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Beer Styles (Verbose)

See also Beer Style Descriptions


Beer Freshness Brewpubs Beer Sayings Stereogram


1997 Category Descriptions

Carefully read each style description before selecting a specific category for your entry. Category numbers have been changed in some cases.

There are 24 categories of lager, ale or mixed-style beers; three categories of mead; and one category of cider. All have subcategories that use small-letter designations. If a beer is entered, for example, as "10b) strong Scotch ale" it will be judged as a Strong Scotch Ale against the other entries in the English and Scottish Strong Ale category.

The following section gives more detailed information about each category and subcategory. You should use this information to decide how to enter your homebrew. Please note that when a style characteristic is designated "OK," this means it does not have to be apparent but it is permissible in amounts indicated. When the term "noble-type" hops is used, it refers to European continental-type hops such as Saaz, Hallertauer, Tettnanger and Spalt, to name a few.

Categories are designated by numbers. Subcategories are designated by letters.

ALES

Ales are distinguished by the use of top-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains. These strains perform at warmer temperatures, the ferments are faster and fermentation byproducts are generally more evident. Ales tend to have a very pronounced palate where esters and fruity qualities are part of the character.

1. Barley Wine

a) English-Style Barley Wine
Tawny copper to dark brown in color with a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by the perception of low to medium bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may be minimal to medium, and use of English hop varieties is typical. Diacetyl should be very low. A caramel and vinous aroma and flavor are part of the character. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

b) American-Style Barley Wine
Tawny copper to dark brown in color with a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by the perception of medium to assertive bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may be medium to very high, and use of American hop varieties is typical. Diacetyl should be very low. A caramel and vinous aroma and flavor are part of the character. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

2. Belgian and French Ale

a) Flanders Brown/Oud Bruin
A light- to medium-bodied, deep copper to brown ale characterized by a slight vinegar or lactic sourness and spiciness. A fruity-estery character is apparent with no hop flavor or aroma. Flanders brown ales have low to medium bitterness. Very small quantities of diacetyl are acceptable. Roasted malt character in aroma and flavor is acceptable at low levels.

b) Dubbel
This medium to full-bodied, dark amber- to brown-colored ale has a malty sweetness and nutty, chocolate, roast malt aroma. A faint hop aroma is acceptable. Dubbels also are characterized by low bitterness and no hop flavor. Very small quantities of diacetyl are acceptable. Fruity esters (especially banana) are appropriate at low levels. Head retention is dense and mousselike.

c) Tripel
Tripels often are characterized by a spicy, phenolic-clove flavor. A banana fruity ester also is common. These pale/light-colored ales usually finish sweet. The beer is characteristically medium to full-bodied with a neutral hop and malt balance. Low hop flavor is OK. Alcohol strength and flavor should be perceived as evident.

d) Belgian-Style Pale Ale
Belgian-style pale ales are characterized by low, but noticeable, hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Light to medium body and low malt aroma are typical. They are golden to deep amber in color. ÒNoble-typeÓ hops are commonly used. Low to medium fruity esters are evident in aroma and flavor. Low caramel or toasted malt flavor is OK. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

e) Belgian Strong Ale
Belgian strong ales can range from pale to dark brown and often are vinous, with darker styles typically colored with dark candi sugar. The perception of hop bitterness can vary from low to high, while hop aroma and flavor are very low. These beers are highly attenuated and have a highly alcoholic character – being medium bodied rather than full bodied. Very little or no diacetyl is perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

f) White (or Wit)
Belgian white ales are brewed using unmalted and/or malted wheat and malted barley and can be spiced with coriander and orange peel. These very pale beers are typically cloudy. The style is further characterized by the use of Ònoble-typeÓ hops to achieve a low to medium bitterness and hop flavor. This dry beer has low to medium body, no diacetyl and a notable fruity-ester content.

g) Biere de Garde
Deep golden to deep copper/light brown. Medium to high malt flavor. Light to medium body. Medium hop bitterness. Light to medium hop flavor and aroma. May have light to medium fruitiness, esteriness. Lager yeast may be used. Earthy, cellarlike, musty aromas are OK. Traditionally, a French-style beer that improves with some aging.

3. Belgian-Style Lambic

a) Belgian-Style Lambic
Unblended, naturally fermented lambic is intensely estery, sour and acetic flavored. Low in carbonation, these hazy beers are brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley. They are very low in hop bitterness. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry and light-bodied.

b) Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic
Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic – These unflavored blended and bottle fermented lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet and are characterized by intensely fruity-estery, sour and acidic flavors. These pale beers are brewed with unmalted wheat, malted barley, and stale, aged hops. They are very low in hop bitterness. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry and light bodied.

c) Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic
These beers, also known by the names framboise, kriek, peche, etc., are characterized by fruit flavors and aromas. The intense color reflects the choice of fruit. Sourness predominates the flavor profile. These flavored Belgian-style lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet.

