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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge FAQ (C)

This is the general FAQ for

It condenses a vast repository of beer knowledge represented by the
subscribers to r.f.d.b. I depend on the participants of this group to
provide the feedback I need to make this a living document. Please e-mail
comments, additions, corrections, etc. to John Lock <>.
If your browser supports forms, you can use the feedback form.

The Charter for is posted to the newsgroup twice every
month and available on the Web at
<URL:> or from the

Cheers, Prost, Salud, Skaal, Slainte, Stineeyammous, Gan Bei, etc!

John A. Lock <>

This document is available through the following means:

*  Posted every two weeks to Usenet newsgroup

*  On the Web at <URL:>

*  Via e-mail using the request form at

*  Via anonymous ftp to in /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/rfdb
   as rfd-beer.faq

*  Via e-mail by sending the following message lines to

   chdir /pub/clubs/homebrew/beer/rfdb
   get rfd-beer.faq

Versions are also available at various  mirrors and FAQ sites:

*  North America:

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   UUNET -
   George Washington University -

*  Europe:

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   Utrecht University -
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   Swedish University Network -

*  Asia:

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*  Africa:

   The Internet Solution -



Copyright (C) 1994-97 by John A. Lock. All rights reserved. This document
may be freely distributed in its entirety provided this copyright notice
is not removed. It may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in
commmercial products without the author's written permission.


This FAQ is divided into sections which loosely encompass the variety of
Frequently Asked Questions that appear concerning beer. These are preceded
by a quick index section to aid in finding answers to specific questions.

The Quick Index section
     A listing of the most frequently asked questions.

Section 1 - Definitions of common terms regarding beer itself
     Some popular items are beer definition, styles, and marketing

Section 2 - Definitions of common terms for the brewing industry
     Topics such as alcohol strength, Reinheitsgebot, and CAMRA...

Section 3 - Beer handling and sensory issues
     Typical answers cover proper storage, serving temperatures, tasting
     methods, off flavors...

Section 4 - Miscellaneous topics
     Includes homebrewing and specific brand issues...

Section 5 - Beer resources
     Where to find good beer, the r.f.d.b. archives, and pointers to other
     Net resources...

Section 6 - Acknowledgements

Section 7 - Maintenance History


You can search for information in a number of different ways:

First, read the whole thing. You may find this entertaining, but it's
certainly not the fastest way to get an answer to a question.

Second, you can use the "Search" or "Find" function of your newsreader,
browser, or editor to locate a specific topic. This can be very useful
since the questions cover fairly broad topics and your specific answer may
be buried inside a broader response. For example, if you wanted to know
about serving temperatures, you wouldn't find that topic specifically
addressed in the questions. However, upon searching for "temp" you would
find several such references.

Third, there is the quick index to the questions which you can use to jump
directly to a specific question/answer, again, using your search function
to find the text. See the Quick Index for an example.

And last, if your viewing the HTML version on The Web, you'll find useful
pointers imbedded throughout the document. Just follow your nose
(figuratively speaking :^)!


This is a list of Frequently Asked Questions appearing in r.f.d.b. Each
question is keyed using a simple code. The answer to question Y in FAQ
Section X is labeled X-Y and so on. To find an answer to any question
quickly, use your "search" or "find" function to find X-Y.

For example:
     To find the answer to question 2-7 "What is CAMRA?", search for 2-7
and you
     will be positioned at the answer. To return to this index, search
     for 0-0.

If you're viewing the HTML version of this document on The Web, just
follow the links from question to answer and back.

0-0. Top of List

FAQ Section 1 - Definitions of common terms regarding beer itself
     1-1. What is beer?
     1-2. What are ales?
     1-3. What are lagers?
     1-4. How are they different?
     1-5. What are lambics?
     1-6. What is "bock" beer?
     1-7. What is "porter"?
     1-8. What are "dry" beers?
     1-9. What are "ice" beers?
     1-10. What are "cold-filtered", and "heat pasteurized" beers?
     1-11. What is "draught" (draft) beer?
     1-12. How is specific gravity related to beer?
     1-13. What does "Dubbel" mean on a beer label?

FAQ Section 2 - Definitions of common terms in the brewing industry
     2-1. How is alcohol strength measured?
     2-2. Why is beer stronger in Canada than the U.S.?
     2-3. How are "ale", "malt liquor", and "barleywine" related to
     2-4. What is the Reinheitsgebot?
     2-5. What about the new "Draught-flow" (tm) system (AKA the "widget"
     or "smoothifier")?
     2-6. What is "Real Ale"?
     2-7. What is CAMRA?
     2-8. What are the categories of brewers/breweries?
     2-9. What is a brewpub?

FAQ Section 3 - Beer handling and sensory issues
     3-1. How do I judge a beer?
     3-2. What is good/bad/skunked/spoiled beer?
     3-3. How should I store beer?
     3-4. How long does beer keep?
     3-5. Is beer considered a vegetarian/kosher/organic product?

FAQ Section 4 - Miscellaneous topics
     4-1. What is Zima and/or clear beer?
     4-2. What do the different Chimay packages/colors mean?
     4-3. What does the "33" mean on the bottles of Rolling Rock?
     4-4. Does Coors support Nazi organizations?
     4-5. Can I make my own it legal?
     4-6. How do I make it?
     4-7. WIMLIACLDAB? BTABFCTW!.....What was that?
     4-8. Is Guinness good for you?
     4-9. Where are Sam Adams beers made?
     4-10. Why does American beer suck?

FAQ Section 5 - Beer resources
     5-1. Where can I get more beer info and tasting tips?
     5-2. Where can I get good beer?
     5-3. I'm going to "some city", what brewpubs/bars are good?
     5-4. Can I get beer in the mail?
     5-5. Where can I get details on making my own?
     5-6. Where can I get recipes?
     5-7. What is r.f.d.b. about?
     5-8. Where are the archives?
     5-9. What is in the archives?
     5-10. I don't have ftp, can you e-mail files to me?

FAQ Section 6 - Acknowledgements

FAQ Section 7 - Maintenance History

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

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Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
John Lock <>

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM