Beer Stats Explained

Looking for a quick explanation on some common beer stats? Have a look below!


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International Bitterness Units or IBUs: Possibly the most polarising stat for craft beer lovers is the IBU.  Some craft fans swear by it, while others, myself included, use it as a general guide. IBUs are a numerical value used to designate how bitter a beer is supposed to be. The higher a beer’s IBU, the more bitter the beer will be. 

Well, that’s how it is meant to be. Just because a beer has a very high IBU does not mean that it will be more bitter than a lover IBU beer. Other ingredients used in a beer will also determine how bitter the beer tastes. Not solely the type and amount of hops used.

Original Gravity or OG & Final Gravity or FG: You won’t see this stat often, especially not at your local brew pub. You may, however, see it at breweries taprooms. Some may also use it on their label, but they are few and far between at this point. 

OG is a reading taken from a beer that is unfermented looking at the total sugars available for the yeast to convert into alcohol and CO2. Principally, OG tells a brewer what its beers potential is before completion.

When a beer is complete, you can compare its OG with its Final Gravity or FG. These two stats can help a homebrewer calculate their beers ABV.

Alcohol by Volume or ABV: This is the most widely known and understandable for any beer drinker – craft or not.

It goes without saying, that a beer with a higher ABV will mean that the physiologic effects will be playing a greater role. However, this is not the only thing that matters when looking at ABV. A beer with higher ABV has great potential to be full flavoured and savoury. 

Style: I won’t define all the different styles of beer here. That list would be way too long, and let’s be honest; none of you will read it. For more info, check out () for a well-rounded style list.


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