Home Beer Homers, whalez and shelf turds: the new beer dictionary

Homers, whalez and shelf turds: the new beer dictionary

The way we talk about beer is constantly changing, and just as Webster’s updates its list of accepted words each year, so must we make room for new beer-related language.


Did you know that DRAFT maintains a dictionary of beer-related words? It’s true! But the way we talk about beer is constantly changing, and just as Webster’s updates its list of accepted words each year, so must we make room for new beer-related language. Taking cues from the way beer geeks talk about their hobby, we’ve added a few new terms to our list; familiarize yourself with them to expand your brew-related vocabulary.

Derogatory term for an overzealous beer geek, referring to the poorly groomed facial hair common among many members of the species.

Any of a number of very limited, very sought-after beers. Variations: walez, whalezbro

shelf turd
Any of a number of beers that, for reasons ranging from price to quality to customers’ lack of desire to drink them, tend to languish on shelves at beer retail stores.

A common, though highly controversial, flavor and aroma descriptor most often found in examples of IPA and imperial IPA. Refers to the beer’s similarity to a bag of sticky icky marijuana.

drain pour
To empty the contents of a bottled or canned beer into a kitchen sink.
A beer so bad it couldn’t be consumed.

Once referred to a beer that was under 4% ABV and could be consumed several times over; now increasingly meaningless as brewers apply the term to a variety of higher-gravity styles.

Extremely drinkable, quaffable; able to be drank quickly and many times over in one sitting.

Abbreviation form of “distribution.” Common in discussions of the availability of beers in certain states and regions of the country.

porch bomb
A package of usually high-quality beer sent from a craft beer fan in one part of the country to another.

A beer drinker with inordinate enthusiasm for local breweries. Often, a homer will give his hometown breweries extremely high scores on rating websites in an attempt to artificially up the trade value of their products.

A person brought to a brewery bottle release for the sole purpose of obtaining more bottles than the number allotted to a single person. The mule usually has no interest in the beer being released, and can be anyone from a spouse to distant cousin to a person found on Craigslist and paid to attend.

A person who drinks a beer with the intention of “ticking” it off his or her list. A ticker will often drink multiple beers in a sitting and may use beer rating websites or other social media to log the beers he or she has tasted.

The roof of the mouth, consisting of an anterior bony portion and a posterior muscular portion that separate the oral cavity from the nasal cavity. Also can refer to a person’s sense of taste. VERY different from palette (which refers to the wooden board used by painters of the colors on said board) and pallet (which is the wooden structure often used in transporting products like beer).

A large aluminum can usually filled by a bartender from a draft beer faucet, sealed with a machine of the same name, and sold to a customer for home enjoyment. Related to “growler,” which is a similar take-home vessel usually constructed of glass or stainless steel.

A craft beer asshole. Don’t be a crafthole.

craft beer


Zach Fowle is DRAFT's beer editor. Reach him at zach@draftmag.com.

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  • […] Het is dan wel geen Nederlands bierwoordenboek, maar dat maakt het niet minder interessant. De nieuwe biercultuur, toch ook zwaar beïnvloed door de craftbeercultuur in de VS, ook een hipstercultuur, heeft nieuw bierjargon opgeleverd. Zo is een ‘homer’ iemand die bij voorkeur lokale bieren drinkt. Ben je op Ameland?  Dan drink je het liefst bier van de Amelander brouwerij.  Klik hier […]

  • Mark Curtis says:

    You missed “on point”. Which seems to be thrown around a lot when talking about a beer that is dead nuts exactly how it should taste, and be quite enjoyable. But you can come up with your own definition. Nice list, though.

  • Dan says:

    You missed another. Apparently there is something called the “boss pour” where people pour their beer all the way to the rim of the glass without any head because it allegedly makes the pictures look better. I made a stink about this on a few mediums last week and I’m definitely now known as a crafthole to some.

    • Alex says:

      The “boss pours” is a horrible trend. Focus has shifted from enjoying the beers to seeing how many likes you can get on Instagram. A happy medium does exist though.

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