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Beer Terms

Tired of listening to someone Geek-out on some fancy beer lingo that you don't understand?

Here are some of the most commonly used terms one will encounter on a beer label or description.

 BU:GU  This is a ratio between the IBU (Bitterness) and the Gravity (sweetness) in a beer. The ratio attempts to quantify a beer's balance. A 1.00 would be "Very hoppy" while a 0.00 would be "Crazy Sweet". A balanced beer is a 0.5 while anything over 1.00 is "Crazy Hoppy".. Many people over emphasis the importance of IBUs in a beer (its Bitterness) and fail to realize IBUs alone do not define a beer's characteristics. A beer needs balance. Although BU:GU is not a perfect measure it does help demonstrate the bitter to sweet balance of a beer. One of the best write-ups can be found by Finn Hill Brewing

 IBUStands for International Bitterness Units. This is the measure of how much bitter hop resin (Alpha Acid) is in the beer. Recently too much emphasis has been placed on IBUs by undereducated beer geeks who believe a beer is defined by the IBUs listed on label. Interested in reading more? Read a more in depth discussion on the IBU page.

Final Gravity - A measure of sugar content dissolved in water after the beer is fermented
Original Gravity - A measure of sugar content disolved in water before the beer is fermented

As sugar dissolves in water the solution becomes denser. OG and FG measure the density of water to determine the quantity of sugar - or maltose (the sugars used to make beer). Yeast eat sugar and creates alcohol. The OG is the sugar available for the yeast to make alcohol. The FG is the sugar remaining after the fermentation process is complete. The difference between OG and FG determines the alcohol content of a beer.
In addition, the FG can indicate the sweetness of a beer. In general, a low FG is a dry, thin beer and a sweet, full-bodied beer will have a high FG. These readings can be in Plato or Specific Gravity. Sweeter beers are 5plato or 1.020 Specific Gravity. Crisp, dry beer will measure around 2plato or 1.008 Specif Gravity

 These definitions are tough to come buy. This definition should help put a gauge on brewery size based on name. A craft brewery is a "small, independent and traditional" brewery. The craft brewery must produce less than 6 million barrels a year. A micro-brewery must produce less than 15,000 barrels a year. A nano-brewery is a less defined category, but should produce less than 5,000 barrels a year and distribute to a very small local region. Many extend the definition of a nano-brewery to include the brew system. If the brew system is smaller than 7.5barrels than it is a nano-brewery. A pico-brewery is a relatively new term. It is applied to breweries with systems 3bbls or smaller who produce less than 600 barrels a year. Essentially a large scale home-brewer. Read more.

North Williston Brewing is a femto-brewery; it is not "essentially", it "is" a home brewer.