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Essential Beer Terminology Every Bartender Should Know

Last updated 5 years ago

A solid understanding of beer-related terminology is one of the best indicators of a good bartender. That’s why it’s always important to read up and research all things beer, so that you can be prepared to help answer novice drinkers’ questions. Here is a list of helpful terminology to get you started:


There’s a good chance that as a bartender, your customers will ask you to clarify the differences between certain types of brews. Ale, for one, is beer that ferments at higher temperature than lagers. Ales have a flavor that tends to showcase the yeast and hops a bit more.


A restaurant-brewery is considered a “brewpub” if it brews more than 25% of the beer it serves in-house. The establishment may also sell or distribute its brews to customers and other restaurants.


If you pronounce this word the way it is spelled, any beer enthusiasts at your bar will likely burst out laughing. Draught is pronounced “draft,” and refers to beer that is poured from a cask, tank, or other storage vessel, as opposed to a bottle or can.


This is a type of pressurized storage and serving vessel for keeping beer fresh. The individual size of a keg varies by country, but in the United States, kegs are usually referred to by their capacity in relation to a 31-gallon barrel. For instance, a “half-barrel” would contain 15.5 gallons of beer.


Also used extensively in wine tastings, mouthfeel refers to the sensation of beer inside one’s mouth. This includes carbonation, weight on the tongue, warmth from the alcohol, and bitterness from the yeast and hops.

You will learn these and many other important bartending terms as part of your training at Professional Bartending Schools of America. We have an impeccable reputation for training skilled and knowledgeable bartenders through our interactive, hands-on learning approach. Call us at (513) 542-3500 to speak with an admissions representative.


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