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Maltose Falcons 2017 Style Guidelines

This is currently the falcon guidelines for our competitions

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2017 Maltose Falcons Style Guideline v1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CLASS 1. AMERICAN-STYLE PALE AND DARK LAGER

1.1 American-Style Pale Lager (includes Standard and Premium American-Style Pale Lagers)

1.2 American-Style Pre-Prohibition Lager

1.3 American-Style Red Lager

1.4 American-Style Dark Lager

CLASS 2. EUROPEAN-STYLE PALE LAGER

2.1 Munich-Style Helles

2.2 Bohemian-Style Pilsner

2.3 North German-Style Pils

2.4 Dortmunder/Export-Style Lager

CLASS 3. AMERICAN-STYLE WHEAT ALE AND CREAM ALE

3.1 American-Style Wheat Ale

3.2 American-Style Honey Wheat Ale

3.3 American-Style Cream Ale

3.4 American Blonde Ale

CLASS 4. ENGLISH-STYLE BITTER ALE AND PALE ALE

4.1 Ordinary Bitter

4.2 Special or Best Bitter

4.3 Strong Bitter and Extra Special Bitter (ESB)

CLASS 5. AMERICAN-STYLE PALE ALE

5.1 American-Style Pale Ale

CLASS 6. SCOTTISH-STYLE ALES

6.1 Light (60/-)

6.2 Heavy (70/-)

6.3 Export (80/-)

6.4 Irish Red Ale

6.5 Wee Heavy (Strong Scotch Ale)

CLASS 7. INDIA PALE ALE

7.1 English-Style India Pale Ale

7.2 American-Style India Pale Ale

7.3 Black India Pale Ale

CLASS 8.  KOLSCH AND ALTBIER

8.1 Kolsch-Style Ale

8.2 Altbier

CLASS 9. AMBER AND DARK LAGER

9.1 Vienna-Style Lager

9.2 Marzen/Oktoberfest

9.3 Latin American-Style Malta

9.4 Munich-Style Dunkel

9.5 Schwarzbier

9.6  INTERNATIONAL AMBER LAGER

9.7  INTERNATIONAL DARK  LAGER

CLASS 10. AMERICAN WEST COAST-STYLE BEERS

10.1 West Coast Extra Pale Ale

10.2 California Common Beer

10.3 American-Style Red and Amber Ale

10.4 Imperial Pilsner

CLASS 11. BROWN ALE

11.1 Mild Ale

11.2 Pale (“AK”) Mild Ale

11.3 Southern English-Style Brown Ale

11.4 Northern English-Style Brown Ale

11.5 American-Style Brown Ale

CLASS 12. STRONG ALE AND OLD ALE

12.1 Old Ale

12.2 English-Style Strong Ale

12.3 American-Style Strong Ale

CLASS 13. DOUBLE IPA AND BARLEYWINE

13.1 Wheat Wine

13.2 Double (“Imperial’’) India Pale Ale

13.3 English-Style Barleywine

13.4 American-Style Barleywine

CLASS 14. NORTHERN EUROPEAN-STYLE STRONG BEERS

14.1 Dortmund-Style Adambier

14.2 Baltic-Style Porter

14.3 Imperial (“Russian”) Stout

CLASS 15. BOCK

15.1 Maibock and Helles (Pale) Bock

15.2 Traditional Bock

15.3 American-Style Bock

15.4 Doppelbock

15.5 Eisbock

CLASS 16. PORTER

16.1 English-Style Porter

16.2 American-Style Porter

CLASS 17. STOUT

17.1 Irish-Style (Dry) Draught Stout

17.2 English-Style (Sweet)Cream or Milk Stout

17.3 Extra (Dry Irish-Style) Stout

17.4 Export and Oatmeal (Sweet English-Style) Stout

17.5 Foreign-Style Stout

17.6 American-Style Stout

CLASS 18. GERMAN-STYLE WHEAT BEER

18.1 Bavarian-Style Krystal Weizen

18.2 Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen

18.3 Bavarian-Style Dunkelweizen

18.4 Berliner Weisse

18.5 GOSE

18.6. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)

18.7 Weizenbock

CLASS 19. BELGIAN-STYLE ABBEY ALE

19.1 Abbey Dubbel (Double) Ale

19.2 Abbey Tripel (Triple) Ale

19.3 Abbey Quadrupel (Quadruple) Ale

19.4 Abbey Ale, Other

CLASS 20. BELGIAN-STYLE STRONG ALE

20.1. Belgian Blond Ale

20.2 Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale

20.3 Belgian-Style Strong Dark Ale

CLASS 21. BELGIAN-STYLE SPECIALTY ALE

21.1 Witbier

21.2 Belgian-Style Pale Ale

21.3 Belgian IPA

21.4 Belgian Brut Beer

21.5 Belgian-Style Specialty Ale, Other

CLASS 22. FARMHOUSE ALES

22.1 Biere de Garde (French-Style Country Ale)

22.2. Saison   (Spring/Summer)

22.3. Saison   (Fall/Winter)

22.4 Wild Ales

CLASS 23. BELGIAN-STYLE SOUR ALE

23.1 Gueuze/Geuze-Style Ale

23.2 Fruit-Flavored Lambic-Style Ale and Faro

23.3 Straight (Unblended) Lambic-Style Ale

23.4 Oud Bruin

23.5 Flanders-Style Red Ale

CLASS 24. SPECIALTY BEER – FRUIT/VEGETABLE and HERB/SPICED

24.1 Fruit- and/or Vegetable-Flavored Beer                                          54

24.2 Herb- and/or Spice-flavored Beer                                                      54

CLASS 25. SPECIALTY BEER –EXPERIMENTAL, HISTORICAL & OTHER

25.1 Historical Beer

25.2 Experimental and Specialty Beer, Other

CLASS 26. SPECIALTY BEER – SMOKED & WOOD AGED

26.1 Bavarian Rauch (smoke-flavored)

26.2 Smoke Beers, Other

26.3 Wood-Aged Beer, Whiskey

26.4 Wood-Aged Beer, Other

CLASS 27.  Fruit Mead

27.1 Cyser

27.2 Pyment

27.3 Other Melomel

CLASS 28.  SPICED MEAD

CLASS 29.  OTHER MEAD

29.1  TRADITIONAL MEAD

29.2  VARIETAL HONEY MEAD

29.3. Braggot or Bracket

29.4 Mead, Historical or Experimental

CLASS 30. CIDER

30.1 Standard Cider and Perry

30.2 New England-Style Cider

30.3  SPECIALTY CIDER

 


 

CLASS 1. AMERICAN-STYLE PALE AND DARK LAGER

1.1 American-Style Pale Lager (includes Standard and Premium American-Style Pale Lagers)

Aroma: Little to no malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from none to light flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist as well as perceptible levels of green apples due to acetaldehyde. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma from DMS may be present. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Very pale straw to pale gold color. White head seldom persists. Very clear.

Flavor Crisp and dry flavor with some low levels of sweetness. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium levels. Balance may vary from slightly malty to slightly bitter, but is relatively close to even. High levels of carbonation may provide a slight acidity or dry "sting." No diacetyl. No fruitiness.

 Mouthfeel: Very light body from use of a high percentage of adjuncts such as rice or corn. Very well

carbonated with slight carbonic bite on the tongue.

Overall Impression: Very refreshing and thirst quenching. "Light" beers will have a lower gravity and less resulting alcohol than the standard. Premium beers tend to have fewer adjuncts or can be all-malt.

Ingredients: Two or six row barley with high percentage (up to 40%) of rice or corn as adjuncts.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 -1.050, FG: 1.008 - 1.012, ABV: 3.5 - 5.1%, IBU: 8 - 22, SRM: 2 - 8.

Commercial Examples: Standard: Budweiser. Coors Banquet. Premium: Henry Weinhard Private Reserve. Michelob.

1.2 American-Style Pre-Prohibition Lager

Aroma: Low to medium clean, grainy and sweet maltiness may be evident. Medium to high hop aroma,often classic noble hops. No fruitiness or diacetyl. Some "cooked-corn" aroma due to DMS may be noticeable.

Appearance: Light to gold color. Substantial, long lasting head. Bright clarity.

Flavor Medium to high maltiness. Slight grainy sweetness from the use of maize with substantial offsetting hop bitterness. Medium to high hop flavor from noble hops. Medium to high hop bitterness. No fruitiness or diacetyl. Mouthfeel: Medium body and rich, creamy mouthfeel. Medium to high carbonation levels.

Overall Impression: A substantial pilsner that can stand up to the classic European pilsners, but exhibiting the native American grains and water available to German brewers who initially brewed it in the USA. Refreshing, but with the underlying malt and hops that stand out when compared to other modern American Pale Lagers. The maize presents a unique grainy sweetness that is indicative of the style.

 Comments: Brewed both pre-prohibition and post-prohibition with some differences. OGs of 1.050 - 1.060 would have been appropriate for pre-prohibition beers while gravities dropped to 1.044-1.049 after prohibition. Corresponding IBUs dropped from a pre-prohibition level of 25-40 to 20-35 after prohibition.

History: A version of pilsner brewed in the USA by immigrant German brewers who brought the process and yeast with them when they settled in America. They worked with the ingredients that were native to America to create a unique version of the orignial pilsner. This style died out with prohibition but was resurrected as a homebrew style by advocates of the hobby.

 Ingredients: Six row barley with 20% to 30% flaked maize to dilute the excessive protein levels. Native American hops such as Clusters or traditional noble German hops. Modern Hallertau crosses (Ultra, Liberty, Crystal) are ideal for this beer.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.060, FG: 1.010 - 1.015, ABV: 4.5 - 6.0%, IBU: 25 - 40, SRM: 3 - 6.

Commercial Examples: None.

1.3 American-Style Red Lager

Aroma: Low malt aroma manifests itself as graininess. Hop aroma may range from none to light flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma due to DMS may be noticeable. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Light copper to dark red with bright clarity. Foam stand may not be long lasting.

Flavor  Crisp with some low levels of sweetness. No to very low levels of toasted malt. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium levels. No diacetyl. No fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Light to somewhat medium body. Smooth, although a well carbonated beer.

Overall Impression: A red-colored version of American Lager beer.

Comments: A derivative of the American Pale Lager style that leans toward the German Marzen style, using small amounts of dark malts to achieve a red color and sometimes a light toasty-malty flavor as well.

History:  Inspired by German Marzen and Vienna beers, but brewed for American tastes and with American ingredients and methods.

Ingredients: Two or six row barley, corn or rice as adjuncts and small amounts of dark malts for color.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.010 - 1.012, ABV: 4.1 - 5.1%, IBU: 14 - 20, SRM: 10 - 20.

Commercial Examples: Henry Weinhard’s Red Lager. Red Wolf Lager.

1.4 American-Style Dark Lager

Aroma: Little to no malt aroma. Little or no roast malt aroma since the color is usually derived artificially from the addition of dark caramel brewing syrups. Hop aroma may range from none to light flowery hop presence. Slight fruity aromas from yeast and hop varieties used may exist. Low levels of "cooked-corn" aroma due to DMS may be noticeable. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Deep copper to dark brown with bright clarity. Foam stand may not be long lasting.

Flavor Crisp with some low levels of sweetness. No to very low levels of roasted malt; often the dark color is from dark caramel brewing syrups rather than roasted malts. Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium levels. No diacetyl. No fruitiness.

Mouthfeel:  Light to somewhat medium body. Smooth, although a well carbonated beer.

Overall Impression: A dark-colored version of American Lager Beer.

Comments: Little or no dark malts used. Somewhat sweeter than its pale cousins, with a little more body.

History:  Inspired by the Munich Dunkel style, but brewed for American tastes and with American ingredients and methods.

Ingredients: Two or six row barley, corn or rice as adjuncts and potentially artificially colored with dark caramel brewing syrups.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.010 - 1.012, ABV: 4.1 - 5.1%, IBU: 14 - 20, SRM: 10 - 20.

Commercial Examples: Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve. Michelob Dark. Lowenbrau Dark (U.S.-brewed).


 

CLASS 2. EUROPEAN-STYLE PALE LAGER

2.1 Munich-Style Helles

Aroma: Grain and malt aromas predominate. May also have a very light hop aroma.

Appearance: Medium to deep gold, clear, with a creamy white head.

Flavor Slightly sweet, malty profile. Grain and malt flavors predominate, with just enough hop bitterness to balance. Very slight hop flavor acceptable. Finish and aftertaste remain malty. No fruitiness or esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth maltiness with no trace of astringency.

Overall Impression: Characterized by rounded maltiness without heaviness.

Comments: Unlike Pilsner but like its cousin, Munchner Dunkel, Helles is a malt-accentuated beer that is not overly sweet, but rather focuses on malt flavor with underlying hop bitterness in a supporting role.

History: Created in Munich in 1895 at the Spaten brewery by Gabriel Sedlmayr to compete with Pilsner style beers. Ingredients: Moderate carbonate and sulfate water, pilsner malt, German hop varieties.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.055, FG: 1.012 - 1.017, ABV: 4.5 - 5.5%, IBU: 18 - 25, SRM: 3 - 5.

Commercial Examples: Hacker Pschorr Munich Edelhell. Spaten Premium Lager.

2.2 Bohemian-Style Pilsner

Aroma: Rich with a complex malt and a spicy, floral, Saaz hop bouquet.

Appearance: Light gold to deep copper-gold, clear, with a dense, creamy white head.

Flavor Rich complex maltiness combined with pronounced soft, rounded bitterness and flavor from Saaz hops. Moderate diacetyl acceptable. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh, and does not linger: the aftertaste is balanced between malt and hops. No fruitiness or esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Low to medium astringency from the hop bitterness which should not be overdone.

Overall Impression: Crisp, complex and well-rounded yet refreshing.

Comments: Uses Moravian malted barley and a decoction mash for rich malt character. Saaz hops, and low sulfate and low carbonate water provide a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite a relatively high bittering rate. History: First brewed in 1842, this style was the original clear light-colored beer.

Ingredients: Low sulfate and low carbonate water, Saaz hops, Moravian malted barley.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.056, FG: 1.013 - 1.017, ABV: 4.0 - 5.3%, IBU: 35 - 45, SRM: 3 - 5.

Commercial Examples: Pilsner Urquell. Staropramen. Dock Street Pilsner.

2.3 North German-Style Pils

Aroma: May feature grain and distinctive, flowery, noble hops. No fruitiness or esters.

Appearance: Straw to  medium gold, clear, with a creamy white head.

Flavor Crisp, dry and bitter. Maltiness is low, although some grainy flavors and slight sweetness are acceptable. Hop bitterness dominates taste and continues through the finish and lingers into the aftertaste. Hop flavor can range from low to high but should only be derived from German noble hops. No fruitiness or esters.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, medium to high carbonation, medium to high astringency from the hop bitterness.

Overall Impression: Crisp, clean, refreshing beer that prominently features noble German hop bitterness accentuated by sulfates in the water.

Comments: Drier than Bohemian Pilsner with a bitterness that tends to linger more in the aftertaste due to higher attenuation and higher-sulfate water.

History: A copy of Bohemian Pilsner adapted to brewing conditions in Northern and Central Germany.

Ingredients: Pilsner malt, German hop varieties (especially noble varieties for taste and aroma), medium sulfate water.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.050, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV: 4.4 - 5.2%, IBU: 25 - 45, SRM: 2 - 4.

Commercial Examples: Koenig-Pilsener. Bitburger. Holsten.

2.4 Dortmunder/Export-Style Lager

Aroma: Low to medium German or Czech hop aroma. Malt aroma is moderate.

Appearance: Light gold to medium gold, clear with a noticeable white head.

Flavor Neither malt nor hops are distinctive, but both are in good balance with a touch of sweetness, providing a smooth yet crisply refreshing beer. Balance continues through the finish and the hop bitterness lingers in aftertaste. No fruitiness or esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, slight astringency from the hops acceptable but should be mostly absent in the face of the firm body.

Overall Impression: Balance and mineral character are the hallmarks of this style.

Comments: Brewed to a slightly higher starting gravity than other light lagers, providing a firm malty body and underlying maltiness to complement the sulfate-accentuated hop bitterness.

History: A style indigenous to the Dortmund industrial region, Export has been on the decline in Germany in recent years.

Ingredients: High sulfate water, German or Czech hops, Pilsner malt.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 - 1.060, FG: 1.010 - 1.015, ABV: 4.8 - 6.0%, IBU: 23 - 30, SRM: 4 - 6.

Commercial Examples: DAB Export. Dortmunder Union Original. Gosser Pale.


CLASS 3. AMERICAN-STYLE WHEAT ALE AND CREAM ALE

3.1 American-Style Wheat Ale

Aroma: Characteristic of wheat with some graininess. Weizen clovey and banana aromas are inappropriate. Hop aroma may be high or low but if present will be from American hop varieties.

Appearance: Usually pale straw to gold. Dark versions approximating dunkelweizens are acceptable. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating the hefe-weizen style of beer. Big, long lasting head.

Flavor Light graininess. Hop flavor may be from low to high. Hop bitterness low to medium. Some fruitiness from ale fermentations acceptable however the use of a fairly neutral American ale yeast usually results in a clean fermentation. Little to no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Higher carbonation is appropriate. Mouthfeel will appear lighter than actual body due to higher levels of carbonation.

Overall Impression: A light, refreshing beer that exhibits balanced hop and wheat maltiness.

Comments: Bavarian Weizenbier flavors such as banana esters and clove-like phenols are inappropriate.

History: An American adaptation of German Weizen, without the spicy character.

Ingredients: Standard ale yeast. Often 50% wheat malt or more.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 - 1.055, FG: 1.008 - 1.015, ABV: 3.7 - 5.5%, IBU: 10 - 30, SRM: 2 - 8.

Commercial Examples: Anchor Wheat. Anderson Valley High Rollers Wheat. Wheathook.

3.2 American-Style Honey Wheat Ale

Aroma: Characteristic of wheat with some graininess. Hop aroma may be high or low but if present will be from American hop varieties. The flowery aroma of honey is a characteristic feature.

Appearance: Usually pale straw to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy depending on degree of filtration. Big, long lasting head.

Flavor Light graininess and some sweetness from honey. Hop flavor may be from low to moderate. Hop bitterness low to medium. Some fruitiness from ale fermentations acceptable however the use of a fairly neutral American ale yeast usually results in a clean fermentation. Little to no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Higher carbonation is appropriate. Mouthfeel will appear lighter than actual body due to higher levels of carbonation. The honey addition may further lighten the body.

Overall Impression: A light, refreshing beer that exhibits balanced hop and wheat maltiness, with honey added as a featured flavor and aroma contributor.

Comments: Weizen clovey and banana aromas and flavors are inappropriate.

History: An experimental style seeking a flavor synergy between wheat malt and honey.

Ingredients: Standard ale yeast. Often 50% wheat malt or more. Honey.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 - 1.055, FG: 1.008 - 1.015, ABV: 3.7 - 5.5%, IBU: 10 - 30, SRM: 2 - 8.

Commercial Examples: Pete’s Wicked Honey Wheat. Oregon Honey Beer.

3.3 American-Style Cream Ale

Aroma: Low hop aroma may be present. Low levels of DMS acceptable. Low maltiness. Some character from the use of corn as an adjunct may be present. Slight esters and other fermentation products may be present.

Appearance: Pale straw to pale gold. Clear to brilliant. Good head retention.

Flavor Low hop bittering. Low maltiness; however, grainy sweetness from corn used as an adjunct may be present. Low levels of fruitness may be present. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Light but creamy body. Well carbonated. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall Impression: A smooth, refreshing, thirst-quenching blond ale.

Comments: Fermented as an ale, followed by cold conditioning or a blending of ale and lager beers, which reduces the fermentation byproducts.

History: An adaptation of American Pale Lager to an ale-based style.

Ingredients: Two-row or six-row pale malts. Corn or rice are often used as adjuncts. American-type mild hops. Neutral ale yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.055, FG: 1.007 - 1.010, ABV: 4.4 - 5.7%, IBU: 10 - 22, SRM: 2 - 4.

Commercial Examples: Rogue Golden Ale. Genesee Cream Ale. Little Kings Cream Ale.

3.4 American Blonde Ale

Aroma: Light to moderate sweet malty aroma.  Low to moderate fruitiness is optional, but acceptable.  May have a low to medium hop aroma, and can reflect almost any hop variety.  No diacetyl. 

Appearance: Light yellow to deep gold in color.  Clear to brilliant.  Low to medium white head with fair to good retention.

Flavor: Initial soft malty sweetness, but optionally some light character malt flavor (e.g., bread, toast, biscuit, wheat) can also be present.  Caramel flavors typically absent.  Low to medium esters optional, but are commonly found in many examples.  Light to moderate hop flavor (any variety), but shouldn’t be overly aggressive.  Low to medium bitterness, but the balance is normally towards the malt.  Finishes medium-dry to somewhat sweet.  No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body.  Medium to high carbonation.  Smooth without harsh bitterness or astringency.

Overall Impression: Easy-drinking, approachable, malt-oriented American craft beer.

History: Currently produced by many (American) microbreweries and brewpubs.  Regional variations exist (many West Coast brewpub examples are more assertive, like pale ales) but in most areas this beer is designed as the entry-level craft beer.

Comments: In addition to the more common American Blonde Ale, this category can also include modern English Summer Ales, American Kölsch-style beers, and less assertive American and English pale ales.

Ingredients: Generally all malt, but can include up to 25% wheat malt and some sugar adjuncts.  Any hop variety can be used.  Clean American, lightly fruity English, or Kölsch yeast.  May also be made with lager yeast, or cold-conditioned.  Some versions may have honey, spices and/or fruit added, although if any of these ingredients are stronger than a background flavor they should be entered in specialty, spiced or fruit beer categories instead.  Extract versions should only use the lightest malt extracts and avoid kettle caramelization.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.038 – 1.054, FG: 1.008-1.013, ABV: 3.8-5.5%, IBUs:15–28, SRM: 3 – 6

Commercial Examples: Pelican Kiwanda Cream Ale, Russian River Aud Blonde, Rogue Oregon Golden Ale, Widmer Blonde Ale, Fuller’s Summer Ale, Redhook Blonde


 

CLASS 4. ENGLISH-STYLE BITTER ALE AND PALE ALE

4.1 Ordinary Bitter

Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, often (but not always) with a light caramel quality. Bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty malt complexity is common. Mild to moderate fruitiness. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed

Appearance: Pale amber to light copper color. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor: Medium to moderately high bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high fruity esters. Moderate to low hop flavor, typically with an earthy, resiny, fruity, and/or floral character. Low to medium maltiness with a dry finish. The malt profile is typically bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty. Low to moderate caramel or toffee flavors are optional. Balance is often decidedly bitter, although the bitterness should not completely overpower the malt flavor, esters and hop flavor. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body.  Carbonation low, although bottled examples can have moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: Low gravity, low alcohol levels, and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking session beer. The malt profile can vary in flavor and intensity, but should never override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style

History: Originally a draught ale served very fresh under no pressure (gravity or hand pump only) at cellar temperatures.  Note that recently some British brewers have been using American hops (e.g., Cascade), but beers made like this fit better into the American pale ale guideline.

Comments: The lightest of the bitters.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt, crystal malts, English hops, often medium sulfate water are used.

Vital Statistics:  OG: 1.030 - 1.038, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV: 3 - 3.8%, IBUs: 20 - 40, SRM: 6-14

Commercial Examples: Henley's Brakspear Bitter, Boddington's Pub Draught, Thomas Hardy Country Bitter, Young's Bitter, Fuller's Chiswick Bitter.

