How to talk like a beer snob: a beginner's guide

Beer snob
Andy Kryza
Andy Kryza

Kicking it in a brewpub or in line at a beer fest can feel like being in a weird, foreign country full of bearded dudes speaking a completely different language. But, unlike being a tourist abroad, there's no conversational pocket translator to help you differentiate between your barleys and bungholes... until now. Behold, Thrillist's Conversational Beer Snob for Beginners, a snob-to-English translation guide to understanding what the hell people are talking about between sips of saison. To wit:

Beer dictionary
Andy Kryza

“I’m really into big beers.”
“I exclusively drink beers with a huge alcohol percentage and don’t really care that much about the flavor.”

"This is a very sessionable ale."
“I am about to justify drinking nine beers before noon.”

"You can really detect the tannins in this."
“I am used to drinking wine instead of beer, but cannot resist giving tasting notes for everything I put in my mouth."

“I prefer cask-conditioned beers.”
“My love of unfiltered and unpasteurized beers is demonstrably hardcore, so much so that I will make it clear that one round of fermentation is not enough. I use the word ‘bung’ without giggling (much). “

Andy Kryza

“This beer is infinitely quaffable.”
“In college, I used to bong cheap beers. But I grew up, and now chug craft beers.”

“It has an interesting bouquet.”
"This beer smells terrible."

“My favorite beers start at 80 IBUs.”
“I am particularly fond of extremely bitter beer, and it is a frequently trumpeted source of pride. I have also used a ruler to measure my genitals and have kept the results to myself.”

“Do you have any glassware that isn’t a standard pint?”
“I read somewhere that different glass shapes affect aromatics. I will likely use the term 'tulip glass' in my next sentence.”

“The head on this beer is incredibly thick.”
“I just did a terrible job of pouring this beer and want to save face.”

Andy Kryza

“Do you have anything imported?”
“I would like a beer with a strange name in order to seem cultured. Plus, according to blogs I frequent, Jay-Z drinks imported beers."

“I haven’t seen this beer since I had it at GABF.”
"I just shortened the name of the Great American Beer Festival because I am insider-y and treat beer like hippies treat the Grateful Dead. I am really hoping you reply by saying you were there too, and then we kiss deeply."

“That tastes way better on Nitro.”
“Until recently, my idea of a microbrew was Guinness.”

“Is this beer double hopped or triple hopped?”
“I base a lot of my beer knowledge on Super Bowl commercials.”

“This is one of the highest-ranked beers in the world.”
“BeerAdvocate is my homepage.”

Home brew
Flickr/Copyshop Knoxville

“This beer has a great pH balance.”
“I homebrew and obsess over it.”

“This has a surprisingly pleasant mouthfeel.”
“I read a lot of online reviews and like to quote them verbatim without realizing that I have no idea what they really mean.”

“I’m really into sour beers right now.”
“I read a trend article saying that sour beers are growing in popularity, so I am currently trying to adjust my palate so I can start liking them.”

“This is great, but last year’s batch had more mouthfeel.”
“I look forward to the release of this seasonal beer, and every year I make this comment despite the fact that the brewer uses the exact same recipe.”

“I liked their beer better before they sold out.”
“I only enjoy things that I have to smugly explain to other people, and my desire to enjoy 'undiscovered' things trumps my desire to see small businesses succeed.”

Andy Kryza

“I actually prefer this beer warm.”
“I have been to the UK and really, really wish somebody would ask me about it.”

“I’ll have a lager.”
“Seriously, please ask me about the time I studied abroad in Europe.”

“I don’t drink fizzy, yellow beer.”
“I am a liar, and will prove it as soon as I run out of this saison.”

Andy Kryza is a senior editor on Thrillist's national food and drink team and prefers his beers steaming hot. Follow him to beer festivals via @apkryza.