4. Mild and Brown Ale

a) English Light Mild
Range from light amber to light brown in color. Malty sweet tones dominate the flavor profile with little hop bitterness or flavor. Hop aroma can be light. Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity ester level is very low. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

b) English Dark Mild
English dark milds range from deep copper to dark brown (often with a red tint) in color. Malty sweet, caramel, licorice and roast malt tones dominate the flavor and aroma profile with very little hop flavor or aroma. Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity-ester level is very low.

c) English Brown
Range from deep copper to brown in color. They have a medium body, and a dry to sweet maltiness dominates with very little hop flavor or aroma. Fruity-ester flavors are appropriate. Diacetyl should be very low, if evident. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

d) American Brown
Range from deep copper to brown in color. Evident hop aroma and increased bitterness. They have medium body. Estery and fruity-ester characters should be subdued, and diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

5. English-Style Pale Ale
a) Classic English Pale Ale
Golden- to copper-colored and displays English-variety hop character. High hop bitterness, flavor and aroma should be evident. This medium-bodied pale ale has low to medium maltiness. Low caramel is allowable. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to strong. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Diacetyl (butterscotch character) should be at very low levels or not perceived.

b) India Pale Ale
Characterized by intense hop bitterness with a high alcohol content. A high hopping rate and the use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This golden- to deep-copper-colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor (in addition to the hop bitterness). India pale ales possess medium maltiness and body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

6. American-Style Ale
a) American Pale Ale
Range from golden to light copper color. The style is characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. American pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

b) American-Style Amber Ale
American amber ales range from light copper to light brown in color. Amber ales are characterized by American-variety hops used to produce medium to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. Amber ales have medium to high maltiness with medium to low caramel character. They should have medium body. The style may have low levels of fruity-ester flavor and aroma. Diacetyl should be absent or barely perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

c) American Wheat
This beer can be made using either an ale or lager yeast. Brewed with 30 to 50 percent wheat, hop rates may be higher, and carbonation is lower than German-style wheat beers. A fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical but at low levels; however, phenolic, clovelike characteristics should not be perceived. Color is usually golden to light amber, and the body should be light to medium in character. Diacetyl should be at very low levels.

7. English Bitter

a) English Ordinary Bitter
Ordinary bitter is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness, light to medium body, and low to medium residual malt sweetness. Hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer's discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor but should be minimized in this form of bitter. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

b) English (Special) Best Bitter
Special bitter is more robust than ordinary bitter. It has medium body and medium residual malt sweetness. It is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness. Hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer’s discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

c) English (Extra Special) Strong Bitter
Extra special bitter possesses medium to strong hop qualities in aroma, flavor and bitterness. The residual malt sweetness of this richly flavored, full-bodied bitter is more pronounced than in other bitters. It is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

8. Scottish Ale

a) Scottish Light Ale
Scottish light ales are light bodied. Little bitterness is perceived, and hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Despite its lightness, Scottish light ale will still have a low degree of malty, caramellike, soft and chewy character. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown in color and may possess a faint smoky character. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than are typical for draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

b) Scottish Heavy Ale
Scottish heavy ale is moderate in strength and dominated by a smooth, sweet maltiness balanced with low, but perceptible, hop bitterness. Hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Scottish heavy ale will have a medium degree of malty, caramellike, soft and chewy character in flavor and mouthfeel. It has medium body, and fruity esters are very low, if evident. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown in color and may possess a faint smoky character. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

c) Scottish Export Ale
Overriding characters of Scottish export ale are sweet, caramellike and malty. Its bitterness is perceived as low to medium. Hop flavor or aroma may be perceived at low levels. It has medium body. Fruity-ester character may be apparent. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown in color and may possess a faint smoky character. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

9. Porter
a) Brown Porter
Brown porters are mid to dark brown (may have red tint) in color. No roast barley or strong burnt malt character should be perceived. Low to medium malt sweetness is acceptable along with medium hop bitterness. This is a light- to medium-bodied beer. Fruity esters are acceptable. Hop flavor and aroma may vary from being negligible to medium in character.

b) Robust Porter
Robust porters are black in color and have a roast malt flavor but no roast barley flavor. These porters have a sharp bitterness of black malt without a highly burnt/charcoal flavor. Robust porters range from medium to full in body and have a malty sweetness. Hop bitterness is medium to high, with hop aroma and flavor ranging from negligible to medium. Fruity esters should be evident and balanced with roast malt and hop bitterness.

10. English and Scottish Strong Ale
a) English Old Ale/English Strong Ale
Amber to copper to medium brown in color, English strong ales are medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should contribute to the character of this ale. Bitterness should be evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel sweetness. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

b) Strong Scotch Ale
Scotch ales are overwhelmingly malty and full bodied. Perception of hop bitterness is very low. Hop flavor and aroma are very low or nonexistent. Color ranges from deep copper to brown. The clean alcohol flavor balances the rich and dominant sweet maltiness in flavor and aroma. A caramel character is often a part of the profile. Fruity esters are generally at medium aromatic and flavor levels. A peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

To top 11. Stout
a) Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Dry stouts have an initial malt and caramel flavor profile with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Dry stouts achieve a dry-roasted character through the use of roasted barley. Some slight acidity may be perceived but is not necessary. Hop aroma and flavor should not be perceived. Dry stouts have a light to medium body. Fruity esters are minimal and overshadowed by notable hop bitterness and roasted barley character. Diacetyl (butterscotch) should be very low or not perceived. Head retention and rich character should be part of its visual character.

