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Home > US Open: Ales

US Open: Ales


Category 1: Golden or Blonde Ale

Golden or Blonde ales are straw to golden blonde in color. They have a crisp, dry palate, light to medium body, and light malt sweetness. Low to medium hop floral aroma may be present but does not dominate. Bitterness is low to medium. Fruity esters may be perceived but do not predominate. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze should be absent.
OG:
1.045-1.056
FG: 1.008-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-4.3%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 3-7 

  

Category 2: English Summer Ale

English Summer Ale is light straw to golden colored with medium-low to medium bitterness, light to medium-light body, and low to medium residual malt sweetness. Torrefied and/or malted wheat are often used in quantities of 25% or less. Malt flavor may be biscuit-like. English, American or Noble-type hop character, flavor and aroma are evident and may or may not be assertive yet always well balanced with malt character. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions. In bottled versions, normal or lively carbon dioxide content is appropriate. The overall impression is refreshing and thirst quenching. Fruity-ester characters are acceptable at low to moderate levels. No butterscotch-like diacetyl or sweet corn-like dimethylsulfide (DMS) should be apparent in aroma or flavor. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.036-1.050
FG: 1.006-1.012
Alcohol by Weight: 2.9-4%
IBU: 20-35
Color SRM: 4-6 
  

Category 3: English Pale Ale
Classic English pale ales are golden to copper colored and display earthy, herbal English-variety hop character. Note that “earthy, herbal English-variety hop character” is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. Medium to high hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma should be evident. This medium-bodied pale ale has low to medium malt flavor and aroma Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to strong. Chill haze may be in evidence only at very cold temperatures. The absence of diacetyl is desirable, though, diacetyl (butterscotch character) is acceptable and characteristic when at very low levels.
OG: 1.044-1.056
FG: 1.008-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-4.2%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 5-14


Category 4: India Pale Ale/IPA
India pale ales are characterized by medium-high hop bitterness with a medium to high alcohol content. Hops from a variety of origins may be used to contribute to a high hopping rate. Note that “earthy and herbal English-variety hop character” is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer, sometimes with subtle and balanced character of sulfur compounds. This pale gold to deep copper-colored ale has a medium to high, flowery hop aroma and may have a medium to strong hop flavor (in addition to the hop bitterness). English-style India pale ales possess medium maltiness and body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Hops of other origins may be used for bitterness or approximating traditional English character.
OG: 1.050-1.064
FG: 1.012-1.018
Alcohol by Weight: 4-5.6%
IBU: 35-63
Color SRM: 6-14

   
Category 5: Imperial India Pale Ale
Imperial India Pale Ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma Alcohol content is high to very high and notably evident. They range from deep golden to amber in color. The style may use any variety of hops. Though the hop character is intense it’s balanced with complex alcohol flavors, moderate to high fruity esters and medium to high malt character. Hop character should be fresh and lively and should not be harsh in quality. The use of large amounts of hops may cause a degree of appropriate hop haze. Imperial or Double India pale ales have medium-high to full body. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
OG: 1.075-1.100
FGAppar: 1.018-1.028
Alcohol by Weight: 6.0-8.4%
IBU: 65-100
Color SRM: 5-13 

    
Category 6:  Bitter

Subcategory: Ordinary Bitter
Ordinary bitter is gold to copper colored with medium bitterness, light to medium body, and low to medium residual malt sweetness. For the purposes of this competition, either English or American hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer’s discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character and very low diacetyl (butterscotch) character are acceptable in aroma and flavor, but should be minimized in this form of bitter. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.033-1.038
FG: 1.006-1.012
Alcohol by Weight: 2.4-3.0%
IBU: 20-35
Color SRM: 8-12

Subcategory: Special Bitter or Best Bitter
Special bitter is more robust than ordinary bitter. It has medium body and medium residual malt sweetness. It is gold to copper colored. Hop bitterness should be medium and absent of harshness. For the purposes of this competition, either English or American hop flavor and aroma character may be evident at the brewer’s discretion. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions; for the purposes of the bottled entries entered in this competition, normal or a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character is acceptable in aroma and flavor. Diacetyl (butterscotch character) is acceptable and characteristic when at very low levels; the absence of diacetyl is also acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.038-1.045
FG: 1.006-1.012
Alcohol by Weight: 3.3-3.8%
IBU: 28-46
Color SRM: 8-14
     
Category 7: Extra Special Bitter

Subcategory: English Strong Bitter
Extra special bitter possesses medium to strong hop qualities in aroma, flavor, and bitterness. English hop varieties or others that approximate their resulting character are used in thisSubcategory. The residual malt sweetness of this richly flavored, full-bodied bitter is more pronounced than in other bitters. It is light amber to copper colored with medium to medium-high bitterness. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character is acceptable in aroma and flavor. Diacetyl (butterscotch character) is acceptable and characteristic when at very low levels; the absence of diacetyl is also acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. OG: 1.046-1.060
FG: 1.010-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.6%
IBU: 30-55
Color SRM: 8-14

Subcategory: American Strong Bitter
Extra special bitter possesses medium to strong hop qualities in aroma, flavor, and bitterness. American and/or other hop varieties are used in thisSubcategory. The residual malt sweetness of this richly flavored, full-bodied bitter is more pronounced than in other bitters. It is light amber to copper colored with medium to medium-high bitterness. Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-ester character is acceptable in aroma and flavor. Diacetyl (butterscotch character) is acceptable and characteristic when at very low levels; the absence of diacetyl is also acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.046-1.060
FG: 1.010-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.6%
IBU: 30-55
Color SRM: 8-14 

  
Category 8: English Mild Ale 

Subcategory: English Pale Mild Ale
English pale mild ales range from golden to amber in color. Malt flavor dominates the flavor profile with little hop bitterness or flavor. Hop aroma can be light. Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity-ester level is very low. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.030-1.036
FG: 1.004-1.008 
Alcohol by Weight: 2.7-3.2% 
IBU: 10-20
Color SRM: 8-17

Subcategory: English Dark Mild Ale
English dark mild ale ranges from deep copper to dark brown (often with a red tint) in color. Malt flavor and caramel are part of the flavor and aroma profile while licorice and roast malt tones may sometimes contribute to the flavor and aroma profile. These beers have very little hop flavor or aroma Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity-ester level is very low. 

OG: 1.030-1.036 
FG: 1.004-1.008 
Alcohol by Weight: 2.7-3.2% 
IBU: 10-24
Color SRM: 17-34
 
  

Category 9: Brown Ale 

English brown ale ranges from deep copper to brown in color. They have a medium body and a dry to sweet maltiness with very little hop flavor or aroma Roast malt tones may sometimes contribute to the flavor and aroma profile. Fruity-ester flavors are appropriate. Diacetyl should be very low, if evident. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

OG: 1.040-1.050 
FG: 1.008-1.014
Alcohol by Weight: 3.3-4.7%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 15-22 

 

 

Category 10: Porter

Subcategory: Brown Porter

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

OG: 1.040-1.050 
FG: 1.006-1.014 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-4.7% 
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 20-35 
 

Subcategory: Robust Porter

Robust porters are black in color and have a roast malt flavor but no roast barley flavor. These porters have a sharp bitterness of black malt without a highly burnt/charcoal flavor. Robust porters range from medium to full in body and have a malty sweetness. Hop bitterness is medium to high, with hop aroma and flavor ranging from negligible to medium. Diacetyl is not acceptable. Fruity esters should be evident, balanced with roast malt and hop bitterness.

OG: 1.045-1.060 
FG: 1.008-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 4.0-5.2% 
IBU: 25-40
Color SRM: 30+ 

    

Category 11:  Classic Irish Dry Stout

Dry stouts have an initial malt and light caramel flavor profile with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Dry stouts achieve a dry-roasted character through the use of roasted barley. The emphasis of coffee-like roasted barley and a moderate degree of roasted malt aromas define much of the character. Some slight acidity may be perceived but is not necessary. Hop aroma and flavor should not be perceived. Dry stouts have medium-light to medium body. Fruity esters are minimal and overshadowed by malt, high hop bitterness, and roasted barley character. Diacetyl (butterscotch) should be very low or not perceived. Head retention and rich character should be part of its visual character.

OG: 1.038-1.048 
FG: 1.008-1.012 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-4.2% 
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 40+ 

 

Category 12:  Foreign Stout

As with classic dry stouts, foreign stouts have an initial malt sweetness and caramel flavor with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Some slight acidity is permissible and a medium- to full-bodied mouthfeel is appropriate. Bitterness may be high but the perception is often compromised by malt sweetness. Hop aroma and flavor should not be perceived. The perception of fruity esters is low. Diacetyl (butterscotch) should be negligible or not perceived. Head retention is excellent.

OG: 1.052-1.072 
FG: 1.008-1.020 
Alcohol by Weight: 4.5-6% 
IBU: 30-60
Color SRM: 40+ 
 

Category 13:  American Stout

Initial low to medium malt sweetness with a degree of caramel, chocolate and/or roasted coffee flavor with a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Some slight roasted malt acidity is permissible and a medium- to full-bodied mouthfeel is appropriate. Hop bitterness may be moderate to high. Hop aroma and flavor is moderate to high often with American citrus-type and/or resiny hop character. The perception of fruity esters is low. Roasted malt/barley astringency may be low but not excessive. Diacetyl (butterscotch) should be negligible or not perceived. Head retention is excellent.

