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Which beer type is older: ales or lagers?

By far the oldest of the two types of beer, ale production can be traced back more than 5,000 years. The word “Ale” comes from the German word “alt,” meaning old or aged. Lagers have only been around for several hundred years and were not even fully understood until after the invention of the microscope. The yeast strains that make them were originally propagated on accident.

What does IBU stand for?

IBU stands for International Bitterness Units. IBU’s measure the bitterness of beer, contributed by the hops. 1 IBU = 1 mg. Isomerized hop oils per liter of beer. Lower values are generally “less bitter” and higher values are typically “more bitter."

What is Barley Wine?

Barley wines are often considered the most prized of all ales. With the strength of wine and the complexity of cognac, these beers show extraordinary richness, depth, and alcoholic warmth. Barley wines are very similar to English strong ales, but are usually set apart by more assertive hop bitterness and a high residual malty sweetness.

Originally published in our Craft Beer Club's Micro Brew News, Capital Brewery edition.