The Ultimate Beer Glossary | Devil's Peak Brewing Company | Craft beer from Cape Town, South Africa

The Ultimate Beer Glossary

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Look, we don’t ever want to go back to the bad old days where the only beer was the same old lager. That said, things can seem a bit intimidating at times. That’s why you need to educate yourself, man! Commit this simple beer glossary to memory and you’ll be the smartest guy at your local.

Ale
Beers distinguished by use of top fermenting yeast strains. These beers tend to have a bitter flavor and are higher in alcohol content.

Amber
Any top or bottom fermented beer having an amber colour.

Browns
Brown ales have a bit of roasted malt with hints of chocolate.They may or may not have hops. These beers aren’t as dark as stouts and porters, but are a great stepping-stone to dark beers. Mild ales are flavourful but sessionable beers that tend to be well rounded rather than too extreme.

Hops
Hops are the spice and bittering ingredients in beer. They provide bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malt, as well as flavours and aromas from citrus, pine, earth and spice. When a beer is referred to as hoppy it tends to be more bitter and than non-hoppy beers.

Lager
A type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures. These beers are effervescent and light in colour.

Malt
The finished product and process whereby grain is sprouted and then dried to release enzymes that catalyse the conversion of grain carbohydrates into fermentable sugars.

Microbrewery
A brewery that produces 15,000 barrels or less of beer a year.

Pilsner
A pale lager style beer developed in the 19th century in Czech Republic.

Session Beer
An easy-drinking, mild beer with an alcohol content typically less than 4% intended to be drunk several to a sitting.

Stouts and Porters
Stouts and porters are dark beers, but some lagers and even Indian pale ales can be dark so not all dark beers taste the same. Stouts and porters are often a little thick but can have wonderful coffee, chocolate, and caramel flavors due to the use of roasted and caramelized malt.

Top Fermenting Yeast
One of the two types of yeast used in brewing. Top-fermenting yeast works better at warmer temperatures and is able to tolerate higher alcohol concentrations. It is unable to ferment some sugars, and results in a fruitier, sweeter beer.

Wheats & Weizens
These beers are brewed with wheat giving them a light and refreshing taste with a sweet flavour.

Cheers!

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