All Origin Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales

Each style description is purposefully written independently of any reference to another beer style. Furthermore, as much as possible, beer character is not described in terms of ingredients or process. These guidelines attempt to emphasize final evaluation of the product and try not to judge or regulate the formulation or manner in which it was brewed, except in special circumstances that clearly define a style.

 

All Origin Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales

  1. Hybrid/Mixed Session Beer
  2. session beer
Session Beer
  • Color: The color should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based
  • Clarity: Appearance may vary from brilliant to hazy to cloudy and should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based
  • Perceived Bitterness: Should mimic the classic style upon which the beer is based
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Varies with underlying style
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: This category includes any style of beer made lower in strength than described in the classic style guidelines. These beers should exhibit lower alcohol content than the classic style. Drinkability is key to a successful session beer. Beers exceeding 5.0% abv (4% abw) are not categorized as Session Beers. Beers which fit in another classic or traditional category should not be categorized as Session Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, organizers may wish to further subcategorize this category, for example, creating a Session India Pale Ale or other large subcategory(ies) as needed. Competition organizers may request that brewers provide actual percent alcohol by volume (abv) for their entries in this category.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.034-1.040
    (8.5-10 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.004-1.010
    (1-2.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.8%-4.0%(3.5%-5.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
  • 10-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    2+
    (4+ EBC)
  1. Hybrid/Mixed Cream Ale
  2. American Cream Ale
American-Style Cream Ale
  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Clarity: Chill haze should be very low or not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium pale malt aroma may be present. Caramel malt aroma and flavor should be absent. The dominant flavor is of pale malt sweetness at medium-low to medium levels. Corn or other adjuncts may be perceived at low levels.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low or may be absent
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be perceived. Sulfur and/or DMS should be absent or extremely low. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low
  • Additional notes: These crisp and refreshing beers are fermented warm with ale or lager yeast and lagered cold
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.044-1.052
    (11-12.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.004-1.010
    (1-2.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.4%-4.5%
    (4.3%-5.7%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-22
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    2-5
    (4-10 EBC)
  1. Hybrid California Common Beer
  2. California Common
California Common Beer
  • Color: Light amber to medium amber
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Toasted malt and/or caramel malt aroma and flavor may be perceived
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are low to medium-low. Diacetyl should be absent.
  • Body: Medium
  • Additional notes: California Common beers are brewed with lager yeasts but fermented at warm temperatures like ales
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.045-1.056
    (11.2-13.8 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.010-1.018
    (2.6-4.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.6%-4.5%
    (4.6%-5.7%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    35-45
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    8-15
    (16-30 EBC)
  1. Lt-us-Wheat-with-Yeast
  2. Light American Wheat Beer with Yeast
Light American Wheat Beer with Yeast
  • Color: Pale to light amber
  • Clarity: These beers are packaged with yeast in the bottle, so appearance may range from hazy to very cloudy. Chill haze is acceptable.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low malt aroma and sweet malt flavor is present
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Yeast character should be low to medium and should not dominate the character of malt and hops. Phenolic, clove-like aromas should not be perceived. Low fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical. Diacetyl and phenolic, clove-like character should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat. Because this style is served with yeast, there should be a full yeasty mouthfeel
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.036-1.056
    (9-13.8 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.016
    (1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.8%-4.4%
    (3.5%-5.6%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    4-10
    (8-20 EBC)
  1. Light American Wheat Beer without Yeast
  2. Light American Wheat Beer without Yeast
Light American Wheat Beer without Yeast
  • Color: Straw to light amber
  • Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical. Phenolic, clove-like aromas and flavors should not be perceived. Diacetyl should not be perceived. No yeast aroma and flavor should be evident.
