Golden Ale: See: Blonde
Growler: A half-gallon (64 oz.) glass jug sold at breweries to customers who want to buy beer-to-go. A “squealer” is the 32 oz. version of a growler. Customers can usually bring growlers and squealers back to brewers to purchase more beer-to-go.
Hefeweizen: A German — and perhaps the most well-known — wheat beer. Roughly translated to “with yeast and wheat,” Hefeweizens have a yeasty, banana-like taste, often spicy, with vanilla notes. Medium-bodied with a silky mouth feel, unfiltered, cloudy in appearance, with a pale to light-amber color.
Hops/Hoppy: Hops are the cone-like female flower off the Humulis Lupulus plant or vine. Primarily used to add bitterness to beer, hops also can impart additional flavors and aromas. Moreover, they inhibit bacteria growth during the brewing process. There are over 100 varieties of hops harvested across the globe. The use of hops in brewing dates back to 600 BC in Egypt.
IBU: International Bitter Unit. A measuring scale for the bitterness of a beer. More IBUs usually means more hops.
Imperial: Although this term derives from dark, heavy British beers brewed heavier and hoppier for the Russian imperial court in the 1700s, in America the term has become generalized to mean a stronger version of any given style, such as Imperial IPA, Imperial Stout, etc. Imperials tend to have ABVs near or in the double digits.
IPA: India Pale Ale. If you think the name means it was brewed in India, you’re close. IPAs were originally brewed for India, by Britain, in the 19th century. IPAs contain higher hoppiness and ABVs, because stronger beers stood a better chance of surviving the 19th century oceanic voyage from Britain to India. In the modern craft-beer boom, IPAs have emerged as one of the most popular styles, especially in more recent years.
Lager: The other category of beers, along with ale. Lagers are brewed with yeast strains fermented at colder temperatures. These strains are called “bottom-fermenting yeasts,” because their metabolic process takes place near the bottom of the fermentation vessel. The low fermentation temperatures reduce yeast byproducts, creating a clean, crisp flavor, as opposed to the flavor focus on spices and fruits in ales. Lagers are usually served colder than ales.
Lambic: A traditionally sour, dry, sometimes-cidery beer produced by “spontaneous fermentation” (as compared to controlled forms of fermentation) through exposure to wild yeasts and bacteria. Fruits are sometimes added for flavor. “Straight” Lambic recipes can produce earthy, leathery and honey flavors. Historically, Lambics originate in the Pajottenland region of Belgium.
Malts/Malty: Barley or other grains that have been soaked in water to induce germination, and then kilned to convert insoluble starches into the fermentable sugars required to make beer. Malty beers taste of toastiness, biscuit, nuts, toffee or caramel.
Microbrewery: As defined by the Brewers Association: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, with 75% or more of its beer sold off-site.