Introduction:

In most countries in the world, the most popular alcoholic drink is beer (especially in English-speaking countries). It used to be a boring drink, but now it is becoming very fashionable with many different types of beer (with many different flavours, tastes and colours). So, if you want to know how to talk about it well in English and to order it in a bar or pub, you need to know the vocabulary used to do this.

And this is what you'll learn to do here.

In this online exercise on drinking alcohol, you'll learn and remember the English vocabulary used to talk about and describe beer. You'll learn the names of the different types of beer you can drink and the vocabulary connected to both drinking beer and ordering it in a pub, bar or restaurant.

If you want to learn the English vocabulary for wine, do our exercise on 'Essential wine vocabulary & terms'.

Or to see all of our exercises on food, drink and restaurant vocabulary, go to our Food and Drink Vocabulary Exercises Menu


Exercise: Drinking beer in a pub

Read the following conversation in a pub in Yorkshire between Peter and Juan about the different types of beer that are available to drink.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Peter:'I thought that I'd bring you to good pub whilst we were here in England. This is good because it has a lot of national and international beers. So, what would you like?'

Juan:'There are so many to choose from. What's the brown beer they are drinking at the bar?'

Peter:'That's called bitter. It's a very typical type of beer from England. As you can guess it tastes a little bitter and it's usually serviced at room temperature. It's called an ale in America. There's a lot of local breweries that make bitter around here that are very good.

But there are other types of beer as well. A beer that has a golden colour is called a lager. It's what most people think of when they hear the word beer. British lager isn't very good, so I'd recommend that you order a foreign lager from Germany or Holland like Heineken. You can also have a stout, which is a black beer. The most famous make of stout is Guinness. But they also have a very good stout from a local brewery, called Sutton Black.'

Juan:'There's somebody drinking a beer that looks white. Is it a fruit beer?'

Peter:'No it isn't a fruit beer, it's another type of beer called a wheat beer. Most beer is made from the cereal barley, but that's made from wheat, that's why it has a white colour. It's a typical type of beer from Germany. You can also have a cider, it's not a beer but it's an alcoholic beverage made from apples.'

Juan:'I think I'll have a wheat beer.'

Peter:'I'll have one too. So what size do you want? Do you want a pint?'

Juan:'A pint is about half a litre?'

Peter:'It's a little bit more. If you don't want to drink so much, you could have an half pint. Or we could order a pitcher, which is a glass container that holds about 2 pints and then we can share it and pour it ourselves into two small glasses.'

Juan:'I'll have a pint.'

Peter:'Can we have two pints of the wheat beer please?'

Barman:'I am afraid that because the wheat beer is a special beer from Germany, we don't have any wheat beer in barrels here, so there is none of it on draught. But we do have bottled wheat beer. But the bottles are a little less than a pint. They are half a litre. Is that ok?'

Peter:'No problem, two bottles is fine.'



Quiz: English vocabulary for beer and drinking

Below is an online quiz with definitions/descriptions of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A measure of beer that is 568 ml, is a    

         

Pint:
(noun) This is a common measure for beer in the English-speaking world (although other measures do exist). This is a unit of measure in the Imperial measurement system. But it is also used in bars and pubs in countries that use the Metric system. There is a difference between the United States and Commonwealth Countries in the size of a 'pint'. In the United States a pint is a little smaller than in Britain, Australia etc... In Spanish: "pinta".

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Pint:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. A beer that comes from a bottle, is called    

         

Bottled:
(adjective) A 'bottled' beer, is beer that comes directly from a bottle. This is different to 'draught' beer that comes directly from a barrel and is poured through taps at the bar. In Spanish: "de botella".

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Bottled:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. A glass/plastic container that normally holds a litre or more of a liquid, is a    

         

Pitcher:
(noun) A 'pitcher' is a glass/plastic container. It is also called a 'jug'. It normally holds a litre or more of a liquid and people normally order beer in a pitcher if they want to share the beer with other people. A 'pitcher' always comes with glasses that you pour the beer into. In Spanish: "jarra".

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Pitcher:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. An alcoholic drink made from apples, is called    

         

Cider:
(noun) Although this isn't a type of beer, it's a very popular drink in Britain and Ireland (especially in Summer). It is normally drank in pints or half pints. There are two main varieties of cider, still and sparkling. Sparkling is carbonated, i.e. it has gas and bubbles. Still, is not carbonated. In Spanish: "sidra".

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Cider:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A beer that comes from a barrel in a pub/bar, is called    

         

Draught:
(adjective) A 'draught' beer, is beer that comes directly from a barrel and is poured through taps at the bar. In some pubs they refer to draught beers as 'on tap', e.g. 'we have Guinness on tap'. This is different to 'bottled' beer that comes directly from a bottle. In the United States, it is spelt 'draft'. In Spanish: "de barril".

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Draught:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A type of beer that is clear and has a golden colour, is a    

         

Lager:
(noun) 'lager' is the most common type of beer in the world. It is normally clear (you can see through it) and has a golden colour. It is generally drank when it's cold. Because this type of beer is so common, people often just call it 'beer' rather than 'lager'. In Spanish: "cerveza (rubia)".

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Lager:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. A beer that has a white colour, is a    

         

Wheat beer:
(noun) This is a type of beer that is made just from or with a high percentage of the cereal 'wheat' rather 'barley' (which most beers are made from). Although 'wheat beers' are often white, you can find other colours as well. 'wheat beers' are very popular in Germany. In Spanish: "cerveza de trigo".

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Wheat beer:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A type of beer that is black, is called a    

         

Stout:
(noun) 'stout' is a type of black or dark beer which is made from roasted malt or barley. It is very popular in Ireland where the most popular brands are Guinness and Murphy's. Stouts are normally dry and are almost creamy. They can both be served at room temperature or chilled. In Spanish: "cerveza negra".

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Stout:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. A type of beer that is a brown colour, is called a    

         

Bitter:
(noun) This is a popular type of beer from Britain. It has a brown colour and a slightly bitter taste. It is usually served at room temperature, which some people find strange. This type of beer is also called 'ale' or 'pale ale' (especially in the United States where it is not called 'bitter'). In Spanish: "cerveza amarga".

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Bitter:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. A measure of beer that is 284 ml, is a    

         

Half pint:
(noun) This is a common measure for beer in Britain and Ireland (although other measures do exist). This is a unit of measure in the Imperial measurement system. Often people ask for a 'half' rather than a 'half pint'. There is a difference between the United States and Commonwealth Countries in the size of a 'half pint'. In the United States, a half pint is a little smaller than in Britain, Australia etc... In Spanish: "media pinta".

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Half pint:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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11. The places where beer is made, are called    

         

Breweries:
(noun) A 'brewery' is the name of the place where beer is 'brewed' or 'made'. This is only used for 'beer'. For spirits like whiskey, gin etc..., they are 'distilled' or 'made' in a 'distillery'. In Spanish: "fabrica de cerveza".

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Breweries:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary for drinking beer, practise it by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.