Local Terminology Page

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Ales are beers fermented with top fermenting yeast. Ales typically are fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers and are often served warmer. The term ale is sometimes incorrectly associated with alcoholic strength.


Lagers are any beer that is fermented with bottom-fermenting yeast at colder temperatures. Lagers are most often associated with crisp, clean flavors and are traditionally fermented and served at colder temperatures than ales.


Malts are beers that are sweet, low-alcohol beers (0%–2.5% ABV) brewed like regular beers but with low or minimal fermentation. To keep the alcohol content low, one of two methods may be used: either the yeast is added at about 0 °C (resulting in an alcohol content of under 0.5% ABV) or fermentation is halted at the desired alcohol content (usually in the range of 1 to 2% ABV). It is made from barley malt syrup, sugar, yeast, hops, and water.

Stout / Porter

Stouts are dark beers made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Stouts were traditionally the generic term for the strongest or stoutest porters, typically 7% or 8% alcohol by volume (ABV), produced by a brewery.


Amber ale is a term used in Australia, France and North America for pale ales brewed with a proportion of amber malt and sometimes crystal malt to produce an amber color generally ranging from light copper to light brown.


Blonde ales are very pale in color. The term "blonde" for pale beers is common in Europe and South America, though the beers may not have much in common, other than color. Blondes tend to be clear, crisp, and dry, with low-to-medium bitterness and aroma from hops, and some sweetness from malt. Fruitiness from esters may be perceived. A lighter body from higher carbonation may be noticed. In the United Kingdom, golden or summer ales were developed in the late 20th century by breweries to compete with the pale lager market.


Cream ales are related to pale lagers. They are generally brewed to be light and refreshing with a straw to pale golden color. Hop and malt flavor is usually subdued. While cream ales are top-fermented ales, they typically undergo an extended period of cold-conditioning or lagering after primary fermentation is complete. This reduces fruity esters and gives the beer a cleaner flavor. Some examples also have a lager yeast added for the cold-conditioning stage or are mixes of ales and lagers.


>See Amber and Stout


Fruit beers are beers made with fruit added as an adjunct or flavoring.


See Pale, below.


See Mead, below.


Lambics are beers originating in the valley of the Zenne (in, and around, Brussels) Belgium. Despite being copied by brewers in other parts of the world, Lambic's may be refermented with cherries to make kriek, or fermented with raspberries to make framboise.


Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 3.5% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey.

India Pale Ale (IPA)

IPA's have a long history in the United States and Canada. Contemporary American IPA's are typically brewed with distinctively American hops, such as Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo, Tomahawk, Warrior, Neomexicanus, and Nugget. East Coast IPA's are distinguished from West Coast IPA's by a stronger malt presence, which balances the intensity of the hops; whereas, hops are more prominent in the western brews, possibly because of the proximity of West Coast breweries to hop fields in the Pacific Northwest. East Coast breweries rely more on spicier European hops and specialty malts than those on the West Coast.


Pale lager is a very pale-to-golden-colored lager beer with a well attenuated body and a varying degree of noble hop bitterness. Different brewing practices and hop levels have resulted in a range of taste and strength within the pale ale family.

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

ABV is ameasurement of the alcohol content of a solution in terms of the percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer. This measurement is always higher than Alcohol by Weight. To calculate the approximate volumetric alcohol content, subtract the final gravity from the original gravity and divide by 0.0075. For example: 1.050 – 1.012 = 0.038/0.0075 = 5% ABV.

International Bitterness Unit (IBU)

The measure of the bittering substances in beer (analytically assessed as milligrams of isomerized alpha acid per liter of beer, in ppm). This measurement depends on the style of beer. Light lagers typically have an IBU rating between 5-10 while big, bitter India Pale Ales can often havex an IBU rating between 50 and 70.
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