  • Body: Very low to medium
  • Additional notes: These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.036-1.050
    (9-12.4 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.004-1.016
    (1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.0%-4.0%
    (3.8%-5.1%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    2-10
    (4-20 EBC)
  1. Dark American Wheat Beer with Yeast
  2. Dark American Wheat Beer with Yeast
Dark American Wheat Beer with Yeast
  • Color: Medium amber to dark brown
  • Clarity: This style is packaged with yeast in the bottle so appearance may range from hazy to very cloudy. Chill haze is acceptable.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aromas and flavors can include low roasted malt character expressed as cocoa, chocolate or caramel as well as toffee or biscuit. Medium-low to medium-high malt sweetness is present. Roast malt astringency is acceptable when balanced with malt sweetness.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical. Yeast character should be low to medium and should not dominate malt and hops. Diacetyl and clove-like phenolics should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat. Because this style is served with yeast, there should be a full yeasty mouthfeel
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.036-1.056
    (9-13.8 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.016
    (1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.8%-4.4%
    (3.8%-5.6%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-25
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    9-22
    (18-44 EBC)
  1. Dark American Wheat Beer without Yeast
  2. Dark American Wheat Beer without Yeast
Dark American Wheat Beer without Yeast
  • Color: Medium amber to dark brown
  • Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aromas and flavors can include low roasted malt character expressed as cocoa, chocolate or caramel as well as toffee or biscuit. Medium-low to medium-high malt sweetness is present. Roast malt astringency is acceptable when balanced with malt sweetness.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical. No yeast aroma should be evident. Diacetyl and clove-like phenolics should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat. No yeast flavor should be evident. Because this style is packaged and served without yeast, no yeast should be evident in the mouthfeel
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.036-1.050
    (9-12.4 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.004-1.016
    (1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.0%-4.0%
    (3.8%-5.1%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-25
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    9-22
    (18-44 EBC)
  1. Hybrid American-Style Fruit Beer
  2. American Style Fruit Beer
American-Style Fruit Beer
  • Color: Can range from pale to very dark depending on the underlying style, and is often influenced by the color of added fruit.
  • Clarity: Clear or hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to medium-low
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to medium-low
  • Perceived Bitterness: In balance with fruit character and usually at very low to medium levels
  • Fermentation Characteristics: American-Style Fruit Beers are fermented with traditional German, British or American ale or lager yeast. Beers fermented with Belgian-style, German-style Hefeweizen or other South German wheat beer or Berliner-style Weisse yeasts should be categorized elsewhere. Fruit beers exhibiting acidic sourness from cultured or wild bacterial fermentation should be categorized elsewhere. Acidic bacterial fermentation, if present, contributes to acidity and enhances fruity balance. No wild fermentation should be evident.
  • Body: Varies with style
  • Additional notes: Fruit aromas, ranging from subtle to intense, should be evident and should not be overpowered by hop aromas. Fruit or fruit extracts, used as an adjunct in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation, provide harmonious fruit character ranging from subtle to intense. Within the framework of these guidelines, fruit beers fermented with Belgian yeast (Wit, Abbey, Farmhouse, Saison and/or Brettanomyces) should be categorized as Belgian-Style Fruit Beers, or possibly as fruited Brett Beers. Some beers may fit into this category if they contain fruity adjuncts but no actual fruit. As an example, a juniper berry-flavored beer with notable juniper berry fruity flavor and/or aroma could be categorized as a Fruit Beer, whereas a beer in which the juniper berry character is more herbal or spicy should be categorized as an Herb and Spice Beer. Fruit Beers brewed with wheat should be categorized as Fruit Wheat Beers. Fruit Beers brewed with unusual fermentable(s), but no wheat, should be categorized as Fruit Beers. Within the framework of these guidelines, coconut is defined as a vegetable, and beers containing coconut should be categorized as Field Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as fruit(s) used or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-70
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Fruit Wheat Beer
  2. Fruit Wheat Beer
Fruit Wheat Beer
  • Color: Generally straw to light amber, and often influenced by the color of added fruit.
  • Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable. These beers may be served with or without yeast. When served with yeast, appearance is hazy to very cloudy.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast depending on the underlying wheat beer style. Low fruity-estery aroma and flavor is typical. Diacetyl should not be perceived. In versions served with yeast, yeasty aroma and flavor should be low to medium.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: The grist should include at least 30 percent malted wheat. Fruit or fruit extracts contribute aroma and flavor expressing true fruit complexity. Versions served with yeast should demonstrate a full yeasty mouthfeel. Fruited versions of Berliner Weisse or Contemporary Gose fall within those categories as they are commonly brewed with fruit. Fruited versions of Grodziskie, or Germanic-derived styles such as various Weizen or other wheat beer styles, including fruited examples of Adambier which do not exhibit attributes of wood-ageing, should be categorized as Fruit Wheat Beers, as those styles are not commonly brewed with fruit. Such beers could deviate from parameters shown for those styles but should be suggestive of the underlying classic beer style with fruit added. Within the framework of these guidelines, coconut is defined as a vegetable, and beers containing coconut should be entered as Field Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as fruit(s) used or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.036-1.050
    (9-12.4 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.004-1.016
    (1-4.1 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.0%-4.0%
    (3.8%-5.1%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    10-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    2-10, or color of fruit
    (4-20, or color of fruit EBC)
  1. Hybrid Belgian-Style Fruit Beer
  2. Belgian Style Fruit Beer
Belgian-Style Fruit Beer
  • Color: Can range from pale to dark depending on underlying Belgian style, and is often influenced by the color of added fruit
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy beer is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Can vary from not perceived to medium-high
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying Belgian style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Acidic bacterial fermentation attributes may be evident. If present, it contributes to acidity and enhances fruity balance.