b) Foreign-Style Stout
Foreign-style stouts have an initial malt sweetness and caramel flavor with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Some slight acidity is permissible, and a medium- to full-bodied mouthfeel is appropriate. Hop aroma and flavor should not be perceived. The perception of fruity esters is low. Diacetyl (butterscotch) should be negligible or not perceived. Head retention is excellent.

c) Sweet Stout
Sweet stouts, also referred to as cream stouts, have less roasted bitter flavor and more full-bodied mouthfeel than dry stouts. The style can be given more body with milk sugar (lactose) before bottling. Malt sweetness, chocolate and caramel flavor should dominate the flavor profile. Hops should balance sweetness without contributing apparent flavor or aroma.

d) Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal stouts typically include oatmeal in their grist, resulting in a pleasant, full flavor and smooth profile that is rich without being grainy. Roasted malt character of caramel and chocolate should be evident, smooth and not bitter. Bitterness is moderate not high. Hop flavor and aroma are optional but should not overpower the overall balance. This is a medium- to full-bodied beer with minimal fruity esters.

e) Imperial Stout
Dark copper to very black, imperial stouts typically have alcohol contents exceeding 8 percent. The extremely rich malty flavor and aroma are balanced with assertive hopping and fruity-ester characteristics. Perceived bitterness can be moderate, balanced with malt character, to very high in the darker versions. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be perceived moderately but should not overwhelm the overall character. Hop aroma can be subtle to overwhelmingly floral. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be very low.

LAGER

Lagers are produced with bottom-fermenting Saccharomyces uvarum (a.k.a. S. carlsbergensis) strains of yeast at colder fermentation temperatures than ales. This cooler environment inhibits the natural production of esters and other fermentation byproducts, creating a “cleaner-tasting” product.

12. Bock

a) Traditional Bock
Traditional bocks are made with all malt and are strong, malty, medium- to full-bodied, bottom-fermented beers with low hop bitterness that should increase proportionately with the starting gravity. Hop flavor should be low, and hop aroma should be very low. Bocks can range in color from deep copper to dark brown. Fruity esters may be perceived at low levels.

b) German-Style Helles Bock/Maibock
The German word "helles" means light colored, and, as such, a helles bock is light in color. Maibocks also are light-colored bocks. The malty character should come through in the aroma and flavor. Body is medium to full. Hop bitterness should be low, while "noble-type" hop aroma and flavor may be at low to medium levels. Bitterness increases with gravity. Fruity esters should be minimal. Diacetyl levels should be very low. Chill haze should not be perceived.

c) Doppelbock
Malty sweetness is dominant but should not be cloying. Doppelbocks are full bodied and deep amber to dark brown color. Astringency from roast malts is absent. Alcoholic strength is high and hop rates increase with gravity. Hop bitterness and flavor should be low and hop aroma absent. Fruity esters are commonly perceived, but at low to moderate levels.

d) Eisbock
Deep copper to black. Very alcoholic. Aroma and flavor profile is similar to doppelbock. Traditionally brewed by freezing a doppelbock and removing the resulting ice to concentrate the beer and increase the alcohol content.

13. German Dark Lager
a) Munich Dunkel
These beers have a pronounced malty aroma and flavor that dominate over the clean, crisp, moderate hop bitterness. A classic Münchner dunkel should have a chocolatelike, roasted malt, breadlike aroma that comes from the use of Munich dark malt. Chocolate or roast malts can be used, but the percentage should be minimal. "Noble-type" hop flavor and aroma should be low but perceptible. Diacetyl is acceptable at very low levels. Fruity esters and chill haze should not be perceived.

b) Schwarzbier
Dark brown to black. Medium body. Roasted malt evident. Low sweetness in aroma and flavor. Low to medium bitterness. Low bitterness from roast malt. "Noble-type" hop flavor and aroma are OK. No fruitiness, esters. Low diacetyl

14. German Light Lager
a) Munich Helles
This beer has a relatively low bitterness. It is a medium-bodied malt-emphasized beer, however certain versions can approach a balance of hop character and maltiness. There should not be any caramel character. Color is light straw to golden. Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be perceived.

b) Dortmunder/European-Style Export
Both starting gravity and medium bitterness are somewhat higher than a Munich helles. Hop flavor and aroma are perceptible but low. The color of this style may be slightly darker, and the body will be more full but still medium bodied. Fruity esters, chill haze and diacetyl should not be perceived.

