Brandywine Valley Brew Scene | Beer Glossary


Any unmalted grain or other fermentable ingredient used in the brewing process; typically either rice or corn

Beers fermented with top fermenting yeast. Ales typically are fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers, and are often served warmer.

Brettanomyces/ Wild Yeast
A special yeast used to make sour or wild beer

Brown Ale
A type of ale that tends to have more of a malty flavor profile

Herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavor

IPA (India Pale Ale)
A type of light-colored, hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale, typically with a higher than average alcohol and hop content

A type of beer conditioned at low temperatures, may be pale, golden, amber or dark

Malt (ing)
The process by which barley is steeped in water, germinated, then kilned to convert insoluble starch to soluble substances and sugar. The foundation ingredient of beer

A type of pale lager with considerable but balanced malt and hop character

A dark style of beer developed in London from well-hopped beers made from brown malt

A dark beer made by using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops. water and yeast

During the fermentation process, yeast converts the natural malt sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas


Alcohol by volume. This is a measurement of the amount of alcohol in the beer

The amount of sugar in the beer. Original gravity is that measurement before the beer has been fermented. Final gravity is the measurement after fermentation

International bittering units. Although sensitivity to bitterness will vary from person to person, this is an objective measure of the bitterness of a beer. This number is based on the amount of a natural resin (known as “alpha acids”) in the hops, how much hops are used, and when the hops are added to the beer

A measurement of orginal gravity


Aroma hops
Hops that are added at the end of the boil, producing less bitterness and more aroma in the final product

Bittering hops
Hops that are added to the beginning of the boil, resulting in more bitterness and less aroma in the final product

A step in the brewing process in which beer is matured or aged after initial fermentation to prevent the formation of unwanted flavors and compounds

Refers to the addition of hops after the boil, during transfer to the fermenter, in the fermenter itself, or even after fermentation. This technique adds a lot of hop aroma without adding much more bitterness to the beer

The process in which yeast is added to the wort and converts the glucose to ethyl alchol and carbon dioxide gas - giving the beer both its alcohol content and its carbonation

A product of the brewing process, mash is what occurs when the malt and adjunct grains are steeped in water at a specific temperature, usually around 150º F or more. Steeping the grains activates the enzymes in the malt, which in turn converts the starch in the grains to sugars, a majority of which will be fermented by the yeast

Wet-hopped (aka "fresh-hopped")
Wet-hopped beer uses hops that have been freshly harvested and not dried, producing unique flavors and aromas

The sugary solution that is collected from the mash and then boiled. Beer is called “wort” until it has been fermented, at which point it becomes beer

Drinking/ Describing

Thickness and mouth-filling property of a beer described as "full or thin bodied"

Head retention
The foam that rests on top of the beer after it has been served. Retention is how long the head lasts in your glass. The head will exhibit aroma attributes of the beer that are not found after the head has died down

A beer that strongly exhibits the flavor and aroma of hops

Beers that are described as “imperial” or “double” are larger versions of the style listed on the beer—not in volume, but in certain characteristics. For example, imperial beers usually have more malt, more alcohol, more sweetness, more bitterness and/or more hops

A beer that strongly exhibits the qualities of the malt- flavors and aromas of a malty beer may be described as grainy, barley-like, syrupy, roasty, fresh sweet toasty bread, and cooked sugar

The textures one perceives in a beer. Includes carbination, fullness, and aftertaste

A beer of lighter body and alcohol of which one might expect to drink more than one serving in a sitting


A 22-ounce bottle of beer.

Cask (aka firkin)
A barrel-shaped vessel for both conditioning and serving ale

A large vessel for serving beer on draft

A big glass jug used to hold beer

Do it Right.
Stay the Night
Accommodations are available throughout the Chester County region, so it only seems fitting to raise another glass and leave the car keys behind.
The fruits of local wineries’ labor. Switch lanes and take a trip on the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail for a taste of something different.
View Our Wineries
The bountiful blooms of Longwood Gardens. Sip and savor the grandeur and beauty of the displays and Main Fountains in their Victory Brewing Beer Garden all year-round.
View Our Gardens
Tough Mudder Philly will be held at Plantation Field in Coatesville May 19-20. If you like running through waist-high mud and the adrenaline rush you get after jumping off a five-foot ledge into ice water, then you'll love spring in Chester County.
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