The Bartending College

Beer Basics Glossary

Basic beer-tasting vocabulary

Terms for Tasting


Having a taste of acid. A predominance of sourness.


A palate sensation that occurs after the beer has been swallowed.


Fragrance, usually in a pleasant sense: applied to a beverage, it is the component of the odor that derives from the ingredients of the beverage. As opposed to the boquet which is the result of by-products from the fermentation process.


The texture of a beer concerned with the harmony of various flavors and sensations.


A cereal grass with bearded spikes of flowers, and its seed or grain. Barley is the most suitable cereal grain for making malt beverages: It provides flavor, head, body and color.


The tangy or sharp taste in beer that results from hops; without the bitterness a beer has no zest, with too much bitterness it is hard and biting.


The mouth-filling property of a beer. Taken at it's extreme, stout has a heavy or full body. Pale low-calorie beer may be thin or watery.


The unit of heat needed to raise a kilogram of water one degree Celsius: human-body intake and energy expenditure are measured in calories. A twelve-ounce portion of beer has some 150 calories.


An organic substance that converts starch into soluble substances such as sugars.


The breakdown of complex molecules in organic compounds caused by the action of a ferment (such as yeast). In malt beverages, it is the decomposition of sugar into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Finish - that part of the palate sensation that occurs just before and during swallowing.


The dried ripe cones of the female flowers of a climbing-vine of the nettle family. The resin or extract from the cones is used for bittering and preserving beer.


Barley that has been steeped in water to produce sprouting then kiln-dried.


To subject to a temperature of 142 - 145 degrees Farenheit for thirty minutes to destroy disease-producing bacteria and to check fermentation.


Like the peculiar aroma of a skunk. A beer may smell and taste of skunk. A defect found usually in well-hopped beers and caused, it is believed, by photosynthesis.


Winy, winelike, fruited in a fermented sense.


The ferment or fermenting agent, which turns the wort into beer. In particular, in beer making the yeast is the strain Saccharomyces cervisiae, or Brewer's yeast.

More Lessons

You are viewing the mobile optimized version of this website. Click here to access the desktop version of The Bartending College website.