4.2 Special or Best Bitter

. Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, often (but not always) with a low to medium-low caramel quality. Bready, biscuit, or lightly toasty malt complexity is common. Mild to moderate fruitiness. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Appearance: Pale amber to medium copper color. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor: Medium to moderately high bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high fruity esters. Moderate to low hop flavor, typically with an earthy, resiny, fruity, and/or floral character. Low to medium maltiness with a dry finish. The malt profile is typically bready, biscuity, or lightly toasty. Low to moderate caramel or toffee flavors are optional. Balance is often decidedly bitter, although the bitterness should not completely overpower the malt flavor, esters and hop flavor. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Low carbonation, although bottled examples can have moderate carbonation.Commercial Examples: Young's Ramrod, Fuller's London Pride, Adnam's Suffolk Extra, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Shepherd Neame Masterbrew Bitter, Goose Island Honkers Ale, Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale, Nor'Wester Best Bitter.

4.3 Strong Bitter and Extra Special Bitter (ESB) or English Pale Ale

Aroma: Hop aroma moderately-high to moderately-low, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Medium to medium-high malt aroma, optionally with a low to moderate caramel component. Medium-low to medium-high fruity esters. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed. Appearance: Light amber to deep copper color. Good to brilliant clarity. Low to moderate white to off-white head. A low head is acceptable when carbonation is also low.

Flavor: Medium to medium-high bitterness with supporting malt flavors evident. The malt profile is typically bready, biscuity, nutty, or lightly toasty, and optionally has a moderately low to moderate caramel or toffee flavor. Hop flavor moderate to moderately high, typically with a floral, earthy, resiny, and/or fruity character. Hop bitterness and flavor should be noticeable, but should not totally dominate malt flavors. Moderately-low to high fruity esters. Optionally may have low amounts of alcohol. Medium-dry to dry finish. Generally no diacetyl, although very low levels are allowed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium-full body. Low to moderate carbonation, although bottled versions will be higher. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth but this character should not be too high..

Overall Impression: A solidly flavored beer both in terms of malt and hops.

History: Originally a draught ale served very fresh under no pressure(gravity or hand pump only) at cellar temperatures.  Note that recently some British brewers have been using American hops (e.g., Cascade), but beers made like this fit better into the American pale ale guideline.

Comments: In England today, “ESB” is a Fullers trademark, and no one thinks of it as a generic class of beer. Fresh Fullers ESB is an excellent example of the style.  It is a unique (but very well-known) beer that has a very strong, complex malt profile not found in other examples, often leading judges to overly penalize other traditional English strong bitters. In America, ESB has been co-opted to describe a malty, bitter, reddish, standard-strength (for the US) British-type ale, and is a popular craft beer style. This may cause some judges to think of US brewpub ESBs as representative of this style.  Normally one might think of Strong Bitter as the draught version of the beer and English Pale Ale as the bottled version.  In a homebrew contest with bottles, judges really can’t differentiate between the two.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt, crystal malt, English hops, often medium sulfate water is used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046 - 1.065, FG: 1.011 - 1.020, ABV: 4.4 - 6.2%, IBUs: 30 – 65, SRM: 6 - 14                       

Commercial Examples: Fullers ESB, Bateman's  XXXB, Young's Strong Export Bitter (sold in the US as Young's Special London Ale), Ushers 1824 Particular Ale, Oasis ESB, Big Time ESB, Shepherd Neame Bishop's Finger, Bass Pale Ale, Whitbread, Royal Oak.


 

CLASS 5. AMERICAN-STYLE PALE ALE

5.1 American-Style Pale Ale

Aroma: Usually moderate to strong hop aroma from dryhopping or late kettle additions of American hop

varieties. Citrusy hop aroma very common. Esters vary from low to high. Diacetyl moderate to none.

Appearance: Pale golden to amber. Flavor Often moderate to high hop flavor. Citrusy hop flavor very common (such as from Cascades), but also other American hop variety flavors are found. Malt flavor moderate relative to aggressive hop flavor and bitterness. Balance towards bitterness. Caramel flavor is usually restrained. Diacetyl moderate to none.

Mouthfeel: Many are rather light, refreshing and more highly carbonated than other styles, but body can reach medium. Carbonation borders on effervescent in some examples.

Overall Impression: An American adaptation of English Pale Ale.

Comments: American Pale Ales differ from American Amber Ales not only by being lighter in color, but also in having less caramel flavor and usually being balanced more towards hop bitterness. American Pale Ales are often lighter in color than English ones.

History: An American adaptation of English Pale Ale.

Ingredients: Pale Ale malt, typically American 2-row. Light to medium crystal malts. American hops, often the citrusy ones such as Cascade, Centennial and Columbus, but others may also be used (e.g. Brewer's Gold or Willamette). Water can vary in sulfate content, but is often lower than in English versions and the carbonate content should be relatively low.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 - 1.056, FG: 1.010 - 1.015, ABV: 4.5 - 5.7%, IBU: 20 - 40, SRM: 4 - 11.

Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Mad River Steelhead Extra Pale Ale.

 


CLASS 6. SCOTTISH-STYLE ALES

6.1 Light (60/-)

Aroma: Malt is evident; some examples have a low level of hop aroma. Fruitiness low to none. A very faint smoky and/or toasty/roasty characteristic sometimes present. May have some diacetyl.

Appearance: Amber to dark brown. Draught examples often have a creamy, long-lasting head.

Flavor: Malt-dominated flavor, with subdued esters and just enough hop bitterness to prevent the beer from being cloyingly sweet. A very slight toasty, roasty and/or chocolate-like character is sometimes present.  Caramel flavor from crystal malt medium to none.  May have some diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with low carbonation. Body is medium-light, but full for the gravity.

Overall Impression: Cleanly malty, with perhaps a faint touch of smoke and few esters.

History: More recent commercial interpretations from Scotland have begun to drift towards English bitter in terms of bitterness, balance, attenuation, esters and dry-hopping.  These guidelines don't account for these recent commercial examples which would more accurately be described as bitters.  Traditionally, these beers were dispensed via pumps, which forced air into the headspace of the cask, thus forcing the beer out. These air-powered systems are referred to as "tall fonts."  The "light" name associated with this style refers to the gravity rather than the color.

Comments: Though similar in gravity to ordinary bitter, the malt-hop balance is decidedly to the malt side. Long, cool fermentation leads to clean malt character (which may include some faint peat or smoke character). Note that the smoky character can be due to the yeast as often as to smoked or peat-kilned malt.  Strongly smoky beers should be entered in the Smoked Beer category rather than here.

Ingredients: Scottish or English pale malt with small proportions of roasted barley, crystal or chocolate malt. English hops. Clean, relatively un-attenuative ale yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.030 - 1.034, FG: 1.010 - 1.013, ABV: 2.5 - 3.3%, IBUs: 9 – 15, SRM: 12 - 34                      Commercial Examples: Belhaven 60/-, Caledonian 60/-, Maclay 60/- Light, Highland Dark Light (HDL).

6.2 Heavy (70/-)

Aroma: Malt is evident; some examples have a low level of hop aroma. Fruitiness is low to none with a mild smoky character and/or toasty/roasty aroma, which is sometimes present.  May have some diacetyl.

Appearance: Amber to dark brown; draught examples often have a creamy, long-lasting head.

Flavor: Malt-dominated flavor, with subdued esters and just enough hop bitterness to prevent the beer from being cloyingly sweet. A very slight toasty/roasty or chocolate-like character is sometimes present.  Caramel flavor from crystal malt medium to none.  May have some diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with low carbonation. Body is medium to medium-light.

Overall Impression: Cleanly malty, with perhaps a faint touch of smoke and few esters.

History: More recent commercial interpretations from Scotland have begun to drift towards English bitter in terms of bitterness, balance, attenuation, esters and dry-hopping.  These guidelines don't account for these recent commercial examples which would more accurately be described as bitters.  Traditionally, these beers were dispensed via pumps, which forced air into the headspace of the cask, thus forcing the beer out. These air-powered systems are referred to as "tall fonts."

Comments: Though similar in gravity to special bitter, the malt-hop balance is decidedly to the malt side. Long, cool fermentation leads to clean malt character (which may include some faint peat or smoke character). Note that the smoky character can be due to the yeast as often as to smoked or peat-kilned malt.  Strongly smoky beers should be entered in the Smoked Beer category instead.

Ingredients: Scottish or English pale malt with small proportions of roasted barley, crystal or chocolate malt. English hops. Clean, relatively un-attenuative ale yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.034 - 1.040, FG: 1.011 - 1.015, ABV: 3.2-3.9%, IBUs: 10 – 25, SRM: 10 - 19                      Commercial Examples: Orkney Raven Ale, Greenmantle Ale, Borve Heavy Ale, Waverly Ale 70/-, Highland Heavy, Belhaven 70/-, Caledonian 70/-,Maclay 70/-, McEwans 70/- (also sold as Younger's Scotch Ale and Tartan Special).

6.3 Export (80/-)

Aroma: Malt is evident. Some examples have a low level of hop aroma. Fruitiness low to none. A mild

smoky and/or toasty/roasty character is sometimes present. May have some diacetyl.

Appearance: Amber to dark brown; draught examples often have a creamy, long-lasting head.

Flavor Malt-dominated flavor, with subdued esters and just enough hop bitterness to prevent the beer from being cloyingly sweet. A very slight toasty, roasty and/or chocolate-like character is sometimes present. May have some diacetyl. Some examples display a nutty malt character.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with low carbonation. Body is medium to medium-full.

Overall Impression: Cleanly malty, with perhaps a faint touch of smoke and a few esters.

Comments: Though similar in gravity to Strong Bitter, the malt-hop balance is decidedly to the malt side. Long, cool fermentation leads to clean malt character (which may include some faint peat or smoke character). Note that the smoky character can be due to the yeast as often as to smoked or peat-kilned malt. Strongly smoky beers should be entered in the Smoked Beer category rather than here. It is important to note that while the IBUs on some of these beers can be rather high, the low attenuation and solid maltiness results in a balance that is still even at best and more than likely towards malt.

History: More recent commercial interpretations from Scotland have begun to drift towards English Bitter in terms of bitterness, balance, attenuation, esters and dryhopping. These guidelines don't account for these recent commercial examples which would more accurately be described as Bitters. Traditionally, these beers were dispensed via pumps which forced air into the headspace of the cask, thus forcing the beer out. These air-powered systems are referred to as "tall fonts."

Ingredients: Scottish or English pale malt with small proportions of roasted barley, crystal or chocolate malt. English hops. Clean, relatively un-attenuative ale yeast. Relatively soft water typically used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.013 - 1.017, ABV: 3.9 - 4.9%, IBU: 15 - 36, SRM: 10 - 19.

Commercial Examples: McEwan's 80/- (despite the "India Pale Ale" on the label). Belhaven Scottish Ale. Caledonian Amber Ale. Maclay 80 Shilling Export Ale.

6.4 Irish Red Ale

Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, generally caramel-like but occasionally toasty or toffee-like in nature.  May have a light buttery character (although this is not required).  Hop aroma is low to none (usually not present).  Quite clean.

Appearance: Amber to deep reddish copper color (most examples have a deep reddish hue).  Clear.  Low off-white to tan colored head.

Flavor: Moderate caramel malt flavor and sweetness, occasionally with a buttered toast or toffee-like quality.  Finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish.  Generally no flavor hops, although some examples may have a light English hop flavor.  Medium-low hop bitterness, although light use of roasted grains may increase the perception of bitterness to the medium range.  Medium-dry to dry finish.  Clean and smooth (lager versions can be very smooth).  No esters.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, although examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel.  Moderate carbonation.  Smooth.  Moderately attenuated (more so than Scottish ales).  May have a slight alcohol warmth in stronger versions.

Overall Impression: An easy-drinking pint.  Malt-focused with an initial sweetness and a roasted dryness in the finish.

Comments: Sometimes brewed as a lager (if so, generally will not exhibit a diacetyl character).  When served too cold, the roasted character and bitterness may seem more elevated.

Ingredients: May contain some adjuncts (corn, rice, or sugar), although excessive adjunct use will harm the character of the beer.  Generally has a bit of roasted barley to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish.  UK/Irish malts, hops, yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044–1.060, FG: 1.010–1.014, ABV: 4.0–6.0%, IBUs: 17–28, SRM: 9–18                  

Commercial Examples: Moling’s Irish Red Ale, Smithwick’s Irish Ale, Kilkenny Irish Beer, Beamish Red Ale, Caffrey’s Irish Ale, Goose Island Kilgubbin Red Ale, Murphy’s Irish Red (lager), Boulevard Irish Ale, Harpoon Hibernian Ale

6.5 Wee Heavy (Strong Scotch Ale)

Aroma: Deeply malty, with caramel apparent. Roasty or even smoky secondary aromas may also be present, adding complexity. Moderate diacetyl character is also acceptable.

Appearance: Dark amber to dark brown color, often with ruby highlights.

Flavor Intensely malty with kettle caramelization apparent. Hint of roasted malt or smoky flavor may be present, as may some buttery diacetyl or nutty character. Esters and hop flavors are low, so malt impression should be dominant.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a thick, chewy viscosity. Alcoholic warmth should also be present.

Overall Impression: Rich and malty, reminiscent of a dessert. Complex secondary malt flavors prevent a one-dimensional impression.

Comments: Fermented at cooler temperatures than most ales, and with lower hopping rates, resulting in clean, intense malt flavors.

History: Well suited to the region of origin, with abundant malt and cool fermentation and aging temperature. Hops, which are not native to Scotland and formerly expensive to import, were kept to a minimum.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with some crystal and perhaps a dash of darker malt or even roasted barley. A small proportionof smoked malt may add depth, though smoky character may also originate from the yeast. Hop presence is minimal, although English varieties are most authentic. Low-to-medium sulfate and medium carbonate/bicarbonate water is most appropriate.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.072 - 1.088+, FG: 1.019-1.025+, ABV: 6.9 - 8.5+%, IBU: 20 - 40, SRM: 10 - 47. Commercial Examples: Traquair House Ale. MacAndrew's Scotch Ale. McEwan's Scotch Ale. Belhaven Wee Heavy. Scotch du Silly.

 


CLASS 7. INDIA PALE ALE

7.1 English-Style India Pale Ale

Aroma: A prominent hop aroma of floral, grassy, or fruity character is typical. A caramel-like or toasty malt presence may also be noted. Fruitiness, either from esters or hops, may also be detected.

Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to deep copper, with good clarity.

Flavor Hop flavor is medium to high from English-type hop varieties, with an assertive hop bitterness. Malt flavor is often low to medium, but should be sufficient to support the hop aspect. Despite the substantial hop character typical of these beers, sufficient malt flavor, body and complexity to support the hops will provide the best balance. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops should add to the overall complexity.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency is typical, although moderate carbonation combines to render an overall dry sensation in the presence of malt sweetness. Some alcohol warming may be sensed in stronger versions.

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy, moderately strong pale ale.

Comments: A pale ale that was brewed to an increased gravity and hop rate. English versions are often darker than American ones.

History: Originally brewed to survive the sea voyage from England to India. The temperature extremes and rolling of the seas resulted in a highly attenuated beer upon arrival.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); English hop varieties were originally used. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.075, FG: 1.012 - 1.016, ABV: 5.0 - 7.8%, IBU: 40 - 60+, SRM: 8 - 14.

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith's India Ale. Fuller's IPA. Highfalls IPA.

7.2 American-Style India Pale Ale

Aroma: A prominent hop aroma of floral, grassy, or fruity character is typical. A caramel-like or toasty malt presence may also be noted, but may be at a low level. Fruitiness, either from esters or hops, may also be detected.

Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to deep copper, with good clarity.

Flavor Hop flavor is medium to high from American-type hop varieties, with an assertive hop bitterness. Malt flavor is often low to medium, but should be sufficient to support the hop aspect. Despite the substantial hop character typical of these beers, sufficient malt flavor, body and complexity to support the hops will provide the best balance. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops should add to the overall complexity.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency is typical, although moderate carbonation combines to render an overall dry sensation in the presence of malt sweetness. Some alcohol warming may be sensed in stronger versions.

Overall Impression: A decidedly hoppy, moderately strong pale ale.

Comments: A pale ale that was brewed to an increased gravity and hop rate. English versions are often darker than American ones.

History: Originally brewed to survive the sea voyage from England to India. The temperature extremes and rolling of the seas resulted in a highly attenuated beer upon arrival.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); American hop varieties have found a place in many modern interpretations. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness, and many American versions use relatively soft water in their makeup.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.075, FG: 1.012 - 1.016, ABV: 5.0 - 7.8%, IBU: 40 - 60+, SRM: 8 - 14.

Commercial Examples: Anchor Liberty Ale. Oregon India Pale Ale.

7.3 Black India Pale Ale

Aroma: A prominent hop aroma of floral, grassy, or fruity character is typical. A caramel-like or toasty malt presence may also be noted, but may be at a low level. Fruitiness, either from esters or hops, may also be detected. Low roasty and toffee tones may be detected, but shouldn’t be to the level expected in a stout.

Appearance: Color ranges from chocolate brown to pitch black with good clarity that may be impacted by dry hopping.

Flavor Hop flavor is medium to high from American-type hop varieties, with assertive hop bitterness. Malt flavor is often low to medium, but should be sufficient to support the hop aspect. Light toffee and coffee flavors may be detected. Roast characters should be minimized to avoid interfering with the hops. Despite the substantial hop character typical of these beers, sufficient malt flavor, body and complexity to support the hops will provide the best balance. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops should add to the overall complexity.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency is typical, although moderate carbonation combines to render an overall dry sensation in the presence of malt sweetness. Some alcohol warming may be sensed in stronger versions.

Overall Impression: A hoppy, dark beer with the malt structure and bite of an IPA only darker. This style should not be confused with an American stout or porter with their stronger roasted malt presence and flavor.

Comments: A colored strong pale ale brewed to an increased gravity and hopping rate. While the color is dark, the beer’s flavor carries none of the heft or roast barley characters expected in more traditional porters and stouts.

History: A variant of the West Coast American IPA tradition. The beer is meant to surprise the drinker with its mellow stout like appearance concealing the hoppy bite underneath.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); American hop varieties such as Cascade, Centennial, Columbus are critical to style. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness, and many American versions use relatively soft water in their makeup. To achieve dark color with minimal roast characters many brewers turn to De-bittered German Chocolate Malts such as Weyermann Carafa Special or use beer colorants like Weyermann’s Sinamar.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.090, FG: 1.012 - 1.020, ABV: 5.0 – 9.0%, IBU: 40 - 80+, SRM: 17 – 40+.

Commercial Examples: W’10 Pitch Black IPA, Port Brewing Warrior Black IPA, Flossmoor Black Magic IPA, Deschutes Long Shadow Black IPA, Founders Black IPA, Dogfish Head Whassthat Black IPA (DIPA), Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale [Stone 11th Anniversary Ale] (DIPA)

 


 

CLASS 8. EUROPEAN-STYLE ALE

8.1 Kolsch-Style Ale

Aroma: Light hop aroma, German noble or Czech Saaz hops, giving a light fruitiness. Maltiness none to low. No diacetyl as this is a lagered beer resulting in a clean finish with just a hint of fruitiness from primary fermentation at ale temperatures. Low, noticeable levels of DMS or sulfur aroma, similar to pale continental lagers, are acceptable, particularly in a young Kolsch.

Appearance: Very pale to light gold. Very clear/brilliant. White head lingers as Belgian lace on the sides of the glass.

Flavor Soft, velvet palate; light hop fruitiness and a delicate dryness to slight sweetness in the finish. Clean fermentation with just a little residual fruitiness from ale fermentation temperatures. No diacetyl. Medium bitterness. Balanced toward bitterness but malt character should not be completely overshadowed.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium body. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall Impression: A delicately balanced beer with just a hint of hops and fruitiness that finishes dry to slightly sweet but very refreshing.

Comments: Brewed at ale temperatures, then cold conditioned to reduce fermentation byproducts.

History: As an appellation, the Kolsch name can only be used for beers brewed in Koln (Cologne), Germany, where it is a native style.

Ingredients: European hops only. Pils malt; small amounts of wheat may be used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.048, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV:4.0 - 5.0%, IBU: 16 - 30, SRM: 3.5 - 5.

Commercial Examples: Available in Koln only: Malzmuhle. Hellers. PJ Fruh. Pfaffgen. Sion. Kuppers.

8.2 Altbier

Aroma: Munich malt aroma, with a restrained fruitiness. Hop aroma may vary from low to moderate.

Appearance: Orange-copper to brown color, with brilliant clarity. Thick, persistent head.

Flavor Assertively bitter, with intense Munich malt-derived flavor to support. Fruity esters should be restrained; some chocolatey notes are acceptable. Hop flavor should be low to medium.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation. Some commercial examples have a dry finish resulting from a combination of high bitterness, higher attenuation, and moderate sulfate in the water.

Overall Impression: Bitterness is very high, especially in relation to the (moderate) gravity. Munich malt character lends balance, resulting in a bittersweet character. Very clean from fermentation at the lower end of the temperature range for ales, followed by a period of lagering.

Comments: A very bitter beer with a pronounced Munich malt character.

Ingredients, fermentation at low temperature (for an ale), and a lagering period combine to lend a cleaner palate than for most ales.

History: Pre-dates the isolation of bottom fermenting yeast strains, though it approximates many characteristics of lager beers.

Ingredients: German Munich malt is essential to obtaining the necessary depth of malt character. Hops are traditionally Spalt, though other German varieties are acceptable.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.055, FG: 1.012 - 1.019, ABV: 5.0 - 5.5%, IBU: 40 - 60, SRM: 11 - 19.

Commercial Examples: Zum Uerige. Zum Schluessel. Im Fuchschen. Widmer Ur-Alt. Grolsch Amber.


CLASS 9. AMBER AND DARK LAGER

9.1 Vienna-Style Lager

Aroma: Dark German (Vienna or Munich) malt aroma. A light toasted malt aroma may be present. Similar, though less intense than Oktoberfest.  None to low noble hop aroma.  A caramel malt aroma is inappropriate.

Appearance: Reddish amber to light brown color. Bright clarity and solid foam persists.

Flavor Soft, elegant malt complexity is in the forefront, with a firm enough hop presence to provide a balanced finish. Some bready toasted character from the use of Vienna malt, caramel or roast malt flavor inappropriate.  Clean lager fermentation.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, with a gentle creaminess. Medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: Characterized by soft, elegant maltiness that dries out in the finish to avoid becoming overly sweet.

Comments: The style owes much of its character to the method of malting (Vienna malt). Lighter overall than Oktoberfest, yet still decidedly balanced toward malt. 

History: The original amber lager, developed shortly after the isolation of lager yeast by Anton Dreher. Nearly extinct in its area of origin.   

Ingredients: Vienna malt provides a lightly toasty and complex, melanoidin-rich malt profile. As with Oktoberfests, only the finest quality malt should be used, along with Continental hops (preferably noble varieties). Moderately hard, carbonate-rich water will be balanced by the acidity of  toasted grains that comprise the bulk of the grist.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046 - 1.052, FG: 1.010 - 1.014, ABV: 4.6 - 5.5%, IBU: 18 - 30, SRM: 8 - 12.

Commercial examples: Cuauhtémoc Noche Buena, Figueroa Mountain Danish-style Red Lager, Negra Modelo

9.2 Marzen/Oktoberfest

Aroma: German (Vienna or Munich) malt aroma. A light toasted malt aroma may be present. No caramel, fruitiness, diacetyl, or hop aroma.

Appearance: Dark gold to reddish amber color. Bright clarity, with solid foam persists. 

Flavor Distinctive and complex maltiness may include both Munich and toasted aspects. Hop bitterness is moderate, and hop flavor is low to none and if present, of noble character. Balance is toward malt, though the finish is not sweet.   Clean lager fermentation, esters, phenols, and fusels are inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a creamy texture and medium carbonation.   Not sweet.

