It’s one thing to know the reference between a bad beer and a delicious one, but when it comes down to it, could you carry a solid conversation on the matter? Some quality brew banter, as it were...

In no particular order, here are 8 brew-related terms you can add to the conversation next time you find yourself sitting down with a self-proclaimed beer aficionado.

BUNG HOLE

No laughing please! Maybe a bit...seriously though, this hole is located on the top of a keg or cask, plugged by a bung (think like a cork to a wine bottle). The hole is used to check up on or taste-test brews aging in kegs or casks. Alright, it’s still kind of a funny term to say...

CASKS OR CASK AGING 

Some beers, like Innis and Gunn, are aged in old oak casks previously used for aging rum, resulting in a strong, slightly spicy and caramelly flavour.. A cask can also refer to a very small batch of beer brewed as a ‘one-off’ for a restaurant or gastro pub. Pig and Duke frequently have cask nights with interesting brews that you may never see again!

EFFERVESCENCE 

Simply put, this is a fancy way of saying bubbly or fizzy. Sparkling water, prosecco, beer, etc...Different types of beer will have different levels of effervescence. For example, you’ll get a lot more of a bubbly sensation while sipping a Big Rock Grasshopper than you will a pint of porter.

FLIGHT 

A selection of smaller portions of microbrews, usually different varieties, so that you can sample a wide range of beers in one sitting. A flight is generally equivalent to a pint, so don’t feel bad about ordering seconds! Taste a seemingly never-ending rainbow of brews at Craft Beer Market with their flight offerings.

HOPS

A bittering component used in the brewing process. They impart the flavour and aroma, that some people do not like in a standard India Pale Ale, but also help to keep beer from spoiling. The name ‘India Pale Ale’ was supposedly coined after certain brewers in the United Kingdom found out that a certain amount of hops used in their beers would help preserve their product when it was shipped to India while was under British rule in the 1700s.

HOPS LOVIBOND SCALE 

A measurement to determine the colour of beer. Drinks like pale ales and blondes will register low on the lovibond scale (naturally). While a Wild Rose Brown Ale would be more in the middle. Stouts are obviously on the high end, being dark as night and all...

NITRO

Some beers are injected with liquid nitrogen in addition to carbon dioxide, making for more smoother sipping (see effervescence) and finer foam on top. It’s common to see nitro used in stout and it’s definitely the reason why that bartender can make that cute little smiley face on top of your pint of Guinness!

SOUR

Mark my words, this will be the Canadian beer nerd’s brew of choice very soon, if it’s not already in some parts of the country. This type of brewing refers to beers that are made using bacteria or wild yeast (think yogurt or bread starters) and aged in wooden barrels to help promote grow of the organisms. The result is no bubbles, a very pucker-y sort of taste. It’s definitely a love it or hate it sort of beverage, but as long as you’re slightly informed, you can make your own decision on the matter.

TRY LOCAL BEER IN CALGARY

There are so many ways to experience the creativity and vision of the craft beer scene in Calgary. Put your new beer banter to the test with 5 Top Ways to Try a Local Beer in Calgary or get up close to the brewing process with Calgary Brewery Tours

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