malt liquor

noun
plural malt liquors

Definition of malt liquor

: 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 Conant swills river water and lives on hot dogs, Tabasco sauce, and malt liquor. Elizabeth Hightower Allen, Outside Online, 8 Apr. 2022 The store won’t sell nips, quarter pints, or 40 oz. bottles of malt liquor. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Oct. 2021 Olde English 800 malt liquor was another brand Blitz-Weinhard owned and promoted at the time, eventually becoming the company’s best seller. oregonlive, 3 Aug. 2021 While White Claw is derived from industrial malt liquor, Hoxie is made from California Chardonnay. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 June 2021 Lifted Libations mixed drinks get their kick from organic vodka unlike Truly, White Claw and many other spiked sodas which use malt liquor. Mike Dojc, Forbes, 28 May 2021 But since many are made with cheap malt liquor and artifical sweeteners, Canteen Spirits unveiled a line of zero-sugar and zer0-carb vodka sodas in 2019. Katie Chang, Forbes, 23 May 2021 Hanks, who has gone to rehab and who discussed his cocaine and crack abuse in 2015, parades around with a half-empty bottle of malt liquor and wraps himself in the Jamaican flag, then shows off a massive pile of weed. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2021 Everyone is surrounded by soft twinkle-lights, and no one appears to be hiding a forty of malt liquor out of frame. Zoe Si, The New Yorker, 16 Dec. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malt liquor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of malt liquor

1693, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best beverage coolers.

Learn More About malt liquor

Time Traveler for malt liquor

Time Traveler

The first known use of malt liquor was in 1693

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near malt liquor

Maltipoo

malt liquor

maltman

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for malt liquor

Last Updated

23 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Malt liquor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malt%20liquor. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on malt liquor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for malt liquor

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!