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Beer Tasting Terminology So You Can Sound Cultured

We all have that friend who is an amateur professional in every subject. Maybe you’ve tried to achieve this encyclopedic mastery yourself but discovered it’s easier said than done. It turns out that sounding like a beer pro doesn’t actually require you to know the ins and outs of brewing. A few key terms and distinctions can take you a long way. Check out our beer tasting terminology to brush up on your vocab before your next night out.

Your Beer Basics Glossary

Accessible: An accessible beer is one that’s smooth and easy to drink for both beer experts and novices alike. A great introductory beer.

Ale: A type of beer created with top fermenting yeast strains that result in forward tastes and aromas. Often associated with fruitiness.

Amber: A top fermented ale between pale and dark in color.

Balanced: Beer that has complimentary flavors, none more prominent than another.

Body: Beer can be have rich, warm, and full bodied flavors. It can also be be light and without much body. Fuller bodied beers are generally heavier and more viscous.

Bready: A tasting note derived from malt. Reminiscent of fresh bread.

Dark: Having a darker brown color paired with richer flavors. Generally lacking in light fruity notes.

Dry: Refers to an absence of sweetness.

Fermentation: A chemical reaction where active yeast converts sugars into equal parts ethyl alcohol and CO2. Top fermentation and bottom fermentation are the two methods used.

Hops: An herbal flower added at either the beginning, middle, or end of the boiling process to add a bitter aroma or flavor. Calling something “hoppy” can refer to either taste or aroma.

Head: The amount of stable foam on top of a poured beer.

Lager: A type of beer created with bottom fermenting yeast, resulting in crisp and clean flavors.

Malt: An alternative to yeast, using barley malt. Results in flavors similar to molasses.

Microbrewery: A microbrewery produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year.

Nitro Brew: A new innovative method of brewing with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide.

Test Your New Knowledge Out at Bell Beverage

If you want to try out your snazzy new beer vocabulary, Bell Beverage provides the perfect opportunity! Every Friday between 3:00 – 6:00 pm we host beer tastings at the store. With over 1500 different beers in stock, we highlight a different brewery weekly so you can expand your palate and try a new brew each time. This way, you can learn more about the beer you love before showing off to your friends. Swing by Bell Beverage at 2809 South Front St in South Philly.

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