OG: 1.050-1.075 
FG: 1.010-1.022 
Alcohol by Weight: 4.5-7% 
IBU: 35-60
Color SRM: 40+ 


Category 14 : Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Sweet stouts, also referred to as cream stouts, have less roasted bitter flavor and a full-bodied mouthfeel. The style can be given more body with milk sugar (lactose) before bottling. Malt sweetness, chocolate, and caramel flavor should dominate the flavor profile and contribute to the aroma Hops should balance and suppress some of the sweetness without contributing apparent flavor or aroma The overall impression should be sweet and full-bodied.

OG: 1.045-1.056 
FG: 1.012-1.020 
Alcohol by Weight: 2.5-5% 
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 40+ 

  

Category 15: Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal stouts include oatmeal in their grist, resulting in a pleasant, full flavor and a smooth profile that is rich without being grainy. A roasted malt character which is caramel like and chocolate like should be evident — smooth and not bitter. Coffee like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas (chocolate and nut like) are prominent. Bitterness is moderate, not high. Hop flavor and aroma are optional but should not overpower the overall balance if present. This is a medium- to full-bodied beer, with minimal fruity esters. Diacetyl should be absent or at extremely low levels.

OG: 1.038-1.056 
FG: 1.008-1.020 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.0-4.8%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 20+ 

    

Category 16: Imperial Stout

Subcategory: British Imperial Stout
Dark copper to very dark brown, British imperial stouts typically have high alcohol content. The extremely rich malty flavor (often characterized as toffee-like or caramel-like) and aroma are balanced with medium hopping and high fruity-ester characteristics. Bitterness should be moderate and balanced with sweet malt character. The bitterness may be higher in the darker versions. Roasted malt astringency is very low or absent. Bitterness should not overwhelm the overall character. Hop aroma can be subtle to moderately hop-floral, -citrus or -herbal. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be absent.

OG: 1.080-1.100 
FG: 1.020-1.030 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.5-9.5% 
IBU: 45-65
Color SRM: 20-40+ 
 

Subcategory: American Imperial Stout
Black to very black, American imperial stouts typically have a high alcohol content. Generally characterized as very robust. The extremely rich malty flavor and aroma are balanced with assertive hopping and fruity-ester characteristics. Bitterness should be moderately high to very high and balanced with full sweet malt character. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderately perceived but should not overwhelm the overall character. Hop aroma is usually moderately-high to overwhelmingly hop-floral, -citrus or -herbal. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be absent.

OG: 1.080-1.100 
FG: 1.020-1.030 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.5-9.5% 
IBU: 50-80
Color SRM: 40+ 

  

Category 17: Old Ale / Strong Ale

Subcategory: Old Ale
Dark amber to brown in color, old ales are medium to full-bodied with a malty sweetness. Hop aroma should be minimal and flavor can vary from none to medium in character intensity. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas can contribute to the character of this ale. Bitterness should be minimal but evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel like sweetness. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. A distinctive quality of these ales is that they undergo an aging process (often for years) on their yeast either in bulk storage or through conditioning in the bottle, which contributes to a rich and often sweet oxidation character. Complex estery characters may also emerge. Some diacetyl character may be evident and acceptable. Wood-aged characters such as vanillin and other woody characters are acceptable. Horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces organisms and acidity may be present but should be at low levels and balanced with other flavors. Residual flavors that come from liquids previously aged in a barrel such as bourbon or sherry should not be present; beers that exhibit these qualities should be entered in another category for wood-aged beers. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

OG: 1.058-1.088 
FG: 1.014-1.030 
Alcohol by Weight: 5-7.2% 
IBU: 30-65
Color SRM: 12-30 
 

Subcategory: Strong Ale
Light amber to mid-range brown in color, strong ales are medium to full bodied with a malty sweetness. Hop aroma should be minimal and flavor can vary from none to medium in character intensity. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas can contribute to the character of this ale. Bitterness should be minimal but evident and balanced with malt and/or caramel like sweetness. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. A rich, often sweet and complex estery character may be evident. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.

OG: 1.060-1.125 
FG: 1.014-1.040 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.5-8.9% 
IBU: 30-65
Color SRM: 8-21 


Category 18: Barley Wine Ale

Subcategory: English Barley Wine Ale
English style barley wines range from tawny copper to dark brown in color and have a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by the perception of low to medium bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may be minimal to medium. English type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. Caramel and some characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry-like) aromas and/or flavors, may be considered positive. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

OG: 1.085-1.120 
FG: 1.024-1.032 
Alcohol by Weight: 6.7-9.6% 
IBU: 40-60
Color SRM: 14-22 

Subcategory: American Barley Wine Ale
American style barley wines range from amber to deep copper-garnet in color and have a full body and high residual malty sweetness. Complexity of alcohols and fruity-ester characters are often high and counterbalanced by assertive bitterness and extraordinary alcohol content. Hop aroma and flavor may range from medium to very high levels. American type hops are often used but not necessary for this style. Very low levels of diacetyl may be acceptable. A caramel and/or toffee aroma and flavor are often part of the character. Characters indicating oxidation, such as vinous (sometimes sherry like) aromas and/or flavors, are not generally acceptable in American Barley Wine Ale, however if a low level of age-induced oxidation character harmonizes and enhances the overall experience this can be regarded favorably. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

OG: 1.090-1.120 
FG: 1.024-1.032 
Alcohol by Weight: 6.7-9.6% 
IBU: 60-100
Color SRM: 11-2

    

Category 19: Scottish Ale
Subcategory: Scottish Light Ale

Scottish light ales are light bodied. Little bitterness is perceived and hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Despite its lightness, Scottish light ale will have a degree of malty, caramel like, soft and chewy character. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish light ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers Scottish light ales with peat or smoke character present at low to low-medium levels. Thus for the purpose of this competition a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category).

OG: 1.030-1.035
FG: 1.006-1.012
Alcohol by Weight: 2.2-2.8%
IBU: 9-20
Color SRM: 8-17
 

Subcategory: Scottish Heavy Ale
Scottish heavy ale is moderate in strength and dominated by a smooth, sweet maltiness balanced with low, but perceptible, hop bitterness. Hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. Scottish heavy ale will have a medium degree of malty, caramel-like, soft and chewy character in flavor and mouthfeel. It has medium body, and fruity esters are very low, if evident. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish heavy ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many Scottish heavy ales with peat or smoke character present at low to low-medium levels. Thus for the purpose of this competition a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels.

OG: 1.035-1.040
FG: 1.010-1.014
Alcohol by Weight: 2.8-3.2%
IBU: 12-20
Color SRM: 10-19

Subcategory: Scottish Export Ale
The overriding character of Scottish export ale is sweet, caramel-like, and malty. Its bitterness is perceived as low to medium. Hop flavor or aroma should not be perceived. It has medium body. Fruity-ester character may be apparent. Yeast characters such as diacetyl (butterscotch) and sulfuriness are acceptable at very low levels. The color will range from golden amber to deep brown. Bottled versions of this traditional draft beer may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish export ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers Scottish export ales with peat or smoke character present at low to low-medium levels. Thus for the purpose of this competition a peaty/smoky character may be evident at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category).

OG: 1.040-1.050
FG: 1.010-1.018
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-4.2%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 10-19

 

Category 20:  Strong Scotch Ale

Subcategory: Traditional Strong Scotch Ale
Scotch ales are overwhelmingly malty and full bodied. Perception of hop bitterness is very low. Hop flavor and aroma are very low or nonexistent. Color ranges from deep copper to brown. The clean alcohol flavor balances the rich and dominant sweet maltiness in flavor and aroma A caramel character is often a part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors and aroma may be evident at low levels. Fruity esters are generally at medium aromatic and flavor levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Because there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made strong Scotch ales exhibited peat smoke character, entries in thisSubcategory will not exhibit peaty/smoky character.

OG: 1.072-1.085 
FG: 1.016-1.028 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.2-6.7% 
IBU: 25-35
Color SRM: 15-30 
 

Subcategory: Peated Strong Scotch Ale
Scotch ales are overwhelmingly malty and full bodied. Perception of hop bitterness is very low. Hop flavor and aroma are very low or nonexistent. Color ranges from deep copper to brown. The clean alcohol flavor balances the rich and dominant sweet maltiness in flavor and aroma A caramel character is often a part of the profile. Dark roasted malt flavors and aroma may be evident at low levels. Fruity esters are generally at medium aromatic and flavor levels. Low diacetyl levels are acceptable. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made strong Scotch ales exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many strong Scotch ales with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. Thus entries in thisSubcategory may exhibit a peaty/smoky character at low levels (ales with medium or higher smoke character would be considered a smoke flavored beer and considered in another category).

