Beer Dictionary



Expand your knowledge (and impress your friends) with our beer words!



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See Alpha Acid Units.


Style of  Belgian ale that is brewed in an abbey or monastery. Not to be confused with Trappist ales that have a narrower definition.


Alcohol by volume. The measure of the percentage of alcohol (by volume) present in a liquid. It is the most common worldwide measure for alcohol content in beer. Alternative measures are ABW (alcohol by weight) traditionally used in America, and OG (original gravity). ABV can be calculated by multiplying ABW x 1.25 or by subtracting the final gravity (FG) from the original gravity (OG) x 131.25.


Alcohol by weight. The measure of the percentage of alcohol (by weight) present in a liquid. This standard was traditionally used by American brewers but is not that common today. The percentage represents the number of grams of alcohol in 100 centilitres of beer (e.g. 5% ABW = 5 grams of alcohol/100 cl.). The measure can be converted to ABV by multiplying ABW x 1.25. Conversely, to get the ABW from ABV multiply the ABV x 0.8.


Chemical by-product of the fermentation process, possessing the aroma of green apples.

Acid rest

A step in the mashing process to lower the pH of the brew. The technique was commonly used by traditional brewers, especially in areas with soft water, to acidify the mash. The acid rest can take hours, and works by converting organic phospates in the malt into weak acids. A modern alternative to the problem of soft water is the addition of minerals or agents to acidify the water.


Shoot that grows out of barley during germination.


Any substances added to beer other than water, malt, hops, yeast and adjuncts. Additives are added during brewing and remain in the beer when it is consumed. Enzymes and yeast nutrients are defined as additives. Processing aids are also substances that are added to beer, but they are removed before consumption.


Any unmalted grain or other fermentable ingredient that is added to beer. Adjunct grains (such as corn, flaked barley, maize and rice) are usually used instead of traditional grains because they are cheaper, or to lighten the flavour. Adjuncts also include honey, syrups, and numerous other fermentable carbohydrates.


Flammable, colourless liquid responsible for the intoxicating property of beer .


Ales are made with a type of yeast that rises to the top as it ferments. Ale yeast works at higher temperatures than lager yeasts and produce richer, fruitier flavours and aromas. Prior to the growth and subsequent domination of lager brewing in the 20th century, ales were the most popular beers in the world.

Alpha Acid Units

Measurement for the amount of alpha acids (from hops) added to beer. AAU's are an approximate measurement of bitterness and usually only used in home brewing. They are sometimes known as home brew bittering units or HBUs. The AAU value can be calculated by multiplying the hop AA% by the ounces of hops added to the boil.


ABV 4.5-6%

American Adjunct Lager

The most popular beer in America, mainly because they are easy to mass produce. They are also heavily marketed by the largest brewers such as Budweiser, Miller and Coors. Adjuncts such as rice and cereals are added to increase the alcohol content but without contributing much to flavour. The result is light, pale often bland lagers with very little body and minimal hop presence.

ABV 3.5-6%

American Amber/Red Ale

Medium-bodied, amber to red ales with a crisp finish. They can range from being quite bland to having a reasonable malt and hop balance. The amber-red colour can be obtained from large amounts of crystal or Munich malts, or small amounts of chocolate malt. American amber ales tend to have more dark malt character in comparison to American Pale ales.

ABV 4.5-5.5%

American Amber/Red Lager

Amber-red lagers with a bit more character (and colour) than Amercian Adjunct Lager. A subtle malt profile is present although hop bitterness remains low.

ABV 3.8-6%

American Barley Wine

Barley Wine is not wine but a strong, rich, top-fermenting ale. At high strengths ale develops a wine like character, hence the name. The style is always heavy, full-bodied with a significant fruity-malt profile which is balanced out by the hop bitterness. The colour is normally dark bronze or brown. Like old ales they are often in optimal drinking condition after a length maturation period.

ABV 8-15%

American Black IPA

Originally a British style, the Anchor Brewing Company introduced the style to the United States in 1976.

American Blonde Ale

Light, crisp, refreshing ales with a mild hoppiness and body. American Blonde Ales tend to be stronger but lack the very high hop rate of British interpretations.

American Brown Ale

Medium-bodied, brown beers with a hint of dry roast flavour. American Brown Ales tend to be stronger than English equivalents and are also more hoppy.

ABV 4.5-6.5%

American Dark Lager

Dark-coloured lager with little malt or hop profile. The dark colour is usually due to caramel or black patent malt. Despite the colour, these beers have more in common with lighter lagers than the European dark lagers.

American Double/Imperial IPA

Imperial IPA or Double IPA is an extremely hoppy, strong and sometimes sweet version of the traditional India Pale Ale. The flavour is rich and intense, and can be distinguished from Barley Wine by a stronger hop presence.

ABV 7.5-10%

American Double/Imperial Pilsner

Strong, malty lagers that are quite similar in flavour to Pilsners. Bitterness can be high but this is normally balanced by sweet and malt flavours.

ABV 5%+

American Double/Imperial Stout

The American Double (or Imperial) Stout is a variant of Russian Imperial Stout. It has a strong roast flavour, body and a malt character. They are usually dark in colour. A hop bitterness is balanced by the sweetness and roasted malt.

ABV 7.5-12%

American IPA (India Pale Ale)

An American interpretation of India Pale Ale. The style could be described as an extra hoppy American Pale Ale.

American Light Lager

A low alcohol/carbohydrate version of American Pale Lager (or American Adjunct Lager). The style was invented by large American brewing companies in relatively recent times. Characterised by low flavour and little character.

American Malt Liquor

Very strong, pale lager with a controversial history due to its high alcohol content. In America it has become somewhat infamous due to over-sized containers, low prices and inner-city advertising.

American Pale Ale

Dry tasting, light, hoppy beers that range in colour from gold to bronze. American hops (such as Cascade and Mt. Hood) are usually used to provide a high hop bitterness and a fresh, floral aroma. The bitterness is usually balanced by a malty profile. British Pale Ales are likely to be similar but not as strong or hoppy as the American style. The style has become extremely popular over the past 25 years in the US, due to micro-breweries.

ABV 3-5%

American Pale Lager

Crisp, dry beers with little flavour and only minimal traces of hop or malt being evident. The body is sometimes thin and watery. Colour ranges from almost clear to dark bronze and carbonation is high and often forced. Can be distinguished from American Adjunct Lager by the lack of rice or cereals used in the brew.

American Pale/Dark Wheat Ale

Thirst quenching, crisp wheat beer with a fair amount of character due to the lager yeast used in the brewing process. The styles is mainly brewed in the US (and sometimes Britain). The dark wheat varieties are made with darker, highly-kilned malts, including both wheat and barley.

American Porter

Similar to typical British Porter but with a little more malt, hops and alcohol. The softer water also results in less taste of minerals.

ABV 4.5-7%

American Sour/Wild Ale

American Sour/Wild ale covers a range of ales brewed in the US where wild yeast is introduced to the ale. The yeast may have been obtained from sour-mash techniques. The flavours can be strange and sometimes reminiscent of the fruity Flemish sours ales.

American Stout

Similar to typical British Stout but hoppier and stronger. There is normally a dry finish from the hops and roasted malts.

ABV 5-7.5%

American Strong Ale

Rich, potent beers with high quantities of hops and malt. There is a comparison with English Strong Ales but American versions are likely to be more hoppy.

ABV 8%+


Enzymes that convert starch into sugars.


Description for an organism with the ability to live (or metabolise) without oxygen. In brewing it applies to the yeasts, such as bottom-fermenting lager yeasts.

Apparent Attenuation

The percentage of sugars that are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide (during fermentation). The measure is equal to original gravity - final gravity, divided by original gravity. The value of apparent attenuation differs from real attenuation because alcohol that becomes part of the solution is lighter than water; nevertheless, in most cases it's the former that's used by most brewers. Most beers have an apparent attenuation somewhere between 65% and 80%.


The appearance of the beer. Think about the colour, level of carbonation (fizz), head and whether the beer is cloudy or clear.


The aroma or smell of the beer. Think about the strength of the smell and presence of any specific aromas such as fruits, hops, nuts, herbal, roast, floral and citrus etc

Aroma Hops

Hops added at the end or after the boil to add aroma to the beer.


Dry, puckering taste which is normally associated with errors in using the grain. It can be present as a result of boiling, long mashes, over-sparging or sparging with hard water.


Think about the general atmosphere of the pub. Does the pub feel friendly and social? Is the music appropriate for the type of bar and your personal taste? Does the combination of customers, bar staff, entertainment, music, and lighting etc create the right sort of atmosphere?


The extent to which brewing sugars are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide (or the drop in specific gravity) during fermentation. In brewing, we usually use apparent attenuation when speaking about attenuation. See Apparent Attentuation.

Australian Lager

Crisp, dry mainstream lagers with little flavour from the large Australian brewers. There is usually minimal trace of malt or hop and the body is usually thin and watery. Colour ranges from almost very light to dark bronze and carbonation is high and often forced. Light beers are low-alcohol versions of these lagers.


The process that occurs when yeast dies and is digested by its own enzyme system, creating a rubbery aroma.

Autumn Bock

Autumn Bock is a style of beer continuing the oldest tradition of brewing bock as a top-fermented beer. Currently in Germany, where Bock originates, the beer is brewed exclusively using bottom-fermentation. Autumn Bock is mainly brewed in the Netherlands. Beer is characterized by a high content of the extract and has a moderate carbonation. The color fluctuates between various shades of amber.



Refers to the balance (or harmony in taste) of different flavours in a beer. It is most frequently used in reference to the balance between the sweeter flavours from the malts versus the bitterness from the hops.


This is a measurement scale used to identify the specific gravity of a solution. It was named after its inventor, Carl Joseph Balling.


Bottle with a 12 litre capacity.

Baltic/Imperial Porter

Traditionally strong, sweet and bottom-fermented beers. They are usually classified as lager by definition, but there are some top-fermented examples. Baltic and Imperial Porters are related to Imperial Stouts, but don't have quite as much of a powerful roast. This style has remained relatively popular in Poland. ABV 7-9.5%.


Cereal grain that is malted in a kiln before being used to produce beer. After malting it is referred to as malted barley, or simply malt. Most of the world?s beers are produced using malted barley. It is also used to distill certain spirits, and as a food ingredient.


When yeast ferments it can froth up at the top of the fermentation tank. Barm is the name for the liquid yeast that appears as froth on the fermenting beer.


Container and also unit of beer measurement. A British barrel holds 36 gallons (1 gallon = 8 pints) or 288 pints. An American barrel is a bit smaller than a British one and holds 31.5 US gallons (1 US gallon = 3.8 litres). Sometimes used as a generic term to describe any size or type of cask or keg.


See Willibecher.


"The only drink of the day", Richard Thomas Sharp.

Beer Choice

Think about the choice of beers available. Is there a varied selection? Consider how many different beers and styles are available. Are beers available on draft, in bottles or both?

Beer presentation

Think about how well the beer is served and presented. Is it served in an appropriate glass, at the right temperature and has it been poured or dispensed appropriately?

Belgian Ale

Medium-strength typical Belgian ales. Generally more aromatic and spicy with a stronger yeast and malt character than English ales. Colours tend to range from golden to brown, with occasional darker examples. As with any general category, there can be a range of hop and malt levels. Most Belgian beers require a long maturation period, sometimes in wooden vats where blending of old and new beers sometimes occurs.

ABV 5-7%

Belgian IPA

A relatively modern style between an English IPA and a Belgian Ale.

Belgian Lace

See Lace.

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Strong, medium or full bodied Belgian Ale that is dark brown in colour. They are usually rich in flavour with low hop aroma.

ABV 6%+

Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Strong, medium or full bodied Belgian ales that are pale in colour. They are usually rich in flavour with low hop aroma.

ABV 6%+

Berliner Weissbier (Wheat)

A low-strength, refreshing wheat beer style that originated in Berlin. It is mildly hoppy, light-bodied with a complex, sharp, tart character. The cold maturation produces a smooth beer with a flowery taste and hints of fruitiness. Colour ranges from very pale to orange. The tart flavour is derived from lactic acid which also helps head retention. Wheat content is about 30%.

ABV 3-3.5%

Beta Acids

One of only 2 soft resin types found in hops. As with Alpha Acids they contribute to the bitterness in beer and act as a preservative.

Bière de Champagne/Bière Brut

Champagne style ales are à la méthode originale, a technique associated with champagne production. The secondary fermentation stage occurs during several months storage (termed sûr lie). The result is a beer with smaller, softer bubbles as in champagne but with the flavour and characteristics of beer.

Bière de Garde

An intense, rich tasting beer brewed in France, near the Belgian border. Usually medium-bodied and malty, with hops providing balance. The yeast provides a slightly sour taste, and the flavour can have hints of caramel or toffee. Colour varies from golden to brown. Head retention is usually good.

ABV 6.5-9%


Style of beer, but also an adjective for that sharp, tangy taste that hops contribute to beer.

Bittering Hops

Hops that are added during the boil. These hops are responsible for the level of bitterness.


Sharp, tangy taste in beer. The bitterness is caused by the tannins contained in hops.

Bitterness Units

See International Bitterness Units.

Black & Tan

Black and Tan is a term for a drink made from blending pale ale with a dark beer such as stout. This style originated in British pubs with drinkers ordering a mix of dark stout and draught bitter. A number of American breweries today make pre-blended Black and Tan.

Black malt

Used to add flavour and colour to darker beers including mild ale, porter and stouts. It is produced in a similar way to chocolate malt but with extra darkening of the grain.


The mixing of different beer brews to create a new beer product.


Strong, smooth, rounded, dark beer with a slightly sweet taste. There is little hop flavour or aroma and colour ranges from amber to dark brown.

ABV 6.2-7.5

See also Doppelbock, Dunkler Bock and Weizenbock.


Body describes how a beer feels in your mouth. It is the physical sensation rather than a taste or flavour. Think about whether the beer feels light or heavy on your tongue. Consider the firmness or consistency of the beer and the level of fizz (carbonation) in your mouth. Beers are usually described as thin, medium or full-bodied. It is also referred to as 'mouthfeel'.


The stage in brewing when the wort is boiled in a brew kettle. During the boil, some hops are usually added. The boil period is what determines the level of isomerisation that occurs. Isomerisation changes the structure of molecules in the bittering acids of the hops. To put it more simply, the longer the boil, the more hop bitterness there will be in the beer. Boiling also removes unwanted proteins and compounds from the wort (especially dimethyl sulphide) and sterilises the beer. Adjunct sugars are also often added at this stage, for either flavour or sugar strength.


22-ounce beer bottle.

Bottle Conditioning

The bottling of naturally carbonated beer without removing the yeast or pasteurising the beer. This means that the yeast and sediment are still present in the bottle, which allows a secondary fermentation process to occur in the bottle. This extra fermentation process can lead to higher alcohol content but more importantly leads to more intense flavours in the beer.

Bottom Fermented

One of only 2 fermentation methods. Bottom fermentation is characterised by yeast that sinks to the bottom of the fermentation tank. Yeasts of this nature are known as Lager yeasts and beers brewed by this method are known as Lagers.


See Brettanomyces.


Brettanomyces (Brett) is a type of single-celled yeast that can cause acidity and flavours such as leather, barnyard or horse-blanket. These flavours are sometimes undesirable, but are also commonly used in some Belgian beers (such as Lambic), acidic American styles and some barrel-aged beer styles.

Brew Kettle

Vessel used in brewing where the wort is boiled. The brew kettle is sometimes referred to as the ?Copper?, despite the fact that today they are mostly made from stainless steel or aluminium.


Pub that brews beer on the premises, primarily for sale in its own restaurant or bar. The beer can sometimes be dispensed directly from the brewery's storage tanks.


Female brewer.

Bright Beer

Beer that has been chilled (cold conditioned) and filtered, ready for packaging.


See International Bitterness Units (IBU).


Rubber, plastic or wood plug (or stopper) used to seal the bunghole in a beer barrel. Usually cylindroconical in shape.


Round hole in a barrel, keg, or cask used for drawing or for filling with liquid.


Calcium Carbonate

Mineral also known as Chalk that is found in water. It can be added during the brewing process to increase calcium and carbonate content.

Calcium Sulphate

Mineral found in water. It can be added during brewing to increase calcium and sulfate content.

California Common/Steam Beer

A beer style dating from 18th century California. It developed as a style when brewers (without refrigerators) experimented by brewing beers using lager yeasts at warm temperatures. The results are a hybrid as they provide the clean, rounded character of lager, but with a richer dose of fruitiness found in ales.


Acronym for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). This consumer rights group was established in 1971 to promote and preserve cask-conditioned beer in Britain.

Candi Sugar

An inert sugar that is commonly used in Belgian beers. It is made by heating a concentrated sugar solution to very high temperatures before cooling it. As an inert sugar it is mainly used to increase alcoholic content, and to aid head retention. It is used in both solid or syrup form. It can also be used as a priming sugar.

Cane Sugar

Highly fermentable sugar most commonly found in the format of white table sugar. It can be refined from sugar cane, sugar beets, sugar maple as well as some other less common sources. In brewing, cane sugar is sometimes added (as an adjunct to the brew) to increase alcohol content. It is less expensive than malt and will also lighten the colour and body of the beer. Cane sugar can also used as a priming sugar, although Candi sugar is more commonly favoured.

Caramel Malt

See Crystal Malt.


Energy producing compounds including organic sugars and starches, many of which are suitable as food for yeast when brewing.

Carbon Dioxide

Inert gas created during fermentation. Carbon dioxide provides the bubbles (carbonation) in beer. It can be artificially added to restore sparkle in conditioned and bright beer.


The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a beer. Carbon dioxide is responsible for the bubbles in beer and is created during fermentation. Carbonation can be also forced by adding pressurized carbon dioxide into conditioned and pasteurised beer to replace lost sparkle.


Usually a glass or plastic container (sometimes resembling an office water cooler) used by home brewers for the fermentation of beer. Carboys are available in different sizes, with the most popular being 5 gallons.

Carlsberg Group

Danish brewing company that is the 4th largest brewer in the world. Their global sales totalled approximately US$800 million in 2010. Carlsberg operates in Poland through the Carlsberg Polska subsidiary.

Carlsberg Polska

Polish subsidiary of the Carlsberg Group. The company own 3 main breweries in Poland including Okocim, Kasztelan and Bosman. It is the 3rd largest brewing company in Poland with approximately 14% of market share.


Barrel-shaped, sealed container for beer. These days available in stainless steel or aluminium, they were traditionally made of wooden staves enclosed by iron hoops.

Cask Conditioned Beer

Cask-conditioned beers (also known as Real Ale) are fresh, full of flavour and are the most natural beers available. The beer goes straight from the fermentation tank into casks. There is no additional brewery conditioning (filtering, pasteurising and pressurising), processes which extend shelf life but reduce the quality and taste of the beer. The yeasts are still active and a slow secondary fermentation can occur in the cask. Cask conditioned beer is usually dispensed using a hand pump (beer engine).

Cask Conditioning

See Cask Conditioned Beer.


Technique that uses centrifugal force for straining wort and finished beer to improve clarity.


Unofficial term for a beer aficionado. Pronounced 'Cer-a-vehs-a-file'.


Drinking glass usually associated with Belgian abbey or Trappist beer, sometimes rimmed with a precious metal.


See Calcium Carbonate.


Term used to describe the amount of malt used in a brew.

Chile Beer

Pale lagers brewed with Chile pepper.

Chill Haze

Cloudy or hazy appearance in beer that appears when it is chilled. It is a result of proteins and tannins combining (due to hydrogen bonding) that creates visible particles. The cloudiness disappears as the beer warms up.

Chill Proof

The addition of clarifying agents to beer to prevent chill haze.

Chocolate Beer

Chocolate Beer can be somewhat confusing. For our definition here, it refers to beer 'made' with chocolate or cocoa powder. Low-fat cocoa powder is often preferred by brewers as the butter fat in real chocolate can cause problems with the beer. On the other hand, some beers (usually Stout and Porter) can 'taste' of chocolate, but are not brewed using any chocolate at all. In such cases the chocolate 'flavour' and aroma is derived from dark roasted barley. To complicate matters further, there is also a form of barley called Chocolate Malt, but the name only describes the dark chocolate colour of the malt, and does not provide any chocolate flavour.

Chocolate Malt

Malted barley that has been roasted to a deep brown colour. It is not actually made from chocolate, and adds a nutty, toasted flavour to beer. It was used extensively in the past to provide flavour, body and colour to dark beers and old ales. It is made by roasting nitrogen malt at temperatures as high as 230?C.


Not a beer, but an alcoholic drink made from fermented apples. Just like beer, cider comes in a number of varieties. English cider is typically quite dry and has low-carbonation. French cider tends to be sweeter with higher levels of carbonation. Again as with beer, some ciders are cask-conditioned (usually in England).

Closed Fermentation

Fermentation inside a closed fermentation tank, to ensure hygienic and anaerobic conditions. Closed fermentation minimises the risk of oxidation and contamination.


Unpleasant excess of sweetness in beer.


See Carbon Dioxide.


One of the 3 main alpha-acids in hops, and regarded by many as the one that contributes to the most bitterness .

Cold Break

The flocculation of proteins and tannins whilst cooling the wort after the boil.

Cold Filtering

An alternative to pasteurising, where beer is passed through a fine filter to remove residual yeast and stop fermentation. Cold filtering will preserve more of the flavour and character compared to pasteurising the beer.


The hue or colour of beer, as determined by the malted grains used. Darker roasted malts will result in darker coloured beer. The standard reference model (SRM) is a scale used by brewers to measure and quantify the colour of beer. Colour should never be used as a guide to alcohol level.


The ageing of beer after fermentation.

Contract Brewing Company

A business that uses another brewery to brew beer on their behalf. The contract brewing company will normally retain responsibility for other business activities such as marketing, sales and distribution. Browar Pinta is a Polish example.


See Brew Kettle.

Corn Grits

Beer adjunct that is particularly common in America. A cereal cooker is usually required to process them at high temperatures.

Craft Beer

Beer made by breweries using only natural brewing ingredients such as malt, hops, yeast and water, and brewed according to traditional brewing methods and in small amounts.

Cream Ale

Mild, pale, light-bodied ales with a discreet bitterness. They are brewed using warm fermentation (top or bottom) but with cold lagering. An alternative approach is to blending top and bottom-fermented beers. Adjuncts such as corn and rice may sometimes be used. They are well carbonated.

ABV 4.5-7%

Crystal Malt

Also known as caramel malt. Commonly used in darker ales. Fresh green malt (not roasted in a kiln) is first dried at warm temperatures to convert some of the starches into a sugary syrup. The grains are then kilned (at about 250?C) which dries the malt and caramelizes some of the sugar. When the grain is cooled it forms a solid sugary mass. Crystal malts add a reddish gold colour and nut-like flavour to beer.

Czech Pilsner

Pilsner (also known as Pilsener or Pils) was first brewed in Bohemia, in the modern day Czech Republic. Czech Pilsners are noted for their gold colour, malty flavour, medium to full-body and flowery hop aroma. It is commonly accepted that Pilsners should have at least 28 units of bitterness (IBU). Purists would also argue that genuine Czech Pilsner should only be brewed with barley grown in Bohemia or Moravia and with Saaz hops from the Zatec region (also Bohemia). Pilsner is popular beer style across the world.

ABV 4-5%



System of mashing mainly used in lager brewing. Portions of the wort are removed, heated, then returned to the mash. The process is often repeated numerous times in single brew.

Degrees Plato

Hydrometer scale to measure the density (sugar content) of wort. It is described as a percentage of extract by weight. It is an updated version of the Balling scale.


Unfermentable sugar carbohydrate that is produced by enzymes in barley. They contribute flavour and body to beer.


Natural acid compound is a by-product of fermentation. When present in beer it can have the flavours of butter or butterscotch. This is not always desirable but different styles of beers require different levels of diacetyl.

Diastactic Enzymes

See Amylase.

Dimethyl Sulfide

Sulphur compound responsible for a certain aroma and flavour in beer. At low levels it produces a sweet aroma that is desirable in some lagers, but at higher concentrations can lead to an undesirable smell and taste of cooked vegetables, such as cabbage. Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) is created as a result of bacterial infection in the brew and also during the boil. If the wort is not cooled quickly enough after boiling the DMS will dissolve back into the wort, leading to higher than desired levels.


See Dimethyl Sulfide.


Extra strong, smooth, full-bodied dark beer with a slightly sweet taste. As with standard Bock, there is little hop flavour or aroma and colour ranges from amber to dark brown.

Dortmunder/Export Lager

Strong, crisp, dry lager with a malty profile and full body. The style originates from Dortmund in Germany. Dortmunders are darker in colour and usually have more character than a standard Pale Lager or Pilsner.


The addition of yeast just before the bottling of some bottle-conditioned beers, leaving a sediment in the bottle.

Double Magnum

3.0 litre capacity bottle.

Draft Beer

See Draught Beer.

Draught Beer

Beer that is drawn (served) from a keg or cask. Any type of beer can be draught including pasteurized, filtered or cask-conditioned ale. Bottled or canned beer is not draught. The word draught means ?drawn? from the cask.

Dry Hopping

Process of adding dry hops after the boil (or even in the cask) to increase the hoppy aroma without adding further bitterness. Dry hopping is usually associated with ales rather than lagers. A slightly different technique called 'late hopping' is usually used with lagers.


Dark, malty, strong ales brewed in the Trappist tradition, but produced (predominantly now) by secular brewers. Colour tends to be dark brown with a cloudy appearance and there is a mix of flavours involving malt, fruitiness and yeast. They are typically bottle-conditioned.

ABV 6.5-8%

See also Trappist.


German word for Dark, in contrast to Helle (Pale).


Dark amber wheat beer with a sharp, spicy character. Brewed with darker malts, they have a complex character with toasty and chocolate flavours also present. They can sometimes taste of banana, toffee and cloves.

ABV 4.5-6.2%

Dunkler Bock

A dark, rounded, malty variation of the Bock style. Typically medium or full bodied with a deeper, darker brown colour than standard Bocks. There is some hop flavour to balance the malt sweetness but little aroma.



Scale (devised by the European Beer Convention) used to describe the colour of beer. It has a wider spread than SRM, with very pale beers being close to zero and the darkest ones - over 130. In order to convert an EBC value into SRM one needs to multiply the former by 0,508.


A dark, potent, strong version of Doppelbock. Eisbock are produced as a result of freezing Doppelbock and then removing the ice to increase the alcohol. The colour varies from dark amber to almost black.


Nutritious, starch-rich centre of the barley grain.

English Barley Wine

Barley Wine is not wine but a strong, rich, top-fermenting ale. At high strengths ale develops a wine like character, hence the name. The style is always heavy, full-bodied with a significant fruity-malt profile which is balanced out by the hop bitterness. The colour is normally dark bronze or brown. Like old ales they are often in optimal drinking condition after a length maturation period.

ABV 8-15%

English Bitter

Probably the most common ale style. A rich malty flavour is nicely balanced by competing hops. The name is derived from the bitterness provided by the hops, and is most commonly served on draught in British pubs. Bitter is a wide category and consists of sub-styles including Ordinary, Best and Extra Special Bitter (ESB). Colour can range from light gold to dark brown. Generally dry, moderately hoppy with low carbonation.

ABV 3.5-4.8%

English Brown Ale

Medium to full-bodied, strong-flavoured, sweet, malty ales. This old style dates all the way back to the 12th century. It remained a popular (if not the dominant) style until the early 19th century when the revolution in pale ales began. Traditionally, Brown Ale was the product of smoked malt which provided a rich flavour. The Brown Ale style that we recognise today originated in Newcastle, England and is still smooth, sweet and malty but not quite as smoky as the originals. Colour ranges from red to dark brown.

ABV 4.5%+

English Dark Mild Ale

Lightly hopped, malty ales with a medium to dark brown colour. Traditional dark mild is dark in colour, moderately sweet with a rounded malty character. Caramel and roasted malts provide a colour that ranges from deep copper to almost black. Milds were traditionally drunk in large quantities in English industrial areas. In more recent times, the style was almost lost completely before making something of a comeback.

ABV 2.5-3.5%

English IPA (India Pale Ale)

Golden to copper coloured ale with average maltiness and moderate body. India Pale Ale was first brewed in the 1800's as a very bitter, strong beer that could be preserved for exporting on long journeys to all corners of the British Empire, including India. Traditional brews would be 5.5 to 7.5% ABV but today's examples are usually under this. The style is stronger and more hoppy than standard Pale Ale, with moderate to strong aroma.

ABV 4-7%

English Old Ale

Strong, sweet, hoppy beers with a full-body and nutty flavour. The original Old Ales (as the name suggests) should be stored before drinking. Some breweries recommend storage for as long as 20 years before the beer reaches its optimal condition. In modern times, however, 'Old' is frequently added to many beer names, and may not necessarily be a correct indication of belonging to this particular beer style.

ABV 5-12%

English Pale Ale

Pale, clear, hoppy ale with a malty profile and complex flavours. Pale Ale was first brewed in the 1700's, but only became a common beer style at the time of the industrial revolution. This was because pale malt had to dried over expensive coal or coke. Conversely, brown malt was less expensive to process (as it could be smoked over wood) and so Brown Ale became the principal beer style. But with industrialisation and lower coal prices, pale malt became significantly cheaper leading to the 'Pale Ale Revolution'. Burton-upon-Trent in England made this style of beer famous and used a complex 'union' brewing system. The union system allowed beer to foam outside the fermentation tank (where the yeast would settle), before adding the liquid back into the brew. Few breweries employ the Burton Union system today. Despite the name, Pale Ale comes in a wide range of colours, including light copper, golden, amber and light brown. Traditional hops used include Fuggles, Goldings and Northern Brewer.

ABV 3.5-5%

English Pale Mild Ale

Lightly hopped, malty ales that are similar to English Dark Mild Ale but lighter in colour. These beers are pale in colour, moderately sweet with a rounded malty character.

ABV 2.5-3.5%

English Porter

Top-fermented, medium-bodied, dry and well-hopped dark beer with a pronounced bitterness. They are robust beers and can sometimes be sweet. Porter was the most dominant style in Britain particularly during the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th century. Today, the style is making a comeback after falling out of fashion and almost being lost. Back or chocolate malt gives Porter its dark brown, almost black colour. They are heavily malted and contain rich, roasted, malty flavours. They are similar but lighter in flavour than Stout.

ABV 4.5-6%

English Stout

A dark, malty, sometimes sweet beer with a pronounced bitterness and strong flavour. Whether sweet or dry, stout is brewed with lots of roasted barley and coffee flavours. The dark (almost black) colour comes from the roasted, caramel and even chocolate malts. English Stouts differ to Irish Stouts in that they tend to be sweeter in taste and also possess different hop and roast rates.

English Strong Ale

A beer of significant strength with a malty, sweet taste and fruit flavours derived from a warm fermentation process. They are usually amber to deep-red in colour with a medium to full body. The alcohol should contribute some warmth (they are sometimes regarded as winter warmers) with some breweries producing them on a seasonal basis.

ABV 6.5-10%

English Summer Ale

Golden-coloured, light, refreshing ales of moderate strength. The style emerged as a seasonal summer brew but is now produced all year round by some brewers. With a light colour (like lager) and being very hoppy, they may have been invented to tempt lager drinkers to move to ale in the summer season.


Old beer style and earliest form of Porter. It is an abbreviation for 'entire butt'.


Fruity and flowery compounds that are created during fermentation. They are more closely associated with ales, and can be created by certain yeast strains or higher fermentation temperatures. They add aroma and flavour to beer.


See Alcohol.

Ethyl Alcohol

See Alcohol.

European Bittering Units

See International Bittering Units.

European Dark Lager

Medium strength bottom-fermenting dark-lager that is generally smooth, malty and well-balanced. In former times, when most drinking vessels were made of metal or pottery, the colour of beer wasnt significant and Dark Lager was very popular. However, Dark Lager started to decline in popularity after the Pale Beer revolution and the emergence of the Pilsner style.

ABV 4-7%

European Fruit & Flavoured

Fruit-flavoured ale or lager. Fruits have been added to beer for centuries and the beer body, colour, hop character and strength will all vary depending on the type of fruit used. Traditionally, fruit beers have been associated with Belgian Lambic styles. In recent times a number of Polish Breweries have expanded their beer range (reflecting a growing interest in these beer styles) by experimenting with new and exotic flavours including plum, cherry, blueberry, raspberry and many more.

ABV % varies

European Honey Beer

Beer with a honey flavour and aroma. Honey is a popular addition for many brewers as it provides varied flavours and aromas that add complexity and character. Honey contains a range of sugars and also living organisms such as yeast, enzymes, and bacteria. Honey can be added directly to the beer where it can take as long as 8 weeks to fully ferment. The percentage of honey added to the brew is only about 2-10% of ingredients. A variety of honey can be used depending on the desired flavour and results.

ABV % varies

European Pale Full Lager

Full-strength, bottom-fermenting pale lager. These beers are typically crisp and dry with a low level of hop or malt flavour. The body can be thin and colour normally ranges from very pale to dark bronze and carbonation is high and often forced. Many of the most common, mass-produced lager brands fall into this category. Better examples of this style are often brewed according to traditional brewing methods (not in modernised mass-production breweries).

ABV 4-5%

European Pale Light Lager

Low-strength, bottom-fermenting pale lager. These beers are usually crisp and dry, with only minimal traces of hop or malt flavour. The body is sometimes thin. The colour ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation is high and often forced.

ABV 3-4.2%

European Pale Strong Lager

Strong, bottom-fermenting pale lagers. These crisp, dry beers are likely to offer some trace of hop and malt flavour. Colour ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation is high and often forced. Better examples tend to be from smaller and regional brewers, where they are still brewed according to traditional brewing methods (not in modernised mass production breweries) and, once again, unpasteurised and unfiltered variants are likely to have more residual character preserved.

ABV 6-9%

European Pilsner

Pale, hoppy lagers that are one of the world's most popular beer styles. The first beer in this style was brewed in Pilsen, Bohemia, in the Czech Republic. The traditional Pilsner brewing centres are in the Czech Republic and Germany but the style is now imitated by brewers right across Europe and beyond. Pilsners that do not meet the definition of a German or Czech Pilsner will be in this style category.

ABV 4-5%

European Wheat Beer

Wheat Beers are made with malted barley (just like other beers) but also have a proportion of malted wheat added. A beer made solely with malted wheat (without the barley) would not work as the wheat grain would not be able to convert the starches to sugar. Wheat beers tend to be cloudy and light orange in colour. Flavours of plum, apple banana and a vanilla after taste is sometimes evident. Wheat beers are generally good thirst-quenchers.

ABV % varies

Excess Gravity

See Gravity Units.


Generic term for any beer that is produced for the purpose of exportation to other countries.

Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)

Strong ales that are similar to Bitters but labelled as Premium or Special Bitters. Served in the traditional way from the cask, but also popular in bottle form.

ABV 4.5-6%

Extra Stout

Similar in taste, but a stronger, richer, more intense version of a Irish Dry Stout.

ABV 5.5-7.0%


False Bottom

Perforated bottom in the lautertun that prevents grains from being collected with the wort.


A lambic blend, sweetened with additional sugar. Bottled versions are filtered and/or pasteurised to remove yeast residue and stop the additonal sugar from fermenting. The result is a refreshing, slightly sweet beer that is well-carbonated. Some examples also contain other spices such as orange peel for flavouring.

Fermentable Sugars

Sugars that can be fermented using yeast. Fructose, glucose, maltose, maltotriose and sucrose are all fermentable sugars.


The conversion of fermentable sugars into alcohol by yeast. The fermentation process creates alcohol and carbon dioxide in approximately equal parts. There are 2 basic methods of beer fermentation ? top fermentation (for ales) and bottom fermentation (for lagers).

Fermentation Lock

Valve that allows carbon dioxide to be released from the fermentation tank whilst restricting access to contaminants.

Fermentation Tank

Container used for the process of fermentation.

Fermentation Vessel

See Fermentation Tank.


See Fermentation Tank.


Passage of beer through a permeable or porous substance in order to remove residual solids, usually yeast particles.

Final Gravity

The specific gravity (weight) of a beer after fermentation is complete. Also known as Finishing Gravity, Final SG and Terminal Gravity.

Final SG

See Final Gravity.


Substances added to help clarify beer. Finings help concentrate and settle yeast and other residual particles in the beer (so they sink). The sinking of the residual particles is important for clearing beer, particularly cask-conditioned ale. The substances used for fining are varied but include isinglass (made from the swim bladder of sturgeon fish), gelatin, bentinite, silica gel, polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP), Irish moss, and others.

Finishing Gravity

See Final Gravity.

Finishing Hops

See Dry Hopping and Late Hopping.


Beer measurement of 9 imperial gallons (72 pints), or a small wooden cask of that size.

Flanders Oud Bruin

A strong, usually bottle-conditioned, beer from the Flemish region of Belgium. The name means 'old brown' in Dutch and refers to the lengthy maturation period (sometimes in oak) which can take a full year. The secondary fermentation and bottle-conditioning allows an almost sour flavour to develop.

Flanders Red Ale

An almost wine-like beer from the Flemish region of Belgium. The style undergoes a long maturation to allow sour flavours to develop, similar to Flanders Oud Bruin. There are rich flavours of fruit and spices but low hop bitterness. Red malt provides the colour.


The gathering of yeast particles into clumps (flocs) that rise to the surface of the wort during and after fermentation. Different yeast strains have different levels of flocculation.


Type of glass usually associated with drinking champagne. Beer flutes have shorter stems and a mouth with a smaller diameter than the mid section, to preserve carbonation.

Foreign Export Stout

A strong, extra hopped Stout brewed with preservatives to withstand long journeys or export (hence the name). They are normally sweeter than a standard Stout and less robust than an Imperial Stout. The style has remained popular in many of original destination countries (Jamaica, Sri Lanka, etc.) and local versions are now produced in many these countries.

ABV 6-8%


Raspberry-flavoured lambic beer, also known as Frambozen.


See Framboise.

Fresh Hopping (Wet Hopping)

Addition of freshly harvested hops (not dried) to the brew at any stage. Also known as Wet Hopping. Fresh hops can add different flavours and aromas compared to dried hops.

Fruit & Flavoured Beer

Fruit-flavoured ale or lager. Fruits have been added to beer for centuries and the beer body, colour, hop character and strength will all vary depending on the type of fruit used. Traditionally, fruit beers have been associated with Belgian Lambic styles. In recent times a number of Polish Breweries have expanded their beer range (reflecting a growing interest in these beer styles) by experimenting with new and exotic flavours including plum, cherry, blueberry, raspberry and many more.

ABV % varies

Fusel Alcohol

Type of alcohol caused from very high fermentation temperatures. Fusel alcohols have harsh, solvent-like characteristics normally associated with substances such as paint thinner. Can also be responsible for hangovers.



Measure of beer volume. An imperial gallon (used in Britain) is 8 pints or 4.54 litres. A US gallon is smaller in volume at 3.78 litres. The US dry gallon is not commonly used but is 4.4 litres.

German Pilsner

Pale, hoppy lagers from Germany that are related to the original Czech Pilsners. Within Germany, Pilsners can be classified into northern and southern varieties, but both types are normally hoppier and lighter than the Czech versions, with less body and a dry finish.


Process of barley grains starting to grow and sprout rootlets (as occurs during kilning).


Breaking down of sugar during fermentation.


