What is IBU?
You can measure the bitterness of a beer in IBUs. IBU stands for International Bitterness Unit. The bitterness in beer can come from a variety of different sources, such as herbs or roasted malt. IBUs only show the bitterness of the hops, derived from the alpha acids they contain. These alpha acids can be measured, and so each milligram of alpha acid per litre of beer is an IBU point.
However, it is important to remember that this doesn’t mean a 50 IBU beer will necessarily taste more bitter than a 40 IBU beer. The way we experience bitterness is also influenced by the amount of carbonic acid, the temperature of the beer and the use of herbs.
There are even beers that claim to have an IBU content of 1000…