malt liquor


plural malt liquors
: a fermented liquor made with malt
specifically : a strong, dry beer and especially a lager with a high alcohol content usually in excess of 5 percent and as much as 11 or 12 percent that is produced by adding ingredients (such as corn, rice, or dextrose) to malted barley to increase the level of fermentable sugar present in the wort

Note: Because hops are not added during the brewing process, malt liquor lacks the bitterness often found in many lagers and ales. Malt liquor is typically sold in 40-ounce bottles or cans often called forties and is often not categorized as a beer due to its high alcohol content.

Malt liquor is powerful stuff. It looks and tastes something like regular beer, but any thirsty drinker who confuses the two on a hot summer day will soon be made aware of his mistake. The Washington Post

Examples of malt liquor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jim claims his favorite sections measure ice cream production, malt liquor consumption and trout propagation. Linda Chong, Washington Post, 21 July 2023 Having had his own success with a malt liquor business, Vultaggio and his partners pivoted to selling iced tea in the same-sized 23-ounce cans as their malt liquor. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 27 Aug. 2022 In 1992, the Hornell Brewing Co. was ordered by the Senate to negotiate with the Oglala Sioux over its Crazy Horse malt liquor. Natasha Brenann, The Arizona Republic, 2 Sep. 2020 Those friendly malt liquor bottles? Mike Hale, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2020 He was terminated for decorating a tree in the lobby of a station in a mostly Black precinct with a pack of Newport menthol cigarettes, a can of Steel Reserve malt liquor, police tape, a bag of Takis tortilla chips and a cup from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, according to reports. Fox News, 14 Aug. 2020 The brand boasts its real spirits instead of malt liquor as a key differentiator from other hard seltzers on the market. Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2023 About 50 Norfolk Southern train cars carrying products ranging from wheat and malt liquor to hazardous materials derailed Friday night in a fiery crash near the Pennsylvania state line. Ashley R. Williams, USA TODAY, 6 Feb. 2023 The community demanded the officers be fired after an image posted on social media showed the tree decorated with racist items, including menthol cigarettes, a can of malt liquor and a cup from a fried chicken restaurant, CBS Minnesota reported. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, 14 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'malt liquor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1693, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malt liquor was in 1693

Dictionary Entries Near malt liquor

Cite this Entry

“Malt liquor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

malt liquor

: a fermented liquor (as beer) made with malt

More from Merriam-Webster on malt liquor

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