Beer glass in the shape of a round bowl. They resemble fish-bowls and also are similar to brandy or cognac snifters. They are typically used for sipping strong-alcohol beers.


A crisp, dry traditional wheat beer that is made with higher than normal proportions of malted wheat. It has a cloudy light orange appearance. Flavoured ingredients and syrups are sometimes added for balance. The style originates from the Leipzig region of Germany.


Tasting or having the aroma of cereal or raw grains.


Used to measure the alcohol level in beer. It is calculated by measuring of the amount of solids (sugars) in the wort as compared to the density of water, which is given as 1.000. The Original Gravity (OG) is the gravity of the wort before fermentation, and is also known as the Specific Gravity or Starting Gravity. The Original Gravity of an average beer is 1044, and it finishes at about 1010, giving it an ABV of 4.2%. The Final Gravity (FG) is the gravity of the beer after fermentation is complete and is also known as Finishing or Terminal Gravity

Gravity Units

Measurement of beer gravity by only expressing the 2 significant figures after the decimal point. For example, an original gravity of 1.038 would be expressed as 38 gravity units. Also known as Excess Gravity.


Dry mixture of milled (crushed) grains (usually barley) used in mashing. Grist is a course powder with a flour-like consistency.


Jug-like container once popular for carrying draught beer from the local pub. Growlers usually come in 0.5 gallon or 2 litre sizes.

Grupa Zywiec

Brewing company that is under the control of Heineken International. There are 5 main breweries in the group; Zyweic, Warka, Lezajsk, Elbrewery and Brackie. Grupa Zywiec accounts for up to 35% of the Polish market.


GU - see Gravity Units.


A dry, malty beer with complex flavours. Gueze is the result of blending young and old lambics to create a more refined beer. As with most lambics, the flavours are unpredictable, but hop bitterness and aroma tends to be low. Wild yeasts are used to provide a characteristic sour taste. Gueuze varieties that are filtered, bottled and pasteurised will be less complex.


See Calcium Sulphate.


Hand Pump

Beer pump (situated on the bar) that is operated by hand to dispense draught (usually cask-conditioned) ale. The pump works by vacuum suction and allows beer to be served without pressurised carbon dioxide. Sometimes referred to as ?wickets?, due to the resemblance of multiple hand pumps with the wooden stumps used in game of cricket.

Hard Cider

Not a beer, but a fermented beverage produced with apples.


Home Bitterness Units. See AAU.

Head Retention

Ability of a beer to retain its foam head (or collar) after being served. Usually measured in the number of seconds it takes a 1-inch collar to collapse.

Heat Exchanger

Piece of brewing equipment used to rapidly cool wort coming out of the boiling copper whilst simultaneously replenishing the hot water tank (thus saving energy). Also known as a Wort Chiller.


German word for 'yeast' and used to describe unfiltered beers.


Wheat beer with a higher than usual wheat profile. It has a cloudy appearance and colours can range from very pale to dark brown. The beer has a low hop profile and flavours of banana, cloves and vanilla can be evident. There are a number of variations of this style but the original was developed in Bavaria, Germany.

Heineken International BV

Dutch brewing company that owns over 120 breweries across the globe. They are the 3rd largest brewer in the world and made a 1.4 billion Euro profit in 2011. In Poland, Heineken control Grupa Zyweic.


German word for Pale, in contrast to Dunkle (Dark).

High Kraeusen

Period during brewing when the beer is at the peak of fermentation (see Kraeusen).


Beer measurement of 52.5 gallons (238 litres), or a large wooden beer cask of that size.

Home Brew

Beer brewed at home. Generally for personal consumption.

Honey Beer

Beer with a honey flavour and aroma. Honey is a popular addition for many brewers as it provides varied flavours and aromas that add complexity and character. Honey contains a range of sugars and also living organisms such as yeast and bacteria. Honey can be added directly to the beer where it can take as long as 8 weeks to fully ferment. The percentage of honey added to the brew is only about 2-10% of ingredients. A variety of honey can be used depending on the desired flavour and results.

ABV % varies

Hop Extract

Substance extracted (and then condensed) from hops in a factory, prior to use in brewing. Used as an alternative to whole hops.

Hop Utilisation

Measurement of hop efficiency. Expressed as a percentage and calculated by multiplying the iso-alpha acids x 100/alpha acids added to the brew kettle.


Device into which wort is run after boiling, to enable the spent hops to settle and filter out the trub.

Hopped Wort

Wort after it's been hopped.


Addition of hops to the brew.


Hops are the blossom (pine-like cones) of a climbing herb, also known by the Latin botanical name Humulus Lupulus. Usually only hops from the female flower are used in brewing. Hops are responsible for the bitterness and aroma in beer, but also act as a natural preservative, as they inhibit the growth of bacteria. There are over 100 different varities of hop, including favourities such as Brewer's Gold, Bullion, Cascade, Centennial, Fuggles, Goldings, Hallertau, Nugget, Northern Brewer, Perle, Saaz, Syrian Goldings, Tettnang, Willamettes and many more. The use of hops in beer production dates from at least 1000 BC but is more likely to be closer to 6000 BC. Today?s hops come in several forms including the natural whole hops (measuring about an inch in length) to processed pellets and plugs.

Hot Break

Flocculation of proteins and tannins whilst the wort is boiling. Undesirable proteins may start to precipitate out of the solution during this stage.


Dry outer covering of certain cereal seeds (and fruits).


Glass device for measuring the specific gravity of a liquid. The device consists of a graduated stem sitting on a weighted float. They are normally calibrated for measurements to be taken at 60°F.



See International Bitterness Units.

Ice Cider/Perry

Ice cider or perry is traditional variation of these alcoholic drinks. It is made by using apples that are picked when they are frozen. This concentrates the apple juice which is then fermented as normal.

Imperial Gallon

See Gallon.


Soaking (or steeping) of grains in water (or wort) to transfer the flavours from the grain.

Infusion Mash

Mashing method where grains (malted barley) are left to soak in water, usually at a constant heated temperature.

Initial Fermentation

See Primary Fermentation.


Introduction of yeast (or other organisms) into the brew under conditions where it can survive.

International Bittering Units (IBU)

International standard for measuring the bitterness of beer known as IBU. The higher the IBU the more bitter the beer. Lagers may have an IBU rating of 10, India Pale Ales about 50, Stouts 60 while very bitter beers could be over 100. One IBU represents 1 mg (isomerised) hop oils per litre of beer. IBU = Ounces of Hops x AA% x Utilization % / Gallons x 1.34.

Irish Dry Stout

Dry, rich, black beer with a good hop bitterness. These lower-strength Stouts are a favourite in Ireland where they dominate the beer market. Roasted barley and generous use of hops provides a dry, smooth, balanced beer. There is a moderate roast flavour but little hoppiness.

ABV 3.8-5.2%

Irish Moss

Used as a Fining to help clarify beer. It is obtained from the seaweed Chrondus Crispus and is introduced to beer as a processed particle or in powder format.

Irish Red Ale

Red-coloured, smooth, malty ales that provide an Irish alternative to the famous Stout. Generally well-rounded and smooth with a gentle fruitiness and a subtle hop character.

ABV 5%+


Pure gelatin substance obtained from the air bladders of certain fish including sturgeon. Used in brewing as a fining to help clarify and stabilize the beer.

Iso-alpha acids

See Isomerised Alpha Acids.

Isomerised Alpha Acids

These are alpha acids that have been isomerised (chemically rearranged) in order to create bitterness in beer. Isomerisation traditionally occurs in the brew kettle when hops are added.


See Isomerised Alpha Acids.


Japanese Rice Lager (Sake)

An almost transparent, beer made from fermented rice. Other ingredients include malt, yeast and water. It is not carbonated and has a flavour closer to wine than beer. It has been brewed in Japan for over 1000 years.

ABV 14-17%



Large, metal, cylindrical beer container, usually made of stainless steel or aluminium. Kegs are used to store, transport and serve beer under pressure. They come in several sizes that vary by country.  Kegs are not suitable for cask-conditioned ales, but are commonly used for all other beer types. Kegs are connected to a tapping system (and gas) in order to dispense beer.


3 related styles of pale, hoppy, lager that originated in Franconia, Germany. These naturally carbonated beers are crisp, dry and refreshing. A fair amount of residual flavour is preserved in both taste and aroma. Kellerbier and Zwickelbier are generally unfiltered whereas Landbier is sometimes filtered. Kellerbier tends to be the most hoppy whereas Landbier has more of a malty profile. Colours range from very pale to reddish-amber. Zoigl is a similar German style.


Bung that sits in the front of the cask when racked for serving.


Beer measurement of 18 imperial gallons (144 pints), or cask of that size for holding beer.


Process of heat-drying barley or other grains in a kiln. This is an important step in the malting process, as it removes natural grain flavour and stops further germination of the barley. It results in a dry malt that has taken on new aromas and flavours according to the duration and method of kilning.


A blond, top-fermented beer that is native to Köln (Cologne), in Germany. It is currently produced by about 10 breweries around the city. Containing up to 20% wheat, this is a dry, light-bodied and hoppy beer. Bitterness is average, but there is a fairly prominent hop flavour. Lagering results in a smooth, gentle character with a delicate fruitiness.

ABV 4.5-5.5%

Kolsch Glass

Tall, straight-sided, cylindrical glass that usually holds 12 oz.

Kompania Piwowarska

Brewing company that is controlled by SABMiller. The company operates 3 main breweries; Lech, Tyskie and Dojlidy and sales account for up to 45% of the Polish market.

Koźlak (Bock)

These lagers that are traditionally smooth, dark coloured with a slightly sweet taste. Koźlak is popular in Poland but the style originates from Germany.

ABV 6-10%


Foamy head that builds on the surface during fermentation. High Kraeusen is the period during brewing when the beer is at the peak of fermentation.


A tart, light-bodied wheat beer with hints of banana, cloves and spices. Kristalweizens are lightly hopped, but are often filtered and pasteurised to produce a clearer, cleaner version of the more traditional Weizenbier style. Carbonation is high and colour varies from quite pale to dark orange. Frequently served with a lemon in the glass.