  • Body: Varies with style
  • Additional notes: Fruit aromas, ranging from subtle to intense, should be evident and should not be overpowered by hop aromas. Belgian-Style Fruit Beers are fermented with traditional Belgian yeast, (Wit, Abbey, Farmhouse, etc.). Within the framework of these guidelines, coconut is defined as a vegetable, and beers containing coconut should be categorized as Field Beers. Fruit or fruit extracts, used as adjuncts in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation, provide harmonious fruit character ranging from subtle to intense. Classifying these beers can be complex. Wood vessels may be used for fermentation and aging, but wood-derived aromas and flavors such as vanillin should not be present. Versions exhibiting attributes derived from wood or liquids previously aged in wood should be categorized in other Wood-Aged Beer categories. Fruited Belgian-style beers which exhibit Brettanomyces may be categorized in this style, when no other category exists for such beers. However, a fruited Saison exhibiting Brett character should be categorized as a Specialty Saison. A fruited version of a Brett Beer is categorized as Fruited Brett Beer when such a Brett-containing beer is not based on an existing underlying Belgian beer style. A Lambic-Style fruit beer should be categorized as a Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic. Fruited Belgian-style beers brewed with additional adjuncts could fall in this category or perhaps as Experimental Beers. Fruit beers fermented with German, British or American ale or lager yeast should be categorized as American-Style Fruit Beers or as Fruit Wheat Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as fruit(s) used or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-70
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Field Beer
  2. American-Style Fruit Beer
Field Beer
  • Color: Can range from pale to very dark depending on the underlying style, and may be influenced by the color of added ingredients.
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium-high
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium-high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-high. Vegetable character should not be muted by hop character.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Varies with underlying style
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Vegetable aromas, ranging from subtle to intense, should be evident, and should not be overpowered by hop aromas. Field Beers are any beers incorporating vegetables as flavor or carbohydrate adjuncts in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation. The vegetable character should be in harmony with other attributes and can range from subtle to intense. Within the framework of these guidelines, coconut is defined as a vegetable, and beers containing coconut should be entered as Field Beers. All beers containing chili peppers should be categorized as Chili Beers. Beers containing nuts should be categorized as Field Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as vegetable(s) used or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-10.5%
    (2.5%-13.3%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-70
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Pumpkin Spice Beer
  2. Pumpkin Spice Beer
Pumpkin Spice Beer
  • Color: Can vary from pale to very dark depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Can vary from low to medium-high depending on the underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: None to medium and should not overpower spice, pumpkin or squash, if present, or overall balance of aromas and flavors.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying beer style
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: These are any beers using pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) or winter squash as an adjunct in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation. Pumpkin or squash may not be evident or may range from subtle to intense. They are spiced with other ingredients whose character should be evident and in balance. While cinnamon, allspice, clove and nutmeg are common spices added to American-type pumpkin beers, other spices may be used. For example, a brewer could replicate a Wit-Pumpkin spiced beer by using orange peel and coriander.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as spice(s) used, pumpkin or squash used if any and related processing, or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Pumpkin/Squash Beer
  2. Pumpkin Squash Ale
Pumpkin/Squash Beer
  • Color: Can range from pale to very dark depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Can vary from low to medium-high depending on the underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: None to medium
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying beer style
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Pumpkin/Squash beers are any beers incorporating pumpkins (Cucurbita pepo) or winter squash as an adjunct in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation. Pumpkin or squash aromas and flavors, ranging from subtle to intense, should be present. These beers are not spiced, but may have flavors associated with other beer styles such as smoked beer, fruit beer, sour beer, etc. Spice aromas and flavors should be absent. Versions exhibiting spice aromas and/or flavors should be categorized as Pumpkin Spice Beers or as other spice beer or possibly as experimental beer styles.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as pumpkin or squash used and related processing, or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-35
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Chocolate or Cocoa Beer
  2. Chocolate or Cocoa Beer
Chocolate or Cocoa Beer
  • Color: Light amber to black depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy beer is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium-high malt sweetness balanced with cocoa flavors and aromas
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is not perceived to very low. Hop flavor may be lower than is designated for underlying style allowing chocolate to contribute to the flavor profile without becoming excessively bitter.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying beer style. Attributes derived from chocolate or cocoa should be apparent in all such beers, ranging from subtle to intense, and in harmony with the overall flavor profile of the beer.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Chocolate Beers are any beers incorporating dark chocolate or cocoa in any form. Beers made with white chocolate do not typify this category.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type or form of chocolate used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Hybrid Coffee Beer
  2. Coffee Beer
Coffee Beer
  • Color: Pale to black depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium malt sweetness provides balance with coffee flavor and aroma
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to high depending on the underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style
  • Body: Reflective of the underlying beer style
  • Additional notes: Coffee beers incorporate coffee in any form. Coffee character should be apparent as the defining attribute of this category, ranging from subtle to intense, and should be in harmony with other attributes of the underlying beer. Other flavors may also be present.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type or form of coffee used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Chili Pepper Beer
  2. Ballast Point Habanero-Sculpin
Chili Pepper Beer
  • Color: Can range from pale to very dark depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear or hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Can vary from very low to medium-high depending on the underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to very high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Chili pepper aroma and flavor attributes should be harmonious with the underlying beer style. Chili pepper character may be expressed as vegetal, spicy and/or hot on the palate.
  • Body: Representative of underlying style
  • Additional notes: Chili Beers are any beers using chili peppers for flavor, aroma and/or heat. Chili character can range from subtle to intense. Chili pepper aroma may or may not be evident. Within the framework of these guidelines, all beers containing chili peppers should be categorized as Chili Beers. Beers which represent more than one style, such as chili beers with chocolate, should be categorized as Chili Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as chili(s) used or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-10.5%
    (2.5%-13.3%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-70
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Herb and Spice Beer
  2. Herb Spice Beer
Herb and Spice Beer
  • Color: Varies depending on underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies depending on intention of brewer
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not essential, but may be evident and may be more aggressive than herb-spice character.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-low. Reduced hop bitterness tends to accentuate herb/spice character.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Aromas and flavors of individual spices may not always be identifiable
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Herb and Spice beers are any beers using herbs or spices derived from roots, seeds, fruits, vegetable, flowers, etc. Herb and/or spice character can range from subtle to intense. Classifying these beers can be complex. Beers which exhibit herbal and/or spicy character are considered Herb and Spice Beers. Beers brewed with chili peppers are categorized as Chili Pepper Beers. Beers brewed with pumpkin in which herb and spice character dominates should be categorized as Pumpkin Spice Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type or form of herb(s) or spice(s) used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.110
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    5-40
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    5-50
    (10-100 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Specialty Beer
  2. Specialty Beer
Specialty Beer
  • Color: Very light to black depending on the underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies depending on intention of brewer
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to very high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to very high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Specialty Beers are brewed with unusual fermentable sugars, grains and/or starches which contribute to alcohol content. The distinctive attributes of these special ingredients should be evident in the aroma, flavor and overall balance of the beer. Examples could include maple syrup, agave, potatoes, wild rice or any other sources of carbohydrate not commonly used in modern beer styles. Beers containing wheat should be classified in one of several wheat beer styles. The use of rice or corn would not normally be considered unusual since these adjuncts are commonly used in beer production; however beers made with rice or corn types which imbue highly distinctive flavor attributes might be categorized as specialty beers.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Classifying these beers can be complex. Within the framework of these guidelines, nuts generally impart much more flavor than fermentables, and beers containing nuts should be categorized as Field Beers. Likewise, within the framework of these guidelines, coconut is defined as a vegetable and beers containing coconut should be categorized as Field Beers. Beers brewed with honey should be categorized as Specialty Honey Beers. Beers brewed with roots, seeds, flowers etc. which exhibit herbal and/or spicy characters should be categorized as Herb and Spice Beers. While beers brewed with fruits or vegetables may derive fermentable carbohydrate from those sources, they should be categorized within various Fruit Beer or Field Beer categories. Spiced versions of beers made with unusual fermentables should be categorized as Experimental Beers. Beers brewed with both unusual fermentables and fruit should be categorized as Fruit Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type or form of unusual carbohydrate source used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.140+
    (7.6-32.1+ °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030+
    (1.5-7.6+ °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-20+%
    (2.5%-25.0+%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    1-100
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    1-100
    (2-200 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Specialty Honey Beer
  2. Specialty Honey Beer
Specialty Honey Beer
  • Color: Very light to black depending on underlying style
  • Clarity: Clear to hazy is acceptable
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies depending on intention of brewer
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to very high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to very high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Honey Beers may be brewed to a traditional style or may be experimental. Honey Beers incorporate honey as a fermentable sugar in addition to malted barley. Honey character should be evident in aroma and flavor, but should not be overpowering.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type and/or source of honey used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.030-1.100
    (7.6-25.9 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.006-1.030
    (1.5-7.6 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    2.0%-9.5%
    (2.5%-12.0+%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    1-100
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    1-100
    (2-200 EBC)
  1. Hybrid Rye Beers
  2. Rye Ale
Rye Beer
  • Color: A wide range of color is acceptable. Lighter versions are straw to copper, while darker versions are dark amber to dark brown.
  • Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable in versions packaged and served without yeast. In versions served with yeast, appearance may range from hazy to very cloudy.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: In darker versions, malt aromas and flavors can optionally include low roasted malt character expressed as cocoa/chocolate or caramel. Aromatic toffee, caramel, or biscuit character may also be present. Low level roastiness, graininess, or tannin astringency is acceptable when balanced with low to medium malt sweetness.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low levels of spicy, fruity-estery aromas are typical. Yeast-derived aromas and flavors such as phenolic, clove-like may be present when consistent with underlying beer style. These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Low to medium yeast aroma may be present in versions packaged with yeast.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: The grist should include sufficient rye so that rye character is evident in the beer. Beers brewed with rye that do not exhibit rye character should be categorized in other beer styles. Rye character is often described as slightly spicy and subtly black pepper-like. Versions served with yeast should portray a full yeasty mouthfeel.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Brett Beer
  2. Brett beer
Brett Beer
  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Beer color may be influenced by the color of added fruits or other ingredients.
  • Clarity: Chill haze and/or haze from yeast is allowable at low to medium levels at any temperature
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: In darker versions, roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors are present at low levels.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Acidity resulting from Brettanomyces fermentation results in a complex flavor profile. Brettanomyces character, at low to high levels, should be present and expressed as horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic, fruity and/or acidic aromas and flavors. Brettanomyces character may or may not be dominant. Acidity from Brettanomyces should be low to medium-low. Cultured yeast strains may be used in the fermentation. Beers fermented with Brettanomyces that do not exhibit attributes typical of Brettanomyces fermentation should be classified elsewhere. Beers in this style should not incorporate bacteria or exhibit a bacteria-derived flavor profile. Moderate to intense fruity-estery aromas and flavors should be evident. Diacetyl and DMS should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to high
  • Additional notes: Fruited versions will exhibit fruit flavors in balance with other elements. Wood vessels may be used for fermentation and aging, but wood- derived flavors and aromas such as vanillin should not be present. Residual flavors and aromas originating from liquids previously aged in a barrel (bourbon, sherry, etc.) should not be present. Versions exhibiting attributes derived from wood or liquids previously aged in wood should be classified in other Wood-Aged Beer categories. Wood- and barrel-aged sour ales should be classified in other style categories.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type of Brett(s) used, fruit(s) or other ingredients used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Mixed-Culture Brett Beer
  2. Mixed Culture Brett Beer
Mixed-Culture Brett Beer
  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Beer color may be influenced by the color of added fruits or other ingredients.
  • Clarity: Chill haze, bacteria and yeast-induced haze is allowable at low to medium levels at any temperature.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: In darker versions, roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors are present at low levels.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Moderate to intense fruity-estery aromas and flavors are evident. Acidity resulting from fermentation with Brettanomyces and/or bacteria results in a complex flavor profile. Brettanomyces character should be present and expressed as horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic, fruity and/or acidic aromas and flavors. Cultured yeast may be used in the fermentation. Bacteria should be incorporated and in evidence. Bacteria will contribute acidity which may or may not dominate the flavor profile. Diacetyl and DMS should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to high
  • Additional notes: Fruited versions will exhibit fruit flavors in balance with other elements. Wood vessels may be used for fermentation and aging, but wood-derived aromas and flavors such as vanillin should not be present. Versions exhibiting attributes derived from wood or liquids previously aged in wood should be classified in other Wood-Aged Beer categories. Wood- and barrel-aged sour ales should be classified in other style categories.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type of Brett(s) and/or other culture(s) used, fruit(s) or other ingredients used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Hybrid Sake Beer
  2. Ginjo Beer or Sake Yeast Beer
Ginjo Beer or Sake-Yeast Beer
  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Beer color may be influenced by the color of added fruits or other ingredients.
  • Clarity: Chill haze, bacteria and yeast-induced haze is allowable at low to medium levels at any temperature.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: In darker versions, roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors are present at low levels.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Moderate to intense fruity-estery aromas and flavors are evident. Acidity resulting from fermentation with Brettanomyces and/or bacteria results in a complex flavor profile. Brettanomyces character should be present and expressed as horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic, fruity and/or acidic aromas and flavors. Cultured yeast may be used in the fermentation. Bacteria should be incorporated and in evidence. Bacteria will contribute acidity which may or may not dominate the flavor profile. Diacetyl and DMS should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to high
  • Additional notes: Fruited versions will exhibit fruit flavors in balance with other elements. Wood vessels may be used for fermentation and aging, but wood-derived aromas and flavors such as vanillin should not be present. Versions exhibiting attributes derived from wood or liquids previously aged in wood should be classified in other Wood-Aged Beer categories. Wood- and barrel-aged sour ales should be classified in other style categories.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as type of Brett(s) and/or other culture(s) used, fruit(s) or other ingredients used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    1.040-1.090
    (10-21.6 °Plato)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    1.008-1.020
    (2.1-5 °Plato)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.4%-8.2%
    (4.3%-10.2%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    12-35
    Color SRM (EBC)
    4-20
    (8-40 EBC)
  1. Fresh Hop Beer
  2. Fresh Hop Beer
Fresh Hop Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Fresh hop aroma and flavor is prominent exhibiting green grass-like, fresh mown hay/grass or other fresh hop attributes.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma is dependent on the ale style being made with fresh hops
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: These ales are brewed with freshly harvested hops. Such hops might be undried fresh or frozen cones or ground material, or, freshly kilned dried cones or pellets. These beers are typically consumed while fresh to highlight bright fresh hop attributes. Aging these beers will typically modify and reduce fresh-hop characters resulting in unique flavor outcomes.
    Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on fresh hops in unprocessed, frozen or kilned form. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as hop varieties used, unprocessed, frozen or kilned, processing or timing of addition(s) (kettle, whirlpool, fermenter, aging tank, etc.), other ingredients used or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
  2. Wood and-Barrel-Aged Beer
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of beer being aged
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel. Wood-Aged Beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, alcoholic strength, microflora, fruit, etc.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer
  2. Wood-Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer
  • Color: Pale to Amber. Within the framework of these guidelines these beers are less than 18 SRM or 36 EBC.
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of beer being aged. Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers contain alcohol less than 6.3% abv or 5.0% abw when consumed.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Within the framework of these guidelines these beers meet the criteria for color and alcohol content shown above. Darker (>18 SRM or >36EBC) beers, or stronger (>5% abw or >6.3% abv) beers of any color should be categorized in other wood-aged beer styles. These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or by liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel. These beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. Sour wood-aged beers should be categorized elsewhere. Fruited or spiced wood-aged beers which meet the criteria for color and alcohol content and which exhibit attributes of wood-aging are appropriately categorized here and may take on the color, flavors and aromas of added fruits or spices.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.0%-5.0%
    (3.8%-6.3%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    4-18
    (8-36 EBC)
  1. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Dark Beer
  2. Wood and Barrel Aged Dark Beer
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Dark Beer
  • Color: Dark Copper to Black. Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers are greater than 18 SRM or 36 EBC.
