Beer 101: Vocabulary

04-19-2016, The BeerVibe Crew

You may have heard wine connoisseurs discuss Merlot and Sauvignon wines and dry wines and the proper wine glass to use on what occasion and a wine’s bouquet, and whether to drink a red or white wine with a meat or fish meal. Do wine drinkers project an air of sophistication and snobbery that beer drinkers are missing? Well, my beer-imbibing friends, don’t feel you are left out of the ranks of the needlessly sophisticated, just because your beverage of choice fizzes, has a head, and is flavored with hops.

We at BeerVibe maintain that beer is at least as complex as any other alcoholic beverage, and beer-drinkers of today are continuing to enjoy what has been satisfying people all over the world for millennia. Beer has a rich and intoxicating history, and the brewing processes and the chemistry of beer are probably more complex than most of us who enjoy the brew care to know, but knowing a little bit of the history and science of beer, and a working vocabulary of beer words can be of great benefit, or at least make you feel even better about drinking beer.

For example, if your wine-drinking friends try to impress you with words like “Merlot” and “oenology” and “oenophile,” you can come right back and say things like “wort” and “bung” and“bunghole” with complete confidence that these are respectable beer terms (bung and bunghole have the same meaning in wine making) and you will have a high level of confidence that your wine drinking friends won’t know what you are talking about. Snobbery returned!

This little feature of BeerVibe will introduce to you, in small 8 ounce servings, some little facts of the history and science of the beverage we all enjoy.

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