ABV 4.5-5.8%


Type of beer glass with a handle. They come in various sizes and shapes, but are typically heavy and sturdy. See also Mug/Seidel.


A low-alcohol, fermented beer brewed with rye bread. The beer colour is derived from the colour of the bread used in the brew. Kvass comes in many variations and is often flavoured with fruits or herbs creating a varied flavours, tastes and aromas. It is often fairly sweet. Kvass is popular today in many parts of Europe, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states.

ABV 0.5-2%



Pattern left on the side of a glass by the foam head, after a beer has been partly or totally drunk. Also known as Belgian Lace.


Type of bacteria that can convert unfermented sugars into lactic acid. This is usually a problem as it creates an acidic sour taste, however some brewers will introduce it to intentionally add that flavour to certain brews.


Sugar that consists of glucose and galactose. It cannot be fermented using brewers yeast, but is used to add sweetness to beer.


Lagers are bottom-fermented beers with a crisp, clean taste. The term lager comes from the German 'lagern' which means 'store' in reference to the long time lagers will spend in cold storage. Lagers are made with lager yeasts which ferment at lower temperatures, producing a clean, dry beer. They are generally lighter in body with a less-fruity aroma than ale. Brewed to a sufficient strength and well conditioned they can be excellent beers. In the past 100 years, lagers have become the dominant beers of the world.

Lager Malts

These malts are responsible for the very pale colour of traditional lagers. The malt must be kilned at low temperatures (to avoid destroying enzyme proteinase) and therefore most lager malts remain very light in colour. Lager malts are traditionally mashed using the decoction method, with a low temperature rest period before the primary mash. There are different types of lager malt including the pale Pilsen, darker Munich and Cara Pils malt which is very dark.


Process of ageing (conditioning) beer at low, usually near freezing temperatures. This process can be as short as a week or many months in duration. The method can be used with all beers (not just lager), so technically an ale can be ?lagered? which, one could argue, would make it a lager.


Unpredictable, dry, sharp tasting beers produced around the Senne Valley, within 10km of Brussels. The precise flavours of each brew vary due to the use of wild yeasts. Another unusual aspect is that the hops are aged (about 3 years) to reduce their flavour, but not their preservative qualities, which is their primary purpose in lambic beers. The brewing process is fairly typical until it comes to fermentation. In the fermentation the wort is run into large, shallow, open vessels. The windows are left open to allow the wild yeast to blow in or to circulate from inside the brewery buildings. The wild yeast then does its work and once complete the beer is transferred into wooden barrels. The beer is then left to mature for several more years. Lambics also contain about 30% unmalted wheat.

See also Lambic Fruit.

Lambic Fruit

Fruit lambics are traditionally only produced around the Senne Valley within 10 km of Brussels. Fresh fruit (traditionally cherry and raspberry) are added during fermentation or maturation so that it reacts with the yeast. Whilst cherry and raspberry are the most traditional flavours, other fruits such as peaches, blackcurrants and grapes are also used.

See also: Lambic

Late hopping

Addition of hops late in the boiling copper to add aroma to beer without significantly influencing bitterness.


Process of separating the sweet wort (pre-boil) from spent grains.

Lauter Tun

Vessel used for lautering, where spent grains are separated from the sweet wort. Lauter Tuns are typically fitted with a false bottom (like a colander) and drain spigot so that the mash can settle whilst the sweet wort is removed from the grains by straining. Smaller breweries may use the mash tun for lautering.


Yeast and sediment deposits left at the bottom of the tank after fermentation. Also known as 'trub'.

Light Struck

Skunky, sulphur aroma and flavour in beer due to exposure to light and heat. It can occur when beer in light coloured bottles or glass is exposed to heat and light (including ultra-violet or fluorescent light).


Brewer's term for water used in the brewing process.


Measurement of colour in grains and beer. The scale starts at 0 (zero) and goes to over 500. The higher the number the darker the colour.

Low Alcohol

Very low or non-alcoholic beers brewed in any style.

ABV < 1%

Low Alcohol

Very low or non-alcoholic beers brewed in any style.

ABV <1%


Maibock/Helles Bock

2 related pale variations of the Bock style from from Germany. Usually malty with a little more hop character than a standard Bock. Colour ranges from blond to light brown.


One of the main ingredients in beer. Malt is the name given to grain such as barley that has been 'malted'. The malting process involves spraying the grain with water to allow it to partially germinate. The germination allows starches in the grain to be converted into fermentable sugars. The grain is then heat dried in a kiln. The type of barley, level of germination and drying temperature will all influence the resulting flavour.

Malt Extract

Syrup (or dry powder) that can be used as a short-cut alternative in brewing. It is obtained from sweet wort . Often used by larger mass-produced beers for efficiency and cost savings.

Malt Liquor

Fermented beer made with malt and with higher than normal alcohol content (about 7-8% ABV).

Malt Sugar

See Maltose.

Maltose (Malt sugar)

Fermentable sugars derived from malts. Also known as Malt Sugar.


Amber-coloured, malty lager with light to medium-body. Oktoberfest is the German beer festival dating from 1810. Oktoberfest is also the name of the style that has featured at the festival ever since it was first served in 1818. The original festival beers were called Märzen ('March') after the month in which they were brewed, and this name is still preferred by some brewers today. Beers were brewed in March to allow them to ferment slowly before the festivals started in early autumn. The original beers were dark in colour but in 1872 an amber-red Vienna Lager became the most popular beer and explains why Oktoberfest beers are amber coloured today.

See also: Vienna Lager


Mix of grist and hot water to form wort.

Mash Tun

Vessel that is used for mashing when brewing.


Process of mixing grist with hot water to convert the grain starches to fermentable sugars. The mashing process also extracts colours and flavours that will be present in the finished beer. After 1-2 hours of mashing the natural starch sugars in the malt will have dissolved or ?melted? in the water to create a sweet, brown, malt liquid. This liquid is called wort. The vessel in which the mashing occurs is called a mash tun.


Period of time allowed for the beer to age so that the flavours fully develop.


A strong tasting, honey wine that is frequently brewed with other additional ingredients for flavour, usually fruit or grain. Mead produced with added grain is known as Braggot.


Small brewery that typically produces less than 15,000 barrels per year.

Mild Ale Malt

Type of malt that provides the traditional flavours associated with mild ale. It is produced using higher nitrogen barley and is darker in colour than pale malts.

Milk/Sweet Stout

A smoother, sweeter version of a typical Stout. Sweet Stouts have less roasted flavour and lower hop levels contributes less bitterness. They are brewed with lactose (which does not ferment) so there is more residual sweetness left in the beer. Colour can ranges from dark amber to black.

ABV 2.5-4%


The grinding of malted barley (and sometimes other grains) into a course powder called grist. Milling prepares the sugars and other soluble substances for extraction in the mash. The endosperm (the seed containing starch) should be ground to medium-sized particles (or grits) and husks should remain intact so they can assist later assist filtering.


See Mill.


See Body.


Beer glass with a handle. They come in various sizes and shapes, but are typically heavy and sturdy (see also Krug/Seidel).

Munich Dunkel Lager

Medium-bodied, malty dark lagers. There is a moderate bitterness to balance the sweet, nutty chocolate flavours that prevail in taste and aroma.

Munich Helles Lager

Golden light-bodied, hoppy lager from the Munich region in Germany. Similar to the Dortmunder style but with less body. Smooth, hoppy without much bitterness.


Description of a taste or aroma of dampness, mold or mildew in beer than can be due to bacterial infection.


Noble Hops

The 4 traditional hop varieties, only grown in small areas in Europe:

1. Hallertauer Mittelfruh from Bavaria, Germany
2. Tettnanger Tettnang from the Lake Constance region, Germany
3. Spalter Spalt from Spalt , Germany
4. Czech Saaz from Zatec, Czech Republic.

There are some other hop varieties that are sometimes considered to be noble hops (Crystal, Liberty, Mt. Hood, Perle and Ultra) but these are actually descendants form the original four.

Not Beer

Other alcoholic drinks.



Typically circular building containing an oast for drying hops or malt.

Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal stouts are another version of Sweet Stout. Oatmeal is added to increase body and sweetness. This smooth beer has a slightly nutty taste and can have hints of coffee, chocolate and other roast flavours. Oatmeal Stouts are stronger and more bitter than Milk Stouts. They are sometimes brewed with lactose (like Milk Stouts) for extra sweetness.

ABV 4-7%


See Original Gravity.

Original Gravity

The gravity of the wort before fermentation. It is also known as the Specific Gravity or Starting Gravity. The Original Gravity (OG) of an average beer is 1044, and it finishes at about 1010, giving it a 4.2 ABV%.


Chemical reaction within beer due to oxygen, which can sometimes result in a stale aroma.


Additional supply of oxygen in the wort.



Generic term for (usually branded) containers used for beer, such as bottles or cans.

Packaged beer

Beer that comes in bottles and cans. Draught beer, on the other hand, is sold in casks and kegs.

Pale malt

Light coloured malt that is a standard ingredient in the production of pale ales and bitters, but also used extensively in other beer styles. It is kilned at low temperatures for long periods.


Heating beer to high temperatures (60-79?C) to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms, such as yeast. This sterilisation process is good for extending the shelf life of a beer, but unfortunately also removes flavour and aroma. The process was named after its developer, Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).


Bacteria sometimes used intentionally in Lambic beer styles but also an unintentional consequence of bacterial infection. . Some strains produce diacetyl which is responsible for a butterscotch taste or aroma, usually considered to be an undesirable flavour in most beers.


Not a beer, but an alcoholic drink made from fermented pears.

pH (power Hydrogen)

Number used to express the degree of acidity and alkalinity of a solution. Usually on a scale of 0-14 with 7 representing neutrality.


Chemical compounds that contribute a medicinal aroma and flavour to beer. Some phenol flavours are desirable (e.g. in German style wheat beers) but in higher concentrations they are usually undesirable in most beers. Phenol compounds can be (unintentionally) introduced to beer from the brewing water or via bacterial infection from wild yeasts and even cleaning agents.