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of beer being aged. Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers contain alcohol less than 5.0% abw or 6.3% abv when consumed.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers meet the criteria for color and alcohol content shown above. Stronger (>5% abw or >6.3% abv) versions of dark wood-aged beers should be categorized in other wood-aged beer styles. These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or by liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel. These beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. Sour wood-aged beers should be categorized elsewhere. Fruited or spiced wood-aged beers which meet the criteria for color and alcohol content and which exhibit attributes of wood-aging are appropriately categorized here and may take on the color, flavors and aromas of added fruits or spices.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    3.0%-5.0%
    (3.8%-6.3%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    >18
    (>36 EBC)
  1. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  2. Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of beer being aged. Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers contain alcohol greater than 5.0% abw or 6.3% abv when consumed. Alcohol may be evident in stronger versions, in harmony with other flavor and aroma attributes, and not harsh.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Within the framework of these guidelines, these beers meet the criteria for color and alcohol content shown above. Lower alcohol (<5% abw or <6.3% abv) wood-aged beers should be categorized as other wood-aged beer styles. These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or by liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel. These beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. Sour wood-aged beers should be categorized elsewhere. Fruited or spiced wood-aged beers which meet the criteria for color and alcohol content and which exhibit attributes of wood-aging are appropriately categorized here and may take on the color, flavors and aromas of added fruits or spices.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    >5.0%
    (>6.3%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
  2. Wood Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Typical of underlying style of sour beer being aged
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: These are any traditional or experimental style of lager, ale or hybrid beer aged in either a wooden barrel or in contact with wood, and exhibiting acidity derived from exposure to bacteria. These beers are aged in the presence of microflora (either present in the wood or introduced at some time in the brewing process) with the intention of introducing sourness to the beer. These beers are aged with the intention of developing unique attributes imparted by the wood and/or by liquids that had previously been stored in contact with the wood. Wood aging does not necessarily impart wood flavors, but does result in distinctive sensory outcomes. Used sherry, rum, whiskey, tequila, port, wine and other barrels are often used, imparting complexity and uniqueness to a beer. A balance of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel results from the marriage of new beer with attributes imparted by the wood or barrel, and with sourness and/or other attributes derived from bacteria. These beers may or may not have Brettanomyces character. Wood-aged sour beers made with spices, fruits or other ingredients which meet the criteria for color and alcohol content and which exhibit attributes of wood-aging and acidity are appropriately categorized here and will exhibit attributes of those ingredients.
    Versions made with fruit(s) will exhibit attributes of wood-aging, acidity and those added fruit(s). Competition organizers may choose to create subcategories for Wood-aged sour beers made with fruit or other ingredients. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of wood or barrel, age, char level or previous liquids held by the wood, micro flora present if known, other ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Hybrid Aged Beer
  2. Aged Beer
Aged Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Aged Beers are any beers aged for over one year. A brewer may brew any type of beer of any strength and enhance its character with various aging conditions for an extended time. In general, beers with high hopping rates, roast malt, high alcohol content, and/or complex herbal, smoke or fruit character are the best candidates for aging. Aged Beers may be aged in bottles, cans, kegs or other non-wooden vessels. Aged character may be expressed in mouthfeel, aroma and flavor. Often, aged character is the result of oxidative reactions that either bring individual flavor components into harmony or are unique flavors unto themselves. Sherry-like and fruity flavors often develop during aging, and hop character often changes. No matter what the effect, the overall character should be balanced and without aggressive flavors. The level of change created by aging will vary with the duration of aging and the underlying beer style. Mildly-flavored beers are more likely to develop aggressive and unpleasant oxidation. Positive transformations are more likely to occur in beers with higher levels of hops, malt and/or alcohol.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Within the framework of these guidelines, Wood-Aged Beers, Brett Beers, Sour Beers or beers exhibiting attributes of aging in the presence of any microflora must be categorized elsewhere.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as length of time aged, type of vessel, duration of aging process, micro flora present if known, other ingredients or other processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Experimental Beer
  2. Experimental Beer
Experimental Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Experimental beers are any beers that are primarily grain-based and employ unique and unusual techniques and/or ingredients. A minimum of 51% of the fermentable carbohydrates must be derived from malted grains. The overall uniqueness and creativity of the process and/or ingredients should be considered when evaluating these beers. By definition, beers which represent a combination of two or more existing categories and exhibit distinctive characteristics of each of those categories would also be categorized as Experimental Beers.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Uniqueness is the primary consideration when evaluating this category. Within the framework of these guidelines, field, fruit, chocolate, coffee, spice, specialty, wood-aged or other beers that fit within another category should not be categorized as experimental beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, hop varieties, microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. historical beer
  2. Historical Beer
Historical Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Varies with underlying style
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: Beers in this category include established historical beers and/or brewing traditions from any era or part of the world that don’t fit within another beer style defined within these guidelines. Some Historical beers that could fit categories such as Experimental, Herb & Spice, Field Beer, etc. may be categorized as historical beers. This category pays tribute to beers that incorporate unique brewing ingredients and/or techniques that were used in the past. Within the framework of these guidelines, examples of Historical Beers include South American Chicha, Nepalese Chong/Chang, African sorghum-based beers and others.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect particular historic beer styles. Evaluations are based on technical skill and overall balance, and factors such as uniqueness, heritage, regional distinction as well as background information about the beer and how well it represents the spirit of the category.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Wild Beer
  2. Wild Ale
Wild Beer
  • Color: Any color is acceptable. Versions made with fruits or other flavorings may take on corresponding hues.
