IBU’s and you
Craft beer has been making a huge splash in the last few years, giving rise to a new generation of beer geeks, also known as a beer sommelier or a Cicerone. The surging popularity of craft beers also means the increased use of beer specific descriptors being thrown around in casual conversation. For those of you interested in a more detailed list of beer terms, Beeradvocate.com has compiled an exhaustive list here. For now, I will address one of the most commonly asked questions: What are IBU’s?
IBU stands for ‘international bittering unit’, and I’m sure many of you have started to see IBU values of beers, especially craft beers, posted on menus, descriptors and even on the packaging. In short, IBU’s are to beer drinkers what tannins are to wine drinkers. In long, IBU’s measure the bitterness of a beer, with a higher hop content yielding a higher IBU. IBU’s are measured on a scale from one to about 100, although recently some beers have pushed passed the 100 IBU mark. Just as with wine, balance is more important than focusing solely on the IBU number. Just as a very tannic wine without the complexity and weight can seem bitter and off balance, a high IBU beer without the proper malt ratio can come across off-kilter. The higher the malt content, the less noticeable the hoppy bitterness becomes.
Just ask anyone of our friendly Home Vintner staff to help you pick the beer kit with the perfect IBU’s for you!