To top 15. Classic Pilsener
a) German-Style Pilsener
A classic German Pilsener is very light straw/golden color and well hopped. Hop bitterness is high. Hop aroma and flavor are moderate and quite obvious. It is a well-attenuated and medium-bodied beer, but a malty accent can be perceived. Fruity esters and diacetyl should not be perceived. There should be no chill haze. The head should be dense and rich.

b) Bohemian Pilsener
Pilseners in this subcategory are similar to German Pilseners, however they are slightly more full bodied and can be as dark as light amber. This style balances moderate to high bitterness and "noble-type" hop aroma and flavor with a malty, slightly sweet medium body. Diacetyl may be perceived in very low amounts. There should be no chill haze. The head should be dense and rich.

c) American-Style Pilsener
This classic and unique Pre-Prohibition American-style Pilsener is straw to deep gold in color. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma are medium to high, and use of "noble-type" hops for flavor and aroma is preferred. Up to 25 percent corn in the grist should be used, and some slight sweetness and flavor of corn are expected. A low level of DMS is acceptable. Malt flavor and aroma are medium. This is a medium bodied beer. Fruity esters and citrusy flavors or aromas should not be perceived. Slight diacetyl is acceptable. There should be no chill haze.
16. American Lager
a) American Lager
Very light in body and color, American lagers are very clean, crisp and aggressively carbonated. Malt sweetness is absent. Corn, rice or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. Hop aroma is absent. Hop bitterness is slight, and hop flavor is mild or negligible. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

b) American-Style Light Lager
According to Food and Drug Administration regulations, when used in reference to caloric content, "light" beers must have at least 25 percent fewer calories than the ÒregularÓ version of that beer. These beers are extremely light colored, light in body and high in carbonation. Flavor is mild, and bitterness is very low. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

c) American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale
This mild, pale, light-bodied ale is made using a warm fermentation (top or bottom) and cold lagering or by blending top- and bottom-fermented beers. Hop bitterness and flavor are very low. Hop aroma often is absent. Sometimes referred to as cream ales, these beers are crisp and refreshing. A fruity or estery aroma may be perceived. Diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

d) American-Style Premium Lager
Similar to the American lager, this style is a more flavorful, medium-bodied beer and may contain few or no adjuncts. Color may be deeper than the American lager, and alcohol content and bitterness may be greater. Hop aroma and flavor are low or negligible. Chill haze, fruity esters and diacetyl should be absent.

e) American Dark Lager
This beer' maltiness is less pronounced, and its body is light. Non-malt adjuncts often are used, and hop rates are low. Hop bitterness flavor and aroma are low. Carbonation is high and more typical of an American-style light lager than a European dark lager. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

17. Vienna/Märzen/Oktoberfest
a) Vienna
Beers in this category are reddish brown or copper colored. They are light to medium in body. The beer is characterized by malty aroma, slight malt sweetness and clean hop bitterness. "Noble-type" hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

b) Märzen/Oktoberfest
Märzens are characterized by a medium body and broad range of color. Oktoberfests can range from golden to reddish brown. Sweet or toasty maltiness should dominate slightly over a clean hop bitterness. Malt character should be toasted rather than strongly caramel. Hop aroma and flavor should be low but notable. Fruity esters are minimal, if perceived at all. Diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

HYBRID/MIXED STYLES

The following beers are fermented or aged with mixed traditions. They can be brewed as an ale or lager (please include unusual ingredients) or be made using unusual techniques or procedures.

18. German-Style Ale

a) Kölsch
Kölsch is warm-fermented and aged at cold temperatures (German ale or alt-style beer). Kölsch is characterized by a golden color and a slightly dry, winy and subtly sweet palate. Caramel character should not be evident. The body is light. This beer has low hop flavor and aroma with medium bitterness. Wheat can be used in brewing this beer which is fermented using ale or lager yeasts. Fruity esters should be minimally perceived, if at all. Chill haze should be absent or minimal.

b) Düsseldorf-Style Altbier
Copper to brown in color, this German ale may be highly hopped (though the 25 to 35 IBU range is more normal for the majority of altbiers from Düsseldorf) and has a medium body and malty flavor. A variety of malts, including wheat, may be used. Hop character may be evident in the flavor. The overall impression is clean, crisp and flavorful. Fruity esters should be low. No diacetyl or chill haze should be perceived.

19. German-style Wheat Beer
a) Berliner Weisse
This is the lightest of all the German wheat beers. The unique combination of a yeast and lactic acid bacteria fermentation yields a beer that is acidic, highly attenuated and very light bodied. The carbonation of a Berliner weisse is high, and hop rates are very low. Hop character should not be perceived. Fruity esters are evident. No diacetyl should be perceived.

b) Weizen/Weissbier
The aroma and flavor of a weissbier is decidedly fruity and phenolic. The phenolic characteristics are often described as clove- or nutmeglike and can be smoky or even vanillalike. These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, and hop rates are quite low. Weissbier is highly carbonated and medium- to full-bodied. Bananalike esters are often present. If yeast is present, the beer will appropriately have a subtle breadlike yeast flavor and a characteristically fuller mouthfeel. No diacetyl should be perceived. Cloudiness is OK.

c) Dunkelweizen
This beer style is characterized by a distinct sweet maltiness, and roasted malt and chocolatelike character, but the estery and phenolic elements of a pale weissbier are present. Color can range from copper-brown to dark brown. Carbonation and hop bitterness are similar to a pale South German-style weissbier. Usually dark barley malts are used in conjunction with dark Cara or color malts, and the percentage of wheat malt is at least 50 percent. No diacetyl should be perceived.

d) Weizenbock
This style can be either pale or dark and, like a bottom-fermented bock, has a high starting gravity and alcohol content. The malty sweetness of a weizenbock is balanced with a clovelike phenolic and fruity-estery banana element to produce a well-rounded aroma and flavor. As is true with all German wheat beers, hop rates are low, and carbonation is high. It has a medium to full body. If dark, a mild roast malt character should emerge in flavor and, to a lesser degree, in the aroma. No diacetyl should be perceived.