Overall Impression: Smooth and rather rich, with a depth of malt character. This is one of the classic malty styles, with a maltiness that is often described as soft, complex, and elegant but never cloying.

Comments: Typically brewed in the spring, signaling the end of the traditional brewing season and stored in cold caves or cellars during the warm summer months. Served in autumn amidst traditional celebrations.

History: Origin is credited to Gabriel Sedlmyer, based on an adaptation of the Vienna style developed by Anton Dreher around 1840, shortly after lager yeast was first isolated.

Ingredients: German Vienna malt (slightly lighter than Munich malt) should be the backbone (if not entirety) of the grain bill, with some Munich malt and possibly some crystal malt. All malt should derive from the finest quality two-row barley. Continental hops, especially noble varieties, are most authentic. Should adhere to the Reinheitsgebot. Somewhat alkaline water (up to 300 ppm), with significant carbonate content is welcome, due to the large proportion of acidic dark malt in the grist.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.064, FG: 1.012 - 1.016, ABV: 4.8 - 6.5%, IBU: 20 - 30, SRM: 7 -

Commercial Examples: Ayinger Oktoberfest-Marzen. Paulaner Oktoberfest. Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest.

9.3 Latin American-Style Malta

Aroma: Sweetly malty, with perhaps a touch of roast in some versions. Hop aroma low to none. No fruity

esters or diacetyl should be detected.

Appearance: Very dark brown, may have a garnet tint. Creamy head.

Flavor Sweetly malty. Low in grain character. Hop bitterness and flavor are low. Soft roasty character in the finish. Smooth impression is characteristic. Sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied. Carbonation is moderate at most.

Overall Impression: A sweet, dark lager beer of mild to moderate strength.

Comments: Lacks the grainy edge characteristic of continental European malts. A showcase for sweet dark maltiness.

History: Popular in South and Central America. Not to be confused with Malta, a sweet, non-alcoholic, malt-based soda also found there.

Ingredients: Pale and dark malts, including caramel malts for color and sweetness.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 - 1.052, FG: 1.010 - 1.015, ABV: 3.5 - 5.0%, IBU: 11 - 20, SRM: 15 - 30.

Commercial Examples: San Miguel Dark. Callao Dark Export., Xingu Black.

9.4 Munich-Style Dunkel

Aroma: Munich malt aroma, with sweetish notes or hints of bread crusts, chocolate and toffee also acceptable. No fruity esters or diacetyl should be detected, but slight  noble hop aroma is acceptable.

Appearance: Medium amber to dark brown, often with a red or garnet tint. Creamy light tan head, clear.

Flavor Dominated by the rich and complex flavor of Munich malt. May be slightly sweet from residual extract, but should not have a pronounced chocolate, crystal or caramel malt flavor. Burnt or bitter flavors from roasted malts should not be perceived. Hop bitterness is low but perceptible, with the balance tipped firmly towards maltiness. Hop flavor should be at the very edge of perception if perceived at all. Slight sulfur undertones may round out the malt character. Aftertaste remains malty although the hop bitterness may become more apparent in this last phase of flavor perception.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full mouthfeel, providing a firm body without being heavy.   A Munich water mineral bite may be present, but the overall mouthfeel should be creamy.

Overall Impression: Characterized by depth and complexity of Munich malt and the accompanying melanoidins. Comments: Versions from the Kulmbach region of Franconia are brewed from a bit higher gravity with a more intense flavor profile.

History: The classic lager style of Munich which developed as a malt-accented beer in part due to the moderately carbonate water.

Ingredients: Grist is primarily made up of German munich malts, as much as 99% in some cases or supplemented with German pilsner malt. Small amounts of crystal malt can add to the malt complexity but should not compete with the Munich malt. Very slight additions of roasted malts may be used to improve color but should not add any flavor. Noble German hop varieties and German lager yeast strains should be used. Moderately carbonate water. Often decoction mashed to showcase the malt flavors.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046 - 1.058, FG: 1.012 - 1.017, ABV: 4.3-5.6%, IBU: 20 - 28, SRM: 12 - 28.

Commercial Examples: Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel. Hacker-Pschorr Alt Munich Dark. Spaten Munich Dark. Kulmbacher Reichelbrau.

9.5 Schwarzbier

Aroma: Primarily malty, with low aromatic sweetness and/or hints of roast malt often apparent. Low hop aroma may be perceived. No fruity esters or diacetyl.

Appearance: : Medium to very dark brown in color, often with deep ruby to garnet highlights, yet almost never truly black. Very clear. Large, persistent, tan-colored head

Flavor Rich, full malt flavor balanced by moderate bitterness from both hops and roasted malt, providing a bitter-chocolate palate without being particularly dry. Low hop flavor and some residual sweetness are acceptable. Aftertaste tends to dry out slowly and linger, featuring hop bitterness with a complementary subtle roastiness in the background. Never burnt.  No fruity esters or diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium body. Moderate to moderately-high carbonation. Smooth. No harshness or astringency, despite the use of dark, roasted malts.

Overall Impression: A beer that balances rich dark malt flavors with a perceptible bitterness from hops and roasted malts.

Comments: In comparison with a Munich Dunkel, usually darker in color, drier on the palate and with a noticeable (but not high) roasted malt edge to balance the malt base.

History: In previous centuries in Germany, drinkers sometimes sweetened the initial product with sugar, and for some time, the Köstritzer brewery produced two versions, an original, drier product and another version with added sucrose. The current Ur-Köstritzer product splits the difference between the two previous versions.

Ingredients: German Munich malt and pilsner malts for the base, supplemented by a small amount of debittered roasted malts for the dark color and subtle roast flavors. Noble-type German hop varieties and a clean (preferably German) lager yeast are preferred.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.054, FG: 1.010 - 1.016, ABV: 4.2 - 5.4%, IBU: 25 - 35, SRM: 20 - 40+.

Commercial Examples: Kulmbacher Monchschof Kloster Schwarzbier. Ur-Köstritzer Schwarzbier.. Einbecker Schwarzbier

9.6 INTERNATIONAL AMBER LAGER

Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma which can be grainy, with a very low to moderate caramel-sweet to toasty-malty aroma. Hop aroma can range from moderate to none with a mildly floral or spicy character. Clean lager profile. A slight DMS, diacetyl, or corny aroma is acceptable.

Appearance: Golden-amber to reddish-copper color. Bright clarity. White to off-white foam stand which may not last.

Flavor: Low to moderate malt profile which can vary from dry to grainy-sweet. Low to moderate levels of caramel and toasty/bready notes can be evident. Low to medium-low corny sweetness is optional, but not a fault. Hop bitterness is low to moderate, and hop flavor is low to moderate with a spicy, herbal, or floral character. The balance can be fairly malty to nearly even, with the bitterness becoming more noticeable but not objectionable. The bitterness level can increase if the malt character increases to match. Clean fermentation profile. Finish is moderately dry with a moderately malty aftertaste. Czech examples can have a rich malty character.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth; some examples can be creamy. Comments: A wide spectrum of mass-market Amber lagers developed either independently in various countries, or describing rather generic amber beers that may have had more historical relevance but who eventually changed into an indistinguishable product in modern times.

History: Varies by country, but generally represents an adaptation of the mass-market International Lager or an evolution of indigenous styles into a more generic product.

Characteristic Ingredients: Two-row or six-row base malt. Munich-like character also common. Color malts such as victory, amber, etc. Caramel malt adjuncts. European or American hops or a combination of both.  Czech versions tend to employ decoction mashes.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 – 1.055 IBUs: 8 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.014 SRM: 7 – 14 ABV: 4.6 – 6.0% Commercial Examples: Brooklyn Lager,  Dos Equis Amber, Schell’s Oktoberfest, Yuengling Lager, Staropramen Amber

9.7 INTERNATIONAL DARK LAGER

Aroma: Little to moderate malt aroma; may have a light corn character. Medium-low to no roast and caramel malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from none to light spicy or floral hop presence. While a clean fermentation profile is generally most desirable, low levels of yeast character (such as a light apple fruitiness) are not a fault. A light amount of DMS, corn aroma, or diacetyl in the case of Czech beers is not a fault.

Appearance: Deep amber to dark brown with bright clarity and ruby highlights. Foam stand may not be long lasting, and is beige to light tan in color.

Flavor: Low to medium malty sweetness with medium-low to no caramel and/or roasted malt flavors (and may include hints of coffee, molasses or cocoa).  Czech versions can have a high Munich-like malt character.  Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels, and is typically floral, spicy, or herbal. Low to medium hop bitterness. May have a very light fruitiness. Moderately crisp finish. The balance is typically somewhat malty. Burnt or moderately strong roasted malt flavors are a defect.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body. Smooth with a light creaminess. Medium to high carbonation. No warming.  Often are creamy and rich. 

Comments: A broad range of international lagers that are darker than pale, and not assertively bitter and/or roasted.

History: Darker versions of International Pale Lagers often created by the same large, industrial breweries and meant to appeal to a broad audience. Often either a colored or sweetened adaptation of the standard pale industrial lager, or a more broadly accessible (and inexpensive) version of more traditional dark lagers. Characteristic Ingredients: Two- or six-row barley, corn, rice, or sugars as adjuncts. Light use of caramel and darker malts. Commercial versions may use coloring agents. Czech examples normally use undermodified Moravian malt that is roasted to produce Munich-like flavors. 

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 – 1.060 IBUs: 8 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.015 SRM: 14 – 22 ABV: 4.2 – 6.0% Commercial Examples: Baltika #4 Original,  Dixie Blackened Voodoo, Saint Pauli Girl Dark, Heineken Dark.  Czech examples include  Budweiser Budvar Dark and Staropramen Dark.


CLASS 10. AMERICAN WEST COAST-STYLE BEERS

10.1 West Coast Extra Pale Ale

Aroma:  Usually moderate to strong hop aroma from dryhopping or late kettle additions of American hop

varieties. Citrusy hop aroma very common. Esters vary from low to high. Diacetyl moderate to none. Malt aromas tend to be low in relation to the hops.

Appearance: Pale gold to light amber. Head is generally bright white and crispy. Clarity may suffer from a slight hop haze.

Flavor: Flavor is dominated by hop bitterness and flavor with just enough malt to temper the aggressive hop character. Diacetyl is moderate to none.

Mouthfeel:  Body is light and brisk with a sharp bracing hop character throughout the palate.

Overall Impression: A brisk, hoppier version of the American Pale Ale.

Comments:  This beer presents a similar hop profile to a pale ale or IPA, but with a lighter malt profile to showcase American hops.

History: An offshoot of the American West Coast craft-brewing trend to aggressively hopped beers. This style fills a gap as highly hopped beer that remains low in alcohol.

Ingredients: 2 Row Pale Malt, Light Crystal Malt, American Hops with a tendency towards the citrus character of Cascade, Centennial or Crystal.

Vital Statistics:  OG 1.040-1.055, FG 1.008-1.015, ABV 3.5%-5.5%, IBU 35-55, SRM 4-8 .

Commercial Examples: Alesmith X, Mad River Steelhead Xtra Pale Ale, BJ’s West Coast Xtra Pale, Green Flash Extra Pale Ale, SLO Brewing Extra Pale Ale, Three Floyds Extra Pale Ale

10.2 California Common Beer

Aroma: May have a pronounced woody or rustic hop aroma (as from Northern Brewer, for example).  Restrained fruitiness. May have a moderate toasted malt aroma. Diacetyl low to none.

Appearance: Dark gold to copper to medium amber.

Flavor Malty, balanced with a pronounced hop bitterness. Rustic/woody (e.g. Northern Brewer) hop flavor medium to none. May have a toasted (not roasted) malt flavor. Balance is generally about even between malt and hops. Diacetyl low to none.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium to medium-high carbonation.

Overall Impression: A pale beer unique to the U.S. West Coast that combines ale and lager elements.

Comments: Similar to American Pale Ale, although typically less fruity. Hop flavor/aroma may be woody or citrusy in character.

History: American west coast original. Large shallow fermenters are used. Originally, in the absence of handy ice or refrigeration, the locally cool ambient temperatures of the San Francisco peninsula led to a beer that was fermented with lager yeast, but at temperatures that were at the cool end of the ale temperature range.

Ingredients: Pale Ale Malt, American hops (usually woody, such as Northern Brewer, rather than citrusy), small amounts of toasted malt and/or light caramel/crystal malts. Lager yeast, however some strains (often with the mention of "California" in he name) work better than others at the warmer fermentation temperatures (55 to 60F) used (some German strains produce excessive sulfur character). Water should have relatively low sulfate and low to moderate carbonate levels.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.055, FG: 1.010 - 1.014, ABV: 4.0- 5.5%, IBU: 35 - 45, SRM: 8 - 14.

Commercial Examples: Anchor Steam Beer.

10.3 American-Style Red and Amber Ale

Aroma: Often a mild to strong hop aroma from dryhopping or late kettle additions of American hop varieties. Some caramel aroma common. Esters vary from low to high. Diacetyl medium-high to none.

Appearance: Light copper to light brown.

Flavor Moderate to high hop flavor from American hop varieties. Malt/bitterness balance can be on either

side of even and is more likely to be on the malt side, but usually not too far from center. Caramel flavor is moderate to strong. Diacetyl medium-high to none.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium to medium-full. Carbonation typically moderate.

Overall Impression: Caramel usually balances the bitterness.

Comments: American Amber Ales differ from American-Style Pale Ales not only by being darker in color, but also in having more caramel flavor and usually being balanced more evenly even between malt and bitterness.

History: Called West Coast Amber Ales by some authors, this subcategory was spun-off from the American Pale Ale style.

Ingredients: Pale Ale malt, typically American 2-row. Medium to dark crystal malts. American hops, such as Cascade, Centennial, Brewer's Gold, Columbus and Willamette, but others may also be used. Water can vary in sulfate and carbonate content.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 - 1.056, FG: 1.010 - 1.015, ABV: 4.5 - 5.7%, IBU: 20 - 40, SRM: 11 - 18.

Commercial Examples: North Coast Red Seal Ale. Dock Street Amber. Mad River Jamaica Red Ale.

 

10.4 Imperial Pilsner

Aroma: Rich with a complex malt and a large spicy, floral hop bouquet.

Appearance: Light gold to deep copper-gold, clear, with a dense, creamy white head.

Flavor Rich complex maltiness combined with pronounced spicy bitterness and flavor from noble hops. Bitterness is prominent but never harsh. The beer is balanced between malt and hops. Some fruitiness or esters is acceptable from this higher gravity beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation. Medium astringency from the hop bitterness which provides the counterbalance to the high gravity.

Overall Impression: Crisp, hoppy, complex, well-rounded and warming yet refreshing. Different from Malt liquor with it’s focus on all malt and noble hop character with proper lagering to yield a smooth, non sweet, non fruity beer.

Comments: Traditional Czech versions use Moravian malted barley and a decoction mash for rich malt character. Saaz hops, and low sulfate and low carbonate water provide a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite a relatively high bittering rate.  Modern American versions often use domestic pale malts and American variants of Noble hops.

History: An amped up variation on the classic Pilsners. Not as delicate or crisp as a normal Bohemian Pilsner, but more aggressively hoppy than Maibocks and lacking in adjuncts, ala Malt Liquor. Examples are both available from the Czech Republic and the US.

Ingredients: Low sulfate and low carbonate water, Noble hops (Sterling, Saaz, Hallertauer), Virtually 100% Pilsner or Pale Malt and a clean lager yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.065 - 1.090, FG: 1.010 - 1.018, ABV: 6.2 – 10.0%, IBU: 35 - 75, SRM: 3 - 6.

Commercial Examples: Rogue Morimoto Imperial Pilsner, Abita Imperial Pils, Lobkowicz Prince Blonde Ale, Lev Lion Doppelbock, Dogfish Head Prescription Pils

 


CLASS 11. BROWN ALE

11.1 Mild Ale

Aroma: Slight mild malt/brown malt aroma, with some fruitiness. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Medium to dark brown or mahogany color. A few light brown examples exist. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor Malty, though not roasty, with a lightly nutty character. Flavors may include: vinous, licorice, plum or raisin, or chocolate. Usually fairly well-balanced, though some are sweetly malt-oriented.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Low carbonation and relatively high residual sweetness contribute to a full mouthfeel relative to the gravity.

Overall Impression: A light-flavored, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavorful. Comments: The name "mild" refers to the relative lack of hop bitterness, and may also have historical significance as to its relative age.

History: A working-class beer, as it is quenching yet not as intoxicating as most. May have evolved as one of the elements of early porters.

Ingredients: English mild/brown malt, or a combination of English pale and darker malts should comprise the grist. English hop varieties would be most suitable, though their character is muted.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.030 - 1.038, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV: 2.5 - 4.0%, IBU: 10 - 20, SRM: 10 - 25.

Commercial Examples: Brains' Dark. Banks's Mild. Highgate Mild. Fuller's Hock. McMullin's AK. Robinson's Best Mild.

11.2 Pale (“AK”) Mild Ale

Aroma: Slight malt aroma, with some fruitiness. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Pale gold to medium copper. Should be considerably less dark than it’s darker cousins. May have very little head due to low carbonation.

Flavor Malty with a lightly nutty and biscuity character. Flavors may include: biscuit, cracker, sweet honey. Usually fairly well-balanced, though some are sweetly malt-oriented. Generally, a touch more hop character than the darker cousins.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Low carbonation and relatively high residual sweetness contribute to a full mouthfeel relative to the gravity.

Overall Impression: A light-flavored, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavorful.

Comments: The name "mild" refers to the relative lack of hop bitterness, and may also have historical significance as to its relative age.

History: A working-class beer, as it is quenching yet not as intoxicating as most. May have evolved as one of the elements of early porters.

Ingredients: English mild  malt or a combination of English pale and lighter crystals should comprise the grist. Small additions of adjuncts like oats, corn and sugar are also traditional. English hop varieties would be most suitable, though their character is muted.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.030 - 1.038, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV: 2.5 - 4.0%, IBU: 10 - 20, SRM: 4-9

Commercial Examples: Highgate Fox’s Nob Mild. Timothy Taylor’s Golden Best,. McMullin's AK. John Harvard’s AK.

11.3 Southern English-Style Brown Ale

Aroma: Malty and moderately fruity, with some mild malt/brown malt character common.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost opaque.

Flavor Gentle, moderate sweetness. Malt dominates the balance, but hop bitterness is sufficient to prevent an overly sweet impression. Hop flavor is low to non-existent. Mild malt/brown malt flavor may be present, but sharp or roasty flavor is inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Low to medium body, with a caramelly impression.

Overall Impression: A malt-oriented version of brown ale, with a caramelly, dark fruit complexity of malt flavor. Comments: English brown ales are generally split into sub-styles along geographic lines.

History: Increasingly rare.

Ingredients: English mild malt/brown malt as a basis, though English pale may also be used, with a healthy proportion of caramel malts and often some darker malts. Moderate to high carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity. English hop varieties are most authentic, though with low flavor and bitterness almost any type could be used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.011 - 1.014, ABV: 3.5 - 5.0%, IBU: 15 - 25, SRM: 20 - 35.

Commercial examples: Mann's Brown Ale. Oregon Nut Brown Ale.

11.4 Northern English-Style Brown Ale

Aroma: Restrained fruitiness; little to no hop aroma. May have a caramelly aspect to the malt character.

Appearance: Dark golden to light brown color.

Flavor Gentle to moderate sweetness, with a nutty character. Balance is nearly even, with hop flavor low to none. Some fruity esters should be present; low diacetyl is acceptable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a dry finish.

Overall Impression: Drier and more hop-oriented that southern English brown ale, with a nutty character rather than caramel.

Comments: English brown ales are generally split into sub-styles along geographic lines.

History: Some well-known versions are 20 th century developments.

Ingredients: English mild malt/brown malt as a basis, though English pale may also be used, with a healthy proportion of caramel malts and often some darker malts to give color and malt complexity. English hop varieties are most authentic. Moderate carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.010 - 1.013, ABV: 4.0 - 5.0%, IBU: 15 - 30, SRM: 12 - 30.

Commercial Examples: Newcastle Brown Ale. Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Adnam's Nut Brown Ale.

11.5 American-Style Brown Ale

Aroma: Hop aroma, often citrusy, is mild to strong. Esters and dark malt aspects are mild to moderate.

Appearance: Dark amber to dark brown color.

Flavor Hop bitterness and flavor dominate the malty richness that is a characteristicof brown ales. Slightly drier than English versions, with assertive hop presence (bitterness, flavor, and aroma). Although malt flavor plays a supporting role, some toasty malt character (or even restrained roastiness) should be evident.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a dry, resiny impression contributed by the high hop bitterness.

Overall Impression: A bigger, hoppier, drier version of brown ale, typically including the citrus-accented hop presence that is characteristic of American varieties.

Comments: A more strongly-flavored beer than most English Brown Ales.

History: Adapted by American homebrewers, perhaps in response to the lack of character in many mainstream beers.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale male, either American or Continental plus crystal and darker malts should complete the malt bill. American hops should be used in generous quantity. Moderate to high carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.060, FG: 1.010 - 1.017, ABV: 4.0 - 6.0%, IBU: 25 - 60, SRM: 15 - 22.

Commercial Examples: Pete's Wicked Ale. Downtown Brown Ale.

 


CLASS 12. STRONG ALE AND OLD ALE

12.1 Old Ale

Aroma: Malty, with complex fruity esters. Some oxidative notes are acceptable, akin to those found in port or sherry. Hop aromas not usually present, due to extended age.

Appearance: Medium amber to very dark red-amber color.

Flavor Malty and usually sweet, with abundant fruity esters. The nutty malt sweetness yields to a finish that may vary from dry to somewhat sweet. Extended aging may contribute oxidative flavors similar to a fine old port or Madiera wine. Alcoholic strength should be evident, though not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; alcohol should contribute some warmth.

Overall Impression: An ale of significant alcoholic strength, though usually not as strong or rich as barleywine. Usually tilted toward a sweeter, more malty balance.

Comments: Often regarded as winter warmers, and often released as seasonal beers.

History: Historical basis likely dates back to a period when aged beers were highly prized.

Ingredients: Generous quantities of well-modified pale malt (generally English in origin, though not necessarily so), along with judicious quantities of caramel malts. Some darker examples suggest that dark malts may be appropriate, though sparingly so as to avoid roast character. Adjuncts (such as molasses or dark sugar) may also be utilized. Hop variety is not as important, as the relative balance and aging process negate much of the varietal character.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.060 - 1.090+, FG: 1.015 - 1.022+, ABV: 6.0 - 9.0+%, IBU: 30 - 60, SRM: 12 - 16. Commercial Examples: Theakston's Old Peculiar. Thomas Hardy’s Ale. Young's Winter Warmer. Marston's Owd Roger.

12.2 English-Style Strong Ale

Aroma: Malty and fruity, with prominent esters from warm and high-gravity fermentation. Hop aroma will vary from low to pronounced.

Appearance: Generally medium to dark amber in color, often with a distinct reddish tint.

Flavor Malty and fruity flavors dominate. Hop flavor will vary from moderate to strong, and hop bitterness often provides a dry finish. Balance between malt and hops can vary considerably.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Mineral fullness may be present. A warming sensation from alcohol may be experienced. Carbonation is low to moderate.

Overall Impression: A strong, rich ale.

Comments: Generally not so strong or rich as a Barleywine.

History: Often made as a winter seasonal, or a commemorative, special product by independent breweries.

Ingredients: Two-row pale malt, crystal malts for color and balancing sweetness, sometimes several hop varieties for aroma and/or flavor and/or bitterness. Warm-fermenting ale yeasts are commonly used. Water often has noticeable mineral content.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.060 - 1.098, FG: 1.015 - 1.022+, ABV: 6.5 - 10.0%, IBU: 30 - 90, SRM: 10 - 16. Commercial Examples: Thames Welsh Ale (aka Felinfoel Welsh Ale).

12.3 American-Style Strong Ale

Aroma: Malty and fruity, with prominent esters from warm and high-gravity fermentation. Hop aroma will vary from low to pronounced. Hops present in this beer will often be of the resiny American varieties.

Appearance: Generally medium to dark amber in color, often with a distinct reddish tint.

Flavor Malty and fruity flavors dominate. Hop flavor will vary from moderate to strong, and hop bitterness often provides a dry finish. Balance between malt and hops can vary considerably.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Mineral fullness may be present. A warming sensation from alcohol may be experienced. Carbonation is low to moderate.

Overall Impression: A strong, rich ale.

Comments: Generally not so strong or rich as a Barleywine.

History: Often made as a winter seasonal, or a commemorative, special product by independent breweries.

Ingredients: Two-row pale malt, crystal malts for color and balancing sweetness, sometimes several American hop varieties for aroma and/or flavor and/or bitterness. Warm-fermenting ale yeasts are commonly used. Water often has noticeable mineral content.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.060 - 1.098, FG: 1.015 - 1.022+, ABV: 6.5 - 10.0%, IBU: 30 - 90, SRM: 10 - 16. Commercial Examples: Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale, Bell’s Third Coast Ale, Deschutes Jubelale


CLASS 13. DOUBLE IPA AND BARLEYWINE

 

13.1 Wheat Wine

Aroma: Sweet fruity wheat malt aromas dominate over a neutral yeast base. Banana esters and cloves phenols are inappropriate. Some varieties include restrained spice doses including coriander and oranges that run with a restrained noble hop character. Due to the strength, alcohol aromas may be detected.

Appearance: Color ranges from hazy straw to pale gold.  Clarity ranges from good to hazy from wheat protein.

Flavor: Honeyed sweet, rich and luscious malty with bready and biscuit tones cut by the combination of carbonation and noble hop bite. Fruit flavors and spices may be present in moderation as may the sherry and raisin tones of strong ale oxidation.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweet, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency is typical. Moderate carbonation and protein reinforce the impression of a lighter fluffly textured beer. Alcohol warming may be sensed.

Overall impression: A strong American Wheat ale brewed to provide a sweet, but potent summer strong ale.

Comments: The style emerged in the late 90’s from the Midwest brewing scene.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing), wheat malts (40% or more); American noble hop varieties; optionally treated with spices

Vital Statistics: OG – 1.070 – 1.100, FG: 1.012-1.025, ABV: 7.5%-12%, IBU: 25-70+, SRM: 8 - 14.

Commercial Examples: Bell’s Wheat Love, Smuttynose Wheat Wine, Papago Churchill Wheat Wine, Portsmouth Wheat Wine

13.2 Double (“Imperial’’) India Pale Ale

Aroma: A prominent hop aroma of floral, grassy, or fruity character of American hops is the rule. Caramel and toasty malt aroma may also be noted, but at low aromas in comparison to the hops. Fruitiness from esters or hops may also be present. Due to the strength, alcohol aromas may be detected.

Appearance: Color ranges from medium gold to dark amber.  Clarity ranges from good to hazy from hop haze.

Flavor: Hop flavor is high from American-type hop varieties with assertive hop bitterness. Malt flavor is often low to medium, but should be sufficient to cut the hop aspect. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops should add to the overall complexity. Oxidative flavors and alcohol can also be present. Small amounts of astringency may be present from the large hop additions.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency is typical. Moderate carbonation and powerful hop bitterness combine to render the overall sensation of a fairly dry and crisp beer. Alcohol warming may be sensed.

Overall impression: A strong pale ale slewed in balance to hops. This beer is stronger and hoppier than a normal IPA, while not having the same intense malt presence of a barleywine.

Comments: This beer is the outgrowth of the West Coast Microbrewery movement. Imperial IPA’s were born to distinguish breweries and satisfy a growing demand for beyond the pale hoppy beers.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing), crystal malts for malt flavor; American hop varieties with a number using newer higher alpha acid varieties. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness, and many American versions use relatively soft water in their makeup.

Vital Statistics: OG – 1.070 – 1.100, FG: 1.012-1.025, ABV: 7.5%-12%, IBU: 70-100+, SRM: 8 - 14.

Commercial Examples: HopTown DUIPA, Marin Brewing Eldridge Grade White Knuckle, Moylander’s Double IPA, Stone Ruination IPA.

13.3 English-Style Barleywine

Aroma: Moderate to intense fruitiness; presence of hops (English varieties) may range from mild to assertive. A caramel-like aroma is often present.

Appearance: Color may range from rich gold to very dark amber or even brown. Often has ruby highlights. May have low head retention.

Flavor Fruity, with a great intensity of malt. Hop bitterness may range from just enough for balance to a firm presence; balance therefore ranges from malty to bitter. Some oxidative flavors may be present, and alcohol should be evident.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a slick, viscous texture. Warmth from alcohol should be present.

Overall Impression: The richest and strongest of English ales, with an intense, almost spirit-like presence. Comments: Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season.

History: Usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery, and often vintage-dated.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt should form the backbone of the grist, with judicious amounts of caramel malts. Dark malts should be used with great restraint, if at all, as most of the color arises from a lengthy boil.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.080 - 1.120+, FG: 1.020 - 1.030+, ABV: 8.0 - 12.0+%, IBU: 50 - 100, SRM: 10 - 22. Commercial Examples: Anchor Old Foghorn.Young's Old Nick.

13.4 American-Style Barleywine

Aroma: Moderate to intense fruitiness; presence of hops (typical American varieties) may range from moderate to dominant. A caramel-like aroma is often present.

Appearance: Color may range from rich gold to very dark amberor even brown. Often has ruby highlights. May have low head retention.

Flavor Fruity, with a great intensity of malt. Hop bitterness may range from just enough for balance to a firm, resiny dominance; balance therefore ranges from slightly malty to intensely bitter. Some oxidative flavors may be present, and alcohol should be evident.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, with a slick, viscous texture. Warmth from alcohol should be present.

Overall Impression: The richest and strongest of English ales (with an American spin), with an intense, almost spirit-like presence.

Comments: Normally aged significantly prior to release. Often associated with the winter or holiday season.

History: Usually the strongest ale offered by a brewery, and often vintage-dated.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt should form the backbone of the grist, with judicious amounts of caramel malts. Dark malts should be used with great restraint, if at all, as most of the color arises from a lengthy boil.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.080 - 1.120+, FG: 1.020 - 1.030+, ABV: 8.0 - 12.0+%, IBU: 50 - 100, SRM: 10 - 22. Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. Rogue Old Crustacean.


CLASS 14. NORTHERN EUROPEAN-STYLE STRONG BEERS

14.1 Dortmund-Style Adambier

Aroma: Intense maltiness.  Caramel often present.  Some fruity esters and higher alcohols often can be detected.  Some examples have a smoky aroma.

Appearance: Color is medium amber into dark amber.

Flavor Intensely malty balanced by subdued fruity esters and alcohol.  The malt character should be deep and complex with melenoidins present.  Some examples have roasty or smoky notes.  Hop bitterness can range from medium to fairly high, but hop aroma should be absent.  Sherry-like flavor is often present.  The finish should leave a long, lingering malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied beer.  Deep caramels and melanoidins should leave a sense of fullness on the palate without being sweet.

Overall Impression: Very rich and full-bodied, with the flavors of continental malt, noble hops and altbier yeast.

Comments: Adambiers are the ale version of a dopplebock.  Most are lagered for a considerable period of time and often laid down for as long as ten years.  As the beer ages, it become more complex as the oxidation adds subtle flavors.

Ingredients: German malts with significant portions of Munich and Crystal malts.

Vital Statistics:  OG 1.074-1.110, FG: 1.015-1.030, ABV: 10.0%, IBU 35-65

Commercial Examples: Hair of the Dog Adam

14.2 Baltic-Style Porter 

Aroma: Low Fruity esters, reminiscent of dark fruit, merged with intense roastiness and maltiness.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-black color; opaque. Head retention can range from very good to low due to alcohol.

Flavor Intensely malty with subdued fruit, backed up by balancing roastiness and a softer hop bitterness and flavor than found in an Imperial Stout. A "burnt currant" character may be present, along with a suggestion of cocoa or strong coffee. Alcoholic strength should be evident, along with a deep, complex malt flavor. The finish is generally dry, with stronger examples retaining more sweetness. Finish lingers with caramel sugars and dark roasts. Some examples carry spicy anise and herbal tones in the final profile.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and rich, with intense flavors and perceptible alcohol presence. Carbonation is relatively low. Flavors should be smooth and well blended.

Overall Impression: An intensely flavorful beer. Roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a notable alcohol presence. Dark fruit melds with roasty chewy sensations. Overall, the beer carries many notes of it’s parent style, Imperial Stout, but with a smoother, more subtle approach than the overt attacking nature of the Stouts.

Comments: Local brewery response to the creation of the Imperial Stout. Brewed with mostly indigenous ingredients and lager yeasts to take advantage of cool local temperatures.

History: Inspired by the importation of Imperial Stouts from Britian.

Ingredients: Brewed using ingredients local to the Baltic regions including Pilsner malts, Lublin hops and lager yeasts that are generally used across a brewery’s product line.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.070 - 1.095+, FG: 1.017 - 1.030+, ABV: 5.5 - 9.5+%, IBU: 30 - 50, SRM: 25 - 50.

Commercial Examples: Zywiec Porter, Okocim Porter, Saku Porter, D. Carnegie Stark Porter, Sinebrychoff Porter, Heavyweight Brewing Co.  Perkuno’s Hammer Imperial Porter.

14.3 Imperial (“Russian”) Stout

Aroma: Fruity esters, reminiscent of dark fruit, merged with intense roastiness and maltiness. Hop aroma is usually also present.

Appearance: Very dark reddish-black color; opaque.

Flavor Intensely fruity and malty, backed up by balancing roastiness and prominent hop bitterness and flavor. A "burnt currant" character may be present, along with a suggestion of cocoa or strong coffee. Alcoholic strength should be evident, along with a deep, complex malt flavor. The finish is relatively dry, with a lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and rich, with intense flavors and perceptible alcohol presence. Carbonation is relatively low.

Overall Impression: An intensely flavorful beer. Roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a notable alcohol presence. Dark fruit melds with roasty, burnt, almost tar-like sensations.

Comments: Brewed to high gravity and hopping level in England for export to the Baltic states and Russia. High OG and bittering rates may have helped it age in transport.

History: Said to be popular with the Russian Imperial Court. Reportedly originated as a style by the John Courage company.

Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, with generous quantities of roasted grain. Flavor and aroma hops should include English varieties for authenticity. Alkaline water would balance the abundance of acidic roasted grain in the grist.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.075 - 1.095+, FG: 1.018 - 1.030+, ABV: 8.0 - 12.0+%, IBU: 50 - 90+, SRM: 20 - 40. Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout. Rogue Imperial Stout. North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.


CLASS 15. BOCK

15.1 Maibock and Helles (Pale) Bock

Aroma: Moderate to strong malt aroma. Hop aroma should be low to none. Aromas such as diacetyl or fruity esters should be low to none. Some alcohol may be noticeable.

Appearance: Golden to amber in color. Lagering should provide good clarity. Head retention may be impaired by higher-than-average alcohol content.

Flavor The rich flavor of continental European pale malts dominates. Little or no hop flavor. Hop bitterness is generally only high enough to balance the malt flavors to allow moderate sweetness in the finish. Perception of hops may be more apparent than in darker Bocks.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A relatively pale, strong, malty lager beer.

Comments: A pale type of Bock Beer.

History: Can be thought of as a strong version of Munich Helles. The serving of Maibock is specifically associated with springtime and the month of May.

Ingredients: Pale lager malts. No non-malt adjuncts. Continental European hops. Water hardness varies. Lager yeast.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.064 - 1.072, FG: 1.011 - 1.020, ABV: 6.0 - 7.5%, IBU: 20 - 35, SRM: 4 - 10.

Commercial Examples: Ayinger Maibock. Spaten Premium Bock. Einbecker Ur-Bock. EKU Edelbock.

15.2 Traditional Bock

Aroma: Strong aroma of malt. Virtually no hop aroma. Some alcohol may be noticeable. Diacetyl or esters

should be low to none.

Appearance: Deep amber to dark brown color. Lagering should provide good clarity despite the dark color. Head retention may be impaired by higher-than-average alcohol content.

Flavor Rich and complex maltiness is dominated by the grain and caramel flavors of Munich and Vienna malts. A touch of roasty character may be present but is rare. No hop flavor. Hop bitterness is generally only high enough to balance the malt flavors to allow moderate sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A dark, strong, malty lager beer.

Comments: The caramel and melanoidin flavor aspects of the malt may be enhanced by decoction mashing.

History: Can be thought of as a strong version of Munich Dunkel. A Bavarian specialty that is most closely associated with serving in winter and spring seasons.

Ingredients: Munich and Vienna malts, rarely any dark roasted malts, never any non-malt adjuncts. Continental European hop varieties are used, for bittering only. Lager yeast. Water hardness can vary.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.064 - 1.072, FG: 1.013 - 1.020, ABV: 6.0 - 7.5%, IBU: 20 - 35, SRM: 14 - 30.

Commercial Examples: Aass Bock.

15.3 American-Style Bock

Aroma: Predominantly of malt. Hop aroma is generally low to none. Fruity esters should be very lowto none. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Medium to dark brown. Good clarity.

Flavor Varies from sweetly malty to dry and roasty. Most reflect the drier, grainier character of American malts. Hops play a background role in bittering only, with little to no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Usually no more than medium bodied, with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A malty, dark American-style lager beer that is a bit stronger than average.

Comments: Most often brewed from a lower original gravity than would be permissible in Germany, for the preferences of the American market.

History: Inspired by the German traditions of Bock beer brewing, as adapted to the American market.

Ingredients: Two-row and/or six-row pale malt. Caramel and roasted malts for color and flavor. Lager yeast and cold fermentation. Low hopping rate.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046 - 1.065, FG: 1.011 - 1.020, ABV: 4.5 - 6.0%, SRM: 14 - 30.

Commercial Examples: Augsburger Bock. Berghoff Bock. Shiner Bock.

15.4 Doppelbock

Aroma: Intense maltiness.  Virtually no hop aroma.  While diacetyl or esters should be low to none, a fruity aspect to the aroma often described as prune, plum or grape may be present due to reactions between malt, the boil, and aging.  A very slight roasty aroma may be present in darker versions. 

Appearance: Gold to dark brown in color.  Lagering should provide good clarity.  Head retention may be impaired by higher-than-average alcohol content. 

Flavor: Very rich and malty, infrequently a touch of roastiness. Invariably there will be an impression of alcoholic strength, but this should be smooth and warming rather than harsh or burning.  Presence of higher alcohols (fusel oils) should be very low to none.  Little to no hop flavor.  Hop bitterness varies from moderate to low but always allows malt to dominate the flavor. 

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied.  Low carbonation. 

Overall Impression: A very strong, rich, lager beer. 

History: A Bavarian specialty invented in Munich by the brothers of St. Francis of Paula.  Historical versions were less well attenuated than modern interpretations, with consequently higher sweetness and lower alcohol levels. 

Comments: Most versions are dark colored and may display the caramelizing and melanoidin effect of decoction mashing, but pale versions have also been made. 

Ingredients: Pale lager malt for pale versions, Munich and Vienna malts for darker ones and occasionally a small fraction of dark-roasted(burnt) malt in those.  Continental European hops. Water hardness will vary.  Lager yeast. 

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.073 - 1.120, FG: 1.018 - 1.030, IBUs: 20 – 40, SRM: 12 - 30, ABV: 7.5 - 12%

Commercial Examples: Paulaner Salvator, Ayinger Celebrator, Spaten Optimator, Tucher Bajuvator, Augustiner Maximator, EKU Kulminator "28," Loewenbraeu Triumphator, Hacker-Pschorr Animator, Old Dominion Dominator. 

15.5 Eisbock

Aroma: Dominated by malt.  Definite alcohol presence.  No hop aroma.  No diacetyl or esters. 

Appearance: Deep gold to dark brown in color.  Lagering should provide good clarity.  Head retention may be impaired by higher-than-average alcohol content. 

Flavor: Rich malt and concentrated alcohol.  No hop flavor.  Hop bitterness just balances the malt sweetness to avoid a cloying character. No diacetyl or esters. 

Mouthfeel:  Full-bodied.  Carbonation low. 

Overall Impression: An extremely strong lager beer. 

History: A Kulmbach specialty traditionally brewed by freezing a Bock or Doppelbock and removing the water ice to concentrate the flavor and alcohol content. 

Comments: The process of concentrating the alcohol content by freezing may impart significant smoothness to the flavor. The effective OG range due to the freezing effect is 1.092-1.150.

Ingredients: Pale lager malt for pale versions, Munich and Vienna malts for darker ones and occasionally a small fraction of dark-roasted malt in those.  Continental European hops for bitterness only.  Lager yeast.  Water hardness will vary.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.064 - 1.120, FG: 1.023 - 1.035, IBUs: 25 – 50, SRM: 18 – 50, ABV: 8.6 - 14.4%

Commercial Examples:  Niagara Eisbock, Eisbock: Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock G'frorns.


CLASS 16. PORTER

16.1 English-Style Porter

Aroma: Malt aroma with mild roastiness should be evident. Hop aroma may be moderate to low. Esters and diacetyl may be moderate to none.

Appearance: Medium brown to dark brown in color. Clarity and head retention should be fair to good.

Flavor Malt flavor will include mild to moderate roastiness. Hop flavor low to none. Hop bittering will vary the balance from slightly malty to slightly bitter. Diacetyl, and sourness or sharpness from dark grains, should be low to none. Hop bitterness and roast malt combine for a reliably dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium bodied. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fairly substantial dark ale with some roasty characteristics.

Comments: Softer flavors, lower gravities, and usually less alcohol than Robust Porter. More substance and roast than Brown Ale. Balance tends toward malt more than hops.

History: Originating in England, Porter is a precursor to Stout that evolved from a blend of beers or gyles known as "Entire." Said to have been favored by porters and other physical laborers.

Ingredients: May contain several malts, including dark roasted malts and grains. Hops are used chiefly for bitterness. Water may have significant carbonate hardness. Ale yeast, or occasionally lager yeast, is used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.050, FG: 1.008 - 1.014, ABV: 3.8 - 5.2%, IBU: 20-30, SRM: 20-35.

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. Bateman's Salem Porter. Shepherd Neame Original Porter. Fuller's London Porter.

16.2 American-Style Porter

Aroma: Roast malt or grain aroma, often coffee-like or chocolate-like, should be evident. Hop aroma moderate to low. Fruity esters, and diacetyl, are moderate to none.

Appearance: Dark brown to black color, may be garnet-like. Clarity may be difficult to discern in such a dark beer. Head retention should be moderate to good.

Flavor Malt flavor usually features coffee-like or chocolate-like roasty dryness. Overall flavor may finish from medium sweet to dry, depending on gristcomposition, hop bittering level, and attenuation. May have a sharp or sour character from dark roasted grains. Hop flavor varies widely. Diacetyl moderate to none.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Hop bitterness and roast malt combine for a reliably dry finish.

Overall Impression: A substantial dark ale with complex roasty malt, hop and fermentation characteristics. Comments: Often considered a good accompaniment to food. Although a rather variable style, it may be distinguished from closely-related Stout as having less creaminess and body (fullness).

History: Originating in England, Porter is a precursor to Stout that developed as a blend of beers or gyles known as "Entire." Said to have been favored by porters and other physical laborers.

Ingredients: May contain several malts, prominently dark roasted malts and grains which often include black malt. May contain several hop varieties for bittering, flavor and/or aroma. Water may have significant carbonate hardness. Ale yeast is most common.

Vital Statistics: OG 1.050 - 1.065, FG 1.012 - 1.016, ABV: 4.8 - 6.0%, IBU: 25 - 45, SRM: 30+.

Commercial Examples: Sierra Nevada Porter. Anchor Porter.

 


CLASS 17. STOUT

17.1 Irish-Style (Dry) Draught Stout

Aroma: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Esters low to high. Diacetyl moderate to none. Hop aroma low to none.

Appearance: Deep garnet to black in color. Clarity is irrelevant in such a dark beer. A thick, creamy, long-lasting head is characteristic.

Flavor Moderate acidity from roasted grains, and medium to high hop bitterness, provide a dry finish and often a nutty character. Balancing factors may include some creaminess, high to low fruitiness, and medium to no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, with a creamy character. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A very dark, roasty, bitter, creamy ale.

Comments: This is the low-gravity draught version of what is otherwise known as Irish Stout. Bottled versions are typically brewed from a significantly higher OG and may be consideredExtra Stouts.

History: The style evolved from attempts to capitalize on the success of London Porters, but reflected a fuller, creamier body.

Ingredients: The dryness comes from the use of roasted unmalted barley in addition to pale malt, moderate to high hop bitterness, and good attenuation. Flaked unmalted barley may also be used to add a creaminess. A small percentage of soured beer is sometimes added for complexity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 - 1.050, FG: 1.007 - 1.011, ABV: 3.2 - 5.5%, IBU: 30 - 50, SRM: 35+.

Commercial Examples: Guinness Draught Stout, Murphy's Stout, Beamish Stout.

17.2 English-Style (Sweet)Cream or Milk Stout

Aroma: Sweetly malty, with some roastiness. Fruity esters may be present. Hop aroma low to none.

Appearance: Very deep garnet into black in color.

Flavor Sweet milky/malty flavor is balanced a bit by soft roastiness. Hop bitterness is moderate to low. Hop flavor is low to none. Some diacetyl may be present.

Mouthfeel: Gives the impression of a full body for its gravity. Low carbonation level. Milky, creamy texture. Overall Impression: A soft, sweet, low-gravity stout ale.

Comments: Less sharpness, roastiness and bite than in the Irish Draught Stout style, with a decidedly sweeter flavor.

History: Previously recommended as a tonic for nursing mothers.

Ingredients: Two-row pale malt, crystal malts, dark roasted malts. Usually bodied up by adding milk sugar (lactose) which contributes its own aspect to the flavor and texture.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.026 - 1.048, FG: 1.010 - 1.017, ABV: 2.5 - 4.0%, IBU: 25 - 35, SRM: 30+.

Commercial Examples: Watney’s Cream Stout. Mackeson’s Triple Stout.

17.3 Extra (Dry Irish-Style) Stout

Aroma: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Esters low to high. Diacetyl moderate to none. Hop aroma low to none.

Appearance: Deep garnet to black in color. Clarity is irrelevant in such a dark beer. A thick, creamy, long-lasting head is characteristic.

Flavor Moderate acidity from roasted grains, and medium to high hop bitterness, provide a dry finish and often a nutty character. Balancing factors may include some creaminess, high to low fruitiness, and medium to no diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body, with a creamy character. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A very dark, roasty, bitter, creamy ale.

Comments: The Irish Extra Stout style is brewed from a significantly higher OG than the Irish Draught Stout style, giving a richer texture and flavor that is more appropriate for what is largely a bottled product.

History: Developed primarily for export.

Ingredients: The dryness comes from the use of roasted unmalted barley in addition to pale malt, moderate to high hop bitterness, and good attenuation. Flaked unmalted barley may also be used to add a creaminess. A small percentage of soured beer is sometimes added for complexity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.055 - 1.075, FG: 1.010 - 1.017, ABV: 5.4 - 6.8%, IBU: 45 - 85, SRM: 30+.

Commercial Examples: Guinness Extra Stout.

17.4 Export and Oatmeal (Sweet English-Style) Stout

Aroma: Mild roasted grain aromas. Fruitiness can be low to high. Diacetyl medium to none. Hop aroma low to none.

