About this Article
Beer lovers nowadays subsist on a steady diet of alphabet soup. They need to distinguish between ESBs (extra special bitters) and IPAs (India pale ales), and to know a beer's ABV (alcohol by volume). Home brewers grapple with such abbreviations as OG (original gravity), FG (final gravity) and SRM (Standard Research Method, a system for gauging color). Now that experimentation seems to be shifting from Belgian styles to hoppy ales, the IBU — international bitterness unit — has assumed new importance.