OG: 1.072-1.085 
FG: 1.016-1.028 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.2-6.7% 
IBU: 25-35
Color SRM: 15-30
  

 

Category 21: Irish Red Ale

Irish  red ale ranges from light red-amber-copper to light brown in color. These ales have a medium hop bitterness and flavor. They often don’t have hop aroma Irish red ales have low to medium candy-like caramel sweetness and a medium body. The style may have low levels of fruity-ester flavor and aroma Diacetyl should be absent or at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Slight yeast haze is acceptable for bottle-conditioned products.
OG:
1.040-1.048 
FG: 1.010-1.014 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-3.6%
IBU: 20-28
Color SRM: 11-18

   

Category 22: American Amber/Red Ale
American amber/red ales range from light copper to light brown in color. They are characterized by American-variety hops used to produce high hop bitterness, flavor, and medium to high aroma Amber ales have medium-high to high maltiness with medium to low caramel character. They should have medium to medium-high body. The style may have low levels of fruity-ester flavor and aroma Diacetyl can be either absent or barely perceived at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. Slight yeast haze is acceptable for bottle-conditioned products.
OG: 1.048-1.058
FG: 1.012-1.018
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-4.8%
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 11-18 
 

Category 23: Imperial Red Ale
Imperial Red Ales are deep amber to dark copper/reddish brown. May exhibit a small amount of chill haze at cold temperatures. Fruity-ester aroma is medium. Hop aroma is intense, arising from any variety of hops. Medium to high caramel malt character is present. Hop flavor is intense, but balanced with other beer characters. May use any variety of hops. Hop bitterness is intense. Alcohol content is very high and of notable character. Complex alcohol flavors may be evident. Fruity ester flavors are medium. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Body is full.
OG: 1.080-1.100
FG: 1.020-1.028
Alcohol by Volume: 8.0%-10.6%
IBU: 55-85
Color SRM: 10-17

   
Category 24: American  Pale Ale
American pale ales range from deep golden to copper in color. The style is characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character producing high hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma Note that “floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character” is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. American pale ales have medium body and low to medium maltiness. Low caramel character is allowable. Fruity-ester flavor and aroma should be moderate to strong. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.044-1.050
FG: 1.008-1.014
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-4.3%
IBU: 30-42
Color SRM: 6-14 
    
Category 25: American India Pale Ale/IPA
American India pale ales have intense hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol content. The style is further characterized by fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character. Note that “fruity, floral and citrus-like American-variety hop character” is the perceived end, but may be a result of the skillful use of hops of other national origins. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer. This pale gold to deep copper-colored ale has a full, flowery hop aroma and may have a strong hop flavor (in addition to the hop bitterness). India pale ales possess medium maltiness and body. Fruity-ester flavors and aromas are moderate to very strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
OG: 1.060-1.075
FG: 1.012-1.018
Alcohol by Weight: 5-6%
IBU: 50-70
Color SRM: 6-14 
     

Category 26:  American Brown Ale

American brown ales range from deep copper to brown in color. Roasted malt caramel-like and chocolate-like characters should be of medium intensity in both flavor and aroma American brown ales have an evident hop aroma, medium to high hop bitterness, low to medium hop flavor and a medium body. Estery and fruity-ester characters should be subdued; diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

OG: 1.040-1.060 
FG: 1.010-1.018 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.3-5.0% 
IBU: 25-45
Color SRM: 15-26  
 
Category 27: American–Style Black Ale
American-style Black Ale is perceived to have medium high to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol content, balanced with a medium body. Fruity, floral and herbal character from hops of all origins may contribute character. The style is further characterized by a moderate degree of caramel malt character and dark roasted malt flavor and aroma. High astringency and high degree of burnt roast malt
character should be absent.
Original Gravity : 1.056-1.075
Final Gravity: 1.012-1.018
Alcohol by Volume: 6 -7.5%
Bitterness (IBU): 50-70
Color SRM (EBC): 35+ (70+ EBC)

       

Category 28 German Altbier/California Common
Subcategory: German Altbier

Copper to brown in color, this German ale may be highly hopped and intensely bitter (although the 25 to 35 IBU range is more normal for the majority of Altbiers from Düsseldorf) and has a medium body and malty flavor. A variety of malts, including wheat, may be used. Hop character may be medium to high in the flavor and aroma The overall impression is clean, crisp, and flavorful often with a dry finish. Fruity esters can be low to medium-low. No diacetyl or chill haze should be perceived.

OG: 1.044-1.052 
FG: 1.008-1.014 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.6-4.4% 
IBU: 25-52
Color SRM: 11-19  
 
 

Category 29: German  Kölsch

Kölsch is warm fermented and aged at cold temperatures (German ale or alt beer). Kölsch is characterized by a golden to straw color and a slightly dry, subtly sweet softness on the palate, yet crisp. Good, dense head retention is desirable. A light fruitiness may be apparent, but is not necessary for this style. Caramel character should not be evident. The body is light to medium-light. This beer has low hop flavor and aroma with medium bitterness. Wheat can be used in brewing this beer. Ale yeast is used for fermentation, though lager yeast is sometimes used in the bottle or final cold conditioning process. Fruity esters should be minimally perceived, if at all. Chill haze should be absent.
OG: 1.042-1.048
FG: 1.006-1.010
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.2%
IBU: 18-25
Color SRM: 4-6

       

Category 30: German Wheat Ale

Subcategory: South German  Kristal Weizen/Kristal Weissbier
The aroma and flavor of a Weissbier without yeast is very similar to Weissbier with yeast with the caveat that fruity and phenolic characters are not combined with the yeasty flavor and fuller-bodied mouthfeel of yeast. The phenolic characteristics are often described as clove- or nutmeg-like and can be smoky or even vanilla-like. Banana-like esters are often present. These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, and hop rates are quite low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. Weissbier is well attenuated and very highly carbonated, yet its relatively high starting gravity and alcohol content make it a medium- to full-bodied beer. The color is very pale to deep golden. Because the beer has been filtered, yeast is not present. The beer will have no flavor of yeast and a cleaner, drier mouthfeel. The beer should be clear with no chill haze present. No diacetyl should be perceived.

OG: 1.047-1.056 
FG: 1.008-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.9-4.4% 
IBU: 10-15
Color SRM: 3-9 
 

Subcategory: German Leichtes Weizen/Weissbier
The German word leicht means light, and as such these beers are light versions of Hefeweizen. Leicht Weissbier is top fermented and cloudy like Hefeweizen. The phenolic and estery aromas and flavors typical of Weissbiers are more subdued in Leichtes Weizen. Hop flavor and aroma are normally absent. The overall flavor profile is less complex than Hefeweizen due to decreased alcohol content. There is less yeasty flavor present. Leichtes Weissbier has diminished mouth feel relative to Hefeweizen, and is a low-bodied beer. No diacetyl should be perceived. The beer may have a broad range of color from pale golden to pale amber. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.028-1.044 
FG: 1.004-1.008 
Alcohol by Weight: 2.0-2.8% 
IBU: 10-20
Color SRM: 3.5-15 
 

Subcategory: South German Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen/Weissbier
The German word bernsteinfarben means amber colored, and as such, a Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen is dark yellow to amber in color. This beer style is characterized by a distinct sweet maltiness and caramel or bready character from the use of medium colored malts. Estery and phenolic elements of this Weissbier should be evident but subdued. Bernsteinfarbenes Weissbier is well attenuated and very highly carbonated, and hop bitterness is low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. The percentage of wheat malt is at least 50 percent. If this is served with yeast, the beer may be appropriately very cloudy. No diacetyl should be perceived. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.048-1.056
FG: 1.008-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.3%
IBU: 10-15
Color SRM: 9-13
 

Subcategory: South German Dunkel Weizen/Dunkel Weissbier
This beer style is characterized by a distinct sweet maltiness and a chocolate-like character from roasted malt. Estery and phenolic elements of this Weissbier should be evident but subdued. Color can range from copper-brown to dark brown. Dunkel Weissbier is well attenuated and very highly carbonated, and hop bitterness is low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. Usually dark barley malts are used in conjunction with dark cara or color malts, and the percentage of wheat malt is at least 50 percent. If served with yeast, the beer may be appropriately very cloudy. No diacetyl should be perceived. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.048-1.056
FG: 1.008-1.016
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.3%
IBU: 10-15
Color SRM: 10-19

  
Subcategory: South German Weizenbock/Weissbock

This style can be either pale or dark and has a high starting gravity and alcohol content. The malty sweetness of a weizenbock is balanced with a clove-like phenolic and fruity-estery banana element to produce a well-rounded aroma and flavor. As is true with all German wheat beers, hop bitterness is low and carbonation is high. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. It has a medium to full body. If dark, a mild roast malt character should emerge in flavor and to a lesser degree in the aroma If served with yeast the beer may be appropriately very cloudy. No diacetyl should be perceived. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.066-1.080 
FG: 1.016-1.028 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.5-7.5% 
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 5-30  
    

Category 31: South German Hefeweizen

The aroma and flavor of a weissbier with yeast is decidedly fruity and phenolic. The phenolic characteristics are often described as clove- or nutmeg-like and can be smoky or even vanilla-like. Banana-like esters are often present. These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, and hop rates are quite low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. Weissbier is well attenuated and very highly carbonated, yet its relatively high starting gravity and alcohol content make it a medium- to full-bodied beer. The color is very pale to pale amber. Because yeast is present, the beer will have yeast flavor and a characteristically fuller mouthfeel, and may be appropriately very cloudy. No diacetyl should be perceived. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.047-1.056 
FG: 1.008-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.9-4.4% 
IBU: 10-15
Color SRM: 3-9 

   

Category 32: French and Belgian Saison

Beers in this category are golden to deep amber in color. There may be quite a variety of characters within this style. Generally: They are light to medium in body. Malt aroma is low to medium-low. Fruity esters dominate the aroma, while hop character, complex alcohols, herbs, spices and even clove and smoke-like phenolics may or may not be evident in the overall balanced beer. Malt flavor is low but provides foundation for the overall balance. Hop bitterness is moderate to moderately assertive. Herb and/or spice flavors may or may not be evident. Fruitiness from fermentation is generally in character. A balanced small amount of sour or acidic flavors is acceptable when in balance with other components. Earthy, cellar like, musty aromas are okay. A very low level of Brettanomyces yeast character may be evident. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill or slight yeast haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character and high carbonation. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.055-1.080
FG: 1.004-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-6.6% 
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 4-14 
 

Category 33:  Belgian Pale Ale
Belgian pale ales are characterized by low, but noticeable, hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma Light to medium body and low malt aroma are typical. They are light gold to deep amber in color. Noble-type hops are commonly used. Low to medium fruity esters are evident in aroma and flavor. Low levels of phenolic spiciness from yeast byproducts may be perceived. Low caramel or toasted malt flavor is okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.

OG: 1.044-1.054 
FG: 1.008-1.014 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.2-5.0% 
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 4-12 

 

Category 34: Belgian and French Ale  

Subcategory: French Bière de Garde
Beers in this category are golden to deep copper or light brown in color. They are light to medium in body. This style of beer is characterized by a toasted malt aroma, slight malt sweetness in flavor, and medium hop bitterness. Noble-type hop aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Fruity esters can be light to medium in intensity. Flavor of alcohol is evident. Earthy, cellar like, musty aromas are okay. Diacetyl should not be perceived but chill haze is okay. Often bottle conditioned with some yeast character. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.060-1.080 
FG: 1.012-1.024 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.5-6.3% 
IBU: 25-30
Color SRM: 8-12 
 

Subcategory: Belgian Table Beer
These ales and lagers are very low in alcohol and traditionally enjoyed with meals by both adults and children. Pale to very dark brown in color. Additions of caramel coloring are sometimes employed to adjust color. They are light bodied with relatively low carbonation with limited aftertaste. The mouth feel is light to moderate, though higher than one might anticipate, usually because of unfermented sugars/malt sugars. Malted barley, wheat and rye may be used as well as unmalted wheat, rye, oats and corn. A mild malt character could be evident. Aroma/flavor hops are most commonly used to employ a flavor balance that is only low in bitterness. Traditional versions do not use artificial sweeteners nor are they excessively sweet. More modern versions of this beer incorporate sweeteners such as sugar and saccharine added post fermentation to sweeten the palate and add to a perception of smoothness. Spices (such as orange and lemon peel, as well as coriander) may be added in barely perceptible amounts, but this is not common. Diacetyl should not be perceived.

OG: 1.008-1.038 
FG: 1.008-1.038 
Alcohol by Weight: 0.4-2.8% 
IBU: 5-15
Color SRM: 5-50  

 

Subcategory: Belgian Style Blonde Ale
This ale should have a 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. The aroma should be 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.

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

 
 
Category 35: Belgian Dubbel

This medium-bodied, dark amber to brown-colored ale has a malty sweetness and nutty, chocolate like, and mild roast malt and caramel aroma Flavor and aroma may also have a raisin like cocoa character. A faint hop aroma is acceptable. Dubbels are also characterized by low to low-medium bitterness and no hop flavor. Very small quantities of diacetyl are acceptable. Yeast-generated fruity esters (especially banana) are appropriate at low levels. Head retention is dense and mousse like. Chill haze is acceptable at low serving temperatures. Often bottle conditioned a slight yeast haze may be evident. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.060-1.077 
FG: 1.012-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.2-6.0% 
IBU: 22-30
Color SRM: 18-22
  

Category 36:  Belgian Tripel
Tripels are often characterized by a complex, sometimes mild spicy character, but no clove-like phenolic flavor. Yeast-generated fruity banana esters are also common, but not necessary. These pale/light-colored ales may finish sweet, though any sweet finish should be light. The beer is characteristically medium bodied with a equalizing hop/malt balance. Traditional Belgian Tripels are often well attenuated and bottle conditioned beers aged for a long period may be very well attenuated. Brewing sugar may be used to lighten the perception of body. Its sweetness will come from very pale malts. There should not be character from any roasted or dark malts. Very low hop flavor is okay. Alcohol strength and flavor should be perceived as evident. Head retention is dense and mousse like. Chill haze is acceptable at low serving temperatures. Traditional Tripels are bottle conditioned and may exhibit slight yeast haze. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.070-1.092 
FG: 1.012-1.018 
Alcohol by Weight: 5.6-8.0% 
IBU: 25-35
Color SRM: 6-10 
 

 

Category 37: Belgian Quadrupel
Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol.
Alcohol by Volume: 9.0-13.0%

 
Category 38: Belgian Lambic 

Subcategory: Belgian Lambic
Unblended, naturally and spontaneously fermented lambic is intensely estery, sour, and sometimes, but not necessarily, acetic flavored. Low in carbon dioxide, these hazy beers are brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley. Sweet malt characters are not perceived. They are very low in hop bitterness. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry and light bodied. Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces yeast is often present at moderate levels. Versions of this beer made outside of the Brussels area of Belgium cannot be true lambics. These versions are said to be "lambic" and may be made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be evident. Historically, traditional lambic is dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar or artificial sweeteners. Modern versions may have a degree of sweetness, contributed by sugars or artificial sweeteners.

OG: 1.044-1.056 
FG: 1.000-1.010 
Alcohol by Weight: 4-5% 
IBU: 11-23
Color SRM: 6-13 


Subcategory: Belgian Gueuze Lambic

Old lambic is blended with newly fermenting young lambic to create this special style of lambic. Gueuze is always refermented in the bottle. These unflavored blended and secondary fermented lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet and are characterized by intense fruity-estery, sour, and acidic aromas and flavors. These pale beers are brewed with unmalted wheat, malted barley, and stale, aged hops. Sweet malt characters are not perceived. They are very low in hop bitterness. Diacetyl should be absent. Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces yeast is often present at moderate levels. Cloudiness is acceptable. These beers are quite dry and light bodied. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be evident. Versions of this beer made outside of the Brussels area of Belgium cannot be true lambics. These versions are said to be "lambic" and may be made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Historically, traditional gueuze lambics are dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar or artificial sweeteners. Modern versions may have a degree of sweetness, contributed by sugars or artificial sweeteners.

OG: 1.044-1.056 
FG: 1.000-1.010 
Alcohol by Weight: 4.0-5.0% 
IBU: 11-23
Color SRM: 6-13 
 

Subcategory: Belgian Fruit Lambic
These beers, also known by the names framboise, kriek, peche, cassis, etc., are characterized by fruit flavors and aromas. The color reflects the choice of fruit. Sourness is an important part of the flavor profile, though sweetness may compromise the intensity. These flavored lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet and range from a dry to a full-bodied mouthfeel. Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character evolved from Brettanomyces yeast is often present at moderate levels. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be evident. Versions of this beer made outside of the Brussels area of Belgium cannot be true lambics. These versions are said to be "lambic" and may be made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Historically, traditional lambics are dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar, fruit or artificial sweeteners. Modern versions often have a degree of sweetness, contributed by fruit sugars, other sugars or artificial sweeteners. The brewer should list the fruit used in the beer. Beer entries not accompanied by this information may be at a disadvantage during judging.

OG: 1.040-1.072 
FG: 1.008-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 4.0-5.5%
IBU: 15-21
Color SRM: Color takes on hue of fruit
 

Subcategory: Belgian Flanders/Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale
This light- to medium-bodied deep copper to brown ale is characterized by a slight to strong lactic sourness. A fruity-estery character is apparent with no hop flavor or aroma Flanders brown ales have low to medium bitterness. Very small quantities of diacetyl are acceptable. A very low degree of malt sweetness may be present and in balance with the acidity produced by lactobacillus activity. Roasted malt character in aroma and flavor is acceptable at low levels. Oak like or woody characters may be pleasantly integrated into overall palate. Chill haze is acceptable at low serving temperatures. Some versions may be more highly carbonated and, when bottle conditioned, may appear cloudy (yeast) when served.

OG: 1.044-1.056 
FG: 1.008-1.016 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.4% 
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 12-20 

  

Category 39: Belgian Witbier

Belgian white ales are very pale in color and are brewed using unmalted wheat and malted barley and are spiced with coriander and orange peel. Coriander and light orange peel aroma should be perceived. Phenolic spiciness and yeast flavors may be evident at mild levels. These beers are traditionally bottle conditioned and served cloudy. An unfiltered nearly opaque haze should be part of the appearance. The style is further characterized by the use of noble-type hops to achieve a low hop bitterness and little to no apparent hop flavor. This beer has low to medium body, no diacetyl, and a low to medium fruity-ester level. Mild acidity is appropriate. Brewer may indicate on the bottle whether the yeast should be intentionally roused or if they prefer that the entry be poured as quietly as possible.

OG: 1.044-1.050 
FG: 1.006-1.010 
Alcohol by Weight: 3.8-4.4% 
IBU: 10-17
Color SRM: 2-4 
 

 




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