Appearance: Very dark amber to black in color, which makes clarity essentially unimportant. Creamy head.

Flavor Dark roasted grains and malts dominate the flavor, with medium to high sweetness. Hopping is moderate atmost.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. Carbonation low to moderate. A mealy, oily texture may be contributed by adjuncts such as oatmeal. Minerals may contribute to a sensation of fullness of body.

Overall Impression: A very dark, sweet, full bodied, slightly roasty ale.

Comments: This is a higher-gravity product than the Milk/Cream Stout style, and is usually a bottled style.

History: A rich English style of Stout.

Ingredients: Two-row pale malt, crystal malts, dark roasted malts. Lactose may be added to provide some of the residual sweetness. Oatmeal may be used as an adjunct, generally prominently mentioned on the label.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035 - 1.066, FG: 1.010 - 1.022, ABV: 3.0 - 5.6%, IBU: 20 - 40, SRM: 35+.

Commercial Examples: Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. Young’s Oatmeal Stout.

17.5 Foreign-Style Stout

Aroma: Roasted grain aromas prominent. Fruitiness medium to high. Diacetyl low to medium. Hop aroma

low to none. Occasionally has the aroma of alcohol.

Appearance: Very deep brown to black in color. Clarity usually obscured by deep color. Moderate to low head retention may result from a higher-than-average alcohol level.

Flavor Can range from sweet to dry, with roasted grain character obvious but not sharp. Fruitiness can be low to high, diacetyl medium to none. Hop bitterness can be medium to high.

Mouthfeel: Medium full body, creamy character, occasionally with some thinning effect from significant alcohol content.

Overall Impression: A very dark, moderately sweet, strong, roasty ale.

Comments: These beers possess a much stronger alcohol content than most other Stouts, and as a result the flavor leans toward malt in the balance.

History: Originally high-gravity Stouts brewed for tropical markets.

Ingredients: Pale and dark roasted malts and grains. Hops for bitterness. Ale yeast. Water character may be soft.

Vital Statistics:  OG: 1.050 - 1.075, FG: 1.010 - 1.017, ABV: 5.0 - 7.5%, IBU: 35 - 70, SRM: 35+.

Commercial Examples: Dragon Stout. ABC Stout. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.

17.6 American-Style Stout

Aroma: Aroma of American-type hops may be prominent, along with roastiness. Fruity esters may be present.

Appearance: Generally completely black in color.

Flavor Prominent hop flavor and bitterness. Malty body gives way to a dry, roasty, charcoal-like finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Carbonation moderate.

Overall Impression: A very dark, moderately strong, hoppy, roasty American ale.

Comments: Malt and roast flavors are characteristically bolder than in either Irish or English stout styles. Similarly, higher hop usage provides a much more significant role for the hops in aroma, flavor and bitterness than in the traditional stout styles from the British Isles. Original gravities are generally higher than in Irish and English Stouts as well.

History: Inspired by Irish and English models, but reflecting typical American experimentation with bolder flavors.

Ingredients: Two-row and/or six-row malts. Dark roasted malts and grains. Generally, liberal use of flowery American hops. Adjuncts such as oatmeal may or may not be used.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.075, FG: 1.010 - 1.022, ABV: 5.5 - 7.5%, IBU: 35 - 80, SRM: 30+.

Commercial Examples: Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout. Rogue Shakespeare Stout. Sierra Nevada Stout. Mad River Steelhead Extra Stout. North Coast Old Number 38 Stout.

 


CLASS 18. GERMAN-STYLE WHEAT BEER

18.1 Bavarian-Style Krystal Weizen

Aroma: Clove-like phenols and fruity esters of banana and vanilla are common. Hop aroma ranges from low to none. No diacetyl. A strong aroma of wheat should be present.

Appearance: Pale straw to reddish gold in color. A very thick, long-lasting head is characteristic. Head should be mousy and lace the glass densely.  Krystal is by definition a filtered beer and should have excellent clarity.

Flavor The soft, grainy flavor of wheat is essential. Hop flavor is low to none and hop bitterness is very low. A tart character from yeast and high carbonation may be present. Spicy phenols and fruity esters, most prominently banana, clove, and vanilla, are often present as is a bread-like character from wheat and yeast. No diacetyl. The fruity esters, spicy phenols, and wheat should all be in balance. 

Mouthfeel: The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a surprisingly light finish. A high carbonation level is typical.  Good examples are effervescent.

Overall Impression: A pale, spicy, fruity, wheat-based ale.

Comments: These are refreshing, fast-maturing beers that are lightly hopped. The Krystal version is filtered for excellent clarity. They don’t tend to hold up long.

History: A traditional wheat-based ale from Southern Germany that is a specialty for summer consumption.

Ingredients: A high percentage of malted wheat is used which typically constitutes 50% or more of the grist, the remainder being pale barley malt. Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity essences during a relatively warm fermentation. Hops are used for a small amount of bittering only. Water character will vary. Traditional production methods call for decoction mashing to develop additional flavor.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.056, FG: 1.010 - 1.014, ABV: 4.3 - 5.6%, IBU: 10 - 20, SRM: 2 - 9.

Commercial Examples: Franziskaner Krystal Weizen. Spaten Club-Weisse,

18.2 Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen

Aroma: Clove-like phenols and fruity esters of banana and vanilla are common. Hop aroma ranges from low to none. No diacetyl. A Big aroma of wheat may be present.

Appearance: Pale straw to gold in color. A very thick,long-lasting head is characteristic. The high protein content of wheat usually impairs clarity in the unfiltered Hefeweizen style, which is also deliberately cloudy from suspended yeast sediment.

Flavor The soft, grainy flavor of wheat is essential. Hop flavor is low to none and hop bitterness is very low. A tart character from yeast and high carbonation may be present. Spicy phenols and fruity esters, most prominently banana and vanilla, are often present, as is a bread-like character from wheat and yeast.  Sometimes low levels of Bubble Gum may be noted. No diacetyl.  The fruity esters, spicy phenols, and wheat should all be in balance. 

Mouthfeel: The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a surprisingly light finish. A high carbonation level is typical and the beer should be effervescent.

Overall Impression: A pale, spicy, fruity, yeasty, wheat-based ale.

Comments: These are refreshing, fast-maturing beers that are lightly hopped. The Hefeweizen version is served with yeast sediment stirred into it.

History: A traditional wheat-based ale from Southern Germany that is a specialty for summer consumption. Many believe that the yeast content of Hefeweizen gives it additional health benefits as a tonic.

Ingredients: A high percentage of malted wheat is used which typically constitutes 50% or more of the grist, the remainder being pale barley malt. Weizen ale yeasts produce the typical spicy and fruity essences during a relatively warm fermentation. Hops are used for a small amount of bittering only. Water character will vary. Some Hefeweizen versions may utilize lager yeast sediment for suspension for a smoother character. Traditional production methods call for decoction mashing to develop additional flavor.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.056, FG: 1.010 - 1.014, ABV: 4.3 - 5.6%, IBU: 10 - 20, SRM: 2 - 9.

Commercial Examples: Weihenstephan Hefeweizen. Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. Schneider Weisse, BJ’s Harvest Hefeweizen

18.3 Bavarian-Style Dunkelweizen

Aroma: Gentle aroma of Munich malt and bready wheat. May have some fruity and clove-spice aroma, notably banana. No hop aroma. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Light amber to light brown in color. A thick, long-lasting head is characteristic. High protein content of wheat and suspended yeast may impair clarity in an unfiltered beer.

Flavor Melanoidin character of Munich and toasty Vienna-type malts is prominent, along with some wheat flavor. There may be some spicy, fruity flavor as well. Roasty character is inappropriate. Low hop bitterness. No hop flavor. No diacetyl. Flavor should exhibit a balance of the toasted and lightly roasted malts, spicy phenols, bready wheat, and fruity esters.

Mouthfeel: The texture of wheat imparts the sensation of a fluffy, creamy fullness that may progress to a lighter finish. However, the presence of Munich and Vienna-type malts provides its own sense of fullness. A moderate to high carbonation level is typical.

Overall Impression: A dark, malty, spicy, wheat-based ale.

Comments: The presence of Munich and Vienna-type barley malts give this style a deeper and richer barley malt character than Bavarian Weizen. Often, there is less of the tart quality as well.

History: A dark version of Bavarian Weizen.

Ingredients: Wheat malt typically makes up 50% or more of the grist, the remainder being Munich or Vienna-type high-kilned barley malts. Some dark wheat malts may be used. Dark roasted malts are rarely used and then only in very small concentrations. Hops provide a mild bitterness only. Weizen ale yeast is used. Water character will vary. Traditional production methods call for decoction mashing to develop additional flavor.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.056, FG: 1.010 - 1.014, ABV: 4.3 - 5.6%, IBU: 10 - 20, SRM: 10 - 23.

Commercial Examples: EKU Dunkelweizen. Franziskaner Dunkel-Weizen.

18.4 Berliner Weisse

Note:  If you have a Berliner Weisse with fruit such as raspberry or woodruff syrup, enter it in the fruit or herb and spice category, not in German Wheats.

Aroma: Slightly fruity; a sour aspect should be quite noticeable. On occasion a mild Brettanomyces yeast aroma may be present, but it should be in the background. No hop aroma. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Very pale straw in color. Clarity ranges from fair to cloudy. Despite high carbonation, head retention can vary from moussy to low.

Flavor Lactic sourness dominates and can be quite strong. However, wheat flavor should be noticeable. Hop bitterness is very low. Mild Brettanomyces yeast character may be detected occasionally. No hop flavor. No diacetyl. The sour should be clean and pleasing; vinegar flavors don’t belong.

Mouthfeel: Light body. High carbonation. Tart.

Overall Impression: A very pale, sour, refreshing, low-alcohol wheat ale.

Comments: Often served with the addition of sugar syrups flavored with raspberry or woodruff to counter the substantial sourness. Has been described by some as the most purely refreshing beer in the world.

History: A regional specialty of Berlin; referred to by Napoleon's troops in 1809 as "the Champagne of the North" due to its lively and elegant character.

Ingredients: Wheat malt content is typically well under 50% of the grist, the remainder being pale barley malt. Lactobacillus delbruckii culture and fermentation provides the sharp sourness, which may be enhanced by blending of beers of different ages during ferment and by extended cool aging. Ale yeast ferments to a low alcohol level. Hop bitterness is extremely low. Water may have significant hardness.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.026 - 1.036, FG: 1.006 - 1.009, ABV: 2.8 - 3.6%, IBU: 3 - 8, SRM: 2 - 4.

Commercial Examples: Schultheiss Berliner Weisse. Berliner Kindl Weisse, Bear Republic Tartare, The Bruery Hottenroth.

 

18.5 Gose

Note:  If you have a Gose with fruit, enter it in the fruit or herb and spice category, not in German Wheats.

Aroma: Light to moderately fruity aroma of pome fruit. Light sourness, slightly sharp. Noticeable coriander, which can have an aromatic lemony quality, and an intensity up to moderate. Light bready, doughy, yeasty character like uncooked sourdough bread. The acidity and coriander can give a bright, lively impression. The salt may be perceived as a very light, clean sea breeze character or just a general freshness, if noticeable at all.

Appearance: Unfiltered, with a moderate to full haze. Moderate to tall sized white head with tight bubbles and good retention. Effervescent. Medium yellow color.

Flavor: Moderate to restrained but noticeable sourness, like a squeeze of lemon in iced tea. Moderate bready/doughy malt flavor. Light to moderate fruity character of pome fruit, stone fruit, or lemons. Light to moderate salt character, up to the threshold of taste; the salt should be noticeable (particularly in the initial taste) but not taste overtly salty. Low bitterness, no hop flavor. Dry, fully-attenuated finish, with acidity not hops balancing the malt. Acidity can be more noticeable in the finish, and enhance the refreshing quality of the beer. The acidity should be balanced, not forward (although historical versions could be very sour).

Mouthfeel: High to very high carbonation, effervescent. Medium-light to medium-full body. Salt may give a slightly tingly, mouthwatering quality, if perceived at all. The yeast and wheat can give it a little body, but it shouldn’t have a heavy feel.

Overall Impression: A highly-carbonated, tart and fruity wheat ale with a restrained coriander and salt character and low bitterness. Very refreshing, with bright flavors and high attenuation.

Comments: Served in traditional cylindrical glasses. Historical versions may have been more sour than modern examples due to spontaneous fermentation, and may be blended with syrups as is done with Berliner Weisse, or Kümmel, a liqueur flavored with caraway, cumin, and fennel. Modern examples are inoculated with lactobacillus, and are more balanced and generally don’t need sweetening. Pronounced GOH-zeh.

History: Minor style associated with Leipzig but originating in the Middle Ages in the town of Goslar on the Gose River. Documented to have been in Leipzig by 1740. Leipzig was said to have 80 Gose houses in 1900. Production declined significantly after WWII, and ceased entirely in 1966. Modern production was revived in the 1980s, but the beer is not widely available.  

Ingredients: Pilsner and wheat malt, restrained use of salt and coriander seed, lactobacillus. The coriander should have a fresh, citrusy (lemon or bitter orange), bright note, and not be vegetal, celery-like, or ham-like. The salt should have a sea salt or fresh salt character, not a metallic, iodine note. Style Comparison: Perceived acidity is not as intense as Berliner Weisse or Gueuzeand lactobacillus – should not taste overtly salty. Coriander aroma can be similar to a witbier. Haziness similar to a Weissbier. Vital Statistics: OG: 1.036 – 1.056 IBUs: 5 – 12 FG: 1.006 – 1.010 SRM: 3 – 4 ABV: 4.2 – 4.8%

Commercial Examples: Anderson Valley Gose, Bayerisch Bahnhof Leipziger Gose, Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose, Sierra Nevada Otra Vez, Marin Brewing Duck Goose Gose

 

18.6. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer)

Aroma: Light to moderate spicy rye aroma intermingled with light to moderate weizen yeast aromatics (spicy clove and fruity esters, either banana or citrus).  Light noble hops are acceptable.  Can have a somewhat acidic aroma from rye and yeast.  No diacetyl.

Appearance: Light coppery-orange to very dark reddish or coppery-brown color.  Large creamy off-white to tan head, quite dense and persistent (often thick and rocky).  Cloudy, hazy appearance.

Flavor: Grainy, moderately-low to moderately-strong spicy rye flavor, often having a hearty flavor reminiscent of rye or pumpernickel bread.  Medium to medium-low bitterness allows an initial malt sweetness (sometimes with a bit of caramel) to be tasted before yeast and rye character takes over.  Low to moderate weizen yeast character (banana, clove, and sometimes citrus), although the balance can vary.  Medium-dry, grainy finish with a tangy, lightly bitter (from rye) aftertaste.  Low to moderate noble hop flavor acceptable, and can persist into aftertaste.  No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body.  High carbonation.  Light tartness optional.

Overall Impression: A dunkelweizen made with rye rather than wheat, but with a greater body and light finishing hops.

History: A specialty beer originally brewed in Regensburg, Bavaria as a more distinctive variant of a dunkelweizen using malted rye instead of malted wheat.

Comments: American-style rye beers, or traditional beer styles with enough rye added to give a noticeable rye character should be entered in the specialty beer category instead.  Rye is a huskless grain and is difficult to mash, often resulting in a gummy mash texture that is prone to sticking.  Rye has been characterized as having the most assertive flavor of all cereal grains.  It is inappropriate to add caraway seeds to a roggenbier (as some American brewers do); the rye character is traditionally from the rye grain only.

Ingredients: Malted rye typically constitutes 50% or greater of the grist (some versions have 60-65% rye).  Remainder of grist can include pale malt, Munich malt, wheat malt, crystal malt and/or small amounts of debittered dark malts for color adjustment.  Weizen yeast provides distinctive banana esters and clove phenols.  Light usage of noble hops in bitterness, flavor and aroma.  Lower fermentation temperatures accentuate the clove character by suppressing ester formation.  Decoction mash commonly used (as with weizenbiers). 

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.046–1.056, FG: 1.010–1.014, ABV: 4.5–6%, IBUs: 10–20, SRM: 14–18.

Commercial Examples: Paulaner Roggen (formerly Thurn und Taxis, no longer imported into the US), Bürgerbräu Wolznacher Roggenbier

18.7 Weizenbock

Aroma: A powerful aroma of ripe fruit and spicy phenols are very common. Aroma of alcohol is also common. Some clove-spice aroma may be present. Rich malt aroma from both barley and wheat should be present.  Melanodins are common.  No hop aroma. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Light amber to dark brown in color. High alcohol level may impair what would otherwise be a thick, long-lasting head. Other times the head can be dense and mousy. Wheat protein and weizen yeast content may impair clarity.

Flavor Concentrated bready wheat flavor is common. Malty complexity, including smoky or raisin-like essences resulting from a Maillard reaction, may be present in darker versions. Lighter versions tend to have a strong toasty component.  A fruity character is common, and some clove-spice flavor may occur. Well-aged examples may show some sherry-like oxidation as a point of complexity. Hop bitterness is well-controlled. No hop flavor. No diacetyl. The beer has a complex balance with components of malt, wheat, yeast, phenols, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. A creamy sensation is typical, as is the warming sensation of substantial alcohol content. Moderate carbonation.

OverallImpression: A strong, malty, fruity, wheat-based ale.

Comments: A Bock among Bavarian Weizen beers.

History: A Bavarian specialty first introduced by Schneider in 1907 as their Aventinus product.

Ingredients: Wheat malt is typically 50% or more of the grist, the remainder barley malts. Hops provide mild bitterness only. Weizen ale yeasts are used. Water character can vary.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.066 - 1.080+, FG: 1.015 - 1.022, ABV: 6.5 - 8.0%+, IBU: 15 - 30, SRM: 7 - 25.

Commercial Examples: Schneider Aventinus. Erdinger Pikantus, Alesmith Weizenbock.

 

 


CLASS 19. BELGIAN-STYLE ABBEY ALE

19.1 Abbey Dubbel (Double) Ale

Aroma: Rich malt aromas are typical; many Dubbels have raisiny and other fruity ester aromas. No roasted malt aroma. Some higher alcohol aromas (peppery, spicy) are common. Mild to moderate clove-spice aromas may be present. Hop aroma is faint to none. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Dark amber-brown in color. Clarity is usually fair to good. Head retention may be adversely affected by alcohol content in stronger versions.

Flavor Rich malty and fruity flavors bring the balance toward malt throughout. Some commercial examples are malty, yet dry; raisin flavors are common. A slight to moderate clove spiciness may be present. Hop flavor is low to none. No diacetyl. Dark candi sugar contributes a unique dry caramel character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full to full body. Warming mouthfeel from alcohol.

Overall Impression: A dark, rich, malty, moderately strong ale.

Comments: By Belgian law, to be called a "Trappist Ale" it must be brewed at a Trappist monastery. Homebrewed and secular equivalents should be called "Abbey Ales."

History: Originated at monasteries in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era.

Ingredients: Yeast strains prone to production of higher alcohols, esters, and clove-spice aroma and flavor are most commonly used. Dark (caramelized) candi sugar is a common and significant addition for color and flavor contributions.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.063 to 1.080, FG: 1.012 to 1.018, ABV: 3.2 to 7.8%, IBU: 20 to 35, SRM: 10 to 20. Commercial Examples: Westmalle Dubbel. LaTrappe Dubbel. Affligem Dubbel. Steenbrugge Dubbel. Celis Dubbel. Westvletteren

19.2 Abbey Tripel (Triple) Ale

Aroma: Complex aroma of malt, fruity esters which may have a citric essence, and often a mild to moderate clove-spice character. Hop aroma may be moderate to none. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Pale gold to deep gold in color. Clarity should be fair to good. Head retention may be quite good, or may be adversely affected by alcohol content in some versions.

Flavor Crisp and moderately fruity. Malty sweetness is balanced by restrained hop bitterness and high carbonation to provide a dry finish to the palate flavor and a sweet aftertaste. Clove-like spiciness is apparent in many examples. The best examples have subtle alcohol undertones, while others may have very noticeable alcohol presence. Hop flavor may be moderate to none. No diacetyl. Some mineral character may be contributed by pale candi sugar derived from beets.

Mouthfeel: Medium body which gives a light impression, given the often substantial final gravity. High alcohol content adds a warming sensation. Carbonation is very high and effervescent in character, yet ideally does not disturb the beer's smoothness.

Overall Impression: A pale, moderately fruity, spicy, very strong ale.

Comments: Alcoholic, but the best examples do not taste strongly of alcohol. By Belgian law, to be called a "Trappist Ale" it must be brewed at a Trappist monastery. Homebrewed and secular equivalents should be called "Abbey Ales."

History: Originally developed at the Trappist monastery at Westmalle.

Ingredients: Yeast strains prone to higher alcohol and clovey aroma production are usually used. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added. Pale Pilsner malts are used and up to 25% white candi sugar (sucrose) is often added.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.065 - 1.095, FG: 1.013 - 1.020, ABV: 6.3 - 10%, IBU: 20 - 35, SRM: 3.5 - 6.

Commercial Examples: Westmalle Tripel. Affligem Tripel. Grimbergen Tripel. Corsendonk Monk's Pale Ale. Bruggse Tripel. New Belgium Trippel [sic].

19.3 Abbey Quadrupel (Quadruple) Ale

Aroma: Complex aroma of rich malt. Fruity esters which often have a prune, plum, dark raisin or other dark fruit note. Spice from phenols and alcohol notes common. Hop aroma should be light to none. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Can range from dark gold to dark brown. Clairty should be fair to good. Large head with good head retention.
Flavor: Complex interplay between the malt, phenols, esters, alcohol, minerals, and hops. The malt should be rich with some caramel coming from dark candy sugar. The phenols should be spicy, even peppery. The esters should remind one of dark fruit. The alcohol should be "clean" with fusels very low to medium. Hop flavor should be more of the noble character and be low to none. There should always be a good carbonation "bite" and minerals can range from light to moderate; but are often overpowered by the other strong flavors. No sourness or diacytel.
Mouthfeel: Fairly dry finish considering the high starting gravity. Perception of sweetness from the residual sugar and alcohol. Considerable alcohol warming and bite from the high carbonation level should be present. Often effervescent.
Overall Impression: A complex Belgian ale—with all of the esters, phenols, and alcohol that good big Belgians tend to exhibit.
History: First brewed in the 1930's. three of the Trappist Brewers make a quadruple now. American microbreweries who brew quadruples often make it a special beer or winter warmer.
Ingredients: Pale Belgian Pilsner malt, dark candy sugar, and Belgian yeast strains capable of producing complex esters and phenols.
Vital Statistics: OG 1.080 – 1.120, FG 1.015-1.025, ABV: 7.5 – 12%, IBU 20 – 35 SRM:
Commercial Examples: Westvleteren 12, St. Bernardus ABT 12, Le Trappe Quadrupel, Rochefort 12, Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Avery The Reverend

19.4 Abbey Ale, Other

Aroma: Nearly all feature the fruity-spicy character of Abbey-style Belgian ale yeasts. Most will exhibit some malt aroma as well.

Appearance: Color and clarity vary considerably. Most exhibit a substantial, long-lasting head.

Flavor The balance of flavors will vary, but most versions feature a rich malt character, some character from added candi sugar, and the fruity-spicy flavors of Belgian ale yeasts.

Mouthfeel: Body will vary from light to full. Generally moderate to high carbonation.

Overall Impression: Unique ales of individual breweries located at Belgian Abbeys or Trappist monasteries, or associated with them by contract.

Comments: Belgian Abbey-style ales which do not conform to either the Dubble or Tripel styles should be entered in this category.

History: Many Belgian Abbey-style ales are unique, and as a result original gravities, hopping levels and methods, color and body will vary considerably.

