Category Archives: Beer for Blondes: The Educational Stuff

Hops and IBU

I discovered something recently. I never knew exactly what the IBU rating meant. I just saw numbers and thought of math and moved on quickly. I REALLY SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THAT.

If you’ve read more than one post on my blog, you’ve noticed that I keep saying, “I don’t like real hoppy beer.” IBU is the bitterness scale and basically goes hand in hand with hops. The higher the number, the more bitter/hoppier it is. I’ve discovered the lower the IBU, the better chance I have of not wanting to throw it on the floor. I should have definitely paid attention to this before now, but it’s better late than never, I suppose.

I started looking into what the IBU rating meant after reading this article about porters. One day I thought, “Why are porters so hit or miss with me? Stouts are almost always good, so what’s the deal with porters?” One of the reasons is because porters technically have a higher range for IBU than regular stouts. That article I linked is rather lengthy but pretty interesting. Most brewery websites have the IBU listed under each individual beer, though not always, so that’s been a pretty decent guide for me to go past my comfort zone in beers.

Anyway, so that’s that. Lesson of the day: pay attention to the IBU rating if you care about hops and bitterness.

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