20. Smoked Beer
a) Bamberg-Style Rauchbier
Rauchbier should have smoky characters prevalent in the aroma and flavor. The beer is generally toasted, malty sweet and full bodied with low to medium hop bitterness. "Noble-type" hop flavor is low, but perceptible. Low "noble-type" hop aroma is optional. The aroma should strike a balance between malt, hop and smoke. Fruity esters, diacetyl and chill haze should not be perceived.

b) Classic-Style Smoked Beer
Any classic style of beer can be smoked. The goal is to reach a balance between the style’s character and the smoky properties.

c) Other Smoked Beer
Any beer to which smoke flavors have been added.

To top 21. Fruit and Vegetable Beer
a) Fruit and Vegetable Beer
Any beers using fruits or vegetables as an adjunct in either primary or secondary fermentation, providing obvious, yet harmonious, fruit and vegetable qualities. Fruit and vegetable qualities should not be overpowered by hop character. If a fruit or vegetable (such as juniper berry or chili pepper) has an herbal or spice quality, it is more appropriate to enter it in the Herb and Spice Beer category.

b) Classic-Style Fruit and Vegetable Beer
Any classic-style beer using fruits or vegetables as part of the flavor profile and providing obvious, yet harmonious, fruit and vegetable qualities.

22. Herb and Spice Beer
a) Herb and Spice Beer
Use of herbs or spices (derived from roots, seeds, fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc.) other than hops to create a distinct character. Underhopping allows the spice or herb to contribute to the flavor profile.

b) Classic-Style Herb and Spice Beer
Any classic-style beer using herbs or spices as part of the flavor profile and providing obvious, yet harmonious, herb and spice flavor.

23. Specialty and Experimental Beer
Any ale or lager brewed using unusual techniques and/or ingredients other than (or in addition to) malted barley as a unique contribution to the overall character of the beer. Examples of specialty beers include (but are not limited to) beers brewed with honey, maple sap or syrup; worts heated with white-hot stones (Steinbier); and low- or nonalcoholic beers. Examples do not include the use of fruit or herbs, although they can be used to add to the character of other ingredients. The overall uniqueness and experimental quality of the beer should be considered.

a) Specialty Beer
Any non-classic style fitting the above description.

b) Classic-Style Specialty Beer
Classic-Style Specialty Beer – Any classic ale or lager to which special ingredients have been added or a special process has been used. Examples include honey Pilsener, maple porter, sorghum stout, pumpkin pale ale. Brewer should specify classic style.

24. California Common Beer
a) California Common Beer
Light amber to copper. Medium body. Toasted or caramellike maltiness in aroma and flavor. Medium to high hop bitterness. Hop flavor medium to high. Aroma medium. Fruitiness and esters low. Low diacetyl OK. Uses lager yeast. Fermented at warm temperatures but aged at cold temperatures.

MEAD

Meads are produced by the fermentation of honey, water, yeast and optional ingredients such as fruit, herbs and/or spices. The final gravity roughly determines whether the mead is: dry Ð less than 1.010, medium Ð 1.010 to 1.025 or sweet Ð 1.025 and higher. Final gravity is only a guide. The final flavor character of the product should be used to determine the perceived level of sweetness. The sweetness level must be designated on the entry form. Wine, champagne, sherry, mead, ale or lager yeast may be used. In all categories the honey character must be apparent in both the aroma and flavor, and an overall balance between sweetness, acidity and ingredients should be achieved. Honey should make up greater than 50 percent of fermentable ingredients. Meads should be free of harsh or stale characteristics.

25. Traditional Mead and Braggot

a) Sparkling Traditional Mead
Effervescent. Dry, medium or sweet (designate on entry form). Light to medium body. No flavors other than honey. Honey character in aroma and flavor. Low to medium fruity acidity. Color depends on honey type.

b) Still Traditional Mead
Not effervescent. Dry, medium sweet or very sweet (designate on entry form). Light to full body. Honey character in aroma and flavor. Low to medium fruity acidity. Color depends on honey type.

c) Sparkling Braggot
Effervescent. Made with malt and honey. Dry, medium or sweet (designate on entry form). Light to medium body. Honey flavors predominate.

d) Still Braggot
Not effervescent. Made with malt. Dry, medium or sweet (designate on entry form). Light to medium body. Honey flavors predominate.

26. Fruit and Vegetable Mead
Melomel is made with any fruit or vegetable except apples or grapes. Cyser is made with apples and/or apple juice. Pyment is made with grapes. Ingredients should be expressed in aroma and flavor. Color should represent ingredients. Honey character apparent in aroma and flavor. Absence of harsh or stale character. Can be dry, medium or sweet, which must be designated on entry form.

a) Sparkling Melomel
Effervescent. Light to medium body.

b) Still Melomel
Not effervescent. Light to full body.

c) Sparkling Cyser
Effervescent. Light to medium body.

d) Still Cyser
Not effervescent. Light to full body.

e) Sparkling Pyment
Effervescent. Light to medium body.

f) Still Pyment
Not effervescent. Light to full body.

