
A very strong lager traditionally brewed in winter to celebrate the coming spring. Full-bodied, malty, well-hopped.