About Beer | Guam Premium Beverages

About Beer | Guam Premium Beverages

About Beer

What is Beer?

Beer is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from barley, hops, water, and yeast and
sometimes other ingredients.

Beer Styles

The three major styles of beer are:

  • Ales – family of beers that ferment at warmer temperatures. Also called
    “top-fermenting” because of the action of the yeast.
  • Lagers – family of beers that ferment at cooler temperatures. Also called
    “bottom-fermenting” because of the action of the yeast.
  • Specialty – family of beers that are brewed with various non-standard ingredients.

In 2014, the Brewers Association of America recognized 76 styles of Ales, 30 styles of
Lagers and 35 styles of Specialty beers.

Common Beer Terms

Beer is as complex and varied as wine, as such, it should be judged in many
of the same ways.

  • ABV – “Alcohol by Volume” in terms of percentage volume of alcohol per
    volume of beer.
  • Aroma or “Nose”- The particular combination of smells from hops, malt,yeast and any unique ingredients.
  • Body or “Mouth feel” – The thickness or weight and mouth-filling property of a beer. Generally described as “Full”, “Medium” or “Light”.
  • IBU – International Bitterness Units. The amount of hop resins in the beer in parts per million. Essentially, the higher the number the more “hoppy” or bitter the beer will taste. This can be deceptive for individual drinkers perception of bitterness may vary based on other ingredients in the beer.
  • Lovibond, SRM or EBC – These are all terms that describe the color of the
    liquid. The higher the number the darker the beer.
  • Plato – This indicates the ratio of fermentable sugars, which are converted
    to alcohol by yeast, to water in the beer.

Difference between “Craft” and
“Craft-style” Beers

The Brewers Association of America defines a “Craft Beer” as one produced by
a brewer who’s:

  1. Annual production is 6 million barrels (approximately 82,662,000 cases of
    24 – 12oz bottles or cans) or less
  2. Less than 25 percent owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer
  3. Majority of its total alcohol beverage volume in beers whose flavor derives
    from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.

Conversely a “Craft-style” or “Crafty” beer is one produced by a brewer who’s:

  1. Annual volume exceeds 6 million barrels per year – OR –
  2. Is wholly or partially owned greater than 25% by a beverage alcohol
    industry member that is not itself a craft brewer – OR –
  3. Majority of its total alcohol beverage volume in beers whose flavor does
    not derive from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their

Brands like Leinenkugel’s, Henry Weinhard, Blue Moon, Red Hook, Widmer,
Kona, Goose Island, 10 Barrel and Shock Top may have started as “Craft”
brewers, but today, all are owned either fully or in part by SABMiller,
MolsonCoors or Anheuser-Busch InBev. Thus, these brands can no longer
claim to be “Craft” beers that are produced by “Craft” brewers.

GPB’s Management

There are three main areas to remember when serving beer, whether to yourself or friends:

  • Pouring
  • Temperature
  • Glassware

Common Beer Terms

Would you drink a wine directly from the bottle? Of course not. It is difficult to
appreciate the full complexities of what you are drinking when the container it was packaged in is made of metal or colored glass. Whether your beer is in a bottle, can or keg, it should always (when possible) be drunk from a glass. Be sure to use clear, clean glassware so you see its color, appreciate its aroma and taste all its components.

When you pour the beer, regardless of the style of glass you use, always follow
these simple steps:

  1. Tilt glass at 45° angle and pour about 1” of beer into bottom
  2. Turn glass to 90° (straight up) and pour beer DOWN THE MIDDLE! This is to agitate the liquid releasing the natural carbonation, aromas
    and subtle flavor characteristics of the beer.
  3. When glass is ¾ full, stop pouring and let the “Head” (foam on top of the liquid) settle for approximately 3 – 4 seconds, then fill the glass
    with remaining product in the bottle or can, or top off if pouring from a keg via a tap.

Common Beer Terms

Most beers have an ideal serving temperature. The chart below outlines which
styles are served at what temperature, but as a general rule the temperature at which to serve a beer is correlated to the strength of the beer. As beers increase in alcohol level, they are generally drunk at a warmer temperature. This is because higher alcohol and more complex beers often are sipped slowly, and enjoyed for their complexity of flavor and aroma while lower alcohol level beers are often consumed for refreshment.