Ingredients: Yeast strains prone to production of higher alcohols, esters, and clove-spice aroma and flavor are most commonly used. A variety of malts may be used. Hopping will vary but is most often kept at a low level with use of traditional Continental European varieties.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.095, FG: 1.010 - 1.020, ABV: 5.2 - 11.2%, IBU: 20 - 45, SRM: 3.5 - 20.

Commercial Examples: Chimay Red, Cinq Cents and Grand Reserve. Orval. LaTrappe Enkel and Quadrupel. Rochefort 10


CLASS 20. BELGIAN-STYLE STRONG ALE

20.1. Belgian Blond Ale

Aroma: Light earthy or spicy hop nose, along with a lightly sweet Pils malt character.  Shows a subtle yeast character that may include spicy phenolics, perfumy or honey-like alcohol, or yeasty, fruity esters (commonly orange-like or lemony).  Light sweetness that may have a slightly sugar-like character.  Subtle yet complex.

Appearance: Light to deep gold color.  Generally very clear.  Large, dense, and creamy white to off-white head.  Good head retention with Belgian lace. 

Flavor: Smooth, light to moderate Pils malt sweetness initially, but finishes medium-dry to dry with some smooth alcohol becoming evident in the aftertaste.  Medium hop and alcohol bitterness to balance.  Light hop flavor, can be spicy or earthy.  Very soft yeast character (esters and alcohols, which are sometimes perfumy or orange/lemon-like).  Light spicy phenolics optional.  Some lightly caramelized sugar or honey-like sweetness on palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high to high carbonation, can give mouth-filling bubbly sensation.  Medium body.  Light to moderate alcohol warmth, but smooth.  Can be somewhat creamy.

Overall Impression: A moderate-strength golden ale that has a subtle Belgian complexity, slightly sweet flavor, and dry finish.

History: Relatively recent development to further appeal to European Pils drinkers, becoming more popular as it is widely marketed and distributed.

Comments: Similar strength as a dubbel, similar character as a Belgian Strong Golden Ale or Tripel, although a bit sweeter and not as bitter.  Often has an almost lager-like character, which gives it a cleaner profile in comparison to the other styles. Belgians use the term “Blond,” while the French spell it “Blonde.”  Most commercial examples are in the 6.5 – 7% ABV range.  Many Trappist table beers (singles or Enkels) are called “Blond” but these are not representative of this style.

Ingredients: Belgian Pils malt, aromatic malts, sugar, Belgian yeast strains that produce complex alcohol, phenolics and perfumy esters, noble, Styrian Goldings or East Kent Goldings hops.  No spices are traditionally used, although the ingredients and fermentation by-products may give an impression of spicing (often reminiscent of oranges or lemons).

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.062 – 1.075, FG: 1.008-1.018, ABV 6-7.5%, IBUs: 15-30, SRM 4-7

Commercial Examples: Leffe Blond, Affligem Blond, La Trappe (Koningshoeven) Blond, Grimbergen Blond, Val-Dieu Blond, Straffe Hendrik Blonde, Brugse Zot, Pater Lieven Blond Abbey Ale, Troubadour Blond Ale           

20.2 Belgian-Style Strong Golden Ale

Aroma: Fruity esters are common, and the malt character is light. Some clove-spice character may be present, from either warm ferment or actual spice additions. A spicy hop aroma is sometimes found. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Pale yellow to golden in color. Good clarity. Long lasting foam stand resulting in characteristic "Belgian Lace" on the glass.

Flavor Full of fruity, hoppy, alcoholic complexity, supported by a soft malt character. A slight presence of spices, from either warm ferment or actual spice additions, may be present as a point of complexity. Hop bitterness is typically restrained. Substantial carbonation may lend a dry flavor to the palate despite a sweet aftertaste. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium body gives a light impression considering the often substantial original gravity and alcohol content. Usually effervescent, yet with a smooth finish.

Overall Impression: A very pale, effervescent, complex, strong ale.

Comments: References to the devil are often a hallmark of the proprietary names given to some of these beers. The best examples are elegant, complex, and balanced.

History: Most versions reflect the unique products of individual breweries.

Ingredients: The light color and relatively light body for a beer of this strength are the result of using very pale malt and up to 20% white candi sugar (sucrose). Some versions include the use of spices for subtle complexity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.065 to 1.080, FG: 1.014 to 1.020, ABV: 7 to 9%, IBU: 25 to 35, SRM: 3.5 to 5.5. Commercial Examples: Duvel. Lucifer. La Chouffe. Moinette. Celis Grand Cru.

20.3 Belgian-Style Strong Dark Ale

Aroma: The intermingling aromas of Munich-type malt, alcohol and fruity esters are typical, along with spicy phenols which may be contributed by warm yeast fermentation and/or actual spice additions. Hop aroma may vary from moderate to none. Typically there is no strong dark (roast) malt aroma. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Deep burgundy to dark brown in color. Clarity may be fair to good. Head retention may be quite good or may be adversely affected by high alcohol content.

Flavor  Ripe fruit flavors, including raisin and plum, are common. Malt usually dominates, but some examples are balanced slightly toward bitterness. Some spicy phenols, from ferment or actual spices, may be present. Hop flavor can range from moderate to none. Some sweetness is contributed by alcohol. No diacetyl. Mouth feel: Medium to full body, creamy and warming.

Overall Impression: A dark, very rich, complex, very strong ale.

Comments: In comparison to the Abbey Dubbel style, these are typically significantly stronger beers of a wider variety.

History: Most versions reflect the unique products of individual breweries.

Ingredients: Dark candi sugar is a frequently-used additive and may contribute as much or more color and flavor as dark Munich or caramel malts. Spices are sometimes added for complexity. Yeasts prone to production of higher alcohols, esters and spicy phenols are commonly employed.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.065 - 1.098+, FG: 1.014 - 1.024+, ABV: 7 - 12+%, IBU: 25 - 40+, SRM: 7 - 20.

Commercial Examples: Pawel Kwak. Gouden Carolus. Scaldis, aka Bush.

 


CLASS 21. BELGIAN-STYLE SPECIALTY ALE

21.1 Witbier

Aroma: A sweet and occasionally honey-like malt and grain character with prominent citrus (notably orange), herbal and spice aromas is characteristic, and is often followed by a mild phenolic aroma. Hop aroma is low to none. No diacetyl.

Appearance:  Very pale straw to very light gold in color, and generally cloudy. Head retention should be quite good and of a moussy character.

Flavor The flavor of unmalted wheat is typically noticeable. Coriander, citrus and mild phenolic flavors contribute to a complex and elegant character. A very slight lactic acidity resulting from a limited lactobacillus ferment is present in some examples, providing a refreshing quality, and is absent in others. Hop flavor is low to none. Hop bitterness is typically restrained, and some bitterness may also be contributed by bitter orange peel. No diacetyl. Mouth feel: Light to medium body. Effervescent character of high carbonation. Refreshing acidity.

Overall Impression: A refreshing, elegant, complex, wheat-based ale.

Comments: The presence and degree of spicing and lactic sourness vary from one brand or brewery to another.

History: A 400 year-old beer style that died out in the 1950s, it was revived by Pierre Celis in the 1960s to steadily growing popularity thereafter.

Ingredients: About 50% unmalted hard red winter wheat and 50% pale barley malt constitute the grist; in some versions a small percentage of raw oats is used as well. Spices of freshly-ground coriander and dried orange peel complement the sweet aroma and are quite characteristic--other spices may be used for complexity but are much less prominent. Ale yeasts prone to production of citrusy esters and mild phenols are very characteristic. In some instances a very limited lactobacillus ferment, or actual addition of lactic acid, is done.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 - 1.055, FG: 1.008 - 1.012, ABV: 4.2 - 5.5%, IBU: 15 - 22, SRM: 2 - 4.

Commercial Examples: Celis White. Hoegaarden Wit. Steendonk Wit. Blanche de Brugge/Brugse Tarwebier.

21.2 Belgian-Style Pale Ale

Aroma: Prominent but soft-edged aroma of malt, accented by small amounts of phenols, higher alcohols in some versions, and spices in some versions. Hop aroma low to none. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Golden to copper in color. Clarity is fair to good. Good head retention.

Flavor Fruity and lightly to moderately spicy, with a soft and smooth malt character. Higher alcohols may contribute complexity in some examples, but not harshness. Hop flavor is relatively low. Hop bitterness is moderate, though some examples with high bitterness exist.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body, with a smooth quality and moderatecarbonation.

Overall Impression: A fruity, slightly spicy, smooth, copper-colored ale.

Comments: Best known as a draught beer, and most often encountered in the Belgian province of Antwerp.

History: Although produced by breweries with roots as far back as the mid-1700s, most well-known products were perfected after the Second World War with some influence from Britain including yeast strains.

Ingredients: Candi sugar may be used as an additive. Yeasts prone to production of higher alcohols and spiciness may or may not be used. On occasion spices are used for subtle appeal.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.055, FG: 1.008 - 1.013, ABV: 3.9 - 5.6%, IBU: 20 - 35, SRM: 3 - 14.

Commercial Examples: Celis Pale Bock. De Koninck. Special Palm Ale. Ginder Ale.

21.3 Belgian IPA

Aroma: Complex aroma of malt, fruity esters which may have a citric essence, and often a mild to moderate clove-spice character. High floral, spicy and grassy hop aroma. Some versions offer restrained use of American citrus and pine laden hops. Dry hopping may be used. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Pale gold to orange in color. Clarity should be fair to good. Hop haze is ok. Head retention is quite good due to the foam positive nature of hops.

Flavor Crisp and moderately fruity with some spice phenols from the yeast. Malt provides a foundation for an apparently high (for Belgian styles) hop bitterness with high carbonation to provide a dry finish to the palate flavor. Hop flavor may be moderate to none. Green grassy herbal hop characters are not uncommon from an abundance of kettle hopping with low alpha varieties. No diacetyl. Some versions may verge on “Saison” like characters due to yeast selection.

Mouthfeel: Medium body which gives a light impression, given the often substantial final gravity. High alcohol content adds a warming sensation. Carbonation is generally high to promote the hop aroma.

Overall Impression: A pale, moderately fruity, spicy, very strong ale with a punch of hops.

Comments: An expansion on the concept of pale Belgian ales like Triple, Golden Strong and some Saisons. Belgian IPAs developed in response to the American export market and hoppy craft brews. Belgian versions of the style are usually more restrained in their hopping approach than the American versions.

Ingredients: Yeast strains prone to higher alcohol production are usually used. Saison yeasts are not uncommon.  Pale Pilsner malts and pale Crystal malts are used. A substantial (25%) addition of sugar (sucrose) is often added to promote a dry finish.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.065 - 1.095, FG: 1.013 - 1.020, ABV: 6.3 - 10%, IBU: 20 - 55, SRM: 3.5 - 6.

Commercial Examples: Allagash Hugh Malone, Brasserie d’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobblen IPA Tripel, Bruery Humulus Gold, De Ranke XX Bitter, Green Flash Le Freak, Stone Cali-Belgique, Terrapin Monk’s Revenge, Urthel Hop-It,

21.4 Belgian Brut Beer

Aroma: Fruity esters are common, and the malt character is light. Some clove-spice character may be present, from either warm ferment or actual spice additions. A spicy hop aroma is sometimes found. No diacetyl. Impressive levels of carbonation push the spicy profile

Appearance: Pale yellow to dark chocolate brown in color. Good clarity. Long lasting foam stand resulting in characteristic "Belgian Lace" on the glass.

Flavor Full of fruity, hoppy, alcoholic complexity, supported by a soft malt character. A slight presence of spices, from either warm ferment or actual spice additions, may be present as a point of complexity. Hop bitterness is typically restrained. Substantial carbonation lends a dry flavor and a slight carbonic acidic touch to the palate despite a sweet aftertaste. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Unusually effervescent, with a smooth spicy finish that leads to a light feel despite the high alcohol content

Overall Impression: A very pale, effervescent, complex, strong ale.

Comments: Relatively new style of beer born from the efforts of Belgian breweries conditioning special strong ales via the traditional methode Champenoise.

History: Most versions reflect the unique products of individual breweries.

Ingredients: The relatively light body for a beer of this strength are the result of a low mash favoring simple sugars and 20%  or more of sugar (sucrose). Some versions include the use of spices for subtle complexity.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.075 to 1.090, FG: 1.006 to 1.015, ABV: 10.5 to 13%, IBU: 25 to 35, SRM: 3.5 to 15.5. Commercial Examples: DeuS, Malheur Brut, Malheur Brut Noir (Black Chocolate)

21.5 Belgian-Style Specialty Ale, Other

Aroma: Most exhibit varying amounts of fruity esters, spicy phenols, and other yeast-borne aromatics; some may include very slight aromas of Brettanomyces and other microflora. Hop aroma may be low to moderate. Malt aroma may be low to high and may include essences of grains other than barley, such as wheat or rye. No diacetyl.

Appearance:  Color varies considerably, from pale gold to medium amber. Clarity may be poor to good. Head retention is usually good.

Flavor A great variety of flavor is found in these beers. Maltiness may be light to quite rich, hop flavor and bitterness generally increase along with the depth of malt quality, and spicy flavors may be imparted by yeast and or actual spice additions.

Mouthfeel: The character of the malt may impart a silky impression. Most are well-attenuated, thus fairly light-bodied, and well-carbonated. A warming sensation from alcohol may be present in stronger examples.

Overall Impression: This category encompasses a wide variety of Belgian-style ales that typify the imaginative products often necessary to attract customers in the world's most competitive beer market, Belgium.

Comments: A category for the myriad of unusual and distinctive Belgian ales which don't fit into any of the other style descriptions for Belgian-style beers contained in these guidelines. These beers run the gamut of aromas, flavors, colors, mouthfeels and alcohol content and are often fermented with unusual and distinctive yeasts and ingredients. Brewer should specify commercial equivalent for entry, if appropriate.

History: Unique beers of small independent Belgian breweries that have come to enjoy local popularity, but may be far less well-known outside of their own regions.

Ingredients: May include candi sugar additions, unusual grains and malts, and spices or herbs.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.070, FG: 1.008 - 1.016, ABV: 4.0 - 8.0%, IBU: 20 - 40, SRM: 3 - 8.

Commercial Examples: Kasteel Bier. Bokrijks Kruikenbier.

 


CLASS 22. FARMHOUSE ALES

 

22.1 Biere de Garde (French-Style Country Ale)

Aroma: Malt is prominent in the aroma, which is otherwise complex with a slight level of fruity esters, little or no hop aroma, and often a musty/woody character. Higher alcohols may be detected. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Color can vary from full gold, to copper-colored (most common), to a dark reddish brown. Clarity and head retention are generally good.

Flavor A medium to high malt flavor often characterized by toffee or caramel aspects is typical. A slight musty or woody character may be present. Hop bitterness is often modest, though subtle and restrained hop flavors may occur. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, which in the best examples has a very smooth, silky character to it. Alcohol level is medium to strong and gives a warming sensation. Moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: A rich, complex, malty, moderately strong ale.

Comments: The name means "Beer For Keeping," denoting a beer that is strong enough to be stored for quite a while.

History: A farmhouse style from northeastern France which reflects the "March beer" tradition of a stronger beer brewed at the end of the cool season to last through the warm months. Its revival began in the 1970s after nearly disappearing in the aftermath of World War II.

Ingredients: Typically made from pale malts and a Vienna or Munich type. A variety of continental hops displaying very subtle floral or spicy aromas and flavors may be used. Some examples are now brewed with lager yeasts fermented at higher temperatures. Water is generally soft and imparts a smooth flavor profile.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.060 to 1.080, FG: 1.014 to 1.022, ABV: 4.5 to 8%, IBU: 20 to 35, SRM: 5 to 18. Commercial Examples: Jenlain. Castelain. Trois Mont. Septante 5.

22.2. Saison   (Spring/Summer)

Aroma: Fruity esters dominate the aroma. Complexity is often  contributed by hop aroma, complex higher alcohols, herbs and spices, and appropriate spicy phenols. Malt aroma can be complex and toasty, but is not the dominant aroma. No diacetyl.  

Appearance: Large rocky head on a beer ranging from a pale orange to a deep copper. Clarity is generally good.  

Flavor : Spring and Summer Saisons emphasize a bitter, refreshing  character with hoppy, fruity flavors with citric notes possible. Often a 'seasoning' of several spices and herbs is found across Saisons. Hop bitterness ranges from low to moderate, and  hop flavor may be moderate to high but should not overwhelm fruity esters, spices, and malt. Malt character provides sufficient structure for the other complex flavors, which may include a quenching tartness. No diacetyl.  

Mouthfeel: Light to full body. Very high carbonation with an effervescent quality. Alcohol level can be medium to high. Should have a dry finish

Overall Impression: A fruity, highly carbonated, moderately strong, refreshing ale of surprising complexity and depth.

Comments: Traditional seasonal beers produced in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.

History: The style has its origins in the varying seasonal needs of  the residents of Wallonia. It often reflects available plants, spices and other ingredients of the season for which it is brewed. 

Ingredients: Pale malt dominates the grist, and a very small fractionof Vienna or Munich malt contributes a touch of color. Darker Saisons tend to be made with portions of Special B and Belgian and German 

chocolate malts. Hop bitterness and flavor may be more noticeable than in many other Belgian styles, and Saison is often dry-hopped. A number of different spices and herbs may be used to add complexity, interest, and uniqueness to each brewery's products.  

Vital Statistics:  OG: 1.055 - 1.080, FG: 1.010 - 1.020, ABV: 4.5 -  9.3%, IBU: 20 - 45, SRM: 6 - 29.  

Commercial Examples: Saison Dupont, Moinette Blonde, Avec Les Bon Voeux , Saison Silly, Saison Pipaix, La Folie, Cochonne, Fantome Printemps

22.3. Saison   (Fall/Winter)

Aroma: Fruity esters dominate the aroma. Complexity is often  contributed by hop aroma, complex higher alcohols, herbs and spices, and appropriate spicy phenols. Fall and Winter Saisons typically contain more malt and spicy aromas. No diacetyl.  

Appearance: Large rocky head on a beer ranging from a pale orange to a deep chocolate brown. Clarity is generally good.  

Flavor : Fall and Winter Saisons emphasize a malty warming aspect of a higher alcohol brew. Often a 'seasoning' of several spices and herbs is found across Saisons. Hop bitterness ranges from low to moderate, and  hop flavor may be moderate to high but should not overwhelm fruity 

esters, spices, and malt. Cold weather Saisons feature a more robust malt profile generally matched by an increased  alcohol and seasoning. No diacetyl.  

Mouthfeel: Light to full body. Very high carbonation with an effervescent quality. Alcohol level can be medium to high.   

Overall Impression: A fruity, highly carbonated, moderately strong, refreshing ale of surprising complexity and depth.

Comments: Traditional seasonal beers produced in Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium.

History: The style has its origins in the varying seasonal needs of  the residents of Wallonia. It often reflects available plants, spices and other ingredients of the season for which it is brewed. 

Ingredients: Pale malt dominates the grist, and a very small fractionof Vienna or Munich malt contributes a touch of color. Darker Saisons tend to be made with portions of Special B and Belgian and German 

chocolate malts. Hop bitterness and flavor may be more noticeable than in many other Belgian styles, and Saison is often dry-hopped. A number of different spices and herbs may be used to add complexity, interest, and uniqueness to each brewery's products.  

Vital Statistics:  OG: 1.055 - 1.080, FG: 1.010 - 1.020, ABV: 4.5 -  9.3%, IBU: 20 - 45, SRM: 6 - 29.  

Commercial Examples: Saison Dupont, Moinette Blonde, Moinette Brune,  Avec Les Bon Voeux , Saison Silly, Saison Pipaix, La Folie, Cochonne,  Fantome Automne, Fantome de Noel, Fantome Printemps

22.4 Wild Ales

Please note this category may require additional specification from the entrant if special ingredients or wood is used to give the judges complete information.

Aroma: Complex aroma of malt, fruity esters, earthy “funky” aromas typical of Brettanomyces and Belgian yeast strains.

Appearance: Color varies from pale straw to pitch black based on ingredients. Haze is typical of the style.

Flavor: Varies greatly from beer to beer. Common characteristics include the earthy, pineapple, leather flavors produced by Brettanomyces. Sourness levels can vary from low/none to extremely high with additional micro-organisms.

Mouthfeel: Generally light bodied with a low residual gravity due to aggressive fermentation characteristics of the Brettanomyces. Carbonation is generally high.

Overall Impression: Eclectic and funky ales that express the crazy side of brewing.

Comments: In both Belgium and the US, brewers expanded the role of various “wild” cultures in their breweries to produce exotic ales that don’t fall into the traditional historical Sour Ale categories. Entrant should feel free to specify any exotic ingredients added to the brew. Beers that are brewed only with Brettanomyces and without Saccharomyces Cerevisiae express fewer of the typical Brett earthiness.

Ingredients: Variable according to the effect the brewer wants. Crucial ingredients include the use of non-Saccharomyces Cerevisiae cultures for fermentation. This can include various strains of Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, or Pediococcus. Barrel aging with previously used wood (e.g. spirits or wine) is not uncommon. Fruits can play a role

Vital Statistics: Varies based on style.

Commercial Examples: Allagash Interlude, Boulevard Brewing Saison-Brett, De Proef Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale,De Proef Reserve Signature Ale, Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Ommegang Ommegeddon Russian River Consecration, Russian River Supplication, Russian River Temptation, Victory Wild Devil

 


CLASS 23. BELGIAN-STYLE SOUR ALE

23.1 Gueuze/Geuze-Style Ale

Aroma: The aroma of these beers is a complex blend of aromas from a wide variety of microbiota. These aromas include: horsey, horse blanket, sweaty, oaky, hay, and sour. Other aromas that may be found in small quantities are: enteric, vinegary, and barnyard. There can be a very fruity aroma, and some mustiness may be detected. Typically, no hop aroma or diacetyl are perceived.

Appearance: Gold to medium amber color. May be slightly cloudy. Head retention is not expected to be very good.

Flavor Young examples are intensely sour from lactic acid and at times some acetic acid; when aged, the sourness is more in balance with the malt and wheat character. Fruit flavors from esters are simpler in young Gueuze and more complex in the older examples. A slight oak, cork or wood flavor is sometimes noticeable. Typically, no hop flavor or diacetyl are perceived.

Mouthfeel: Younger bottles (less than 5 years old) tend to be sparkling, but older vintages are at times less carbonated. Light to medium-light body. A very faint astringency is often present, like a well-aged wine.

Comments: Gueuze/Geuze is traditionally made by blending 2- or 3-year-old straight Lambic with young (less than 1-year-old) straight Lambic, and bottle-conditioned with very young straight Lambic without the use of priming sugar. Homebrewed versions are usually primed. Typically, Gueuze/Geuze has a smoother palate than straight Lambic.

Overall Impression: Intensely refreshing, fruity, complex, sour, pale wheat-based ales fermented with a variety of microflora.

History: Uniquely sour ales from the Senne (Zenne) Valley of Belgium which stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old. Gueuze is the French spelling, while Geuze is the Flemish spelling.

Ingredients: Unmalted wheat (30 to 40%) and aged hops are used. Traditionally, these beers are spontaneously fermented and aged with naturally occuring yeast and bacteria in oak or chestnut barrels. Homebrewed and craft-brewed versions are more typically made with pure cultures of yeast, including Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, along with Pediococcus and Lactobacillus bacteria, in an attempt to recreate the effects of dominant microflora of the Senne/Zenne valley.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.056, FG: 1.006 - 1.012, ABV: 4.7 - 5.8%, IBU: 10 - 15, SRM: 4 - 15.

Commercial Examples: Boon. Cantillon. Hanssens. Lindeman's Cuvee Rene. Boon Marriage Parfait. Girardin. Vandervelden (Oud Beersel). De Keersmaker.

