Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beer Lingo

You've seen our article on Barbecue Lingo... at least YOU'D BETTER HAVE SEEN IT.  Anyway, we figured since this is a barbecue and beer blog (mmm, beerbecue), we ought to let you guys in on some standard beer lingo as well, in case you all get confused when we describe beer.  This is not an overly comprehensive list, as we want to keep it accessible to those who are new to the beer world, so keep calm, beer geeks.

ABV - Alcohol by volume.

Acidic - Technically speaking, this refers to anything with a pH below 7, but in beer/food terms, might refer to anything with a tangy, sharp, sour flavor.

Ale - A beer made with "top fermenting" yeast. Ferments quicker and at a warm temperature.

Barley - A grain commonly malted and used for beer making.  Also used in food.

Beer - Any ale or lager, or hybrid.

Belgian - Referring to an ale (usually) either from Belgium, or in the Belgian style.  Belgian beers tend to be very complex with pronounced yeast flavors, and many have a high ABV.

Bitter - Either refers to the flavor sensation of bitterness, often caused by hops, or refers to the English low-alcohol style ale called a "bitter."

English - Referring to an ale or lager from England or in the English style. English beers are generally sessionable and served at cask temperatures, though some strong ales come from England too.

Flemish - Referring to a particular region in West Flanders, Belgium that produces dark red or dark brown sour ales.

Funky - Generally refers to beers, such as saisons, with unusual, sometimes very earthy and tangy yeast flavors.  Aromas of such beers may even be similar to cheese or farms.

German - Referring to an ale or lager from Germany or in the German style. German lagers are particularly known for being well-balanced and crisp.

Goblet - A rounded, stemmed glass for serving beer in.  Popularly used for Belgian beers (due to high carbonation) and very high quality beers for aesthetic appeal.

Hefeweizen - An unfiltered wheat ale.  Generally has a cloudy orange to brown color.  Most commonly known for having banana and clove-like yeasty flavors.

Hops  - Bitter, green, cone-shaped flowers that act as a preservative and flavoring agent, used in relatively small amounts in beer.  Flavors from hops can be piney, floral, citrusy, earthy, grassy, woody, and combinations of all.

Imperial - Technically comes from "Russian imperial stout," which were brewed in England for the Russian royals, but has become a general term for high ABV beers.

Imperial pint - A beer served in a glass that holds almost 20 ounces.  Popular in England.

India pale ale - An ale made with pale malts which is hoppier than normal and has an ABV usually above 6%.

Kolsch - A hybrid ale/lager brewed in Cologne, Germany.  Generally golden/straw yellow in color, crisp, and with some fruit-like flavors.

Lager - A beer made with "bottom fermenting" yeast.  Ferments slowly at cold temperatures.

Lambic - An ale, traditionally brewed in certain parts of Belgium, made with wild yeast and partial wheat malt.  Most are very sour, though some are tempered by being brewed with fruit.

Malt - Barley, wheat, or other grains which has been partially germinated in order to allow its sugars to concentrate. Used in large amounts in beer making for color, body, and alcohol content.

Mild - Referring either to a beer with a light flavor, or referring to a type of English session beer.

Pale - Lighter colored beer, usually ranging from straw yellow to orange-ish, which is brewed with lighter colored "pale malts."

Phenolic - Mediciney tasting, which can be an off-putting flavor found sometimes in strong beers.

Pilsner - A type of lager which traditionally has a light color and a lightly bitter flavor, often made with Saaz hops.  German pilsners and Czech pilsners are common.

Porter  - A type of ale brewed with dark malts, similar enough to a stout that some consider the terms to be totally subjective.

Rauchbier - Translates to "smoked beer" in German, as it is brewed with peat smoked malt.  Has a very smokey, almost bacon-like flavor.

Roasted barley - Barley which has been kiln fired but not malted, giving a dark color and coffee-ish flavor to stouts.

Saison - A Belgian style of ale, traditionally brewed in a farmhouse.  Some are funky, some are crisp and refreshing.  Most have a pronounced yeast flavor.

Session/Sessionable - Refers to low ABV beers which can be consumed in large quantities.  Session beers are popular in the United Kingdom in particular.

Sour - Tangy and citrusy and funky flavors which may come from Brettanomyces yeast or other wild yeasts.

Stout - A dark ale (generally pitch black) which is made with dark malts and roasted barley.

Wheat - Another grain often used in some types of beer, which tends to offer a yeasty, sometimes very fruit-like flavor.

White ale - A type of wheat ale traditionally brewed with orange zest and coriander.  Has a light, cloudy, yellowish color and lemony/yeasty flavor.

Yeast - Microbes which give beer flavor, allow carbonation, and convert sugar to alcohol.

Any important ones you think we left out?  Nuts to you.  I mean, either leave a comment or submit to

No comments: