Well, welcome back to the Craft Beer Convert on this edition I want to try to enlighten you on a couple of terms used in the industry and what they mean to us the beer drinker. This is going to be the beginning of our trip through the brewing process and start our education about the craft beer industry; from a technical point of view. Now, I am going to be honest with you I am not an expert in this field but I am going to be learning as we go and relaying this incredible information to you as we move along; I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I will bringing it to you.
Two important terms that I think all craft beer consumers should know are ABV (Alcohol by Volume) and IBU (International Bitterness Units); these two terms are important because they are often used to describe and categorize craft beers and can help you decide on what beer you may want to try as you walk into a new pub or brew house. It cuts down on some of the taste testing time and adds to the beer enjoyment time. So let’s start with ABV; what is it and why do I care about it. It tells you by definition the amount of alcohol in your pint and that is obviously important because it is a guide to how much you can drink and how fast before you get drunk. Now, the scale runs from 2% all the way up to 12% with most beers ranging between 4 and 7 percent so a person needs to monitor this number when trying a new brew so he is not taken by surprise. For instance in my home brewery my favorite flavor the Kit Kupfer has an ABV of 4.9% and if I switch to the Devil’s Paint Box IPA which carries an ABV of 6.66% I need to make sure I realize my alcohol intake is much higher and will lead me to being impaired faster. Now on the other hand Matthiessen English Mild which has an ABV of 4.1% the impact should be much less. This would be very important information on a night where you are in a new pub drinking brews for the first time and are planning on it being a long evening; if you get my meaning.
In our next issue I am going to be explain IBU and its importance and then I 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.