  • Clarity: Clear or hazy due to yeast, chill haze or hop haze.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Generally, these beers are highly-attenuated resulting in very low to low malt character. Maltier versions should display good overall balance with other flavor components.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Aromas may vary significantly due to fermentation attributes contributed by various known and unknown microorganisms. The overall balance should be complex and balanced. Wild beers are spontaneously fermented with microorganisms that the brewer has introduced from the ambient air/environment in the vicinity of the brewery in which the beer is brewed. Wild Beers may not be fermented with any cultured strains of yeast or bacteria. Wild Beers may or may not be perceived as acidic. They may include a highly-variable spectrum of flavors and aromas derived from the wild microorganisms with which they are fermented. The overall balance of flavors, aromas, appearance and body are important factors in assessing these beers.
  • Body: Very low to medium
  • Additional notes: Spontaneously fermented beers with fruit, spice or other ingredients should be categorized as Wild Beers. Within the framework of these guidelines, beers which could be classified in other classic or traditional categories such as Belgian-Style Lambic, Gueuze, Fruit Lambic, etc., should be classified in those categories rather than as Wild Beers.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Smoke Beer
  2. Smoked beer
Smoke Beer
  • Color: Any beer of any style incorporating smoke, and therefore may range from very light to black
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Any style of beer can be smoked; the goal is to reach a balance between the style’s character and the smoky properties.
  • Body: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Additional notes: Any smoke beer that does not fit other smoke beer categories are appropriately categorized here.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s), or other information unique to the entry such as type of wood smoke or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Other Strong Ale or Lager
  2. Other Strong Ale or Lager
Other Strong Ale or Lager
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Within the framework of these guidelines, beers of any style intentionally brewed with higher alcohol content than defined within that style’s guidelines are categorized as Other Strong Beer. These beers should achieve a balance between the style’s characteristics and the additional alcohol.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s) being made to higher alcoholic strength, or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes such as microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    6.4%+
    (8%+)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Gluten-Free Beer
  2. Gluten Free Beer
Gluten-Free Beer
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Although brewers may design and identify these beers according to defined style guidelines, these beers should be evaluated on their own merits without strict adherence to defined style parameters.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Additional notes: This category includes lagers, ales or other beers made from fermentable sugars, grains and converted carbohydrates and must also include some portion of cereal. All ingredients must be free of gluten. Within the framework of these guidelines, beers brewed with barley, wheat, spelt, rye, and other gluten-containing ingredients may not be categorized as Gluten-Free. Gluten-Free Beers may contain malted grains that are gluten-free. NOTE: These guidelines do not supersede any government regulations. Wine, mead, flavored malt beverages or beverages other than “beer” as defined by the TTB (U.S. Trade and Tax Bureau) are not considered “gluten-free beer” under these guidelines. Gluten-reduced beers’ original ingredients would have gluten content that has been reduced by enzymes or other processes to reduced levels. Gluten-reduced beers should be categorized in the classic style category most appropriate for the beer, rather than as Gluten-Free Beer.
    When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include an underlying beer style if appropriate, gluten free grains and/or other carbohydrate sources or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes such as microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    Varies with style
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style
  1. Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
  2. Non Alcoholic Beer
Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
  • Color: Varies with underlying style
  • Clarity: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Non-alcoholic (NA) malt beverages can emulate the character of any beer style defined within these guidelines but without alcohol (less than 0.5 percent). Due to their nature, non-alcoholic malt beverages will have a profile lacking the complexity and balance of flavors that beers containing alcohol will display. NA beers should be assessed with this is mind, and should not be given negative evaluations for reasons related to the absence of alcohol.
  • Body: Varies with underlying style
  • Original Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato)
    Varies with style
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume)
    <0.5%
    (<0.63%)
  • Bitterness (IBU)
    Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC)
    Varies with style

 

Unchanged: “2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association”