ALTBIER - German ale associated
with the city of Dusseldorf. "Alt" is
the German word for old.
The Alt style uses a top-fermenting ale yeast, but
is cold-aged. Some wheat may be used in variations. Lacks hop aroma, low
hop flavor but has medium to high bitterness, especially in the finish.
Restrained fruitiness, dry, clean, bittersweet flavor. Rounded maltiness
that is nonetheless not overpowering. Light to medium body. Cleaner,
smoother palate, less fruitness, less yeastiness and less acidity than a
classic British ale. Very low diacetyl is OK. The color is bronze to
copper-brown. Some ales called Amber are actually in the Alt style.
Commercial examples: DAB Dark, Widmer, Zum Uerige, Grolsch Autumn Amber, Broyhan Alt, Brunswiek Alt, Alaskan Amber, Sapporo Alt.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 28 - 40; SRM: 10 - 19.
American Standard - The
standard American, Canadian, Japanese, and Australian
beer style. Brewed with 25 to 40% rice, corn and/or wheat. Dry, lightly
hopped, light-bodied and highly carbonated. This style has low malt aroma
and flavor. Hop bitterness is barely noticeable with very low flavor and
aroma. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl. Pale straw to pale gold.
Commercial examples: Budweiser, Coors, Strohs, Corona, Fosters.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.046; Alcohol: 3.5 - 5%; IBUs: 5 - 17; SRM: 2 - 8.
American Premium - The
profile for this style is very similar to that of the
American standard style, except that there are usually fewer adjuncts or it
is all-malt. The body is light, with low malt flavor and aroma. Bitterness
is low to medium from American hops, but generally the hops are barely
detectable. Low hop flavor and aroma is OK. No fruitiness, esters or
diacetyl. Color is very pale to golden.
Commercial examples: Michelob, Henry Weinhards Private Reserve, Coors Herman Josephs.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5%; IBUs: 13 - 22; SRM: 2 - 8.
American Dry - Invented
in Japan and copied in the U.S.. Special yeast
strains are used to break down normally unfermentable sugars into fermentable
form. There is very low body and malt, and almost no malt aroma. The most
distinguishing marks to this style are its high effervescence, pale color and
lack of aftertaste. Low to medium bitterness that does not linger. Low hop
aroma and flavor. No fruitiness, esters or diacetyl.
Commercial examples: Michelob Dry, Asahi Dry.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5.5%; IBUs: 15 - 23; SRM: 2 - 4.
American Dark - Colored
versions of American standard or premium with little
or no dark malts used. Color can be artificially derived from the addition
of caramel syrup. Deep copper to dark brown. Light to medium body. Low
bitterness. Low malt aroma and/or flavor is OK. Low hop aroma and/or flavor
is OK. Effervescent. No fruitiness or esters. Very low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Henry Weinhards Special Dark Reserve, Michelob Dark.
O.G.:1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5.5%; IBUs: 14 - 20; SRM: 10 - 20.
American Malt Liquor - Roughly
similar to other American lagers but higher in
alcohol. The name "malt liquor" is a designation based on the fact that
these brews quite often exceed the legal alcohol level defined for beers.
Very pale in color, lightly hopped.
Commercial examples: Molson Brador, Colt 45, Carlsberg Elephant.
O.G.:1.048 - 1.064; Alcohol: 5 - 8%; IBUs: 5 - 14; SRM: 1 - 3.
BARLEY WINE - In England,
the name given to any top-fermented beer of
unusually high, wine-like alcohol content. The richest and strongest of
British ales. Alcoholic, malty, heavy and full-bodied, usually balanced
a high rate of hop bitterness and low aroma, both of which may diminish
during aging. The aroma includes esters, and there can be some low to medium
diacetyl. May possess a residual flavor of unfermented sugar. Well aged
examples may also show oxidative flavors. Barley Wines are usually darker
(copper to medium brown) then Strong Ales and they are more commonly bottled.
Traditionally, they were matured in the cask, which was rolled round the
brewery yard once a week to rouse the yeast in its secondary fermentation.
The commercial brewers do not use wine yeast. The effect of extremely high
gravities on a top-fermenting yeast can make for a very estery, winy-tasting
brew. Barley wines often have little head retention.
Commercial examples: Goldie, Gold Label, Fullers Golden Pride, Old Foghorn, Bass No. 1 Barley Wine, Big Foot, Thomas Hardy Ale, Youngs Old Nick.
O.G.: 1.090 - 1.120; Alcohol: 8.4 - 12%; IBUs: 50 - 100; SRM: 14 - 40.
Flemish Brown Ale - Blend
of slight sourness, spicy, dry, richness of brown
malts and fruitiness of ale. Sweet-and-sour character. Very complex, with
flavors sometimes reminiscent of olives, rasins and spices. Complex
combinations of malts; water high in sodium bicarbonate; long boiling times,
creating a hint of caramelization; multistrain yeast pitching, sometimes
a lactic character; and the blending of "young" and "old" beers, make for a
truly teasing style. There may be some low diacetyl. There is no hop aroma
and low to medium bitterness. Deep copper to brown.
Commercial examples: Liefmans Goudenband, Liefmans Oud Bruin, Felix, Cnudde, Dobbelen Bruinen, Oudenaards, Bruynen, Gouden Carolus.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.055; Alcohol: 5 - 6.5%; IBUs: 25 - 50; SRM: 10 - 30
Belgian Red Ale - A sharp and
sour red beer of light to medium body, it
contains up to twenty strains of yeast. The taste is tart with a wide range
of fruitiness. The red color comes, in part, from the use of Vienna malt,
but also is derived from aging in the brewerys uncoated oak tuns, which also
creates the flavors of caramels, tannins and acidity. This is not a hoppy
beer. Very refreshing.
Commercial examples: Rodenbach, Ouden Tripel, Petrus, Paulus, Bacchus, Pandoer, Ichtegems Bruin, La Duchesse de Bourgogne, Vlaamse Bourgogne.
