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A Glossary Of Spirits Terminology


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Beer - an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops.

N/A Beers - Beer with little or no alcohol content and aims to reproduce the taste of beer while eliminating the inebriating effects of standard alcoholic brews. Most low-alcohol beers are lagers, but there are some low-alcohol ales

Malt Liquor - Beer with high alcohol content. Legally, it often includes any alcoholic beverage with 5% or more alcohol by volume made with malted barley

Ale - A fermented malt beverage, full-bodied and somewhat bitter, with strong flavor and aroma of hops. Popular in England, where the term is now synonymous with beer, ale was until the late 17th century an unhopped brew of yeast, water, and malt, beer being the same brew with hops added.

Cream Ale -  Despite the name, this American-style beer doesn’t contain any dairy or lactose. Traditionally, it’s actually more closely related to a lager. It’s a pale, light bodied ale (though it’s sometimes made with lager yeast) that typically falls around 5% ABV. Cream Ale uses old school hops like Cluster, Brewer’s Gold, and Liberty.

Blonde Ale/ Golden Ale - An easy-drinking beer that is visually appealing and has no particularly dominating malt or hop characteristics. Rounded and smooth, it is an American classic known for its simplicity. These beers can have honey, spices and fruit added, and may be fermented with lager or ale yeast.

American Amber Ale - The American amber ale is one of the most widely enjoyed styles throughout the United States and serves as a cornerstone style of the American craft brewing revolution. American ambers are darker in color than their pale ale cousins. Amber beer showcases a full-body and a medium-high to high malt character with medium to low caramel character derived from the use of roasted crystal malts. The American amber is characterized by American-variety hops, which lend the amber ale notes of citrus, fruit and pine to balance the sweetness of the malt.

Pale Ale - A popular style of beer that's hop-forward with a malty flavor, a golden to amber color, and moderate strength. Brewed with pale malt and ale yeast, pale ales bridge the gap between dark stouts and light lagers. They are full of flavor, but not too heavy, so the style is very approachable.

American pale ale (APA) -  A style of pale ale developed in the United States. American pale ales are generally around 5% abv with significant quantities of American hops, typically Cascade.

India Pale Ale -  Hoppier than other pale ales. Hops are a key ingredient in all beers, but IPAs are generous in the hops added throughout the brewing process. Favorite hops found in IPAs include Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook

Imperial IPA/ Double IPA - A stronger version of the American IPA, which boasts even more hoppy flavor, aroma and bitterness. Imperial India pale ale is darker in color than the American IPA, substantially more bitter, and high in alcohol by volume.

Hazy IPA - Has a cloudy appearance, one you can't see through like you might with other beer styles The foggy appearance hints at a fullness of flavor, which it delivers.  Hazy IPAs have less filtering before packaging, which yields a beer with lower perceived bitterness than other IPAs and hop character that's decidedly fruity—you'll often hear “juicy” as a flavor descriptor, like a tasty bite of ripe citrus.

Lager - Light-coloured, highly carbonated type of beer. Very clean and crisp taste, also tends to have a sweeter, smoother, and more refreshing flavor. The term lager is used to denote beer produced from bottom-fermenting yeast. Lagers are also forminted in cold Temperatures.

Helles Lager - Helles, which simply means “bright” in German, is indeed a bright, malty alternative that retains the crispness of a lager without the spicy hops found in a pilsner. Like all lagers, Helles is made with a unique yeast variety, so it's distinguished from ales during the fermentation process.

Vienna Lager -  A reddish-amber colored, malt-forward beer that showcases the toasted flavors of Vienna malt. Hop bitterness is just high enough to balance the malt’s sweetness without overshadowing the flavor. The spicy flavor and aroma of European hops may be present but usually at only very low levels. It finishes dry and crisp with lingering toasty malt character and bitterness. American versions can be a bit stronger, drier, and more bitter, while modern European versions tend to be sweeter

Schwarzbier - Black beer, or malta is a dark lager that originated in Germany. It tends to have an opaque, black color with hints of chocolate or coffee flavors, and are generally around 5% ABV. It is similar to stout in that it is made from roasted malt, which gives it its dark color.

Oktoberfest - Tend to be red hued, slightly sweet beers known as a Marzen. But at the actual festival, the beers are closer to what most of us think of when we think of a German lager: paler beers, similar to another German style known as a Dortmunder.

Märzen -  A German style lager, generally thinner and crisper cousins to thicker, heavier-tasting ales. For another, these lagers usually include Munich malt, named for the Bavarian capital. The malt is amber in color and produces a particularly rich, sweet taste.

Dortmunder - German-style, relatively light-bodied lager. A bit stronger, with more body than a helles lager, not quite as hoppy as a pilsner. Historically, it was (and still is) brewed by breweries like Kronen and DAB in Dortmund, Germany.

Festbier - Similar to Maibock beer, except that Festbier is lower in gravity and features a bit more hops flavor and aroma. Both are pale lagers with a clear Pilsner malt biscuit bent, along with some additional toasted malt flavors in support. 

Pilsner - A pale lager with a crisp, refreshing taste that's lightly hopped. It was originally brewed in the town of Pilsen (Plzeň) in what is now the Czech Republic. The brewery that would become known as Pilsner Urquell created the beer in 1842, and it was an immediate success.

Bock - A strong beer of German origin, brewed as a lager when made with only barley malt, and brewed as an ale when wheat malt is added. ... 

Maibock - (literally, the month of May bock), a paler, more hopped version of a bock, generally made for consumption at spring festivals.

Pulque - Fermented alcoholic beverage made in Mexico since the pre-Columbian era. Cloudy and whitish in appearance, it has a sour buttermilk-like flavor and about 6 percent alcohol content. It is made from fermented aguamiel (“honey water”), the sap of any of several species of the agave, or maguey, plant.

Hard Cider - A fermented drink made by crushing fruit, typically apples.

Stout/Porter - A dark, heavy-bodied beer popular in Great Britain and Ireland. Stouts are stronger versions of mild ale. There are various types, including oatmeal stout, milk stout, and imperial stout. Popular stouts have included the so-called dry Irish stouts, notably Guinness. Today the distinction between stout and porter remains unclear. Some brewers may distinguish stout from porter on the basis of dryness, in which the stout is made with unmalted roasted barley (as opposed to malted roasted barley for a porter), or sweetness, in which the stout is made with lactose (as in milk stout).

Milk Stout/ Cream Stout - A stout containing lactose, Because lactose cannot be fermented by beer yeast, it adds sweetness and body to the finished beer.

Irish Cream Stout/ Dry Stout- 

Oatmeal Stout - A stout with a proportion of oats, normally a maximum of 30%, added during the brewing process. Oatmeal stouts do not usually taste specifically of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids, and gums imparted by the use of oats. The gums increase the viscosity and body adding to the sense of smoothness.

Chocolate Stout - A name brewers sometimes give to certain stouts having a noticeable dark chocolate flavor through the use of darker, more aromatic malt

Pastry Stout - A stout beer which is brewed to be intentionally sweet with the end goal that the beer mimics the flavor and sometimes the appearance of a dessert.

Oyster Stout - A dark, semi-sweet beer brewed using actual oyster shells.

Lambic - It's a style of Belgian ale that doesn't rely on carefully selected yeast added by the brewer. Instead, the wort is left in open tanks to invite the region's microorganisms into the sugary feast. The result is a wild, funky, sour beer that varies wildly from batch to batch. Fruit lambics such as kriek and framboise are also produced, and gueuze is a blended lambic often called the "Champagne of Brussels."

Fruit Lambic - Are Lambic beers with fruit added during fermentation. Fruited lambics tend to be a bit less complex, and the sour qualities of the beer support and enhance the flavors of the fruits or berries.

Gueuze - A lambic made by blending old and new batches. Considered the best because of the amazing complexity, gueuze blends lambics aged for one, two, and three years. They must be bottle fermented and are highly carbonated with an enhanced tartness.

Coffee Beer - Coffee beer can be either a lager beer or an ale beer, with coffee added to boost flavor. While stouts and porters are popular base styles for coffee beer, many craft breweries are experimenting with other styles, like cream ales and India pale ales.

Honey Beer - Both lagers and ales can be brewed with honey. Some brewers will choose to experiment with ingredients, while others will add honey to traditional styles.

Pumpkin Beer - pumpkin beer style can be brewed with pumpkin, just pumpkin spices, or even winter squash. Since the fruit does not have much of a taste by itself, many craft brewers have taken to adding spices typically found in pumpkin pie, like cinnamon and clove. However, these flavors should not overpower the beer. Pumpkin can be found in everything from stouts to pale ales and pilsners.

Gluten Free Beer - Beer crafted with sorghum and buckwheat instead of Barley, wheat, oats, and rye These grains do not contain gluten to brew beers for their gluten-averse customers.

Kolsch - A light in color and malt character. This style’s fermentation process yields a light, vinous character which is accompanied by a slightly dry, crisp finish. Ale yeast is used for fermentation, though lager yeast is sometimes used in the bottle or final cold-conditioning process.

Schwarzbier - Sometimes called black lagers, they may remind some of German-style dunkels, but schwarzbiers are drier, darker and more roast-oriented.These very dark brown to black beers have a surprisingly pale-colored foam head (not excessively brown) with good cling quality. They have a mild roasted malt character without the associated bitterness. Malt flavor and aroma is at low to medium levels of sweetness.

Black and Tan - A beer cocktail made by layering a pale beer (usually pale ale) and a dark beer (usually stout). In Ireland, the drink is called a half and half.

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