27. Herb and Spice Mead
Metheglin is made with any herbs or spices. Hippocras is made with spices and grapes (spiced pyment). Ingredients should be expressed in aroma and flavor. Color should represent ingredients. Honey character must be apparent in aroma and flavor. Absence of harsh or stale character. Can be dry, medium or sweet, which must be designated on entry form.

a) Sparkling Metheglin
Effervescent. Light to medium body.

b) Still Metheglin
Not effervescent. Light to full body.

c) Sparkling Hippocras
Effervescent. Light to medium body.

d) Still Hippocras
Not effervescent. Light to full body.

CIDER

Ciders are produced by the fermentation of apple juices and optional ingredients such as fruits and spices. Wine, champagne, ale, lager or wild yeasts may be used.

28. Cider
Cider made with honey as an adjunct (cyser) should be entered in category 26: Fruit and Vegetable Mead.

a) Still
Not effervescent. Less than 5.5 percent alcohol by weight (7 percent by volume). Can be dry or sweet. Pale yellow color, must be clear or brilliant. Apple aroma. Light-bodied and crisp apple flavor. Sugar adjuncts may be used.

b) Sparkling
Effervescent but not foamy. May be force carbonated. No head. Less than 6.3 percent alcohol by weight (8 percent by volume). Dry or sweet. Pale yellow color, must be clear and brilliant. Light to medium body, crisp apple taste. Sugar adjuncts may be used.

c) New England-Style
Still or sparkling dry cider. Carbonation must be natural. Between 6.3 and 11 percent alcohol by weight (8 and 14 percent by volume). Pale to medium yellow color. Pronounced apple aroma. Medium to full body. Balanced by drying tannins but never hot because of excess alcohol. Adjuncts include white and brown sugars, molasses or raisins. Wild or wine yeasts only.

d) Specialty Cider
Any and all adjuncts and yeasts may be used. Alcohol content must be below 11 percent alcohol by weight (14 percent by volume). At least 75 percent apple juice must be used in the must.

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1997 Style Guidelines Chart

                          OG           FG         %Alcohol           Color
                          Balling      Balling    by wgt     IBUs    SRM
                          (Plato)      (Plato)    (by vol)           (EBC)

Ale

1. Barley Wine a) English-Style Barley Wine 1.085-120 1.024-32 6.7-9.6 50-100 14-22 (21-30.0) (6-8) (8.5-12.2) (28-43) b) American-Style Barley Wine 1.085-120 1.024-32 6.7-9.6 50-100 14-22 (21-30.0) (6-8) (8.5-12.2) (28-43) 2. Belgian and French Ale a) Flanders Brown/ 1.044-56 1.008-16 3.8-4.1 15-25 12-18 Oud Bruin (11-14) (2-4) (4.8-5.2) (24-35) b) Dubbel 1.050-70 1.012-16 4.7-5.9 18-25 10-14 (12.5-17.5) (3-4) (6-7.5) (20-28) c) Tripel 1.060-96 1.016-24 5.5-7.9 20-25 4-6 (15-24) (4-6) (7-10.1) (7-11) d) Belgian Pale Ale 1.044-54 1.008-14 3.2-4.9 20-30 3.5-12 (11-13.5) (2-4) (4.1-6.2) (7-24) e) Belgian Strong Ale 1.064-96 1.012-24 5.5-8.6 20-50 4-20 (16-24) (3-6) (7-11) (7-39) f) White (Wit) 1.044-50 1.006-10 3.8-4.1 15-25 2-4 (11-12.5) (2-3) (4.8-5.2) (4-8) g) Bière de Garde 1.060-80 1.012-16 3.5-6.3 25-30 8-12 (15-20) (3-4) (4.5-8) (16-24) 3. Belgian-Style Lambic a) Belgian-Style Lambic 1.044-56 1.000-10 4-5 11-23 6-13 (11-14) (0-3) (5.1-6.4) (12-26) b) Belgian-Style 1.044-56 1.000-10 4.0-5.0 11-23 6-13 Gueuze Lambic (11-14) (0-5) (5.1-6.4) (12-26) c) Belgian-Style 1.040-72 1.008-16 4.0-5.5 15-21 N/A Fruit Lambic (10-18) (2-4) (5.1-7.0) (hue of fruit color) 4. Mild and Brown Ale a) English Light Mild 1.030-38 1.004-08 2.7-3.2 10-24 8-17 (7.5-9.5) (1-2) (3.2-4.1) (16-33) b) English Dark Mild 1.030-38 1.004-08 2.7-3.2 10-24 17-34 (7.5-9.5) (1-2) (3.4-4.1) (33-67) c) English Brown 1.040-50 1.008-14 3.3-4.7 15-25 15-22 (10-12.5) (2-4) (4.2-6) (30-43) d) American Brown 1.040-55 1.010-18 3.3-4.7 25-60 15-22 (10-13.8) (3-5) (4.2-6.0) (30-43) 5. English-Style Pale Ale a) Classic English 1.044-56 1.008-16 3.5-4.2 20-40 4-11 Pale Ale (11-14) (2-4) (4.5-5.4) (8-22) b) India Pale Ale 1.050-70 1.012-18 4-6 40-60 8-14 (12.5-17.5) (3-5) (5.1-7.6) (16-28) 6. American-Style Ale a) American Pale Ale 1.044-56 1.008-16 3.5-4.3 20-40 4-11 (11-14) (2-4) (4.5-5.5) (8-22) a) American Amber Ale 1.044-56 1.008-16 3.5-4.3 20-40 11-18 (11-14) (2-4) (4.5-5.5) (22-35) c) American Wheat 1.030-50 1.004-18 2.8-3.6 5-17 2-8 (7.5-12.5) (1-5) (3.6-4.6) (4-16) 7. English Bitter a) English Ordinary 1.033-38 1.006-12 2.4-3.0 20-35 8-12 Bitter (8.2-9.5) (2-3) (3.1-3.8) (16-24) b) English Best 1.038-45 1.006-12 3.3-3.8 28-46 12-14 (Special) Bitter (9.5-11.3) (2-3) (4.2-4.8) (24-28) c) English Strong (Extra Special) Bitter 1.046-60 1.010-16 3.8-4.6 30-55 12-14 (11.5-15) (3-4) (4.8-5.9) (24-28) 8. Scottish Ale a) Scottish Light Ale 1.030-35 1.006-12 2.2-2.8 9-20 8-17 (7.5-8.8) (2-3) (2.8-3.6) (16-33) b) Scottish Heavy Ale 1.035-40 1.0010-14 2.8-3.2 12-20 10-19 (8.7-10) (3-4) (3.6-4.1) (20-37) c) Scottish Export Ale 1.040-50 1.010-18 3.2-3.6 15-25 10-19 (10-12.5) (3-5) (4.1-4.6) (20-37) 9. Porter a) Brown Porter 1.045-60 1.008-16 3.5-4.7 20-30 20-30 (11.3-15.0) (2-4) (4.5-6.0) (39-59) b) Robust Porter 1.045-60 1.008-16 4.0-5.2 25-40 30+ (11.3-15.0) (2-4) (5.1-6.6) (59+) 10. English and Scottish Strong Ale a) English Old Ale/ 1.055-75 1.012-20 4.8-6.4 30-40 10-16 English Strong Ale (13.8-18.8) (2-5) (6.1-8.2) (20-32) b) Strong Scotch Ale 1.072-85 1.016-28 5.2-6.7 25-35 10-25 (18-21.3) (4-7) (6.8-8.5) (20-49) 11. Stout a) Classic Irish-Style 1.038-48 1.008-14 3.2-4.2 30-40 40+ Dry Stout (9.5-12) (2-4) (4.1-5.4) (79+) b) Foreign-Style Stout 1.052-72 1.008-20 4.8-6 30-60 40+ (13-18) (2-5) (6.1-7.6) (79+) c) Sweet Stout 1.045-56 1.012-20 2.5-5 15-25 40+ (11.3-14) (3-5) (3.2-6.4) (79+) d) Oatmeal Stout 1.038-56 1.008-20 3.0-4.8 20-40 20+ (9.5-14) (2-5) (3.8-6.1) (39+) e) Imperial Stout 1.075-90 1.020-30 5.5-7 50-80 20+ (18.8-22.5) (5-8) (7-8.9) (39+)

Lager

12. Bock a) Traditional Bock 1.066-74 1.018-24 5-6 20-30 20-30 (16.5-18.5) (5-6) (6.4-7.6) (30-59) b) German-Style Helles Bock/Maibock 1.066-68 1.012-20 5-6 20-35 4-10 (16.5-17) (3-5) (6.4-7.6) (8-20) c) Doppelbock 1.074-80 1.020-28 5.2-6.2 17-27 12-30 (18.5-20) (5-7) (6.6-7.9) (24-59) d) Eisbock 1.092-116 n/a 6.8-11.3 26-33 18-50 (23-29) (8.7-14.4) (35-99) 13. German Dark Lager a) Munich Dunkel 1.052-56 1.014-18 3.8-4.2 16-25 17-20 (13-14) (4-5) (4.8-5.4) (33-39) b) Schwarzbier 1.044-52 1.012-16 3-3.9 22-30 25-30 (11-13) (3-4) (3.8-5) (49-59) 14. German Light Lager a) Münchner-Style Helles 1.044-50 1.008-12 3.8-4.4 18-25 3-5 (11-12.5) (2-3) (4.8-5.6) (6-10) b) Dortmunder/European- 1.048-56 1.010-14 4-4.8 23-29 3-5 Style Export (12-14) (4-4) (5.1-6.1) (6-10) 15. Classic Pilsener a) German Pilsener 1.044-50 1.006-12 3.6-4.2 30-40 3-4 (11-12.5) (2-3) (4.6-5.4) (6-8) b) Bohemian Pilsener 1.044-56 1.014-20 3.2-4 35-45 3-5 (11-14) (4-5) (4.1-5.1) (6-10) b) American-Style 1.045-60 1.012-18 3.9-4.7 20-40 3-6 Pilsner (11.3-15) (3-5) (3.9-4.7) (6-12) 16. American Lager a) American Lager 1.040-46 1.006-10 3.2-3.8 5-17 2-4 (10-11.5) (2-3) (4.1-4.8) (4-8) b) American-Style 1.024-40 1.002-08 2.8-3.5 8-15 2-4 Light Lager (6-10) (1-2) (3.6-4.5) (4-8) c) American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale 1.044-56 1.004-10 3.4-4.5 10-22 2-5 (11-14) (1-3) (4.3-5.7) (4-10) d) American-Style 1.046-50 1.010-14 3.6-4 13-23 2-8 Premium Lager (11.5-12.5) (3-4) (4.6-5.1) (4-16) e) American Dark Lager 1.040-50 1.008-12 3.2-4.4 14-20 10-20 (10-12.5) (2-3) (4.1-5.6) (20-39) 17. Vienna/Märzen/Oktoberfest a) Vienna 1.048-56 1.012-18 3.8-4.3 22-28 8-12 (12-14) (3-5) (4.8-5.5) (16-24) b) Märzen/Oktoberfest 1.050-56 1.012-120 4-4.7 18-25 5-15 (12.5-14) (3-5) (5.1-6.0) (8-30)

Mixed Style

To top (Lager-Ale) 18. German-Style Ale a) Kölsch 1.042-46 1.006-10 3.8-4.1 20-30 4-5 (10.5-11.5) (2-3) (4.8-5.2) (7-10) b) Düsseldorf-Style 1.044-48 1.008-14 3.6-4 25-48 11-19 Altbier (11-12) (2-4) (4.6-5.1) (22-37) 19. German-Style Wheat Beer a) Berliner Weisse 1.028-32 1.004-06 2.2-2.7 3-6 2-4 (7-8) (1-2) (2.8-3.4) (4-8) b) Weizen/Weissbier 1.046-56 1.008-16 3.9-4.4 10-15 3-9 (11.5-14) (2-4) (5.0-5.6) (6-18) c) Dunkelweizen 1.048-56 1.008-16 3.8-4.3 10-15 16-23 (12-14) (2-4) (4.8-5.5) (32-45) d) Weizenbock 1.066-80 1.0016-28 5.5-7.5 10-15 5-30 (16.5-20) (4-7) (7.0-9.6) (10-59) 20. Smoked Beer a) Bamberg-Style 1.048-52 1.012-16 3.4-3.8 20-30 10-20 Rauchbier Lager (12-13) (3-4) (4.3-4.8) (20-39) b) Classic-Style refer to individual Smoked Beer classic styles c) Other Smoked Beer varies widely 21. Fruit and Vegetable Beer a) Fruit and Vegetable 1.030-110 1.006-30 2-9.5 5-70 5-50 Beer (7.5-27.5) (2-8) (2.5-12.1) (10-99) b) Classic-Style Fruit refer to individual and Vegetable Beer classic styles 22. Herb and Spice Beer a) Herb and Spice Beers 1.030-110 1.006-30 2-9.5 5-70 5-50 (7.5-27.5) (2-8) (2.5-12.1) (10-99) b) Classic-Style Herb refer to individual and Spice Beer classic styles 23. Specialty Beer a) Specialty 1.030-110 1.006-30 2-9.5 0-100 1-100 (7.5-27.5) (2-8) (2.5-12.1) (2-197) b) Classic-Style refer to individual Specialty Beer classic styles 24. California Common Beer a) California 1.040-55 1.012-18 2.8-3.9 35-45 8-17 Common Beer (10-13.8) (3-5) (3.6-5) (16-33)

Mead

25. Traditional Mead and Braggot a) Sparkling 1.050-100 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a Traditional Mead (12.5-25) (5-11) b) Still 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a Traditional Mead (22.5-35) (11-15) c) Sparkling Braggot 1.050-100 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-25.0) (5-11) d) Still Braggot 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15) 26. Fruit and Vegetable Mead a) Sparkling Melomel 1.050-90 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-22.5) (5-11) b) Still Melomel 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15) c) Sparkling Cyser 1.050-90 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-22.5) (5-11) d) Still Cyser 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15) e) Sparkling Pyment 1.050-90 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-22.5) (5-11) f) Still Pyment 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15) 27. Herb and Spice Mead a) Sparkling Metheglin 1.050-90 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-22.5) (5-11) b) Still Metheglin 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15) c) Sparkling Hippocras 1.050-90 n/a 3.9-8.6 n/a n/a (12.5-22.5) (5-11) d) Still Hippocras 1.090-140 n/a 8.6-11.8 n/a n/a (22.5-35) (11-15)

Cider

28. Cider a) Still 1.045-53 n/a 5.5 n/a n/a (11.3-13.3) (7) b) Sparkling 1.045-61 n/a 6.3 n/a n/a (11.3-15.3) (8) c) New England-Style 1.061-105 n/a 6.3-11 n/a n/a (15.3-26.3) (8-14) d) Specialty Cider 1.045-105 n/a 4.6-11 n/a n/a (11.3-26.3) (5.9-14)

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This style guideline page has been created by Dion Hollenbeck from original text provided by the American Homebrewer's Association.

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