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The new way to talk about bitterness


If you’re not a brewer, beer judge or just a well-rounded, nerd-of-all-things kind of character, it’s pretty much impossible to get excited by SRM (Standard Reference Measurement for color) and IBU (International Bittering Units). Unless, I suppose, you’re asking a dead-end question about black IPAs (“how can a pale ale be 44 SRM?”) or debating the value of the IPA bittering arms race. But for the most part: yawn.

Enter the team at Austin Beerworks, which stumbled upon a universal translation for relaying SRMs and IBUs.

Fire Eagle American IPA

Black Thunder German-style Schwarz

Pearl Snap German-style Pils

Peacemaker Extra Pale Ale

That’s it; I propose we all adopt this new system. At the very least, I’ll buy us a round of something “Facebook investors” bitter and we can discuss.


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at

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