23.2 Fruit-Flavored Lambic-Style Ale and Faro

Aroma: In younger vintages, the fruit with which the beer has been flavored should be the dominant aroma. In old bottles, the fruit aroma typically has faded and other aromas are more noticeable: horsey, horse blanket, sweaty, oaky, hay, and sour. Other aromas that may be found in small quantities are: enteric, vinegary, and barnyard. Lambics can be very fruity from esters as well. Typically, no hop aroma or diacetyl are perceived.

Appearance: May be slightly cloudy. Head retention is not expected to be very good. The variety of fruit determines the color.

Flavor Young examples are intensely sour from lactic acid and at times some acetic acid; when aged, the sourness is more in balance with the fruit, malt and wheat character. Fruit flavors are simpler and more one-dimensional in young Lambics (the fruit added being dominant) and more complex in the older examples. A slight oak, cork or wood flavor is sometimes noticeable. Typically, no hop flavor or diacetyl are perceived.

Mouthfeel: Younger bottles (less than 5 years) tend to be sparkling, older vintages are sometimes less carbonated. Light to medium-light body. A very faint astringency is acceptable, like a well-aged wine.

Comments: Commonly made by blending 2- or 3-year-old straight Lambic with young (less than 1-year-old) straight Lambic, after which fruit is added for further fermentation and aging before bottle-conditioning with very young straight Lambic.

Overall Impression: Intensely refreshing, fruit-flavored, complex, sour, pale wheat-based ales fermented with a variety of microflora.

History: Uniquely sour ales from the Senne (Zenne) Valley of Belgium which stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old. The addition of fruit for flavoring may be a relatively recent post-World War II innovation, however.

Ingredients: A blend of older and younger straight Lambics is used as a base. Fruits commonly used for flavoring are cherries (Kriek) and raspberries (Framboise) although more recent commercial examples include peaches (Peche), grapes (Vigneronne or Muscat) and black currants (Cassis). Entrant should specify the type of fruit used in making the entry.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.056 (plus the fruit), FG: 1.006 - 1.012, ABV: 4.7 - 5.8%, IBU: 10 - 15, SRM: 4 - 15.

Commercial Examples: Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus (25% cherries, 75% raspberries), Cantillon Kriek, and Cantillon Gueuze Vigneronne. Drie Fontainen Kriek. Hanssens Kriek. Boon Kriek Marriage Parfait and Boon Framboise Marriage Parfait.

23.3 Straight (Unblended) Lambic-Style Ale

Aroma: The aroma of these beers is a complex blend from a wide variety of microbiota, often described in the following terms: horsey, horse blanket, sweaty, oaky, hay, and sour. Other aromas that are found in small quantities are:enteric, vinegary and barnyard. Lambics can also be very fruity, and a corky or woody character may also be detected on occasion. Typically, no hop aroma or diacetyl are perceived.

Appearance: May be slightly cloudy. Head retention is not expected to be very good. Yellow to gold color.

Flavor Young examples are intensely sour lactic acid and at times some acetic acid; when aged, the sourness is more in balance with the malt and wheat character. Fruit flavors are simpler in young lambics and more complex in the older examples. Some oak or wood flavor is sometimes noticeable. Hop bitterness is low to none. Hop flavor is absent. Typically, no diacetyl is perceived.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body from significant wheat content. Bottled Lambic Ales vary from well-carbonated to no carbonation, and draft Lambic is virtually flat.

Overall Impression: Complex, sour, pale wheat-based ales fermented with a variety of microflora.

Comments: Straight lambics have a fruity complexity and intense acidity, and very few are bottled. Blended, aged and bottle-conditioned lambics, called Gueuze or Gueze, tend to have a smoother palate. Lambic is spelled "Lambiek" in Flemish.

History: Uniquely sour ales from the Senne (Zenne) Valley of Belgium which stem from a farmhouse brewing tradition several centuries old.

Ingredients: Unmalted wheat (30 to 40%) and aged hops are used. Traditionally, these beers are spontaneously fermented with naturally occuring yeast and bacteria in oak or in some cases chestnut barrels. Homebrewed and craft-brewed versions are more typically made with pure cultures of yeast, including Saccharomyces and Brettanomyces, along with Pediococcus and Lactobacillus bacteria, in an attempt to recreate the effects of the dominant microflora of the Senne/Zenne valley.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.044 - 1.056, FG: 1.006 - 1.012, ABV: 4.7 - 5.8%, IBU: 10 - 15, SRM: 4 - 15.

Commercial examples: Very few straight (unblended) Lambics are bottled; most commonly available is Grand Cru Cantillon Bruocsella 1900. In the area around Brussels/Bruxelles, there are specialty cafes that have draught Lambics from traditional brewers such as Boon, Cantillon, De Neve, Girardin, Hanssens, Vander Linden and Timmermans.

23.4 Oud Bruin

Aroma: Deep complexity of fruity esters and Munich-type malt, including notes of raisins and sherry wine in well-aged examples.  A slight sour aroma may be present.  Hop aroma is very low to none.  Diacetyl is typically medium-low to none. 

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown to brown color.  Good clarity.  Average to good head retention. 

Flavor: Malty, with fruity complexity and some caramelization character.  A slight sourness may become more pronounced in well-aged examples, along with some sherry-like character, producing a "sweet-and-sour" profile.  Hop flavor is low to none. Hop bitterness is restrained.  Diacetyl is medium-low to none. 

Mouthfeel: Medium body.  Some oak character may be present but not to the point of high astringency.  The astringency should be like that of a  wine, but no more than a well-aged red wine. 

Overall Impression: A malty, complex, aged, sour brown ale. 

History: An "old ale" tradition typified by the products of the Liefman's brewery in East Flanders, which has roots dating back to the 1600’s.  Historically brewed as a "provision beer" which would develop some sourness as it aged. 

Comments: Long aging and blending of young and well-aged beer may occur, adding to smoothness and complexity.  A deeper malt character and less of the sourness of lactic or acetic acid distinguishes these beers from Flanders red ales. 

Ingredients: A blend of Vienna and Munich malts are used as the base with smaller amounts of crystal malts also used.  Ale yeast, Lactobacillus and some acetobacters may all contribute to the ferment and flavor.  Water high in sodium bicarbonate is typical of its home region and may buffer the acidity of darker malts and the lactic sourness.  As in fruit lambics, Oud Bruin can be used as a base for fruit-flavored beers such as kriek (cherries) or frambozen (raspberries).

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 - 1.060, FG: 1.008 - 1.016, IBUs: 14 - 25, SRM: 10 – 20, ABV: 4 - 5.8%

Commercial Examples: Liefman's Goudenband, Felix, Roman. 

23.5 Flanders-Style Red Ale

Aroma: Deep complexity of fruitiness and malt.  Sour or vinegary aroma may be present and there is often an oak aroma.  No hop aroma. Diacetyl aroma moderately-low to none. 

Appearance: Deep red to reddish-brown in color.  Good clarity.  Average to good head retention. 

Flavor: Malty, with fruity complexity and balanced toward complex sourness/acidity.  Hop flavor is low to none.  Hop bitterness is restrained.  Diacetyl low to none. 

Mouthfeel: Medium body.  Some oak character is typical but not to the point of high astringency.  The astringency should be like that of wine, but no more than a well-aged red wine. 

Overall Impression: A complex, sour, wine-like red ale. 

History: Typified by the products of the Rodenbach brewery established in 1820 in West Flanders, but reflective of earlier brewing traditions. 

Comments: Long aging and blending of young and well-aged beer may occur, adding to smoothness and complexity.  More wine-like than perhaps any other beer style. 

Ingredients: A blend of Vienna and Munich malts are used as the base with smaller amounts of crystal malts also used.  A complex mix of ale yeast, Lactobacillus and acetobacters all contribute to the ferment and flavor. 

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.042 - 1.060, FG: 1.008 - 1.016, IBUs: 14 - 25, SRM: 10 – 16, ABV: 4 - 5.8%

Commercial Examples: Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru, Petrus, Bourgogne des Flandres, Vlaamse Bourgogne.

 


CLASS 24. SPECIALTY BEER – FRUIT/VEGETABLE and HERB/SPICED

24.1 Fruit- and/or Vegetable-Flavored Beer

Aroma: The character of the particular fruit(s) or vegetable(s) should be distinctive in the aroma. Overall the aroma should be a balanced combination of malt, hops and the featured fruit(s)or vegetable(s) as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. If the base beer is an ale then general fruitiness and other fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl may be present as appropriate for the warmer fermentation. If the base beer is a lager, then overall less fermentation byproducts would be appropriate. Some malt aroma preferable, especially in dark styles; hop aroma absent or balanced with fruit or vegetable, depending on the style. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious.

Appearance: Should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer. For lighter beers with fruits that exhibit distinctive colors, the color should be noticeable.

Flavor The character of the particular fruit(s)or vegetable(s) should be distinctive in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness, flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content, and fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl should be appropriate to the base beer and harmonious and balanced with the distinctive fruit or vegetable flavors present.

Mouthfeel: May vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented.

Comments: Overall balance is the key to presenting a well made fruit beer. The fruit should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and fruits work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The brewer should specify the underlying beer style as well as the type of fruit(s) used. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of fruit and beer.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, ABV, IBU, and SRM will vary depending on the base beer.

Commercial Examples: Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale. Portland Wheat Berry. Pyramid Apricot Ale. Rogue 'n' Berry.

24.2 Herb- and/or Spice-flavored Beer

Aroma: The character of the particular spices and/or herbs (SHs) should be distinctive in the aroma. Overall the aroma should be a balanced combination of malt, hops and the featured SHs as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. If the base beer is an ale then general fruitiness and other fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl may be present as appropriate for the warmer fermentation. If the base beer is a lager, then overall less fermentation byproducts would be appropriate. Some malt aroma preferable, especially in dark styles; hop aroma absent or balanced with the SHs used, depending on style. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious.

Appearance: Appearance should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer. For lighter beers with spices or herbs that exhibit distinctive colors, the color should be noticeable.

Flavor The character of the particular SHs should be distinctive in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness, flavor,

malt flavors, alcohol content, and fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl should be appropriate to the base beer and harmonious andbalanced with the distinctive SH flavors present.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel may vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented.

Comments: Overall balance is the key to presenting a well made spice or herb beer. The SHs should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and SHs work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The brewer should specify the underlying beer style as well as the type of SHs used. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. Additionally, whenever multiple spices or herbs are used each should be destinctive in its own way.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of spices and/or herbs and beer.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, ABV, IBU, and SRM will vary depending on the underlying base beer.

Commercial Examples: Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer. Anchor Our Special Ale.


CLASS 25. SPECIALTY BEER –EXPERIMENTAL, HISTORICAL & OTHER

25.1 Historical Beer

Any ale or lager beer brewed using unusual historical techniques (hot rocks, etc.) or historical beers (Entire, IPA with Brettanomyces, Louvain Peeterman, 1840’s London Porter, etc.).

Aroma: The character of the stated uniqueness should be distinctive in the aroma. Overall the aroma should be a balanced combination of malt, hops and the featured uniqueness as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. If the base beer is an ale then general fruitiness and other fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl may be present as appropriate for the warmer fermentation. If the base beer is a lager, then overall less fermentation byproducts would be appropriate. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious.

Appearance: Appearance should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer.

Flavor: The character of the particular ingredient or technique should be distinctive in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness and flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content and fermentation byproducts, such as diacetyl, should be appropriate to the base beer and harmonious and balanced with the distinctive nature of flavors present.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel may vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage ingredients, processes and beer.

Comments: Overall balance is the key to presenting a well-made specialty beer. The distinctive nature of the stated specialty should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and ingredients or techniques work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The brewer must specify the underlying beer style as well as the type of unique ingredients used, process utilized or historical beer style being brewed. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. Additionally, whenever multiple fruits, spices, herbs or vegetables are used each should be distinctive in their own way. For historical styles that may not be known to all beer judges, the brewer may provide a copy of the text of references to these beers as an aid to the judges.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, IBUs, SRM and ABV will vary depending on the underlying base beer.

25.2 Experimental and Specialty Beer, Other

 Specialty beer which does not conform to one of the above categories, including honey-flavored beer (other than American Honey Wheat Ale, Class 3B above; or Braggot/Bracket, Class 20D below), combinations of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, smoke, etc. Entrant should state the special ingredients on the entry form and bottle labels.

Aroma: The character of the stated special ingredients should be distinctive in the aroma. Overall the aroma should be a balanced combination of malt, hops and the featured ingredients as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. If the base beer is an ale then general fruitiness and other fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl may be present as appropriate for the warmer fermentation. If the base beer is a lager, then overall less fermentation byproducts would be appropriate. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious.

Appearance: Should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer.

Flavor The character of the special ingredients should be distinctive in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness and flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content, and fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl, should be appropriate to the base beer and harmonious and balanced with the distinctive nature of flavors present.

Mouthfeel: May vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of ingredients, processes and beer.

Comments: Overall balance is the key to presenting a well made specialty beer. The distinctive nature of the stated special ingredients should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and special ingredients work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The brewer should specify the underlying beer style as well as the type of special ingredients used. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. Additionally, whenever multiple fruits, spices, herbs or vegetables are used each should be distinctive in their own way.

History: Unique creations of small breweries and homebrewers to capture synergies between combinations of unusual or special ingredients in harmony with the underlying beer.

Vital Statistics: OG, FG, ABV, IBU, and SRM will vary depending on the underlying base beer.

Commercial Examples: None cited.

 


CLASS 26. SPECIALTY BEER – SMOKED & WOOD AGED

 

26.1 Bavarian Rauch (smoke-flavored)

Aroma: The aroma should be a balance between the expected aroma of the base beer (e.g. Marzen) and the smokiness imparted by the use of smoked malts. Smokiness may vary from low to assertive, however, balance in the overall presentation is the key to well made examples. Smoky aroma may range from faint to assertive. Some malt should be evident in the low- to moderately-smoked examples. Note that the smoke character can vary among smoked malts. Hop aroma is usually negligible to very low. If a classic Bavarian Rauchbier, some aroma of Munich malt from the Marzen style on which this is based should be evident.

Appearance: Varies with the base beer style. If a classic Bavarian Rauchbier, this should be a very clear beer, with rich creamy head, and the color should be amber, copper to dark brown.

Flavor As with aroma, there should be a balance between smokiness and the expected flavor characteristics of the base beer style. Smokiness may vary from low to assertive. Smoky flavors may range from woodsy to slightly bacony depending on the type of malts used. Balance in the use of smoke, hops and malt character is exhibited by the better examples. If this beer is based on a classic style, then the specific classic style (e.g. Bock) must be identified. In this case the beer will be judged on its merits as the classic style and how well that smoke flavor and aroma integrate with the beer and are exhibited. If the entry is a classic Bavarian Rauchbier, it should exhibit sweet maltiness from the underlying Maerzen/Oktoberfest style of beer with smoke flavors ranging from low to high, but balanced with the malt and hop bitterness; the smoke flavor from Beechwood kilning tends to be somewhat drier and neutral in character, although it can vary among maltsters, blending well with the sweetness of the malt, and this beer will exhibit low to medium hop bitterness, low to no hop flavor, and the clean characteristics of a lager with no fruitiness or diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Varies with the base beer style. If a classic Bavarian Rauchbier, it should display a medium body with a good, medium level of carbonation and a smooth finish due to lagering.

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of beer and smoke flavor/aroma.

Comments: Examples of other smoked beer styles are available in Germany, such as the Bocks, Helles and Vienna-like beers labelled as Spezial Lager. The process of using smoked malts more recently has been adapted to other styles, notably Porter and Scotch Ales.

History: Many are experimental beers intended to capture some synergy between traditional brewing ingredients and smoke flavor. Classic Bavarian Rauchbier is in the tradition of Bamberg in the Franconian region of Germany, and is a Maerzen/Oktoberfest style of beer made with malts kilned over moist beechwood log embers which impart a smoky flavor and aroma to the beer.

Ingredients: Different materials used to smoke malt result in unique flavor and aroma characteristics. Because of the unique flavored rendered to malts by various smoking materials, Beechwood-kilned malts, not malts smoked with peat, hickory or other woods, are used and will make up 5% to 50% of the malt bill; German or Czech hops.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.050 - 1.064, FG: 1.012 - 1.016, ABV: 4.8 - 6.5%, IBU: 20 - 30, SRM: 7-16.

Commercial Examples: Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Kaiserdom Rauchbier.

26.2 Smoke Beers, Other

Aroma: The aroma should be a balance between the expected aroma of the base beer (e.g. Porter) and the smokiness imparted by the use of smoked malts. Smokiness may vary from low to assertive, however, balance in the overall presentation is the key to well made examples. Smoky aroma may range from faint to assertive. Some malt should be evident in the low- to moderately-smoked examples. Note that the smoke character can vary among smoked malts. Hop aroma is usually negligible to very low. Appearance: Varies with the base beer style.

Flavor As with aroma, there should be a balance between smokiness and the expected flavor characteristics of the base beer style. Smokiness may vary from low to assertive. Smoky flavors may range from woodsy to slightly bacony depending on the type of malts used. Balance in the use of smoke, hops and malt character is exhibited by the better examples. If this beer is based on a classic style, then the specific classic style (e.g. Robust Porter) must be identified. In this case the beer will be judged on its merits as the classic style and how well that smoke flavor and aroma integrate with the beer and are exhibited.

Mouthfeel: Varies with the base beer style

Overall Impression: A harmonious marriage of beer and smoke flavor/aroma.

Comments: Examples of other smoked beer styles are available in Germany, such as the Bocks, Helles and Vienna-like beers labelled as Spezial Lager. The process of using smoked malts more recently has been adapted to other styles, notably Porter and Scotch Ales.

History: Many are experimental beers intended to capture some synergy between traditional brewing ingredients and smoke flavor.

Ingredients: Different materials used to smoke malt result in unique flavor and aroma characteristics. Beechwood, peat, or other hardwood (alder and fruitwoods suggested) smoked malts may be used. Hickory wood often results in a bacon/spare-ribs flavor and aroma, while alder wood smoked malt results in a smoked salmon taste. Evergreen wood should never be used due to the creosote giving a medicine-like, piney flavor to the malt.

Vital Statistics: These factors will vary with the base beer.

Commercial Examples: Vermont Pub and Brewery's Smoked Porter. Otter Creek Hickory-Switched Smoked Amber. Adelscott Peat Smoked Ale. Alaskan Smoked Porter

26.3 Wood-Aged Beer, Whiskey

Aroma: Varies with base style.  A low to moderate wood- or oak-based aroma is usually present.  Fresh wood can occasionally impart raw “green” aromatics, although this character should never be too strong.  Other optional aromatics include a low to moderate vanilla, caramel, toffee, toast, or cocoa character, as well as any aromatics associated with alcohol previously stored in the wood (if any).  Any alcohol character should be smooth and balanced, not hot.  Some background oxidation character is optional, and can take on a pleasant, sherry-like character and not be papery or cardboard-like.

Appearance: Varies with base style. Often darker than the unadulterated base beer style, particularly if toasted/charred oak and/or whiskey/bourbon barrels are used.

Flavor: Varies with base style. Wood usually contributes a woody or oaky flavor, which can occasionally take on a raw “green” flavor if new wood is used.  Other flavors that may optionally be present include vanilla (from vanillin in the wood); caramel, butterscotch, toasted bread or almonds (from toasted wood); coffee, chocolate, cocoa (from charred wood or bourbon casks); and alcohol flavors from other products previously stored in the wood (if any).  The wood and/or other cask-derived flavors should be balanced, supportive and noticeable, but should not overpower the base beer style.  Occasionally there may be an optional lactic or acetic tartness or Brett funkiness in the beer, but this should not be higher than a background flavor (if present at all).  Some background oxidation character is optional, although this should take on a pleasant, sherry-like character and not be papery or cardboard-like.

Mouthfeel: Varies with base style. Often fuller than the unadulterated base beer, and may exhibit additional alcohol warming if wood has previously been in contact with other alcoholic products.  Higher alcohol levels should not result in “hot” beers; aged, smooth flavors are most desirable.  Wood can also add tannins to the beer, depending on age of the cask.  The tannins can lead to additional astringency (which should never be high), or simply a fuller mouthfeel.  Tart or acidic characteristics should be low to none.

Overall Impression: A harmonious blend of the base beer style with characteristics from aging in contact with wood (including any alcoholic products previously in contact with the wood).  The best examples will be smooth, flavorful, well-balanced and well-aged.  Beers made using either limited wood aging or products that only provide a subtle background character may be entered in the base beer style categories as long as the wood character isn’t prominently featured. 

History: A traditional production method that is rarely used by major breweries, and usually only with specialty products.  Becoming more popular with modern American craft breweries looking for new, distinctive products.  Oak cask and barrels are traditional, although other woods can be used.

Comments: The base beer style should be apparent.  The wood-based character should be evident, but not so dominant as to unbalance the beer.  The intensity of the wood-based flavors is based on the contact time with the wood; the age, condition, and previous usage of the barrel; and the type of wood.  Any additional alcoholic products previously stored in the wood should be evident (if declared as part of the entry), but should not be so dominant as to unbalance the beer.  IF THIS BEER IS BASED ON A CLASSIC STYLE (E.G., ROBUST PORTER) THEN THE SPECIFIC STYLE MUST BE SPECIFIED.  CLASSIC STYLES DO NOT HAVE TO BE CITED (E.G., “PORTER” OR “BROWN ALE” IS ACCEPTABLE).  THE TYPE OF WOOD MUST BE SPECIFIED IF A “VARIETAL” CHARACTER IS NOTICEABLE.  (e.g., English IPA with Oak Chips, Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout, American Barleywine in an Oak Whiskey Cask).  The brewer should specify any unusual ingredients in either the base style or the wood if those characteristics are noticeable.  Specialty or experimental base beer styles may be specified, as long as the other specialty ingredients are identified.  THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BASE STYLES WHERE BARREL-AGING IS A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE STYLE (e.g., Flanders Red, Lambic, etc.).

Ingredients: Varies with base style.  Aged in wooden casks or barrels (often previously used to store whiskey, bourbon,), or using wood-based additives (wood chips, wood staves, oak essence).  Fuller-bodied, higher-gravity base styles often are used since they can best stand up to the additional flavors, although experimentation is encouraged. FOR THIS STYLE, THE WOOD SHOULD CONTAIN A WHISKEY CHARACTER (e.g. Scotch, Bourbon, Rye, Irish, etc) OTHER WOOD CHARACTERED BEERS SHOULD BE ENTERED IN THE WOOD AGED, OTHER CATEGORY

Vital Statistics: These factors will vary with the base beer.

Commercial Examples: Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Ale, J.W. Lees Harvest Ale in Lagavulin Whisky, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Special Reserve, many microbreweries have specialty beers served only on premises often directly from the cask.

26.4 Wood-Aged Beer, Other

Aroma: Varies with base style.  A low to moderate wood- or oak-based aroma is usually present.  Fresh wood can occasionally impart raw “green” aromatics, although this character should never be too strong.  Other optional aromatics include a low to moderate vanilla, caramel, toffee, toast, or cocoa character, as well as any aromatics associated with alcohol previously stored in the wood (if any).  Any alcohol character should be smooth and balanced, not hot.  Some background oxidation character is optional, and can take on a pleasant, sherry-like character and not be papery or cardboard-like.

Appearance: Varies with base style. Often darker than the unadulterated base beer style, particularly if toasted/charred oak and/or whiskey/bourbon barrels are used.

