Craftline Beers Blog

What is IBU Rating?

By: Chris Hunt

You're here because you love beer so let’s talk about something almost every brew has, but isn’t always widely spoken about - IBUs.

I’m sure most of you beer enthusiasts know all about them, but for those of you who don’t, IBU stands for International Bitterness (or “Bittering”) Unit.

What is it and what’s it used for?

In short IBU was a term invented to calculate just how bitter a beer is.
It’s mostly used on a scale of 5-120 (5 being low in bitterness and 120 being high).

To get the desired bitterness - compounds, various acids and polyphenols are added to the brew and when the process is complete will produce a measurable number that can be used as information/reference for the brewer.

Whilst the numbers correlate pretty well to taste that isn’t to say something on the higher side will be intolerably bitter and something very low won’t taste bitter at all. That’s why the word balanced is used so much when describing beer.

That being said it’s a good indication of how bitter your drink will be and can be used (if the breweries share this information) to find that sweet spot that matches your personal taste.

Happy drinking 🍻

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