Herbal or medicinal flavour and aroma in beer caused by phenol compounds.


Unit of beer measurement. 1 Pin = 4.5 gallons.

Pint Glass

Common pub beer glass. A British style pint glass holds 20 fl oz and has straight sides at a slight angle (making the mouth of the glass wider than the base) with a bulge about ¾ of the way up.  A US pint glass holds 16 fl oz. Pub glasses in Poland (and other EC countries) tend to be 0.5l in size, which is slightly smaller than a British pint glass.


Addition of yeast to wort once it has cooled to desirable temperatures (around 70?F). Pitching whilst the wort is too cold (or too warm) will kill the yeast. Pitching occurs in the fermentation tank.

Piwo Grodziskie

Traditional, top-fermenting smoked wheat beer, with a light hop bitterness This original style was originally brewed in Grodzisk, near Poznan. It was developed from a style called Grätzer (German for Grodzisk) and was very popular in northern Germany. Between 1929-1993, the beer was legally protected as a regional product. The style managed to survive the large-scale shift towards bottom-fermenting brewing. The last remaining brewery that was still producing Grodziskie during the 1990s was closed by Lech due to economic reasons. The style has recently been revived thanks to some smaller Polish breweries.

ABV 3-5%

Plato Degrees

See Degrees Plato.


European pilsner glass. Similar to a tulip with a stem but without the flare at the top. Typically holds holds 12 fl oz.

Polish Amber Lager

Malty lager with a light to medium-body. Piwo Bursztynowe is a Polish interpretation of the amber-coloured Märzen, Oktoberfest & Vienna Lager styles. The original styles are famous due to the Oktoberfest in Germany. Versions of this style produced in Poland today are descendants from the traditional festival beers, and have retained the amber colour.

ABV 6-7%

Polish Dark Lager

Medium strength bottom-fermenting dark-lager. They are generally smooth, malty and well-balanced beers. Polish brewers tend to make some of the strongest versions of this style.

ABV 5.5-7%

Polish Fruit & Flavoured Beer

Fruit-flavoured ale or lager. Fruits have been added to beer for centuries and the beer body, colour, hop character and strength will all vary depending on the type of fruit used. In recent times a number of Polish Breweries have expanded their beer range (reflecting a growing interest in these beer styles) by experimenting with new and exotic flavours including peach, plum, cherry, blueberry, raspberry and many more.

ABV % varies

Polish Honey Beer

Beer with a honey flavour and aroma. Traditional honey beer is produced by adding honey directly to the beer while it is fermenting. Only a small amount of honey (approximately 2-10% of ingredients) is required, as too much honey will increase the fermentation time and result in beer with a mead-like character. Honey beer has recently grown in popularity in Poland.

ABV % varies

Polish Pale Full Lager

Full-strength, smooth, bottom-fermenting pale lager. Typically crisp and dry, but with a low level of hop presence and little malt flavour. These beers are light-bodied and colour normally ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation is high and often forced. Many of the most common, mass-produced lager brands fall into this category. Better examples of this style are often brewed according to traditional brewing methods (not in modernised mass-production breweries). Unpasteurised and unfiltered variants are more likely to have some residual character.

ABV 4-6%

Polish Pale Light Lager

Low-strength, smooth, clean, light-bodied pale lager. These beers are crisp and dry, but have minimal hop presence and low malt flavour. The colour ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation is high and often forced.

ABV 3-4%

Polish Pale Strong Lager

Strong, bottom-fermenting pale lagers. These crisp, dry beers are likely to offer some trace of hop and malt flavour. These strong beers are sometimes sweeter than their Jasne Pelne counterparts. Colour ranges from very pale to dark bronze. Carbonation is high and often forced. Better examples tend to be from smaller and regional brewers, where they are still brewed according to traditional brewing methods (not in modernised mass production breweries) and, once again, unpasteurised and unfiltered variants are likely to have more residual character preserved.

ABV 6-9%

Polish Wheat Beer

Wheat Beers are made with malted barley (just like other beers) but also have a proportion of malted wheat added. A beer made solely with malted wheat (without the barley) would not work as the wheat grain would not be able to convert the starches to sugar. Wheat beers tend to be cloudy and light orange in colour. Flavours of plum, apple banana and a vanilla after taste is sometimes evident. Wheat beers are generally good thirst-quenchers. There are a growing number of Polish Breweries that now produce a wheat beer.

ABV % varies

Premium Lager

Distinctly malty and hoppy lagers that fall somewhere between mainstream Pale Full Lager and Pilsner. Colour can vary from quite pale to deep bronze. Conditioning will typically take between 4-6 weeks. Usually stronger in alcohol but with a softer carbonation that mainstream Pale Lager.

ABV 4.5-5.5%

Primary Fermentation

Main fermentation process where the yeast converts the fermentable sugars in the wort into alchol and carbon dioxide. Primary fermentation occurs in the fermentation tanks in the brewery, as opposed to secondary fermentation that occurs in the cask or bottle.


Addition of fermentable sugars to encourage a secondary fermentation and carbonation. It occurs before racking or bottling, so the second fermentation occurs when the beer is in the bottle, keg or cask.

Principal Fermentation

See Primary Fermentation.


The law covering the period of 1920-1933 in America when there was a legal ban on the manufacture and sale of alcohol.

Pub Glass

See Pint Glass.

Pub interior

Think about the interior of the pub. Think about the general design of the pub, size, features and interior decorations. You may wish to consider how well the pub is  maintained and the cleanliness of washrooms. You may also wish to take other pub facilities such as wi-fi, food menu, beer garden etc into consideration.

Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin flavoured beer that is traditionally brewed in the American autumn.


Hollow in the base of some typers of bottle.



Quadrupel (Quad) and Abt are distinct styles with the Abbey or Trappist family of beers styles. Quadrupel beers are pale, delicate beers with a hint of peach. Abts are darker, richer with deep fruity flavours and more yeastiness. Hoppiness is low in both. The Quadrupel style was developed by La Trappe, whereas the name Abt was originally a description of Westvleteren, the beer that would later become St. Bernardus. Both styles are bottle-conditioned.

ABV 10%+

See also: Trappist



Moving beer from one container to another, either during the stages of brewing or into the final package or keg.


Distinctive, smoke-flavoured lager that originated near Bamberg, Germany. The characteristic light-smoked flavour is derived from malt that has been smoked over beech wood. The result is a smooth, malty beer with hints of fruit.

Real Ale

See Cask Conditioned Beer.

Recirculating Infusion Mash System

Brewing equipment & method favoured by some home brewers.


German beer law dating from 1516 (the ?Purity Pledge?). It states that only 4 ingredients can be included in beer; water, malted grain, yeast and hops. The law was originally restricted to Bavaria but was later expanded to cover the whole of Germany. The original law stated only 3 ingredients: water, barley and hops. Yeast was only added later, after its important role in fermentation was identified by Louis Pasteur.


Sticky plant secretions. In brewing the resins of the hop flower (e.g. humulone and lupulone) are used for bitterness.


See Recirculating Infusion Mash System.

Roast Barley

Used for adding flavour and colour to darker beers including mild beer, porters and stouts. It is unmalted barley that has been heated in a kiln until burnt. It contributes to a smooth and dry tasting beer. It can also help head retention and can be used without mashing.


Beer made with rye malt. This is an unusual beer style because it can be both lager or ale. The rye accounts for about 25% of the malt. The result is a sharp, slightly fruity, tart beer with a dry finish. Filtered and unfiltered versions are available.

ABV 5-6%

Russian Imperial Stout

A strong, hoppy, bitter Stout. Originally made for export (to the Baltic) they are usually very dark with an almost tar-like consistency. Dark roasted malts provide for a rich flavour with occasional hints of dark fruit or milk sourness. Some brewers recommend storing for 2 years or more to enable the beer to develop and mature.

ABV 7-11.5%

Rye Beer

Rye can be difficult to use in brewing, so most brewers only include a small amount. Rye contributes a spicy flavour and also increases head formation.



UK-based global brewing company with operations in over 70 countries across the globe. They are the 2nd largest brewer in the world with sales of US$19 billion in 2011. In Poland, SABMiller control Kompania Piwowarska, who own the Lech, Tyskie and Dojildy breweries.


Stage during mashing when malt starches are broken down into fermentable sugars, primarily maltose.


Single-cell varieties of yeast that ferment sugar.

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Ale or top fermenting yeast.

Saccharomyces Uvarum (Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis)

Lager or bottom fermenting yeast.


A traditional top-fermenting beer style from Finland made with baking yeast (or brewers yeast) and various grains, including; rye, barley, wheat, and oats. Hops are sometimes used, and the beer has a cloudy appearance and banana-like flavour.

ABV 7-8%

Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Saison beers, as per the name, were originally brewed in the summer season as a refreshing, thirst-quenching ale. They are usually orange in colour, light to medium-bodied and heavily hopped. There is very high carbonation and this creates a large foamy head. The beers are crisp and spicy with a crystal malt flavour and fruity aroma. The addition of several herbs and spices, such as orange peel or licorice, results in complex fruity or citrus flavours.

ABV 5.5-7.5%


Medium-strength, bottom-fermenting dark lager from Germany. Schwarzbier is a smooth, well-rounded beer with balanced flavours. Bitterness is low which provides for a smooth, malty, slightly-sweet profile. Colour is dark brown to black.

ABV 4-6%

Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Strong, full-bodied, malty pale ale brewed initially in Edinburgh, Scotland. The style dates from as far back as the 19th century. These beers are strong in alcohol, flavour and aroma and hops are typically used generously to balance out the rich malty flavours. They are normally made with both roasted and pale barley malt. Scottish versions tend to have a lower alcohol content compared to American variants. Wee Heavy is sometimes referred to as 90/- and could be regarded as a strong sub-category of Scottish Ale. ABV 5.8-8%.

Scotch Light Ale

Light-bodied, lower strength ales with a soft malty character. Scotch Light Ale can be regarded as a sub-category of Scottish Ale, and is sometimes known as 60/-. Bitterness is low with little hop flavor and aroma. Colour varies from amber to deep brown.

