Brewing SolutionsBeer Brewing Terminology that you must Know

One thing that all craft beer lovers love is of course, tasting new brews. Any guesses what comes second? The only thing that beer lovers enjoy more than sipping on their favourite brews is talking about them.

Do your servers and bartenders know how to engage in a lively and engaging discussion with your customers? If no, fret not! Here, in today’s post, we give you a few basic terms that will help you raise the beer quotient of your team.

Why bother acquainting yourself with the Right Terminology?

Craft beer is pretty hot now. Do you know that over half of all millennial beer drinkers drink craft beer at least once a week? Other studies state that 1 in 4 women love craft beer and 4 out of 10 beer drinkers are craft beer fanatics.

What do all these numbers mean? It implies that your bartenders and servers should feel confident in their brew knowledge so that they can make the right recommendations to your customers while answering queries intelligently.

We urge you to think of how a sommelier serves wine in a fine-dining restaurant. Your bartenders and servers should be able to replicate the same with beer. For instance, they could suggest something this way, “Would you like to try South African hops on this hot, summer day? The fresh and fruity white grape notes are sure to cool you down and escape the burning, Indian summer.”

Additionally, knowing what beer works well with a particular food also helps. For instance, pairing a bland, chicken salad with a bold, barrel aged stout is sure to make the meal feel boring. The server must be able to suggest an alternative brew like a light session IPA that goes well with the food ordered.

When your server or bartender can make the right recommendations, it results in increased sales.

Building Blocks of Beer – These are a few brewing terms to impress your craft beer customers

  1. Worts

The journey of all beers begins as wort. Brewers first soak malted barley in water, then add hops to the mixture and heat it till it comes to a boil. The resulting solution is wort. When you add yeast to the wort, magic happens….err fermentation begins to result in your favourite beer.

  1. High Gravity Vs. Session Beers

Gravity plays a role in determining the alcohol level in your brew. High gravity brews are those that have a higher density of wort in it compared to water levels. This results in the yeast reacting with more sugars during fermentation, resulting in a higher ABV (Alcohol by Volume).

Generally put, beers that have stronger alcoholic content are termed as “high gravity” brews, while those with lower ABV are named as “low-gravity” or “session” brews.

  1. Attenuation

This is one beer term that is often flaunted by hardcore beer lovers and geeks. Beers that are dry and with less sugar are often termed as “nicely attenuated.” Attenuation technically refers to the amount of sugar in the wort that was transformed into alcohol. More attenuation means lesser sugar in the final brew and vice versa.

  1. Filtering

When beer is unfiltered, it contains some of the barley, hops, and yeast used in the brewing process. It doesn’t have a clear look and is often hazy, with sedimentation occurring in the bottom of bottles and glasses.

Generally, beers are filtered before serving. But, of late, unfiltered beer is growing in popularity among craft brew fans because it’s more flavourful and has a fuller body.

  1. Ales Lagers

Most beers fall into either one of these categories. There are very few exceptions to this. (Cream ales, Octoberfest brews don’t fall into either category). Here’s the primary difference between these two types:

  • Ales – Brewed with the help of top-fermenting yeast
  • Lagers – Brewed with yeast that sinks to the bottom

Ales are typically stored for shorter durations at higher temperatures. Lagers, on the other hand, are stored for longer durations at cooler temperatures.

All Hail the Ale – All that you need to know about Ales

According to a report by the Brewer’s Association, there are 80+ styles of officially recognised ales. Customers generally aren’t aware of this. All they ask is for ale. This is where a smart server can flaunt his beer knowledge.

Here are a few standard terms associated with ales:

  1. Pale Ale

Here the word “pale” refers to the “pale malt” employed in brewing. They are low in bitterness and are generally lightly hopped.

  1. IPA

It stands for India Pale Ale. Compared with other popular types of ales, IPA has a hoppy aroma and flavour. The hops are introduced into the brew during several stages. Pines, floral, tropical and citrus are some of the flavours associated with the IPA.

If a customer asks to try hoppy ale, then it’s IPA that you should recommend and not the pale ale.

  1. Double IPA

As the name implies, the Double IPA has double the number of hops used in an IPA. Result – you get a more pronounced hoppy flavour and higher alcohol content, anywhere beyond 7%. When it comes to terminology, knowing other terms for a drink is helpful. If a customer asks for an Imperial IPA, then you have to point him/her in the direction of a Double IPA.

  1. IBU

It’s the acronym for International Bitterness Units. It is an indicator of how much bitterness is there in a drink. Just a few years ago, brews with higher IBUs were in trend; now it’s the reverse. Check out the next term.

  1. Juice

The Great American Beer Festival is one of the most popular beer conventions in the world, and it has been running for a long while. In 2016, at this festival, everyone was drinking something called as “juice.” It was an unofficial term that caught on quickly.

Juice is an affectionate nickname for ales that are tropical, hazy and sweet. They often have an orange flavour and are left unfiltered, making them look like regular orange juice.

  1. Dry Hopped

No list of beer terminology is complete without this term. For a detailed look at what it means, you can check this article from our archives. Simply put, this means adding uncooked, dry hops to the brew during the fermentation process.

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That’s it for now. Acquaint yourself with these terms and impress your guests and fellow beer lovers!