Well, welcome back to the Craft Beer Convert in this edition we will discuss IBU and what it means to you; ok to refresh IBU means International Bitterness Units. Instead of the alcohol content this scale tells us the bitterness from the hops on a scale from 1 to 100. For instance a very hoppy beer like an imperial IPA can reach up to 80 on the scale and beers can also achieve a high score from the sweet malts like a stout for instance. Now why is that important? Well, because beers range all over the scale and when you figure out where your taste range is on that scale you have a better idea of what beers to try to find the one you will enjoy. This will again cut down on the tasting part of your experience and increase the enjoying part when you explore a new pub. For me my favorite beer as you know Kit Kupfer from Tangled Roots in Ottawa, Illinois range is an American Amber Ale and falls in the 35 to 40 range which tells me that is my comfort range for bitterness. That tells me when I walk into a pub I am looking for obviously other American Amber Ales, German Pilsners, Oktoberfest blends, or Belgian Tripel to name a few. Now if you are curious about where you are just google the IBU scale and then find your favorite brew type on the scale and compare the numbers to find what you would be comfortable with. That way when you try a new brewery you will know where to start and have a more enjoyable visit.
In our next issue I will be talking with some of the people that do this for a living and find out what are the important aspects of brewing, such as the main ingredients and important techniques that dictate the taste and ABV of their product. Also we will delve into where they get the ingredients and why that’s important. Until next time, I hope all your brews be cold and of great quality.