O.G.: 1.052 - 1.056; Alcohol: 5.5 - 6%; IBUs: 10 - 25; SRM: 10 - 18
Saison - Brewed in France and
Belgium during the spring for the summer.
It is often only 50% attenuated (fermented). Hard water may have helped provide
the body, mouth-feel and extraction of flavors from the grains. Sometimes a
small portion of spelt (a variety of wheat) , or raw oats or raw rice was
used. Fruity with a pungent sourness and hop aroma, they are often
dry-hopped. Low malt aroma. Distinctively bitter but not assertive.
Bottled-conditioned with additional yeast added to the bottle. The profile
includes a dense head on a fairly well-carbonated beer with a palate of some
tart, citric notes. Light to medium body. Slight acidity and low diacetyl
Commercial examples: Saison Dupont, Saison Silly, Saison Enghien, Saison Regal, Saison de Pipaix, Saison 1900.
O.G.: 1.048 - 1.080; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7.5%; IBUs: 20 - 40; SRM: 3.5 - 10.
Belgian Strong Golden Ales -
References to the devil are often a trademark of
these beers. These beers are pale to golden in color. The light color and
deceiving body are the result of very pale malt. Full of fruity, hoppy,
alcoholic complexity. Top-fermented and cold-conditioned.
Commercial examples: Duvel, Lucifer, Teutenbier, Deugniet, Sloeber, Judas
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.070; Alcohol: 6.5 - 8%; IBUs: 30; SRM: 3 - 5.5.
Belgian Strong Dark Ales -
There are many variations of this Belgian style
which is characterized by full body and a deep burgundy to brown color.
Rich, creamy, and sweet, these ales are malty with low hops. Colored with
candy sugar and not so much dark malt.
Commercial examples: Pawel Kwak, Bush, Gouden Carolus.
O.G.: 1.070 - 1.096; Alcohol: 8 - 11%; IBUs: 25 - 35; SRM: 25 - 35.
BIERE DE GARDE - The
name means "beer to keep," implying that it was laid
down as a provision to be drawn upon during the summer. The style belongs to
northern France. Typically made with several malts, this is a strong,
top-fermenting, laying-down beer, quite commonly corked not capped. Biere de
Garde is full gold to a dark reddish-brown. They have a malt accent and
ale-like fruitiness, often with spicy notes, and are medium to strong in
alcohol. It has a malty and fruity aroma. Lager yeast fermenting at higher
temperatures is being employed in some examples today.
Commercial examples: 3 Monts, Jenlain, Biere des Sans Culottes, Saint Leonard, Lutece, Pot Flamand, Pastor Ale, Cuvee des Jonquilles, Saison Saint Medard, Cuvee de Noel, Chti Blonde, Chti Brune, Chti Ambree, La Choulette, Brassin Robespierre, Septante 5 ("75"), Vieille Garde (Old Garde), La Bavaisienne, Reserve du Brasseur.
OG:1.060 - 1.076; Alcohol:5.5 - 7.5%; IBUs: 25; SRM: 25 - 40.
BITTER - Usually a draft,
it is traditionally cask-conditioned. There are
some esters, and it is possible to detect a trace of diacetyl. The styles
vary along geographic lines, with the northern type being maltier, stronger, a
nd less carbonated, while the southern type is more aggressively hopped and
carbonated. Pale ale malts are the principal grist; if crystal is used at
all, it is employed with great restraint. The essential ingredient is the
hearty smack of hops. Fuggles and Goldings are the classics for the style.
Generally available in three strengths.
Commercial examples: Ind Coope Burton Ale, Timothy Taylors Landlord, Shepherd Neames Masterbrew Bitter.
Ordinary Bitter - Medium gold to
medium copper-brown. Grain and malt tend to
predominate over hop flavor and bitterness (altough there are exceptions)
with enough hop aroma to balance and add interest. Light to medium body.
Commercial examples: Brakspear Ordinary Bitter, Youngs Bitter, Fullers Chiswick, Ballard Bitter.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.038; Alcohol: 3 - 3.5%; IBUs: 20 - 25; SRM: 8 - 12.
Special Bitter - Similar to
an ordinary bitter, but stronger and more robust
with a more evident malt flavor and hop character.
Commercial examples: Sheffield Best Bitter, Theakstons Best, Fullers London Pride, Tom Sheimos Favourite.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.042; Alcohol: 3.5 - 4.5%; IBUs: 25 - 30; SRM: 12 - 14.
Extra Special Bitter - A full-bodied,
robust copper colored beer with a
maltier, more complex flavor than either the ordinary or special bitter.
Commercial examples: Youngs Special, Adnams Extra, Red Hook ESB, Fullers ESB, Mitchells ESB, Theakstons XB, Redhook ESB.
O.G.:1.042 - 1.055; Alcohol:4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 30 - 35; SRM: 12 - 14.
Helles Bock or Maibock - These
bocks possess the same characteristics of
traditional bock except for the chocolate undertaste and they are lighter in
color, gold to light amber. Medium to full bodied, it has predominantly
malty taste. Hops just balance the bitterness with no aroma.
Commercial examples: Ayinger Mai Bock, Pschorr Marzenbock, Sierra Nevada Pale Bock, Wurzburger Maibock, Hacker-Pschorr Maibock, Einbecker Mai Ur-Bock, Hofbrauhaus Maibock.
O.G.: 1.064 - 1.068; Alcohol: 6%; IBUs: 20 - 35; SRM: 4.5 - 6.
American Bock - Less assertive
than European Bocks, this American style
originated in Wisconsin and spread throughout the U.S. market. They are
almost identical to American dark beers, with just a bit darker color.
Commercial examples: Augsburger Bock, Shiner Bock, Rolling Rock Bock.
O.G.:1.045 - 1.052; Alcohol:4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 18 - 25; SRM: 4.5 - 12.
Dopplebock - Stronger
version of bock which must have a gravity of at least
1.072. By tradition, dopplebock names end in "ator". Very full bodied.
be pale or dark, very sweet or balanced with bitterness. Malty sweetness
evident in aroma and flavor can be intense. High alcohol flavor. Some
esters and diacetyl can be detectable, but are not very desirable. Low hop
flavor from "noble-types" is OK. No hop aroma.
Commercial examples: Paulaners Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Augustiner Maximator, EKU Kulminator, Samichlaus, LF6wenbrE4u Triumphator, Hacker Pschorr Animator.
O.G.:1.072 - 1.120; Alcohol:7.5 - 14%; IBUs:17 - 40; SRM:12 - 35.
Eisbock - The strongest
type of bock. Very alcoholic. A doppelbock is
chilled till ice is formed. The ice is removed, leaving behind a beer with a
higher concentrated amount of alcohol. The beer is very full bodied with
increased sweetness and warmth. Color is amber to dark brown. The
detectable bitterness is low.
Commercial examples: Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock Bayrisch Gfrorns, EKU "28".
O.G.:1.092 - 1.116; Alcohol: 10 - 14%; IBUs: 26 - 33; SRM: 10 - 40.
English Brown Ale - A British ale that is sweeter, fuller bodied and stronger then mild ales. Some have nutty characters. Low bitterness. Low diacetyl is OK. The style splits along geographic lines.
Southern Brown Ale - Southern
brown ales are darker (dark brown and almost
opaque), sweeter from the use of caramel malts and are made from lower
gravities. They have a medium body. Some fruitiness and esters are present.
They have low hop flavor and aroma.
Commercial example: Manns Brown Ale.
Northern Brown Ale - Northern
varieties, though still medium-bodied, are less
sweet, dryer, have a "nuttier" malt flavor with a pale copper color. Some
esters and fruitiness are present, and the hops are similar or higher then
the southern. Usually have a higher alcohol level. Brewed from soft water.
Commercial examples: High Level, Newcastle Brown Ale, Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale, Double Maxim.
OG.:1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol:4.5 - 6.5%; IBUs:15 - 30; SRM:12 - 30.
American Brown Ale - An
adaptation by American homebrewers desiring higher
alcohol and hop bittering levels to go along with the malty richness
characteristic of all brown ales. A drier and more bitter style of English
brown ale. Some maltiness is present in a medium body. Hops are American
varieties and are assertive in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Dark amber
dark brown. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Cooper Smiths Dunraven Ale, Harts Pacific Crest Ale, Petes Wicked Ale, Brooklyn Brown.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 6.5%; IBUs: 25 - 60; SRM: 15 - 22.
CALIFORNIA COMMON BEER (STEAM BEER) -
A California creation. Beer brewed
with lager yeast at ale temperatures. This beer has been likened to an India
Pale Ale in taste with a medium body and a hint of toasted or caramel-like
maltiness in aroma and flavor. The color is light amber to copper. Hops
medium to high in bitterness and flavor, and medium in aroma. Fruitiness
esters are low. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Anchor Steam, New England Atlantic Amber, Dampfbier.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4 - 5%; IBUs: 35 - 45; SRM: 8 - 17.
CIDER - Cider comes from apple juice in a variety of styles and is usually fermented by wine yeast. There are four types of ciders.
Still Cider - Still cider has a light body and apple flavor. Under 7% alcohol, it can be dry to sweet and is a clear, pale yellow color.
Sparkling Cider - Sparkling cider has many of the same traits as the still varity with the addition of effervescence. There should be no head or foam. It may be dry to sweet and light to medium in body. The color is clear pale yellow.
New England-Style Cider - This cider has a strong apple aroma and a higher level of alcohol, at 8 to 14%. They can be still or sparkling. Medium to full bodied with some tannins, but no "hot" alcohol taste. The color is pale to medium yellow. Adjuncts may include sugars, molasses, and/or raisins.
Specialty Cider - At least 75% apple juice, with the remainder made from a variety of adjuncts. The alcohol content must be below 14%, but any type of yeast can be used in the production.
CREAM ALE - An American beer
that may employ the use of both ale and lager
yeast. The beer is fermented as an ale followed by a period of cold
conditioning. Hoppier, stronger and fruitier than standard American light
lagers. Often brewed with corn or rice. The profile includes light to medium
body with high effervescence. The color is pale. Some low esters may be
detectable Hop bitterness is low to medium, with low hop aroma and flavor.
Commercial examples:Genesee Cream Ale, Little Kings Cream Ale, Molson Golden Ale, Weinhards Light American Ale.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 7%; IBUs: 10 - 22; SRM: 2 - 4.
Continental Dark - A general term for dark lagers from Europe which don't fit the Munich Dark profile. Generally a bit drier in flavor and lighter in body than the Munich style. Commercial examples: Becks Dark, Grolsch Dark.
DORTMUNDER / EXPORT - Strong
pale lager from Dortmunder, Germany brewed a bit
stronger than other light lagers in order to travel well for export.
Characterized by more bitterness and less maltiness then helles, but less
bitterness, sweeter, stronger and more malt body than German pilseners.
Neither malt or hops are distinctive, but both are in good balance with
a touch of sweetness, providing a smooth yet crisply refreshing beer. The
hop aroma and flavor that is present is from "noble-types". The water in
Dortmunder is quite hard containing both calcium carbonate and sulfate, and
this, combined with a special malting process which results in increased
enzyme power, contributes to the final unique taste. The mash for Dortmunder
typically leaves sufficient unfermentables in the brew to provide that
firmness of body. Alcoholic warmth can be evident. Straw to medium gold,
Light to medium body. There are no traces of diacetyl or esters.
Commercial examples: DAB Export, Thiers Export, Dortmunder Union Export, Kronen Export, Newmans Brand Saratoga Lager, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Yebisu, Ritter Export.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.060; Alcohol: 5 - 6%; IBUs: 18 - 35; SRM: 4 - 6.
FRUIT BEER - Lagers and ales
with fruit or fruit juice in them for flavor,
color and/or aroma. Cherries and raspberries are the most popular additives.
The particular fruit qualities of the beer should be distinct in flavor
and aroma, yet harmonious with the total flavor profile.
Commercial examples: Boston Beer Works Blueberry Ale, Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.110; Alcohol: 2.5 - 12%; IBUs: 5 - 70; SRM: 5 - 50.
HELLES - Mildly hopped,
malty beer from Munich, Germany. The medium malt
sweetness, often described as almost a caramel, is the mark of this beer.
Part of the malty flavor comes from the unique Munich style of malting which
involves "curing" the malt at temperatures of 212B0 to 225B0F. The body is a
bit heavier (medium) than a Bohemian pils due to being less attenuated then a
pils. Pleasingly low bitterness that does not linger at all. Hop aroma
and flavor, if present, are from "noble-types". No fruitiness or esters. Low
diacetyl is OK. Color is pale to golden.
Commercial Examples: Altenmunster, Ayinger Jahrhundert.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 18 - 30; SRM: 2 - 5
HERB BEER - Lagers and ales with
unusual herbs in them for aroma, flavor
and/or color. Commonly used spices include marjoram, cinnamon, garlic,
peppers, spruce, juniper, cloves, anise, nutmeg, coriander, caraway, ginger,
Commercial Examples: Harpoon Winterfest, New England Brewing Co. Holiday Ale, Eds Chili Beer, Anchor Our Special Ale.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.110; Alcohol: 2.5 - 12%; IBUs: 5 - 70; SRM: 5 - 50.
IRISH ALE - Malt-accented ales,
often with a buttery note, rounded, and with
a soft but notable fruitiness and reddish tinge. This style was undoubtedly
influenced by the success of some malty, but tawnier, Scottish brews. Pale
ale is the main ingrediant, with crystal malt and roasted barley also being
used. In todays Irish ales, corn has found its way in. In the United
States, larger yeast is used in most commercial examples. During the 1960s,
the last independent ale brewery in Ireland closed. Today all ale breweries
are owned by Guinness.
Commercial Examples:Phoenix Beer, George Killians Irish Red, Macardle Ale, Michael Sheas Irish Amber, McNallys Extra, Smithwicks Ale, Kilkenny Irish Beer, Kilkenny Strong.
O.G.: 1.036 - 1.064; Alcohol: 4 - 7%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 7 - 14.
KOELSCH - Can only be brewed
in the area of Koeln (Cologne), Germany.
is a blond Alt-style beer with a light to medium body. Light, fruity,
acidic, dry wine like brew. Low hop flavor and aroma and medium bitterness.
Has a soft palate and a delicate dryness in the finish. As pale as a
Pilsner, but with the fruitiness of an ale. Kolsch is noted for its delicacy
rather than for any more robust distinctiveness. Kolsch has a conventional
gravity and strength, is very pale, with a fine bead, and is clean-tasting
(all-malt), remarkably light-bodied (very well attenuated), soft and
drinkable, only faintly fruity (often in the aroma and the beginning of the
palate), with a slight acidity and a restrained but definite hoppy dryness,
often slightly herbal-tasting in the finish. Can be an ale or a lager.
Sometimes up to 15% wheat is used to give added complexity to the
fruitiness, to provide paleness of color, and to enhance head-retention and
lacework. Bottle conditioned examples may be called "wiess".
Commercial Examples: Kueppers, Froeh, Sion, Gaffel Koelsch, Muhlen, Gilden, Dom Koelsch, Garde, Gereons, Kurfursten, Reissdorf, Sester, Zunft.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.045; Alcohol: 4 - 5%; IBUs: 16 - 30; SRM: 3.5 - 10.
Gueuze - Combination of young
lambic with old lambic to create a
bottle-conditioned beer without sugar or yeast being added. Noticeably sharp,
very effervescent, toasty aroma, tart, and delicate acidity. Should age in
the bottle from several months to several years. Diacetyl very low.
Commercial examples: Cantillon Gueuze, Geuze Boon, Boon Mariage Parfait, Girardins Classic Gueuze, De Troch Gueuze, Timmermans Gueuze, Timmermans Caveau, Lindemans Gueuze, Mort Subite.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.056; Alcohol: 5 - 6%; IBUs: 3 - 23; SRM: 4 - 13. Faro - Lambic to which sugar and sometimes caramel or molasses are added. So much alcohol is formed that it inhibits further fermentation and leaves behind residual sugars. A Faro will have a sweet, fruity and complex flavor. When bottled, they are pasteurized so that the sugar will not ferment.
Commercial examples: Faro Pertotale, Cantillon Faro, Lindemans Faro Lambic, Vander Linden Faro, Vander Linden "Double" Faro.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 3 - 22; SRM: 4 - 13
Mars - A version of Faro that has been
diluted with water to make everyday,
easy-drinking beers. Commercially, it vanished some years ago.
Close Commercial example: Lembeeks 2%.
Kriek - Cherries are
combined with young lambic.
Commercial examples: Lindemans Kriek, Cantillon Kriek Lambic, Girardins Kriek, Mort Subite Kriek.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054; Alcohol: 6%; IBUs: 3 - 22; SRM: 4 - 15.
Framboisel - Raspberries are
combined with young lambic.
Commercial examples: Timmermans Framboise, Cantillon Framboise, Framboise Boon.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054; Alcohol: 6%; IBUs: 3 - 22; SRM: 4 - 15.
Peche - Peaches are combined
with young lambic.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054; Alcohol: 6%; IBUs: 3 - 22; SRM: 4 - 15.
Cassis - Black currant is
combined with young lambic.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.054; Alcohol: 6%; IBUs: 3 - 22; SRM: 4 - 15.
MAERZEN / OKTOBERFEST - A lager
produced in Munich, Germany with an
assertively malty sweetness, toasted malt aroma and flavor. Origin credited
to the famous brewer Gabriel Sedelmayer. The style is an adaptation of
Vienna that was found to better suit the Munich water. The body is medium.
Sharp but not lingering hop bitterness which is low to medium. Low hop
flavor and aroma from "noble-type" hops is OK. No fruitiness, esters or
diacetyl. Quite strong in alcohol. The color is amber to deep copper or
Commercial examples: Paulaner Oktoberfest, Gosser, Spaten Ur-Marzen Oktoberfest, Ayinger Fest Marzen, Harpoon Oktoberfest, Samuel Adams Octoberfest.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.065; Alcohol: 4.5 - 6.5%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 7 - 14.
MEAD - Meads are produced from honey, yeast, water, and in subcategories, by the addition of herbs and fruits. Wine, Champagne, sherry, mead, ale or lager yeast may be used. Traditional Mead - Very pale to deep yellow. Lighter color honey is used in dry types while darker honey is used for sweet styles. The final gravity determines how the mead is classified: dry at 0.996-1.009, medium at 1.010-1.019, and sweet from 1.020-1.050. It can be either sparkling or still. Still is dry, medium, or sweet to very sweet with a light to full body. Honey is the predominate flavor and aroma. There may be some low to fruity acidity, but there are no harsh flavors. Sparkling mead can be of dry to medium sweetness. There is honey character in the flavor and aroma. Body is light to medium.
Flavored Mead - May be still or effervescent. Still types may be light to full bodied, while the sparkling examples are light to medium bodied. The color and aroma should reflect the ingredients used.
American Pale Ale - In comparison to
its English counterpart, it is slightly
less malty, in the range of low to medium. It is fruity and estery with
crystal malt providing a bit of residual sweetness. A distinction of the
American version is the high hopping of American varieties. Dry hopping
appropriate. Stock ale is generally in the pale ale style, and is slightly
stronger version meant for longer storage. Pale to deep amber/red/copper.
Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Gearys Pale Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Hopland Red Tail Ale, Red Hook Ale, Long Trail Ale.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 20 - 40; SRM: 4 - 11.
India Pale Ale - A special style
of pale ale that has high hop bitterness,
medium to high hop flavor and aroma and a higher alcohol content. Originally
brewed in England for the long trip to India. High hops were added for
preservation. An IPA should have a medium body, medium maltiness with evident
alcohol. It can have fruity or estery notes, yet the diacetyl should be
Often paler than that of classic British Pale Ale, medium gold to light
Commercial examples:Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Youngs Special London Ale, Ballantines Old India Pale Ale.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7%; IBUs: 30 - 60; SRM: 6 - 18.
German Pilsner - More bitter,
drier, less malty, simpler, cleaner and from a
lower extract then Czech Pilsner. The distinctive characteristic is the
flowery, medium hop bouquet and flavor from "noble" hops and its dry finish
from a more thorough fermentation. Light gold to medium gold. Crisp flavor
with prominent high hop bitterness. Low maltiness in aroma and flavor.
fruitness or esters. Very low diacetyl is OK. Light to medium in body.
Commercial examples: Warsteiner, Becks, Aass Pilsner, Pinkus Ur-Pils, Bitburger, Radeberger-Pils, Wernesgruner, Jever, Koenig, Veltins, Holstens Diat Pils.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5%; IBUs: 30 - 45; SRM: 2.5 - 4.5
Scandinavian / Dutch Pilsner -
Similar to German pilsners but with somewhat
lower original gravities, dryer flavor, and lighter palate. The hop
character in flavor and aroma is considerably lower. Usually paler than
German pilsners. Rice or corn may be used as adjuncts.
Commercial examples: Carlsberg, Grolsch, Heineken, Brand-Up, Christoffel, Plzen.
Brown Porter - A bit lighter
than the robust, with light to medium body and generally
lower in alcohol. The malt sweetness is low to medium and
well-balanced with the hops. Color is deep with reddish tones. None to
medium hop aroma and flavor. Fruitiness, esters and low diacetyl are OK.
Some versions are made with lager yeast.
Commercial examples: Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter, Youngs London Port er, Yuengling Porter, Stegmeter Porter, Pickwicks Porter, Essex Porter, Burton Porter, Pimlico Porter, Catamount Porter, Whitbread Porter.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 20 - 35.
RAUCHBIER - Smoked-flavored
beer in the tradition of Bamberg, Germany.
Oktoberfest style made with malts that have been dried over moist beechwood
log flames to give this beer its assertive smoky aroma and flavor. The beer
presents a full body and a generally sweet, malty taste beneath the smoke.
The color is dark amber to dark brown. Hop bitterness and aroma is low
medium. Intensity of the smoke is medium to high. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Kaiserdom Rauchbier, Maisels Rauchbier, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier.
O.G.: 1.048 - 1.060; Alcohol: 5 - 6%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 10 - 20.
RYE BEER - Rye bread or
flour is used as the basis of kvass and similar beer-like
fermented drinks that were, and sometimes still are, traditional in many
parts of eastern, central and Baltic Europe. It is not an easy grain with
which to work, in that, like wheat, it has no husk. It also absorbs and
retains water more than other brewing grains.
Commercial examples: Rileys Rye, Schierlinger Roggenbier, Goldroggen.
SAHTI - The traditional
Estonian and Finnish brew sahti is often made with
rye or oats. One or other of these grains, or a blend of both, may comprise
half the mash, the remainder being malted barley. Juniper is the traditional
seasoning, although hops are also used. In the past, a proportion of raw
rye was used, although the grain was malted for the finest brews. Traditionally,
the brew is filtered through straw, reeds and juniper twigs, in a
distinctively shaped wooden trough, called a kuurna, and bakers yeast is
typically employed. It has a rusty, reddish-brown color, with a considerable
haze; a relatively low, but lasting, head and carbonation (like a British
cask-conditioned ale); a slightly sticky, oily, but soft body (reminiscent of
a fortified wine); and a winy, spicy, smokey, almondy palate.
Commercial examples: Lammin Sahti, SysmE4 Sahti, Honkajoki Sahti, Mafia Sahti.
O.G.: 1.080 - 1.100; Alcohol: 7.5 - 8.75%; IBUs: 20 - 30; SRM: 10 - 20.
SAKE (RICE WINE) - Sake comes in several different sub-categories. All are 12 - 20% alcohol and clear to very pale color. Traditional sake is semi-dry to dry with no carbonation. Sparkling sake is re-primed in the bottle.
SCHWARZBIER (BLACK BEER) - Judicious
amounts of roasted malts so as to not
impart a burnt flavor. Moderate bitterness from hops and roasted malt.
Medium body with malty aroma and low sweetness in aroma and flavor. Should
have a distinctive bitter-chocolate palate. Hop flavor and aroma from
"noble-types" is OK. No fruitiness or esters. Low diacetyl is OK. Color is
dark brown to black. This style is hard to find in the U.S.
Commercial examples: Koestritzer Schwarzbier, Kloster Schwarz-Bier, Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzes Pils, Black Bavarian, Mathers Black Beer, Asahi Black Beer, Kirin Black Beer, Sapporo Black Beer, Suntory Black Beer.
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.052; Alcohol: 3.5 - 5%; IBUs: 20 - 35; SRM: 25 - 40
SCOTTISH ALE - Of Scottish origin.
Strong, very dark, thick and creamy.
Maltier flavor and aroma, darker colors, more full-bodied and smokier character
then the English ales. Fermented at cooler temperatures than English ales
and results in less fruity esters. In order to accentuate maltiness and
body, the Scots spmetimes ferment their beers less fully than brewers
elsewhere. Their distinctive color and dryness is derived from roasted or
black malts, and their underlying sweetness is derived from crystal. The
"shilling" designation is believed to be from the old method of taxing by basing
the tax rate on the gravity of the beer. The style is very full-bodied and
malt is very evident in the flavor and aroma. They come in 4 versions.
Commercial examples: Belhaven, Maclay Scotch Ale.
Light 60/- - Gold to amber.
Low carbonation. Low bitterness. May or may
not have hop flavor or aroma. Medium maltiness. Medium-bodied. Low to
medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are OK. Faint smoky character
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.035; Alcohol: 3 - 4%; IBUs: 9 - 15; SRM: 10 - 17.
Heavy 70/- - Gold to
dark brown. Low carbonation. Low bitterness. May or
may not have hop flavor or aroma. Medium to high maltiness. Medium to full
bodied. Low to medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are OK. Faint
smoky character is OK.
Commercial example: Orkney Raven.
O.G.: 1.035 - 1.040; Alcohol: 3.5 - 4%; IBUs: 10 - 17; SRM: 10 - 19
Export 80/- - Gold to
dark brown. Low carbonation. Low to medium bitterness.
May or may not have hop flavor or aroma. High maltinerss. Full bodied,
drier, more bitter. Low to medium diacetyl is OK. Fruitiness and esters are
OK. Faint smoky character is OK.
Commercial examples: Arrols 80/-, Edinburgh 80/- Export Ale, McEwans Export, McEwans 80/-, Youngers No. 3, Orkney Dark Island
O.G.: 1.040 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4 - 5.5%; IBUs:10 - 20; SRM: 10 - 19
Scottish Strong Ale 90/- - The fermentation
is roused so the yeast will stay
in suspension and attenuate the beer. This is a full bodied beer with color
that is deep copper to brown. There can be medium diacetyl present. These
beers are much less hopped than English versions, and therefore are maltier
with some kettle caramelization. Slight roasted malt qualities may be
provide by the limited use of dark roasted malt or roasted barley.
Commercial examples: MacAndrews Scotch Ale, Belhavens 90/-, Fowlers Wee Heavy, McEwans Scotch Ale, Gordon Highland Scotch Ale, Traquir House Ale, Vermont Pub & Brewery Wee Heavy, Edinburgh Strong Ale, Orkney Skullsplitter.
O.G.: 1.072 - 1.085; Alcohol: 6 - 8%; IBUs:14 - 35; SRM: 11 - 25.
SPECIALTY BEERS - These are
beers that do not fit the other descriptions.
The purposeful inclusion of additives (other than fruit) combine to impart
unique characteristics. Maple syrup, sorghum, honey, chocolate, pumpkin
smoke flavor can be added to create a specialty beer. The major style
characteristics must still be readily recognized.
Commercial examples: Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale, Vermont Pub and Brewery Smoked Porter, Otter Creek Brewery Smoked Porter.
STEINBIER (STONE BEER) - This is
actually more of a method of brewing then a
style but it does add a special flavor to any beer made in this method.
Porous stones (graywacke, a type of sandstone) are superheated and lowered
into the beer wort, causing that to boil. They are then removed, and when
the resulting beer has begun to ferment and the stones are cool, they are
again lowered into the beer. The yeast ferments the strong sugars
crystalized on the stones. The result is a delicious, rare and somewhat
smokey beer. It has a smokey, treacle-toffee palate, less dry than smooth,
and a long, roundish finish. This beertype has recently been revived in
Commercial examples: Rauchenfels Steinbier, Rauchenfels Steinweizen.
O.G.: 1.048; Alcohol: 4.7%; IBUs: 27; SRM: 9.
Foreign Stout - This is a
stronger version of dry with the additional malt
offset by hopping up to 60 IBU for balance. Usually brewed for tropical
markets. Some could be described as strong dry stouts, but others are too
sweet for that designation. Around 1.060, it becomes difficult to produce a
true dry stout, as the malty fullness and the fruity esters take charge.
Commercial example: Guinness Extra Stout, Dragon Stout, ABC Stout, Lion Stout.
O.G.: 1.050 - 1.070; Alcohol: 5.5 - 7%; IBUs: 25 - 60; SRM: 35 +.
Imperial Stout (Russian) - Originally
brewed for exportation to Russia. A
robust and stronger version of dry stout, highly hopped for bitterness, aroma
and flavor. High gravity and hops are used to prepare these stouts for
export, much as was done with India Pale Ales. Often has an intense
"burnt currant" character. Full bodied, it is dark copper to black. The
high gravity leads to a notable esters and fruitiness. Alcoholic strength
should be evident. Rich maltiness. Low diacetyl is OK. The roastiness
melds with smoky, tar-like, burnt, fruity, estery notes and alcohol flavors.
There is a suggestion of cocoa, or strong coffee. The fruitiness is
reminiscent of the burnt currants on the edge of a cake that has just been
removed from the oven, or the Christmas pudding in Britain, heavy with dried
and candied fruits. The alcohol suggests that the cocoa or coffee, pudding
or cake, has been laced with spirit.
Commercial example:Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout, Grants Imperial Stout, Courages Imperial Russian Stout.
O.G.: 1.075 - 1.095+; Alcohol: 7 - 9+%; IBUs: 50 - 90+; SRM: 20 - 35 +.
Sweet Stout - The British
version of Stout. Differentiated by lower gravity
than dry and possessing a unique chocolate-caramel malt flavor. The overall
character is sweet. Lacks most of the hop bitterness and roasted barley
character. The flavor is derived from the use of chocolate malt and milk
sugar (lactose). No hop flavor or aroma. Medium to full body. There may be
low diacetyl detected. The color is black opaque. Often called "Farm
Stout", "Milk Stout" and "Cream Stout".
Commercial example: Mackeson Stout, Sweetheart Stout, Watneys Cream Stout, Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4 - 6%; IBUs: 15 - 25; SRM: 35 +.
Oatmeal Stout - This beer
is a variation of the sweet stout but has oatmeal
added to increase the fullness of body and flavor. The result of this
mixture is often described as firm, smooth, silky body, and a hint of
nuttiness in their complex of coffee, chocolate and roast flavors. Because
oats gelatinize, they can make mashing difficult.
Commercial example: Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, Youngs Oatmeal Stout, Lacto Milk Stout.
O.G.: 1.038 - 1.056; Alcohol: 4 - 6%; IBUs: 15 - 25; SRM: 35 +.
STRONG ALE / OLD ALE -
High-alcohol version of pale ale though generally
as strong or rich as a barleywine. Often regarded as winter warmers. Old
ales have a fruity character although the finish may be dry. A bit syrupy
when young, but improve with up to five years of aging. Long term aging
the bottle or tun may give old ales oxidative flavors like a fine old port
or Madeira wine. Very full-bodied, with a nutty malt sweetness, and are
estery. Usually not very thoroughly fermented, so to leave some of the sweetness,
flavor and body of the malt sugars in the beer. Color is usually light
amber to very dark red. Hopping is assertive, but hop aroma is low from
aging process. Well-attenuated. Alcoholic strength should be recognizable.
Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Theakstons Old Peculiar, Old Buzzard, Wobbly Bob, Thomas Hardys Ale, Youngs Winter Warmer, Ram Tam, Old Tom, Owd Roger, Old Jock, Old Fart, Strong Suffolk, Gales Prize Old Ale, Gales 5X.
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.075+; Alcohol: 6.5 - 8.5+%; IBUs: 30 - 60; SRM: 10 - 16.
TRAPPIST ALE (ABBEY BEER) - Only beer brewed in one of the six remaining brewing abbeys may use the term "Trappist". They are the Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Sint Sixtus at Westvleteren, and Chimay breweries in Belgium, and the Trappists of Schaapskooi at Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. The six Trappist abbeys produce around 20 beers. Strong, amber to copper colored, fruity, aromatic beer with a spiciness and slight acidity that sets them apart. They are all bottle conditioned, with plenty of yeast sediment. 3 varieties are made.
House Brew -
Commercial examples: Chimay Premiere (Capsule Rouge), Orval, Rochefort 6, Westmalle Extra, Westvleteren 4 Dubbel.
O.G.: 1.060 - 1.065; Alcohol: 6 - 7%; IBUs: 25 - 40; SRM: 10 - 25.
Special (Dubbel) - Dark amber-brown ales with a sweet malty flavor and a slightly nutty aroma that may give way to some hoppy dryness in the finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Low bitterness. Low diacetyl is OK. Aromas and flavors are sometimes derived from unique yeast strains. Small amounts of spices may be added.
Commercial examples: Grimbergen Dubbel, Affligem Dubbel, Rochefort 8, Chimay Cinq Cents (Capsule Blanche), Chimay Grande Reserve (Capsule Bleue), La Trappe Dubbel, Westmalle Dubbel, Westvleteren 6 Special.
O.G.:1.075 - 1.085; Alcohol:7.5 - 8%; IBUs:30 - 45; SRM: 10 - 30.
Extra special (Triple) - A paler and
stronger ale, brewed from pale pilsner
malts with candy sugar added to boost the O.G.. Complex aroma and palate
with delicate aromatic hop characteristics and a light citric fruitness.
Medium- to full-bodied. As with dubbels, aromas and flavors are sometimes
derived from unique yeast strains and small amounts of spice are sometimes
added. Deep golden. Alcoholic, but best examples do not taste strongly
Commercial examples: Grimbergen Tripel, Mateen, Affligem Tripel, Westmalle Tripel, Rochefort 10, La Trappe Tripel, La Trappe Quadrupel, Westvleteren 8 Extra, Westvleteren 12 Abbot.
O.G.:1.090 - 1.100; Alcohol: 8 - 10%; IBUs: 20 - 50; SRM: 20 - 30.