Flavor: Varies with base style. Wood usually contributes a woody or oaky flavor, which can occasionally take on a raw “green” flavor if new wood is used.  Other flavors that may optionally be present include vanilla (from vanillin in the wood); caramel, butterscotch, toasted bread or almonds (from toasted wood); coffee, chocolate, cocoa (from charred wood or bourbon casks); and alcohol flavors from other products previously stored in the wood (if any).  The wood and/or other cask-derived flavors should be balanced, supportive and noticeable, but should not overpower the base beer style.  Occasionally there may be an optional lactic or acetic tartness or Brett funkiness in the beer, but this should not be higher than a background flavor (if present at all).  Some background oxidation character is optional, although this should take on a pleasant, sherry-like character and not be papery or cardboard-like.

Mouthfeel: Varies with base style. Often fuller than the unadulterated base beer, and may exhibit additional alcohol warming if wood has previously been in contact with other alcoholic products.  Higher alcohol levels should not result in “hot” beers; aged, smooth flavors are most desirable.  Wood can also add tannins to the beer, depending on age of the cask.  The tannins can lead to additional astringency (which should never be high), or simply a fuller mouthfeel.  Tart or acidic characteristics should be low to none.

Overall Impression: A harmonious blend of the base beer style with characteristics from aging in contact with wood (including any alcoholic products previously in contact with the wood).  The best examples will be smooth, flavorful, well-balanced and well-aged.  Beers made using either limited wood aging or products that only provide a subtle background character may be entered in the base beer style categories as long as the wood character isn’t prominently featured. 

History: A traditional production method that is rarely used by major breweries, and usually only with specialty products.  Becoming more popular with modern American craft breweries looking for new, distinctive products.  Oak cask and barrels are traditional, although other woods can be used.

Comments: The base beer style should be apparent.  The wood-based character should be evident, but not so dominant as to unbalance the beer.  The intensity of the wood-based flavors is based on the contact time with the wood; the age, condition, and previous usage of the barrel; and the type of wood.  Any additional alcoholic products previously stored in the wood should be evident (if declared as part of the entry), but should not be so dominant as to unbalance the beer.  IF THIS BEER IS BASED ON A CLASSIC STYLE (E.G., ROBUST PORTER) THEN THE SPECIFIC STYLE MUST BE SPECIFIED.  CLASSIC STYLES DO NOT HAVE TO BE CITED (E.G., “PORTER” OR “BROWN ALE” IS ACCEPTABLE).  THE TYPE OF WOOD MUST BE SPECIFIED IF A “VARIETAL” CHARACTER IS NOTICEABLE.  (e.g., English IPA with Oak Chips, , American Barleywine in an Wine Cask).  The brewer should specify any unusual ingredients in either the base style or the wood if those characteristics are noticeable.  Specialty or experimental base beer styles may be specified, as long as the other specialty ingredients are identified.  THIS CATEGORY SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BASE STYLES WHERE BARREL-AGING IS A FUNDAMENTAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE STYLE (e.g., Flanders Red, Lambic, etc.).

Ingredients: Varies with base style.  Aged in wooden casks or barrels (often previously used to store whiskey, bourbon,), or using wood-based additives (wood chips, wood staves, oak essence).  Fuller-bodied, higher-gravity base styles often are used since they can best stand up to the additional flavors, although experimentation is encouraged. FOR THIS STYLE, THE WOOD SHOULD CONTAIN A NON-WHISKY CHARACTER (e.g. plain, wine, rum, etc) WHISKEY WOOD CHARACTERED BEERS SHOULD BE ENTERED IN THE WOOD AGED, WHISKEY CATEGORY

Vital Statistics: These factors will vary with the base beer.

Commercial Examples:

 


CLASS 27  FRUIT MEAD

 

27.1 Cyser

Aroma: Should have distinct apple character and honey aroma, which may be sweet and may express the aroma of flower nectar. Aromas produced during fermentation, such as fruity esters, low levels of sulfur and alcohol, may also be present.  Spicy and earthy apple aroma may also be present.

 

Appearance: Clarity may be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.  Color may range from pale straw to golden amber. Stronger versions will show signs of body such as legs or meniscus.  

 

Flavor: Should have distinct apple character but should also have a balanced honey character.  The Apple character may supply tart acidity to cut the honey sweetness, so one may notice tart acidity first and residual sweetness thereafter.  Any additives, such as acidity or tannin, should enhance the honey flavor and lend balance to the overall character of the cyser.  In well made examples of the style, the fruit is both distinctive and well-incorporated into the sugar-acid balance of the mead.  Some of the best examples have the taste and aroma of an aged Calvados (apple brandy from northern France).

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided.  Often will have a tart or tannic character depending on the apples used.

 

Comments: There should be an appealing blend of the fruit and honey character but not necessarily an even balance.  A good tannin-sweetness balance is desired, though very dry and very sweet examples do exist.  Entrants must specify whether the entry is still or sparkling cyser.    Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%

 

27.2 Pyment

Aroma: Should have distinct grape or grape-wine character and a pronounced honey aroma, which may be sweet and may express the aroma of flower nectar.  Aromas produced during fermentation, such as fruity esters and alcohol, may also be present.  Spicy or phenolic wine characteristics may be present, especially when red grapes are used.  Aroma should be pleasant and harmonious.

 

Appearance: Clarity will be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.  Color should range from straw to deep red, depending on the types of honey and grapes used. Usually will show signs of body such as legs or meniscus.  

 

Flavor: Should have distinct grape wine character, manifested in acidity, tannin and other grape characteristics, but the honey character should balance the fruit flavors.  The pyment should have flavors of both the honey used and the wine varietal.  Grassy white wine character or low levels of buttery(diacetyl) are acceptable in Chardonnay or other white wine pyments.  In well made examples of the style, the fruit and honey are is both distinctive and well-incorporated into the sugar-acid balance of the pyment.

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided.  Some tannic astringency and acid tartness often present from the grape juice.  Oak can also give some astringency.

 

Comments: There should be an appealing blend of the fruit wine and honey character but not necessarily an even balance. A good tannin-sweetness balance is desired, though very dry and very sweet examples do exist.  White and red versions can be quite different, and the overall impression should be characteristic of the type of grapes used and suggestive of a similar variety wine.  Entrants must specify whether the entry is still or sparkling pyment.  Entrants must also specify whether the entry is dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.  Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.

 

Vital Statistics: Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%

 

27.3 Other Melomel

Aroma: Should exhibit the aroma of the fruit(s) present in the mead as well as a honey aroma.  In a melomel with a blend of fruits, one fruit may dominate the aroma profile.  There may be some acidity in the aroma depending on the fruit used.  Some fruits are more aromatic than others.

 

Appearance: Clarity will be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.   The fruit can add a distinctive color ranging from none in light fruits to deep red or purple in others. 

 

Flavor: Fruit flavor contributions to the mead range from subtle acidic notes to intense, instantly recognizable fruit flavors.  In a melomel with a blend of fruits, one fruit may dominate the flavor profile. There should be a balanced honey character as well.  Some fruits will lend a cloying sweetness to the mead while others add a drying character.  In well- made examples of the style, the fruit is both distinctive and well-incorporated into the sugar-acid balance of the mead.  The balance of fruit with the underlying mead is vital, and the fruit character should not be artificial, raw (unfermented), and/or inappropriately overpowering.

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided.  Some natural acidity and/or tannin are sometimes present (from certain fruit and/or fruit skin) and helps balance the overall impression.

 

Comments: Generally a good tannin-sweetness balance is desired, though very dry and very sweet examples do exist.  In well-made examples of the style, the fruit is both distinctive and well-incorporated into the honeysweet-acid-tannin-alcohol balance of the mead. Different types of fruit can result in widely different characteristics; allow for a variation in the final product.  Some oxidative properties may be appropriate in certain fruit meads, giving them a sherry or port wine character.  Entrants must specify whether the entry is still or sparkling melomel.  Entrants must also specify whether the entry is dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.  Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%


 

CLASS 28 SPICED MEAD OR METHEGLIN

 

Note:  Fruit and spice flavored meads should be entered as a Metheglin.

 

Aroma: The spices/herbs should be expressed in the aroma and range from subtle to intense.  Honey characters should also appear in the aroma.  Metheglins containing more than one spice should have a good balance among the different spices/herbs, though some spices/herbs will tend to dominate the aroma profile.  In general, the honey and herb/spice character of the aroma should be in balance.  If fruit is used, it also should be apparent, but not overwhelming and be in balance with the honey and spices.

 

Appearance: Clarity may be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.  Color may range from pale straw to deep amber; the color usually won't be affected by the spices or herbs, while flowers or tea mixtures can change color.

 

Flavor: The spices/herbs should be expressed in the flavor but the honey character is still important and should appear in the flavor but will vary in intensity depending on the spices/herbs used.  The spices/herbs should be expressed in the flavor as a distinctive enhancement to the honey flavor, whether harmoniously or by contrast, and should achieve a pleasant balance when a blend of spices/herbs is used. Sometimes herbs and spices can add hot, phenolic, astringent, or bitter flavors, they should always be in balance and be related to the herb or spice used. Metheglins containing more than one spice should have a good balance among the different spices/herbs, though some spices/herbs will tend to dominate the flavor profile.  If fruit is used, it should be noticeable and compliment the honey and spices.  The best examples will have a complex blend of flavors.

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided; however,  some spices or herbs may affect mouthfeel particularly by adding astringency.  Some herbs such as chili peppers or spices such as ginger will add some heat to the mouthfeel.  That should never be excessive.

 

Comments: Often, a blend of spices may give a character greater than the sum of its parts.  The better examples of this style use spices/herbs subtly and when more than one are used, they are carefully selected so that they blend harmoniously.  Entrants must specify whether the entry is still or sparkling melomel.  Entrants must also specify whether the entry is dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.  Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%


CLASS 29 TRADITIONAL AND OTHER MEAD

 

29.1 Traditional Mead

Aroma: Honey aroma should dominate, which may be sweet and may express the aroma of flower nectar.  Aromas produced during fermentation, such as fruity esters and alcohol, may also be present.  The harmony of honey aroma and fermentation aroma should be pleasant and in balance.

 

Appearance: Clarity may be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.  Color may range from pale straw to deep amber.  Stronger versions will show signs of body such as legs or meniscus.   

 

Flavor: The flavor of honey should be featured and may include residual sweetness.  Any additives, such as acidity or tannin, should enhance the honey flavor and lend balance to the overall character of the mead and not be harsh or astringent. Artificial, chemical, harsh, phenolic or bitter flavors are defects. Higher carbonation (if present) enhances the acidity and gives a “bite” to the finish. The aftertaste should be evaluated; longer finishes are generally most desirable. A multi-faceted flavor, also known as complexity or depth, is a positive attribute.

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided.  Body generally increases with stronger and/or sweeter meads, and decreases with lower gravity and/or drier meads. Sensations of body should not be accompanied by an overwhelmingly cloying sweetness (even in sweet meads). A very thin or watery body is likewise undesirable. Acidity and tannin help balance the overall honey, sweetness and alcohol presentation.

 

Comments: Entrants must specify whether the entry is still or sparkling mead.  Some bubbles may be present in a still mead while sparkling should be carbonated buy may not have a long lasting head.  Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%

 

29.2 Varietal Honey Traditional Mead

Aroma: Honey aroma should dominate, which may be sweet and should express the aroma of flower nectar.  Aromas produced during fermentation, such as fruity esters and alcohol, may also be present.  The particular Varietal honey aroma (such as orange blossoms for orange blossom honey) should be evident.  The harmony of honey aroma and fermentation aroma should be pleasant and in balance.

 

Appearance: Clarity may be good to brilliant.  Carbonated examples will show active evidence of dissolved gas but no head is expected.  Color may range from almost clear to brown.  Stronger versions will show signs of body such as legs or meniscus.  

 

Flavor: The flavor of honey should be featured and may include residual sweetness.  The distinctive taste of the Varietal honey should be showcased. Any additives, such as acidity or tannin, should enhance the honey flavor and lend balance to the overall character of the mead and not be harsh or astringent. Artificial, chemical, harsh, phenolic or bitter flavors are defects. Higher carbonation (if present) enhances the acidity and gives a “bite” to the finish. The aftertaste should be evaluated; longer finishes are generally most desirable. A multi-faceted flavor, also known as complexity or depth, is a positive attribute.

 

Mouthfeel: Smooth texture.  Most will be wine-like, with the warming presence of alcohol and sense of medium body.  Sensations of a cloying or astringent character should be avoided.  Body generally increases with stronger and/or sweeter meads, and decreases with lower gravity and/or drier meads. Sensations of body should not be accompanied by an overwhelmingly cloying sweetness (even in sweet meads). A very thin or watery body is likewise undesirable. Acidity and tannin help balance the overall honey, sweetness and alcohol presentation.

 

Comments: Mead made from honey from a particular flower source.  The brewer must name the varietal honey. Note that the character of a varietal honey will be identifiable as distinct to the source, but may not resemble the source.  Orange-blossom honey has the character of orange blossoms, not oranges.  Blackberry honey is only distantly like blackberries, although it is an identifiable character. While some oxidation of mead is OK and can actually lend useful complexity to the mead, over oxidation as exhibited by sherry-like aroma and/or taste should be avoided.  Some bubbles may be present in a still mead while sparkling should be carbonated buy may not have a long lasting head.  Entrants must also indicate whether the mead is hydromel or dry, standard or semi-sweet, or sack or sweet.  See Guide to Varietal Honeys for honey characteristics.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%

 

Brief Guide to Varietal Honeys  (note other honeys may be used, the entrant should give a brief description of the aroma and flavor characteristics)

 

Alfalfa:  White to staw colored.  Aroma of beeswax or hay common.  Medium bodied.

 

Apple Blossom: Light amber color..  Floral or apple rind color.  Floraral, slight apple flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Avacado:  Medium gold color.  Fruity, apple-like, mineral aroma.  Sometimes a touch of vegetable.  Apple like honey flavor.  Medium to full bodied.

 

Basswood or Linden:  Staw colored.  White wine, mineral, green fruit aroma.  Green fruit, buttery, herbal flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Blackberry Blossom:  Light to medium gold colored.  Floral, leafy, berry-like aroma.  Light to moderate blackberry flavor.  Full bodied.

 

Blueberry Blossom:  Deep golden.  Floral, leafy, citrus aroma.  Fruity, lemony, citrus flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

California Buckwheat:  Medium golden.  Floral and citrusy aroma.  Big citrus flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Eastern Buckwheat:  Deep amber to brown color.  Mosasses, treacle aroma.  Malt syrup, treacle, caramel, earthy flavor.  Full bodied.

 

Clover:  Light amber color.  Floral, cloverlike aroma.  Classic honey flavor.  Medium bodied.  Most wildflower has clover in it.

 

Guajillo:  Straw colored.  Perfumy, minty, light citrus aroma.  Lavender, earthy, spicy flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

 

Mesquite:  Staw to golden.  Earthy, mesquite wood, sometimes smokey.  Woody, earthy, sometimes smokey flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Orange Blossom:  Light gold to amber colored.  Floral, orange rind or orange blossom aroma.  Orangy, citrusy, floral flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Raspberry Blossom: Goden colored.  Floral, light citrus, raspberry aroma.  Floral tangerine, green raspberry flavor.  Medium bodied.

 

Sage Blossom or Dessert Honey:  Water white to staw colored.  Herbal, floral, earthy aroma.  Sweet, floral, spicy flavor.  Full bodied.

 

Star Thistle:  Straw to greenish color.  Grassy and anise aroma and flavor.  Some peppery, spice in flavor as well.  Medium bodied.

 

Tupelo:  Medium to medium-dark gold color.  Apple, vanilla, herbal aroma.  Creamy, sweet, vanilla, and apple flavor.  Full bodied.

 

Wildflower:  Light to dark.  Generic floral aroma and flavor.  Can be all over the board depending on blend and what the nectar source was.  Medium bodied.

 

 

29.3 Braggot or Bracket

Aroma: Aroma of both honey and malt should be apparent and in balance, though not necessarily equal. Hop aroma may be present but is not required.  The distinct aroma of the base style of beer or malt should be apparent also.  As with other meads, fermentation aromas should be pleasant and not harsh or astringent if present.

 

Appearance: Straw to black depending on the type of malt or beer style and honey used.  Some head retention is expected.  Clear, although some chill haze may be present at low temperatures.  Legs and meniscus may be apparent in bigger Braggots.  Clarity may not be quite as brilliant as in other meads.

 

Flavor: There should be balance between the beer aspect and the mead aspect of a braggot, especially with regard to maltiness and bitterness versus honey character.  Both the honey and beer/malt character should be apparent.  Malt character ranges from light pale malt-type flavors to rich caramel flavors to roasty flavors, depending on the malt used.  Hop bitterness and flavor may be present but are not required.  Any hop character should be in balance with the overall braggot and fit the beer style as well.

 

Mouthfeel: Body may vary from light to full depending on the type of honey and underlying beer style.  Smooth mouthfeel without astringency.  Carbonation may vary from light to very lively.  As with other meads, one often detects warming from stronger braggots.  Some astringency may come from roasted malts or hops, but should not dominate and fit with the style of beer.

 

Comments: The fermentable sugars should come from a balance of malt and honey, otherwise the beverage might better be entered as a Specialty Beer with the addition of honey.  There should be a harmonious and complex blend of mead and beer, with the distinctive characteristics of both. A wide range of results are possible, depending on the base style of beer, variety of honey and overall sweetness and strength.

 

Vital Statistics:  Hydromel: OG 1.035-1.080  FG .0995-1.010 ABV 3.5-7.5%    Standard OG 1.080-1.120  FG 1.010-1.025  ABV 7.5-14%  Sack OG 1.120-1.170  FG 1.025-1.050  ABV 14-18%

 

29.4 Mead, Historical or Experimental

Aroma: Characters vary by mead style and ingredients.  Aroma will vary greatly based on what the mead maker was trying to make. For example, Polish Miod Pitney should have rich, caramelly notes, Ethiopian Tej should have earthy spices, while meads fermented with Brett. strains will take on barnyard characteristics.  In all cases there should be balance and the honey should be apparent, but not overwhelming.  The mead maker should tell the judges what he was trying to accomplish.

 

Appearance: Characters vary by mead style and ingredients.  Again, using the example with Aroma, boiled Polish meads will be darker than most others and have deep, rich legs.  Color range is from straw to dark brown.

 

Flavor: Characters vary by mead style and ingredients.  Should reflect the ingredients or process used and flavors should be in balance.  Honey character should be apparent and can range from light to intense in some boiled meads.

 

Mouthfeel: Characters vary by mead style and ingredients and should reflect the historical style, or unusual ingredients or methods used in making the mead.

 

Comments: This mead should exhibit the character of all of the ingredients in varying degrees, and should show a good blending or balance between the various flavor elements.  Any experimental mead using additional sources of fermentables (e.g., maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, or agave nectar), additional ingredients (e.g., liquors, smoke, etc.), alternative processes (e.g., icing), fermentation with non-traditional yeasts (e.g., Brettanomyces, Belgian lambic or ale, etc.), or other unusual ingredient, process, or technique would also be appropriate in this category. Oak-aging does not necessarily force a mead into the Experimental Mead style unless the barrel has another characteristic (such as bourbon) in addition to the wood. No mead can be “out of style” for this category unless it fits into another existing mead category. A Historical Mead is a historical or indigenous mead that doesn’t fit into another subcategory (e.g., Ethiopian Tej, Polish meads).  Entrants MUST specify carbonation level, strength, and sweetness. Entrants MAY specify honey varieties. Entrants MUST specify the special nature of the mead, providing a description of the mead for judges

 

Vital Statistics: Characters vary by mead style and ingredients.


CLASS 30. CIDER

30.1 Standard Cider and Perry

Aroma: Apples (pears, if a perry) should be distinctive and dominate. There may be some fermentation byproducts such as esters, alcohols and low levels of sulfur.

Appearance: Pale yellow to amber in color. Clear and brilliant. Carbonation may vary from absolutely still to very vigorous, as follows:  Entrant must specify still or carbonated (level of carbonation optional):

  • Still: No carbonation visible or in the mouthfeel.
  • Petillant: Very lightly sparkling, visibly and in the mouth.
  • Sparkling: Clearly but not heavily carbonated.
  • Spuming or Spumante: Heavily and vigorously carbonated, bordering on gushing, with tight, fine bubbles, champagne-like.

Flavor Crisp apple (pear) flavor should be present and distinctive. May be dry to sweet. Some noticeable alcohol character may be present at the upper end of the range (7%). There should be a balance in the acidic character and the residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light body. No astringency. No carbonic bite from CO2.

Comments: Sugar adjuncts may be used. May be fermented by wine, Champagne, ale, lager or wild yeast. The entrant must also specify whether the entry is a cider or perry; dry, semi-dry or sweet; still or carbonated. If both apple and pear juice are used the entry must be entered as a special cider. Artificial carbonation is allowed. The method of carbonation need not be specified.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 - 1.061, IBUs: N/A,  FG: 0.990 - 1.012, ABV: 4.5 - 7%,  SRM: 3 - 12.

Commercial Examples: Broadoak, Hecks, Dunkerton’s, Franklins, Rich’s Framhouse Cider (all available only in England), Clos  Normand, Herout Fils, Hornsby’s Draft Cider (not the “Granny Smith” or “Amber”), Sidra El Gaitero, Kelly’s Traditional Irish Premium Hard Cider, Minchew Perry (available only in England), Wyder’s Pear Cider.

30.2 New England-Style Cider

Aroma: Strong, pronounced apple aroma. The higher level of alcohol,8-14%, will be more noticeable in the aroma. Other fermentation byproducts may also be present.

Appearance: Pale to medium yellow. Still or sparkling. Carbonation must be natural. Clear and brilliant.

Flavor Strong apple flavor. Usually dry. No hot alcohol taste. New England-Style cider is distinguished from other styles by its robust and sometimes unsophisticated taste. It is a rustic, homemade product, typically more forceful than delicate. Nevertheless, complexity and structure are often present.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with some tannins.

Comments: Adjuncts may include white and brown sugars, molasses, honey (very sparingly), and/or raisins. Should use wild or wine yeast only. Entrants must specify whether still or sparkling and whether dry, semi-sweet or sweet.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.061 - 1.105, IBUs: N/A , FG:  0.990 - 1.010, ABV: 7 - 14%, SRM: 3-5.

Commercial Examples: There are no known commercial examples of New England-style cider.

30.3 Specialty Cider And Perry

Aroma: Apples (pears) should be distinctive and dominate. There may be some fermentation byproducts such as esters, alcohols and low levels of sulfur. Aromas from identified fruits and spices should also be noticeable as well.

Appearance: Carbonation may vary from absolutely still to very vigorous. Pale yellow in color, except where adjuncts such as spices or fruit may introduce a deeper shade or another color. Clear and brilliant.

Flavor Crisp apple (pear) flavor should be present and distinctive. Declared adjuncts must be present in the taste and integrate well with the base cider. May be dry to sweet. Some noticeable alcohol character may be present but the emphasis should be on alcoholic warming, not the taste or harsh bite of alcohol in the mouth. There should be a balance in the acidic character and the residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light to full body.

Comments: Sugar adjuncts may be used. May  be fermented by wine, Champagne, ale, lager or wild yeast. There may be optional ingredients such as fruits and spices in which case the entrant must identify these. The entrant must also specify whether the entry is; dry, semi-dry or sweet; still or carbonated. Artificial carbonation is allowed. The method of carbonation need not be specified. The entrant must be careful in the use of honey as an adjunct; if the honey is the dominant fermentable the entry is a Cyser and must be entered in the Mead competition and not as a cider.

Ingredients: At least 75% apple (pear) juice with the remainder made from any variety of adjuncts. The alcohol content must be below 14%, but any type of yeast can be used in the production.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.061-1.105, IBUs: N/A,  FG: 0.990 - 1.010, ABV: 7-14%, SRM: 3-12.

Commercial Examples: Cider Jack fruit ciders.

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