Glossary

Common Hop, Beer, & Brewing Terms

We've compiled this list of common terms, acronyms, and abbreviations used in the brewing industry.

A C E F S

A

Alcohol by volume

Amount of alcohol in beer in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per volume of beer.

Alcohol by weight

Amount of alcohol in beer measured in terms of the percentage weight of alcohol per volume of beer, i.e., 3.2% alcohol by weights equals 3.2 grams of alcohol per 100 centiliters of beer. (It is approximately 20% less than alcohol by volume.)

C

Color

The hue or shade of a beer, primarily derived from grains, sometimes derived from fruit or other ingredients in beer. Beer styles made with caramelized, toasted or roasted malts or grains will exhibit increasingly darker colors. The color of a beer may often, but not always, allow the consumer to anticipate how a beer might taste. It’s important to note that beer color does not equate to alcohol level, mouthfeel or calories in beer.

Craft Brewery

According to the Brewers Association, an American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.

-Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.

-Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.

-Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

E

Esters

aromatic compounds formed from yeast’s complete oxidation of various alcohols and responsible for most fruity aromas in beer.

Ethanol

the type of alcohol found in beer, formed by yeast from malt sugars.

F

Final Gravity

The specific gravity of a beer as measured when fermentation is complete (when all desired fermentable sugars have been converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide gas). Synonym: Final specific gravity; final SG; finishing gravity; terminal gravity.

S

Session beer

A beer that is lighter in gravity and alcohol (usually less than 4.5% ABV).