Very Cold:
35-40 degrees

  • American Adjunct Lagers
  • Malt Liquors
  • Light or low alcohol beers

Very Cold:
35-40 degrees

  • Pilsner
  • Light-bodied lagers
  • Kolsch
  • Belgian Wit
  • Hefeweizen
  • Berliner weisse
  • American Wheat

Very Cold:
35-40 degrees

  • American Pale Ales
  • Medium-bodied lagers
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Porters
  • Alt
  • Irish Stouts
  • Sweet Stout

Cellar Temp:
50-55 degrees

  • Sour Ales
  • Lambic/Gueuze
  • English Bitter
  • Strong Ales
  • Baltic Porters
  • Bocks
  • Scotch Ales
  • Belgian Ales
  • Trappist Ales

Cellar Temp:
50-55 degrees

  • Imperial Stouts
  • Belgian Quads
  • Belgian Strong Ales
  • Barley Wines
  • Old Ales
  • Dopplebock
  • Eisbock


Beer glassware comes in many shapes and sizes. In Belgium, it’s common to have a different glass for each brand of beer! While breweries
may claim that the glasses were designed specifically for their beer, and there’s no arguing the fun in drinking a beer from its own specific glass
the fact of the matter is that there are really only a few types of glasses you need to know about, in addition to a couple of general principles
about beer glassware.

Size matters

When drinking beer, the size of the glass matters. As the strength of the beer you are drinking goes up, the size of the glass you are drinking it
from should go down. The reasons for this are pretty obvious. First, you generally drink strong beers in smaller portions, so you want the glass
to be full at that portion size. That way, you aren’t drinking your 6 oz. tasting of English Barleywine as a thin film spread across the bottom of a
2 liter German boot, although that would be pretty awesome. Second, in big glasses, gravity aids in getting the beer to your mouth quickly.
When taking a sip of that refreshing pilsner, as you tilt that long, tall glass up into the air, there’s a lot more beer being pulled towards your
mouth. This accelerates the beer and makes taking big, satisfying sips easier. Try doing that with the English Barleywine and it will be half gone
by your second sip. And since the Barleywine is likely two to three times the strength of the Pils, you’ll be half gone too!

Shape matters too

There’s a wide variety of shapes for beer glassware. Usually the shape of the glass will highlight the defining feature of the beer that should go
in it. With wheat beer glasses, for example, the tall, thin, lower portion of the glass highlights the striking color of the beer, while the bulbous top
portion leaves plenty of room for a large fluffy head of foam. The overall size of the glass also makes it easy to drink large, thirst-quenching sips.

Glasses that curve inwards toward the top, such as snifters and tulips, focus beer aromas at the rim of the glass. This is perfect for beers with complex noses, like Belgian Tripels or Imperial Stouts.

Overview of glassware types

As mentioned above, there are many, many types of glasses that you can pour beer into. Below are some of the main glass types you might want to know about.

Shaker Pint

The Shaker Pint was originally designed for bartenders to mix drinks in before serving. But the extremely sturdy shaker pint quickly became the glass of choice for beer in America.

Shaker Pint

The Nonic pint is basically the Shaker pint’s English cousin. The glass of choice in the UK, the Nonic has rounded flares at the top, presumably to help grip the glass, and is more visually interesting than the Shaker pint.

Shaker Pint

Despite the name, Pilsner glasses are great for any light or medium bodied lager, such as Helles, Vienna, Dortmunder, and of course, Pilsner. The fluted shape of the glass promotes head retention and allows the delicate aromatics of lager to be released. They are also designed for drinkers to take large, refreshing gulps. Prost!

Shaker Pint

The tall, thin weizen glass is sure to get some oohs and ahhs when served at the local pub. The lower portion of the glass highlights the striking color of the beer, while the bulbous top portion leaves plenty of room for a large, fluffy head of foam. The overall size of the glass also makes it easy to drink large, thirst-quenching sips.

Shaker Pint

Tulip glasses are perfect for a wide range of craft beers. The stem at the bottom keeps your hand from prematurely warming the beer, the inward curve toward the top collects aromas and the oversized height of the glass above the bulb allows for plenty of foam. The most famous, and perhaps most beautiful tulip glass is made by the Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat for their signature beer Duvel. When in doubt, reach for a tulip glass.

Shaker Pint

Goblets are most often associated with Belgian Abbey style ales such as Tripel or Dubbel. The heft of the glass matches the heft of the beer within, and the wide mouth of the glass allows for generous sipping. Goblets can be quite striking, and the custom versions of the glass for Trappist breweries such as Chimay and Orval have become synonymous with their beers.

Shaker Pint

Snifter glasses are best used for strong, highly complex beers such as Russian Imperial Stout or Barleywine. The inward curved glass concentrates the aromas of the beer towards the drinker’s nose, and the large bulb allows room to swirl the beer, helping release the aromatics.

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