ABV 2.5-3.5%

Scottish Ale

Dark, full-bodied, malty ales that originated in Scotland. They have a sweet profile with a hint of smokiness from the use of peated malt. The designations of 'shillings', which are typical with this style (e.g. 60/-, 70/- ,80/- and 90/-), have enjoyed a comeback in recent years. The labels were first used to price beer (per hogshead) in shillings during the late 1800s according to the strength of the beer. Although full of character they are not quite as rich or potent as Scotch Ale.

ABV 3-5.5%

Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale

An ancient ale style that dates right back to the Middle Ages. Across Europe, Gruit (herbs) were used to flavour beer before the brewing qualities of hops were realised, around the 15th century. Many different herbs were traditionally used, but some of the most common were yarrow, sweet gale (bog myrtle), juniper, wild rosemary and woodruff. The beer could be made with either with a single herb or as a concoction of herbs mixed together. Other herbs, spices, and berries may also be added with the result being a complex taste and aroma that could be similar to herbal tea or Vermouth. The Scottish variants were fairly typical but also included heather, seaweed and pine in their ingredients.

Secondary Fermentation

The second, slower stage of fermentation. The secondary fermentation can occur in the cask or bottle and can last from a few weeks to many months. See also Primary Fermentation.


Residual solid matter that settles to the bottom of a beer. Sediment can accumulate during the stages of brewing and can also be present in some finished beers (usually unfiltered or bottle/cask-conditioned beers). With unfiltered beers the sediment is usually shaken into the beer before serving for flavour, but sediment in bottle-conditioned and cask-conditioned beers should remain in the vessel.


Beer glass with a handle. They come in various sizes and shapes, but are typically heavy and sturdy. See also Mug/Krug.


Think about the customer experience that you received. Did you get good service from friendly, helpful and informative staff?

Session Beer

Any sensible strength beer which is suitable for multiple servings in a single (drinking) session (to avoid intoxication).


Traditional method for pricing beer in Scotland based on strength. Beers were priced at 60, 70 , 80 or 90 shillings based on the strength of the beer. Although the pricing system has long been obsolete the beer names have survived to this day.


Bung that sits at the top of the cask when racked for serving.


Removal of surplus yeast from the wort surface during fermentation.


Undesirable aroma or flavour that is reminiscent of acetone or paint thinner. Can be caused by high fermentation temperatures.


Cereal grain obtained from various African and Eurasian grasses, popular for its gluten-free properties.


Tart acid taste similar to vinegar. Sometimes present in beer as the result of a bacterial reaction intended by the brewer, or an unintended consequence of beer turning sour or rancid.

Sour Ale

Sour ale is the oldest form of beer in the world, but has recently undergone a rivival with craft brewers around the world.


Recovery of sugars by sprinkling hot water on spent grains in the mash tun. Sparging can retrieve remaining malt sugars and extract that is held in the grain husks. The term derives from French 'esparger', meaning to sprinkle. Sparging can be performed by pouring in additional water before the husks are uncovered (due to the draining of the wort) which is known as 'fly sparging', or by waiting for the wort to drain completely and then adding water, sometimes multiple times.


Adjustable nozzle at the point of dispense on a beer pump. Used to control the amount of head or foam on draught beer.

Specific Gravity

See Original Gravity.


Traditional, open-top fermenting vessel.

Standard Reference Method (SRM)

Scale used by brewers to measure and quantify the colour of beer. Dark beers (e.g. Stout -  SRM 45) will have a higher SRM than lighter beers (e.g. Light Lager -  SRM 2). You can convert SRM into EBC by multiplying the former by 1.97.


Tall, thin variation of the pilsner glass. Usually holds 12 oz. Also known as a Stick.

Starting Gravity

See Original Gravity.


Exposure of barley to water prior to malting.

Step Infusion

Technique used in mashing where the temperature of the mash is increased by adding hot water to reach a series of step targets, to allow different chemical reactions to occur.


Structure in a pub cellar for supporting casks of beer.


Stout and Porter are closely related dark beer styles. All Stouts and Porters are dark beers that are full of character, and can be sweet or dry. They can range from light-bodied, transparent beers to thick, syrupy and bitter brews.



See Cane Sugar.


Aroma similar to burnt matches (or rotten eggs) that can be due to yeast or beer being light struck.

Sweet Wort

Wort as procured from lautering.



Dry, astringent taste. See Astringency.


Organic compounds found in malted barley and hops (as well as other grains and plants). Malt tannins have different  chemical properties to hop tannins.  Tannins are responsible for bitterness and sometimes astringency in beer.


When tasting a beer consider any specific flavours that are present and whether there is a nice balance between the sweeter malt and hop bitterness.

Terminal Gravity

See Final Gravity.

Top fermented

One of only 2 fermentation methods. Top fermentation is characterised by yeast that rises to the top of the fermentation tank. Yeasts of this nature are known as ale yeasts and beers brewed by this method are known as ales.


Fairly strong, bottle-conditioned beers brewed in Trappist monasteries. Trappist monks and nuns reside in over 150 monasteries across the world, and of these, about 16 monasteries are involved in producing a wide variety of goods under the Trappist label. 8 monasteries currently brew beer: 6 in Belgium (Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle and Westvleteren); and 1 in Holland (La Trappe). All Trappist beers have a yeast sediment which provides a sour taste. Candi sugar is sometimes used for flavour, character and alcohol. Trappist beers have a system of sub-styles: Singles are very malty and usually only available at the monasteries; Dubbels are stronger, hoppy, and full-bodied; Tripels are medium bronze with a dry citric flavour.


Tripels are pale, strong, malty, hoppy ales in the abbey style. The hop bitterness is strong and yeast flavour is quite pronounced due to lack of rich dark malts.

See also: Trappist


See Lees.

Tulip glass

Tulip shaped glass. It can resemble a pint glass (with a tulip flare) but can also have a stem under a rounded base which thins and then flares out slightly towards the top. Usually holds 16 oz.



Empty space in a cask.


Famous traditional fermentation method from Burton-on-Trent (England) where large oak casks are used.


Beer which was not been pasteurised. Pasteurisation is the heating of beer to high temperatures (60-79 degrees C) to kill bacteria and other micro-organisms, such as yeast. This sterilisation process is good for extending the shelf life of a beer, but unfortunately also removes flavour and aroma. The process was named after its developer, Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).

Ur (Urtyp)

German word for ?original?.


Van Pur (Van Pur Sp. z oo)

Large polish brewing company based in Warsaw.  Van Pur operate 5 breweries in Łomża, Jędrzejow, Rakszawa, Koszalin i Zabrze. They account for up to 10% of the Polish beer market.


Releasing excess carbon oxide from a cask prior to serving.

Vienna Lager

Amber-red, malty lager with a light to medium-body that originates from Vienna. In 1872 they first appeared at the Oktoberfest in Germany and became instantly popular. They are quite spicy, slight sweet but well balanced, and reddish or deep amber in colour. Beers described as M?rzen or Oktoberfest are likely to belong to the Vienna Lager style.


Recirculation of wort during lautering. Wort is returned onto the top of the grains to help clarify it.



One of the 4 key beer ingredients, making up as much as 90% of some beers. Some brewing regions developed and became famous due to the qualities of the water in the area. When brewing the pH value and mineral content are important factors as different water types suit different beer styles.

Weizen or Weisse

German term for wheat (or white) beer.


Stronger than normal, full-bodied, dark wheat beers with a malty profile.

ABV 6.2-7.5%

See also: Bock, Doppelbock and Dunkler Bock

Wet Hopping

See Fresh Hopping.

Wheat Beer

Wheat Beers are made with malted barley (just like other beers) but also have a proportion of malted wheat. A beer made solely with malted wheat (without the barley) would not work as the wheat grain would not be able to convert the starches to sugar. Wheat beers tend to be cloudy and light orange in colour. Flavours of plum, apple banana and a vanilla after taste are sometimes evident. Wheat beers are generally good thirst-quenchers. The body is light to medium, and the wheat lends a crispness to the beer, often with some acidity. There may be some hop flavour, but bitterness is generally low.

Wheat Beer Glass

Taller version of a pilsner glass with thin walls, slight slope and solid base. Usually they hold 0.5l.


Stirring of the wort (creating a vortex) to collect undesirable hot break material either in the centre of brew kettle or separate whirlpool tank.


Type of pub glass. Similar in design to the pint glass but with thinner walls that stop angling out (about 2/3rds of the way up) and straighten out. Also known as a Becher.

Winter Warmer

Strong, dark, full-bodied malty beers that are rich in flavour. As the name suggests they are traditionally a seasonal winter brew that provides 'warmth' through the alcohol. Colour can ranges from amber-brown to almost black. They are generally slightly sweet, rounded beers with low bitterness.

ABV 5-8%


Dutch word  for “White” beer. See Beer Styles section.


A refreshing, crisp, pale beer made with unmalted wheat, oats and pale malted barley. The unmalted wheat adds to the body and spices such as Curacao, orange peel or coriander add flavour. Head retention is aided by the spices and is usually dense. The yeast is responisble for a sour flavouring and hazy appearance. Body is light to medium. Sometimes oats are added for smoothness. Usually bottle-conditioned.

ABV 4-5%


Thick, sugary liquid created by mashing the malt. Is pronounced ?wurt?.

Wort Chiller

See Heat Exchanger.



Long, extremely narrow, drinking glass with a bulbous end that holds most of the beer. As the name suggests, it is a yard (3 feet or 0.91 metres) in length. They are extremely awkward to drink from. The ?art? of the exhibition is to finish your drink (at one attempt) without pausing for breath or spilling the beer. Be-warned, they hold almost 3 pints, but half yard versions are sometimes available.


Fungus that is responsible for making the alcohol in beer. Yeast converts the malt sugars in the wort into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. The yeast species of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is used for ales and Saccharomyces Carlsbergensis for lagers.



The science (or chemistry) behind fermentation. It is also the name chosen for the magazine of the American Home Brewers Association.

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