Tale Terminology

Tale Terminology

Are you ready to dive into the world of craft beer? Understanding the terminology is key to fully appreciating the rich history and complex flavours of this beloved beverage. Meet your new Brewing Sidekick and Beer Glossary that will help you explore some essential terms to navigating the tale of craft beer!



Craft Beer

The Brewers Association defines craft beer as beer made by a brewery that is Independent (not controlled by a big commercial brewer), traditional (usually brewed with time-honoured methods and high-quality ingredients, no additives or preservatives), and small (produces less than 704 million litres per year). 


International Bitterness Unit (IBU) is a gauge of how bitter a beer tastes, with levels typically falling between 5 (mild) and 120 (bold). It can be used for other foods and beverages, but we're only worried about beer today. These are the IBU's for our tales: 


    Alcohol by volume (ABV) is a metric used to determine the alcohol content in an alcoholic beverage. The measurement shows what percentage of the beverage’s total volume is pure alcohol.


    Alcohol by Weight (ABW) is the measure of the amount of alcohol in a liquid expressed as the of percentage of total weight.


    The “head” of a beer is the foamy, frothy white top that appears when poured. It is caused by the carbon dioxide bubbles rising to the top. A robust head is desirable because it prevents the beer from going flat and contains much of the aroma from the brew. 

    Top Fermentation


    Top fermentation uses special yeast that rises to the surface of the fermenting wort; allowing us to ferment at higher temperatures. This results in faster fermentation, lower energy usage, and more flavourful beers than bottom-fermented beers (such as lager or pilsners).


    European Brewery Convention (EBC) is essentially the beer's colour ID card, offering a standardised scale from light to dark shades. It's a useful tool for brewers and beer lovers to pinpoint exactly what makes their favourite beer hue-nique.


    Original Gravity (OG) is the specific gravity of unfermented wort. FG & OG (original gravity) is used to determine the ABV & ABW of a beer.


    Standard Reference Method (SRM) is a system brewers use to specify beer colours. The color measurement system for assessing and quantifying beer color was established in the 1940s and early 1950s.


    Lacing refers to the pattern of foam that clings to the sides of a glass as you drink beer. It is a visual indicator of the beer's carbonation and protein content. Well-defined lacing is often associated with high-quality brews.


    Wort is the sweet liquid extracted from malted grains during the brewing process. It serves as the foundation for beer, providing fermentable sugars that yeast will convert into alcohol. Wort is a crucial element in crafting flavorful and aromatic brews.

    Dry Hopping

    Dry hopping is a technique where hops are added to beer during or after fermentation. This process enhances the aroma and flavor of the brew without significantly increasing bitterness. Dry hopping is popular in crafting hop-forward and aromatic beers.

    Stay tuned for more updates to our Craft Beer Glossary as we continue to unravel the fascinating world of beer terminology. Cheers to expanding your beer knowledge!

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