photo by Bellevue Fine Art Repro (Scott) of flickr.com

Ever been around a bunch of wine snobs that can taste a wine and swear they taste chocolate and raisins in a wine and all you taste is … wine? Ever heard someone say words like tannin and fulll bodied to describe wines and you just nodded your head in agreement, while secretly thinking “what the hell is he/she talking about?” Well with the surge in craft beer in the last year you can quickly find yourself in a conversation about beer and here’s a list of terms to make people you drink for the art of it and not just to get hammered.

IBU = International Bittering Units, each beer has a certain level of bitterness from hops, the higher the number the more bitter the beer which also means the more hops that went into the beer. (ex. coors light =9 ibu and stone arrogant bastard= 100+ ibu)

ABV= Alcohol By Volume, the amount of alcohol in the beer.

Head= the foam on the top of the beer. Get your mind out of the gutter people, c’mon!

Fermentation= when the yeast converts sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Ale= beers created using top fermenting yeast which gives beer more complex flavors.

Lager= beers created using bottom fermenting yeast which gives beer more crisp refreshing flavors. (examples Budweiser and Corona)

Hop Head= Someone who loves beer high in IBU aka really hoppy beers.

Use these terms wisely and never I repeat never show fear, remember most beer American beer drinkers are fairly new to the scene so don’t be afraid to ask ” what the hell did you just say sucka?”