Whether you are attending a party catering to craft beer aficionados or simply meeting up for drinks, it’s always a plus when you know what everyone is talking about. By educating yourself on basic beer lingo, you can keep up with even the most well-seasoned beer gurus. Use this guide to know exactly how to chat about the cold one in your hand.
Types Of Beer
Most beers are either an ale, a lager, or some hybrid of the two. Here is the basic difference:
- Ales: Ales are the most traditional brew out there, giving you that fruity and hoppy flavor that so many people love. Under the umbrella of ales you can find IPAs, pale ales, porters, stouts, wheat beer, and amber ale. These beers are fermented more quickly at warm temperatures, and the yeast float on the top during this process.
- Lagers: This category of beer typically has a lower alcohol content and more carbonation. When looking for a lager on the shelf, you will find pale lagers, dark lagers, light lagers, and pilsners. Many domestic beers fall under this category. As for the fermentation process, the yeast sits at the bottom while the beer is fermented slowly at a cool temperature.
Now that you know the basic types of beer, here are just a few terms that you should know. When discussing the characteristics of your beer, you might want to select from the following:
- Hoppy: While sitting at the craft beer pub, you’ve probably heard your IPA-loving friend use this term. Hoppy beers have an earthy taste. You might experience some herbal bitterness or spice when sipping these brews.
- Malty: Use this term to describe a beer with a full, caramel taste. Malty beers also have a grain taste to them. They might be sweet, but not always.
- Floral: This term is pretty self explanatory. Flowery flavor is stronger in some beers than others, so ask the bartender to find out.
- Balanced: Beers that taste balanced have an equal amount of hoppy and citrus flavor. They usually go down smooth.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can impress while enjoying craft beer party catering or a bar menu. And of course, don’t be afraid to not know the nature of a certain beer. The craft beer market is a $19.6 billion industry, so you will likely be trying new, good craft beers all the time. Be open to learning and enjoy.