The first term is IMPERIAL. This has nothing to do with Kings and Queens… Well, maybe back in the day it did, nor does this have anything to do with the Costa Rican beer by the same name. An Imperial is a version of a beer style that has a much higher Alcohol By Volume than the original beer style. This is why Imperial beers are usually always served in a smaller glass…. They are just trying to save you from yourself!
An example would be a Stout vs. an Imperial Stout. An average Stout will be in the 5%-6% A.B.V. range where an Imperial Stout could have anything up near 9% and even higher A.B.V. A good but obviously a bit rough rule of thumb is that an Imperial will be close to double the A.B.V….. Which leads us to our next beer term!
The next beer term is DOUBLE (Note: not Dubbel… although…well…we will cover that another day). This basically means the same thing as Imperial in the beer world. This term is much more common with IPAs that have the higher A.B.V. Basically, an Imperial IPA would be a Double IPA… Get it? IIPA… Two “I”s… Double I… PA… ok, I’m done, sorry about that. Double IPAs can also be a bit hoppier than a normal IPA.
Imperials, Doubles, and Triples can be damn delicious! But now that you know the terms, you can tread lightly so you don’t end up like Drinky Crow all hunched over in the corner with Xs over your eyes!