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The Dead Liver Society – Some things we need to talk about..


As you can probably tell, we are here to review beer for you people out there. We assume you know just in the hell what we mean when we say “lacing” or “snifter” or whatever but we know that may not always be the case.

In order to help you understand just what we are talking about, we’ve created a list of terms and verbiage. These terms and words will be used frequently by us but hey, everyone needs a starting point right?


American Ales
American Amber / Red Ale
American Barleywine
American Black Ale
American Blonde Ale
American Brown Ale
American Dark Wheat Ale
American Double / Imperial IPA
American Double / Imperial Stout
American IPA
American Pale Ale (APA)
American Pale Wheat Ale
American Porter
American Stout
American Strong Ale
American Wild Ale
Black & Tan
Chile Beer
Cream Ale
Pumpkin Ale
Rye Beer

Belgian / French Ales
Belgian Dark Ale
Belgian IPA
Belgian Pale Ale
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut
Bière de Garde
Flanders Oud Bruin
Flanders Red Ale
Lambic – Fruit
Lambic – Unblended
Quadrupel (Quad)
Saison / Farmhouse Ale

English Ales

Baltic Porter
English Barleywine
English Bitter
English Brown Ale
English Dark Mild Ale
English India Pale Ale (IPA)
English Pale Ale
English Pale Mild Ale
English Porter
English Stout
English Strong Ale
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Foreign / Export Stout
Milk / Sweet Stout
Oatmeal Stout
Old Ale
Russian Imperial Stout
Winter Warmer


German Ales
Berliner Weissbier


Irish Ales
Irish Dry Stout
Irish Red Ale


Scottish Ales
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Scottish Ale
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale



AAU Alpha Acid Unit, or AAU, is a measurement for bitterness in a given hop flower. The higher the percentage, the more bitter the yield.
ABV Alcohol by Volume given as a percentage. Measures the amount of ethanol in a liquid. It is a common measurement used around the world (ABW is also used to express the mass of alcohol in beverage).
Adjunct Unmalted grains or additional ingredients that are added in brewing. Most common products are corn, rice, wheat and sugar.
Aeration The introduction of oxygen into wort to allow for proper yeast production.
Airlock A device used to seal a fermentation vessel. Keeps unsanitary air out, while allowing CO2 to escape.
Alcohol The substance that results from yeast feasting on the sugars in the malt during fermentation. The yeasts eat up the fermentable sugars creating two byproducts: ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. The more fermentable sugar available, the higher the alcohol content. Commonly known to have intoxicating effects.
Ale A common term for beer that denotes what type of yeast is used. Generally, more fruity in flavor and fermented at warmer temperatures (55°-75°F). Think of ale as a “hot brewed” solution, like tea.
Ale yeast A strain of yeast that works towards the top layer of liquid giving it the term “top-fermenting yeast.” It likes to operate at warmer temps between 55-70°F.
Attenuation The measurement of the amount of sugars remaining (or amount of sugars consumed) in the beer after fermentation process. Takes into effect the starting gravity vs. the final gravity.
Balling A measurement comparing the density of a liquid to that of water.
Barley Grain that is used as the primary source of sugars in a beer upon malting.
Beer A malt beverage made from grains, most often fermented.
Beta acids Insoluble resins found in the hop flower. Attributes to minor bitterness.
Bittering hops Hops added specifically for their bittering qualities during the boiling stage.
Boiling One of the key steps in making beer. Used to break down complex sugars into simple sugars for the yeast to feed off of. Hops are also added during this process to break down bittering resins.
Body The feeling of the beer in your mouth as it pertains to fullness. There are light-bodied beers, like anything considered “light”, medium-bodied, and full-bodied beers like some stouts, IPAs, Double IPAs, etc. Relative to how thick or thin the beer feels in your mouth.
Bottle conditioning A method of obtaining carbonation in a beer by means of active yeast feeding on sugars while inside the bottle.
Brettanomyces A yeast strain that produces funky, sour, and wild flavored beers.
Brussels lace Foam left on the sides of the glass. See also: lacing.
Carbonation The bubbles you see in beer. CO2 that is forced/dissolved into the liquid. Carbonation as CO2 is achieved as a byproduct when yeast breaks down sugar.
Carboy A large glass container used by most homebrewers for fermenting or lagering. Can come in a range of sizes, but 5 gals is standard.
Cask A barrel made from wood that is used to transport and serve beer.
Conditioning The process in which a beer obtains carbonation. Can happen naturally from the yeast giving off CO2 in an enclosed container like a bottle or keg, or can be forced using pressurized CO2. Also pertains to aging a beer over time to fully develop flavors and alcohol content.
Dry hopping Adding hops to the beer during the fermentation process in order to increase the aroma. Generally done after the boiling phase, when the beer is in a secondary vessel.
Extract Wort that has been dehydrated into a syrup or powder. Used most often by homebrewers.
Fermentation vessel (FV) A large, sterile container where fermentation takes place.
Final gravity The last gravity reading taken after fermentation is complete to calculate the density of the beer to that of water.
Finishing hops Hops added during the final minutes of the boil, helping to impart more aroma.
Firkin A British cask that is equal to 10.8 US gals.
Flocculation When yeast join together after being suspended in the liquid to form sediment.
Germination When a kernel of grain begins to sprout new growth. This means the grain loaded with enzymes and starches that are useful to brewers.
Gravity The weight of a liquid relative to the weight of an equal volume of water. This is a basic scientific measurement used to determine the alcohol content of a beer. Specific gravity is measured before and after fermentation with a device called a hydrometer. The result of a mathematical equation between those 2 numbers give you your alcohol content, or ABV.
Grist Crushed grains.
Grits Crushed adjunct grains like corn or rice.
Hops One of the four basic ingredients in beer. A cone shaped flower used to create bitterness, aroma, and also serve as a preservative. Hops have many different flavor profile characteristics, ranging from citrus-y, to piney, to earthy. The wide range of varieties available provide ample opportunities to create many diverse flavors and aromas in beer. Only the female vine is sought after.
Hydrometer An instrument used to measure the gravity, balling, and estimated alcohol content in a given liquid.
IBU International Bitterness Unit (IBU) is a brewing industry standard for determining how bitter a beer will be given the hops AAU percentage and the length of boiling. The higher the IBU number, the more bitter the beer.
Keg A metal vessel used to hold and dispense carbonated beer.
Kettle The large vat where the wort is boiled. Often referred to as a “copper”.
Kiln A dry oven used to dry out grains that have germinated. Can be done in a variety of roasting techniques (just like coffee beans).
Kraüsen Pronounced “KROY-zen”. German name for the yeasty foam atop the beer during the fermentation process.
Lacing Term referring to the foam left on the inside of the beer glass. See also: Brussels lace.
Lager German word meaning “to store”. A very common style of beer. As opposed to an ale, it is generally fermented at lower temperatures (32°-50°F) and is slow working at the base of the liquid. Hence, the “bottom-fermenting” term given to it. The flavor is usually crisp and clean. Think of a lager as “cold brewed”.
Lautering The act of separating grains from liquid during the initial brewing stages. A large circular disc with small holes in it acts as a strainer and sits above the actual base, allowing the liquid to drain (known as a “false bottom”).
Lauter tun A traditional vessel used for lautering.
Liquor Contrary to popular misconception, liquor it is not the alcohol, but rather the water used to make it.
Lovibond (°L) A European measurement for the color found in beer or kilned grains. See also: SRM.
Lupulin The yellowish resin found under the petals of hop flowers. This is where the bitterness comes from when they are broken down during the boil.
Malts One of the four key ingredients in beer. Grains that have germinated and then kilned and are ready for brewing.
Mash The combination of malt and hot water (liquor) which begins breaking down the sugars and starches created during the germination process.
Original gravity The first gravity measurement taken before fermentation to determine density. Will be compared with the final gravity measurement to calculate how much sugar has been converted.
Pasteurization The process of sterilizing beer through the use of heat. Named for its inventor, Louis Pasteur.
Pitching Refers to the adding of yeast to the unfermented wort. Brewers usually “pitch the yeast” once the wort has cooled after the boil and been transferred to a secondary container.
Plato (°P) A measurement of the strenghth of beer meaured in degrees (degrees Plato). More descriptive that specific gravity, because it expresses the amount of fermentable materials present.
Primary A term used for a fermentation vessel that is used for the initial fermentation process before the beer is transferred to a secondary vessel.
Priming Adding sugar to a beer in order to reactivate any remaining yeast cells before bottling. This is done to produce further carbonation.
Racking Transferring beer from one place to another.
Secondary Another fermentation vessel used to lager, mature, clear, or dry-hop a beer. Beer is moved out of primary and into secondary.
Sparging A means of rinsing the grains after they have been soaking in the mash. This is done during the lautering phase.
SRM Standard Reference Method. An American measurement in the color of beer and grains. See also: Lovibond.
Steeping The process of allowing grains, hops, or other ingredients to soak in hot water.
Trub Pronounced “TROOB”. Proteins and hop oils that collect in the wort during the boil. Often times removed.
Wort The liquid that contains sugars before the yeast is added (unfermented beer). Liquid is first considered “wort” during the boil.
Yeast A single-celled fungi that feeds on sugar and oxygen, and produces ethanol (alcohol) and CO2. The two main types of yeast used in brewing are Saccharomyces uvarum (lager yeast) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ale yeast).
Zymergy The study of the fermentation process.



Flute Glass
The world of champagne lends elegance to certain types of beer. Long and narrow bodies ensure that carbonation doesn’t dissipate too quickly and showcase a lively carbonation or sparkling color. Stems will often be a bit shorter than the traditional champagne glass, but not necessarily.
Benefits: Enhances and showcases carbonation. Releases volatiles quickly for a more intense upfront aroma.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Goblet (or Chalice)
Majestic pieces of work, ranging from delicate and long stemmed (Goblet) to heavy and thick walled (Chalice). The more delicate ones may also have their rims laced with silver or gold, while the heavy boast sculpture-like stems. Some are designed to maintain a 2-centimeter head. This is achieved by scoring the inside bottom of the glass, which creates a CO2 nucleation point, and a stream of eternal bubbles and perfect head retention as a result.
Benefits: Eye candy. Designed to maintain head. Wide-mouthed for deep sips.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Mug (or Seidel, Stein)
Heavy, sturdy, large and with handle, the mug is a fun and serious piece of glassware that comes in many sizes and shapes. The best part of using a mug is that you can clink them together with more confidence than other types of glassware, and they hold loads of beer. Seidel is a German mug, while a Stein is the stone equivalent that traditionally features a lid, the use of which dates back to the Black Plague to prevent flies from dropping in.
Benefits: Easy to drink out of. Holds plenty of volume.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Pilsner Glass (or Pokal)
Typically a tall, slender and tapered 12-ounce glass, shaped like a trumpet at times, that captures the sparkling effervesces and colors of a Pils while maintaining its head. A Pokal is a European Pilsner glass with a stem.
Benefits: Showcases color, clarity and carbonation. Promotes head retention. Enhances volatiles.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Pint Glass (or Becker, Nonic, Tumbler)
Near cylindrical, with a slight taper and wide-mouth. There are two standard sizes, the 16-ounce (US Tumbler – the pour man’s pint glass and most common) or the 20-ounce Imperial (Nonic), which has a slight ridge towards the top, a grip of sorts and helps in stacking them. The 20-ounce version is preferred to accommodate more beer or beers with large crowning heads. A Becker is the German equivalent, tapering at the top.
Benefits: Cheap to make. Easy to store. Easy to drink out of.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Used for brandy and cognac, these wide-bowled and stemmed glasses with their tapered mouths are perfect for capturing the aromas of strong ales. Volumes range, but they all provide room to swirl and agitate volatiles.
Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Stange (Slender Cylinder)
A traditional German glass, stange means “stick” and these tall, slender cylinders are used to serve more delicate beers, amplifying malt and hop nuances. Substitute with a Tom Collins glass.
Benefits: Tighter concentration of volatiles.
Use with these Beer Styles:

A stemmed glass, obviously tulip-shaped, wherein the top of the glass pushes out a bit to form a lip in order to capture the head and the body is bulbous. Scotch Ales are often served in a “thistle glass,” which is a modified tulip glass that resembles Scotland’s national flower.
Benefits: Captures and enhances volatiles, while it induces and supports large foamy heads.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Weizen Glass
Nothing beats serving your Weizenbier (wheat beer) in an authentic Bavarian Weizen Glass. These classy glasses, with their thin walls and length, showcase the beer’s color and allows for much headspace to contain the fluffy, sexy heads association with the style. Most are 0.5L in size, with slight variations in sizes. Forget the lemon garnish, the citric will kill the head.
Benefits: Specifically produced to take on volume and head, while locking in the banana-like and phenol aromas associated with the style.
Use with these Beer Styles:

Oversized Wine Glass
“A wine glass for beer!?” Yep, an oversized 22oz wine glass will be most suitable for serving most Belgian Ales. Its size allows for headspace, while the open bowl creates an amazing nose. A lot of smart beer bars are now serving their Belgian Ales in these. It also makes for a great crossover conversational piece. “Is that wine that you’re drinking?” And you reply, “No, it’s De Ranke XX Bitter from Belgium. Wanna try?”
Benefits: Replacement for a Tulip or Goblet. Conversational.
Use with these Beer Styles: