Although the whole concept of Nearest Brewery is make craft ales accessible to everyone we do acknowledge that some terms are used that can be confusing. Our brewing glossary helps provide some insight into these terms.


  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV) – Used to measure the alcohol content of beer, it’s the portion of the entire volume of liquid that’s actually alcohol. ABV ranges from 3% in weak ales and milds to 10% in strong ales and barley wines.
  • Ale – A beer brewed from a top-fermenting yeast with a relatively short, warm fermentation.


  • Beer – Any drink made by fermenting a wort made from malted barley and seasoned with hops.
  • Brewpub – A pub or restaurant that brews beer on the premise and most beer is consumed on premise.


  • Cask Ale – also referred to as Real Ale is beer which undergoes a secondary conditioning after the primary fermentation. This conditioning typically takes place in a cask or bottle without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure.
  • Conditioning – An aspect of secondary fermentation in which the yeast within the beer continue to refine the flavours of the final beer, also known as bottle conditioning.
  • Craft-brewery – see Micro-brewery




  • Fermentation – is the process by which yeast converts the glucose in the wort to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, giving the beer both its alcohol content and its carbonation. The fermentation takes at least two weeks, and this is why we talk about the capacity of the brewery as it is limited by how many tanks they have, hence the terms nano-brewery and micro-brewery.
  • Final Gravity (FG) – the specific gravity measured at the completion of fermentation.


  • Gravity – The difference between the original gravity (OG) of the wort and the final gravity (FG) of the beer is an indication of how much sugar has been turned into alcohol. The bigger the difference, the greater the amount of alcohol present and hence the stronger the beer, sometimes strong beers are referred to as high gravity beers.
  • Grist – The term for crushed malt before mashing.


  • Hops –  The cone-shaped flowers of the female hops plant that contain acids and oils that impart bitterness, flavour, and aroma to the finished beer.




  • Keg – A straight sided pressurised container used to store, transport, and serve beer


  • Lager – A beer brewed from a bottom-fermenting yeast and given a long cool fermentation.


  • Mashing – The hot water steeping process which hydrates the barley, activates the malt enzymes, and converts the grain starches into fermentable sugars. It is this sweet solution that is known as wort.
  • Micro-brewery – Smaller than a traditional brewery with the main point off interest in that these smaller breweries focus on smaller batches and often seasonal offerings allowing them to experiment much more.


  • Nano-brewery – Is typically smaller than a micro-brewery often operated by a solo owner.


  • Original Gravity (OG) – The density of the wort before fermentation starts, the higher the original gravity, the stronger the beer will be. 


  • Pasteurisation – The heat treatment of beer to kill microorganisms and provide stability to the beer.




  • Real Ale – see Cask Ale.


  • Specific Gravity (SG) – Current specific gravity can be monitored during the fermentation and determines that it is complete when gravity stops declining. If the fermentation is finished, the specific gravity is called the final gravity.



U, V, W

  • Wort – The malt-sugar solution extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer. Contains the sugars, that will be fermented by the brewing yeast to produce alcohol.

X, Y, Z

  • Yeast – There are literally hundreds of varieties and strains of yeast that is responsible for the fermentation process in beer. Yeast essentially takes simple sugars like glucose and maltose, and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. At a high level you have two broad types, ale yeast, the ‘top-fermenting’ type that operate at warmer temperatures and lager yeast, the ‘bottom-fermenting’ that operate better at cooler temperatures.