Have you ever picked up a bottle of craft beer and been mesmerised by the artistic label, only to be puzzled by the jargon and information that follows? You're not alone. Beer labels can be both enticing and confusing. But with a little decoding, you can unlock a world of knowledge about what you're about to drink.
1. The Basics: Name, Brewery, and Origin
This is the straightforward part. Every beer will prominently display its name, the name of the brewery, and usually, its place of origin. For enthusiasts, the brewery's reputation can be a seal of quality.
2. Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
This percentage indicates how much alcohol is in the beer compared to the total volume. A higher ABV usually means a stronger beer. While light beers might have an ABV as low as 3-4%, some craft beers can climb up to 12% or even higher.
3. International Bitterness Units (IBU)
IBU measures the bitterness of beer, which comes from the hops used during brewing. Beers with higher IBU values will taste more bitter. For example, a double IPA might have a high IBU, while a creamy stout might have a lower one.
4. Date of Packaging
Some craft beers, especially IPAs, are best consumed fresh. This date tells you when the beer was canned. While some beers improve with age, others might lose their intended flavour profile over time.
The style of beer can give you significant clues about its taste, colour, and mouthfeel. Examples include Pale Ale, Stout, Lager, or Saison. By understanding styles, you can better predict the kind of beer experience you're in for.
More craft brewers are listing ingredients to highlight the quality and purity of what's inside. This list can help you identify flavours or avoid allergens. On The Beers of America website you will find all ingredients and allergens clearly outlined.
7. Pairing Suggestions
Some labels offer food pairing suggestions, ensuring you get the most out of every sip and bite. You can read more about that in our next blog.
8. Special Instructions
Certain beers might have instructions like "pour slowly," "serve at cellar temperature," or "store upright." These tips help enhance the beer-drinking experience.
Beer Labels: More than Just Art
While the artwork on craft beer labels often catches the eye, the information they carry provides valuable insights into the drink inside. With every can, you get a story – of its origin, its brewer's vision, and its character.
Ready to put your decoding skills to the test? Dive into our curated collection of American craft beers at Beers Of America.
🍺 Explore Our Range and let each label guide you to a unique tasting experience, telling tales of tradition, innovation, and passion.
Because with craft beer, every detail matters – from label to last sip. Cheers! 🍻