VIENNA - The classic
amber lager style. Originally brewed in Austria by
the famous brewer, Anton Dreher, in 1841. It has now become rare in Austria.
Reminiscent of Octoberfest but with a less robust sweet malt character.
This distinctive style owes much of its character to the method of malting.
Vienna malt provides the dominant toasty flavor, aroma, and unique color.
May have low sweetness on the palate but should have a fairly dry finish.
Low to medium bitterness from "noble-type" hops. This beer is light to
medium bodied with a reddish-amber color. Very mild hop flavor and aroma
from "noble-type" hops put the emphasis on the malt. No fruitiness or
esters. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Newmans Albany Amber, Dos Equis Amber, Portland Lager, Ambier Genuine Vienna Style, Negra Modelo.
O.G.: 1.046 - 1.052; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5.5%; IBUs: 18 - 30; SRM: 8 - 20.
Hefe-Weizen - Overall
the profile of this beer is similar to Weizen. This is
a real ale style that is conditioned in the bottle or keg and will contain
some yeast sediment. Lager or ale yeast may be used to condition the beer.
Commercial examples: Pschorr Weizen, Wurzburger, Paulaner Hefe-Weizen, Prince Luitpold Hefe-Weissbier, Erdinger Mit Feiner Hefe-Weizen, Schneider Hefe-Weizen.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5%; IBUs: 8 - 14; SRM: 3 - 9.
Dunkel Weizen - Dark
version of Weizenbier and can be a bit stronger. The
color is deep copper to brown. Chocolate-like maltiness is evident. Medium
to full bodied beer with an emphasis of dark malt. It usually has a little less
of the characteristic clove-banana aromas. The combination of wheaty
tartness and the lusciousness of dark malts makes this style full of flavor
and complexity. Low diacetyl is OK. Low hop flavor and aroma is OK.
Commercial examples:EKU,Hecker-Pschorr Dark Wheat, Oberdorfer Dunkelweizen, Erdinger Dunkel Weizen.
O.G.: 1.045 - 1.055+; Alcohol: 4.5 - 6%; IBUs: 10 - 15; SRM: 17 - 22.
Weizenbock - Stronger and more
robust than Dunkelweizen. A medium- to
full-bodied beer, it is made from 40-60% wheat, but the palate emphasis is on
the malt. Hop flavor and aroma are very low, but the clove and banana flavor
and aroma are still evident. Can be either light or dark. Alcoholic strength
should be evident. Low diacetyl is OK.
Commercial examples: Erdinger Pinkantus, Shneider Aventinius.
O.G.: 1.066 - 1.080; Alcohol: 6.5 - 7.5%; IBUs: 10 - 15; SRM: 7 - 30.
Berliner Weisse - This tart, refreshing,
thirst-quenching beer can only be
brewed in Berlin, Germany, although a few brewers in Northern Germany brew
wheat beers in a similar style. Often called the Champagne of beers.
Anywhere up to 75% malted wheat is used and results in a characteristic foamy
large white head which tends to die quickly due to a lack of protein
structure. The ale-type yeast and up to 20% lactic combination produces
light body which is dry, tart, and almost sour. Very pale, effervescent,
modest alcohol content, no bitterness and low fruity notes. No diacetyl.
May be mixed with sweet syrups.
Commercial examples: Berliner Kindl Weisse, Schultheiss Berliner Weisse.
O.G.: 1.028 - 1.032; Alcohol: 2.5 - 3.5%; IBUs: 3 - 12; SRM: 2 - 4.
American Wheat Beer - A standard
ale yeast is used. Typically have light
grain flavors and aromas characteristic of wheat. The clovey aromas and
flavors of Bavarian weizenbiers are absent (and inappropriate). Low to
medium fruitiness and esters. Low to medium bitterness. Hop aroma and
flavor can be high or low. The proportion of wheat is often greater than
50%. Light to medium body, pale straw to gold although dark versions exist.
Low diacetyl is OK. The use of lager yeast is OK.
O.G.: 1.030 - 1.050; Alcohol: 3.5 - 5%; IBUs: 5 - 17; SRM: 2 - 4.
Wit or Belgian White Beer - This beer
has a low to medium body and is brewed
with up to 50% unmalted wheat, malted barley, and maybe oats. It is stronger
and maltier than Berlin Weiss but not as acidic. Wit is tangy and sharply
refreshing with hints of orange, honey, and even muscat. They typically have
a full yellow-white color and sport very white heads. Coriander seed,
Curacao orange peel, Hallertauer and/or Saaz may all be used. Low to medium
bitterness. Dry. Low diacetyl is OK. Has low to medium esters. Bottle
Commercial examples: Hoegaarden Witbier, Celis White, Steendonk, Blanche de Namur, Titje, Wieckse Witte.
O.G.: 1.044 - 1.050; Alcohol: 4.5 - 5%; IBUs: 20 - 35; SRM: 2 - 4.
Graetzer - Graetzer beer
is of low gravity and strongly hopped with
"noble-type" hops. It is made from 2/3 smoked, highly roasted wheat malt
1/3 pale barley malt. A single step infusion mash is usually used. The
flavor is very smokey and the style is very rare.
O.G.: 1030 - 1034; Alcohol: 3 - 3.5%; IBUs: 50.
Grodzisk - Grodzisk is a specialty of Grodzisk, Poland, near Poznan. It is made with a significant proportion of malted wheat, smoked over oak. The beer is top-fermented, perhaps with some wild yeast influence, and bottled-conditioned. It can be low in alcohol or of conventional strength. It is an extremely pale golden beer, with a faint haze, adense white head, and a surprisingly light body. It has a sourish, sappy, oaky aroma (like a box that had held smoked herring), and a smoky, very deep, crisp palate. After a period of storage, it begins to develop a tart, quenching acidity.
Tim Dawson, 5/11/95, email@example.com
Manchester NH, Brew Free or Die!
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