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Flavor Balance Guide

shelf tag in a circleOn the lower portion of our shelf labels, you will notice two scales. These display hop bitterness and malt sweetness relative to other beers.

beer shelf tag

Hop Bitterness

Hops get their bitterness from alpha acids. Measurement of alpha acid concentration is taken in International Bittering Units, or IBUs.

hop bitterness scale

Malt Sweetness

Malt sweetness is measured by Final Gravity, or FG, which refers to the density of unfermented sugars that remain in the beer after fermentation.

malt sweetness scale

Because the two flavors balance one another, the scales should be used together. The blonde ale demonstrated in the label above has moderate hop bitterness, but it may not taste as bitter as a beer with the lowest level of malt sweetness.

Don't forget to check out our beer identification guide to learn the balances typical of many common beer types.

Publix promotes responsible drinking and supports efforts to fight alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Please visit the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility at for more information.