Category 1: Golden or Blonde Ale
Color: Straw to light amber
Clarity: Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Light malt sweetness should be present in flavor
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor should be low to medium-low, present but not dominant.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters may be perceived at low levels. Diacetyl and DMS should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium with a crisp finish
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 5.10%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 3-7

Category 2: English Summer Ale
Color: Pale to gold
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Residual malt sweetness is low to medium. Torrified or malted wheat is often used in quantities of 25 percent or less. Malt attributes such as biscuity or low levels of caramel are present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: English, American or noble-type hop aroma should be low to medium. English, American or noble-type hop flavor should not be assertive and should be well balanced with malt character.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Low to moderate fruity-estery character is acceptable. No diacetyl or DMS character should be apparent.
Body: Low to medium-low
Additional notes: The overall impression is refreshing and thirst quenching
Alcohol by Volume: 3.70% – 5.10%
IBU: 20-35
Color SRM: 4-6

Category 3: English Pale Ale
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium malt aroma and flavor is present. Low caramel character is allowable.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Earthy and herbal English-variety hop character should be perceived, but may result from the skillful use of hops of other origin.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery character is moderate to strong. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 5.30%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 5-14

Category 4: English India Pale Ale/IPA
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium malt flavor should be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is medium to high, and often flowery. Hops from a variety of origins may be used to contribute to a high hopping rate. Earthy and herbal English-variety hop character should be perceived, but may result from the skillful use of hops of other origin.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavors are moderate to very high. Traditional interpretations are characterized by medium to medium-high alcohol content. The use of water with high mineral content results in a crisp, dry beer with a subtle and balanced character of sulfur compounds. Diacetyl can be absent or may be perceived at very low levels.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: Non-English hops may be used for bitterness or for approximating traditional English hop character. The use of water with high mineral content may result in a crisp, dry beer rather than a malt-accentuated version.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.10% – 7.10%
IBU: 35-63
Color SRM: 6-14

Category 5: Imperial India Pale Ale
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Haze created by dry hopping is allowable at any temperature.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very high. Hop character should be fresh and evident, derived from any variety of hops. Hop flavor should not be harsh.
Perceived Bitterness: Very high but not harsh
Fermentation Characteristics: Alcohol content is medium-high to high and evident. Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is medium to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: This style of beer should exhibit the fresh character of hops. Oxidized or aged character should not be present.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.60% – 10.60%
IBU: 45+
Color SRM: 5-13

Category 6: Triple IPA
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Haze created by dry hopping is allowable at any temperature.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to high
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very high. Hop character should be fresh and evident, derived from any variety of hops. Hop flavor should not be harsh.
Perceived Bitterness: Very high but not harsh
Fermentation Characteristics: Alcohol content is medium-high to high and evident. Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is medium to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: This style of beer should exhibit the fresh character of hops. Oxidized or aged character should not be present.
Alcohol by Volume: 9.5-18%
IBU: 65+
Color SRM: 5-13

Category 7: Bitter
Subcategory: Ordinary Bitter
Color: Gold to copper-colored
Clarity: Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium residual malt sweetness should be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium-low
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Mild carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-estery and very low diacetyl flavors are acceptable, but should be minimized in this form of Bitter.
Body: Low to medium
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to create subcategories which reflect English and American hop character.
Alcohol by Volume: 3.00% – 4.20%
IBU: 20-35
Color SRM: 8-12

Subcategory: Special Bitter or Best Bitter
Color: Deep gold to deep copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium residual malt sweetness should be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium at the brewer’s discretion
Perceived Bitterness: Medium and not harsh
Fermentation Characteristics: Low carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors and very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, but should be minimized in this form of Bitter. The absence of diacetyl is also acceptable.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to create subcategories which reflect English and American hop character.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.20% – 4.80%
IBU: 28-46
Color SRM: 8-14

Category 8: Extra Special Bitter
Color: Amber to deep copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Low carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. The overall impression is refreshing and thirst quenching. Fruity-estery and very low diacetyl characters are acceptable, but should be minimized in this form of Bitter. The absence of diacetyl is also acceptable.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to create subcategories which reflect English and American hop character.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.80% – 5.80%
IBU: 30-55
Color SRM: 8-14

Category 9: English Mild Ale
Subcategory: English Pale Mild Ale
Color: Light amber to medium amber
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt flavor and aroma dominate the flavor profile
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor range from very low to low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
Fermentation Characteristics: Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity-estery character is very low to medium-low.
Body: Low to medium-low
Alcohol by Volume: 3.40% – 4.40%
IBU: 10-20
Color SRM: 8-17

Subcategory: English Dark Mild Ale
Color: Reddish-brown to very dark
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt and caramel should be evident in the aroma and flavor while licorice and roast malt may also be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low
Perceived Bitterness: very low to low
Fermentation Characteristics: Very low diacetyl flavors may be appropriate in this low-alcohol beer. Fruity-estery character is very low to medium-low.
Body: Medium-low to medium
Alcohol by Volume: 3.40% – 4.40%
IBU: 10-24
Color SRM: 17-34

Category 10: English Brown Ale
Color: Copper to dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Roast malt may contribute to a biscuit or toasted aroma profile. Roast malt may contribute to the flavor profile. Malt profile can range from dry to sweet.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium-low levels of fruity-estery flavors are appropriate. Diacetyl, if evident, should be very low.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.20% – 6.00%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 15-22

Category 11: Strong/Imperial Brown Ale
Color: Deep copper to very dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors should be medium.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to med-low. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors may be present. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 6.00% – 10.00%
IBU: 15-50
Color SRM: 15-22

Category 12: Brown Porter
Color: Dark brown to very dark. May have red tint.
Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive clarity. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium malt sweetness. Caramel and chocolate character is acceptable. Strong roast barley or strong burnt or black malt character should not be perceived.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavors are acceptable. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 6.00%
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 20-35

Category 13: Robust Porter
Color: Very dark brown to black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high. Malty sweetness, roast malt, cocoa and caramel should be in harmony with bitterness from dark malts.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters should be evident and balanced with all other characters. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Alcohol by Volume: 5.10% – 6.60%
IBU: 25-40
Color SRM: 30+

Category 14: Imperial Porter
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Extremely rich malty aroma is typical. Extremely rich malty flavor with full sweet malt character is typical. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderate but should not dominate the overall character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to high with floral, citrus and/or herbal character.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to very high and balanced with rich malt character.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are high. Diacetyl should be absent.
Body: Full
ABV: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 25-40
Color SRM: 40+

Category 15: Classic Irish Dry Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: The prominence of coffee-like roasted barley and a moderate degree of roasted malt aroma and flavor defines much of the character. Dry stouts achieve a dry-roasted character through the use of roasted barley. Initial malt and light caramel flavors give way to a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: European hop character may range from not perceived to low in aroma and flavor
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery character is low relative to malt and roasted barley as well as hop bitterness. Diacetyl, if present, should be very low. Slight acidity may be perceived but is not required.
Body: Medium-light to medium
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 5.30%
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 40+

Category 16: Foreign Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Initial malt and light caramel flavors give way to a distinctive dry-roasted bitterness in the finish.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: May be analytically high, but the perception is lessened by malt sweetness.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is low. Diacetyl should be negligible or not perceived. Slight acidity is acceptable.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 5.70% – 9.50%
IBU: 30-60
Color SRM: 40+

Category 17: American Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee-like roasted barley and roasted malt aromas are prominent. Low to medium malt sweetness with low to medium caramel, chocolate, and/or roasted coffee flavor should be present, with a distinct dry-roasted bitterness in the finish. Astringency from roasted malt and roasted barley is low. Slight roasted malt acidity is acceptable.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high, often with citrusy and/or resiny hop qualities typical of many American hop varieties.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor is low. Diacetyl should be negligible or not perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Head retention should be persistent
Alcohol by Volume: 5.70% – 8.90%
IBU: 35-60
Color SRM: 40+

Category 18 : Sweet Stout or Cream Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to medium-high. Malt sweetness, chocolate and caramel should contribute to the aroma and should dominate the flavor profile. Roast flavor may be perceived. Low to medium-low roasted malt-derived bitterness should be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low and serves to balance and suppress some of the sweetness without contributing apparent flavor and aroma
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavors, if present, are low. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Full-bodied. Body can be increased with the addition of milk sugar (lactose).
Alcohol by Volume: 3.20% – 6.30%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 40+

Category 19: Oatmeal Stout
Color: Dark brown to black
Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Coffee, caramel, roasted malt or chocolate aromas should be prominent. Roasted malt character of caramel or chocolate should be smooth without bitterness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Optional, but should not upset the overall balance.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Oatmeal is used in the grist, resulting in a pleasant, full flavor without being grainy. Fruity-estery aroma can range from not perceived to very low. Fruity-estery flavor is very low. Diacetyl should be absent or at extremely low levels.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 3.80% – 6.10%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 20+

Category 20: Russian/British Imperial Stout
Color: Ranging from dark copper typical of some historic examples, to very dark more typical of contemporary examples
Clarity: Opaque in darker versions. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Extremely rich malty flavor, often expressed as toffee or caramel, and may be accompanied by very low roasted malt astringency.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium, with floral, citrus or herbal qualities.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium, and should not overwhelm the overall balance. The bitterness may be higher in darker versions while maintaining balance with sweet malt.
Fermentation Characteristics: High alcohol content is evident. High fruity-estery character may be present. Diacetyl should be absent.
Body: Full
Additional notes: This style was also called “British Imperial Stout.”
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 45-65
Color SRM: 20-40+

Category 21: American Imperial Stout
Color: Black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Extremely rich malty aroma is typical. Extremely rich malty flavor with full sweet malt character is typical. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderate but should not dominate the overall character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to high with floral, citrus and/or herbal character.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to very high and balanced with rich malt character.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are high. Diacetyl should be absent.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 12.00%
IBU: 50-80
Color SRM: 40+

Category 22: Imperial Stout Specialty
This imperial stout can be American or British with coffee, maple, chocolate, spices, peppers, etc added.  In the description, describe the non traditional ingredients added to your imperial stout.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 18.00%
IBU: 40-80
Color SRM: 40+

Category 23: Old Ale / Strong Ale
Subcategory: Old Ale
Color: Copper-red to very dark
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Fruity-estery aroma can contribute to the malt aroma and flavor profile. Old Ales have a malt and sometimes caramel sweetness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Evident but minimal
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavors can contribute to the character of this ale. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. A distinctive quality of Old Ales is that they undergo an aging process, often for years. Aging can occur on their yeast either in bulk storage or through conditioning in the bottle. This contributes to a rich, wine-like and often sweet oxidized character. Complex estery attributes may also emerge. Very low diacetyl character may be evident and is acceptable.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Wood-aged attributes such as vanilla are acceptable. Horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic character and acidity produced by Brettanomyces may also 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. This style may be split into two categories, strong and very strong. Brettanomyces and acidic characters reflect historical character. Competition organizers may choose to distinguish these types of old ale from modern versions.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30% – 9.10%
IBU: 30-65
Color SRM: 12-30

Subcategory: Strong Ale
Color: Amber to dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high malt and caramel sweetness. Very low levels of roast malt may be perceived.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low
Perceived Bitterness: Evident but minimal, and balanced with malt flavors.
Fermentation Characteristics: A rich, often sweet and complex fruity-estery character can contribute to the profile of Strong Ales. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to split this category into subcategories which reflect strong and very strong versions.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 11.30%
IBU: 30-65
Color SRM: 8-21

Category 24: English Barley Wine Ale
Color: Tawny copper to deep red/copper-garnet
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Residual malty sweetness is high
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor are very low to medium. English type hops are often used but are not required for this style.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Complexity of alcohols and fruity-estery attributes are often high and balanced with the high alcohol content. Low levels of diacetyl are acceptable. Caramel and some oxidized character (vinous aromas and/or flavors) may be considered positive attributes.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 8.50% – 12.20%
IBU: 40-60
Color SRM: 14-22

Category 25: American Barley Wine Ale
Color: Amber to deep red/copper-garnet
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Caramel and/or toffee malt aromas are often present. High residual malty sweetness, often with caramel and/or toffee flavors, should be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is medium to very high. American hop varieties are often used, but are not required for this style.
Perceived Bitterness: High
Fermentation Characteristics: Complex alcohols are evident. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are often high. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable.
Body: Full
Additional notes: Vinous, sherry-like or port-like attributes arising from oxidation may be considered positive when in harmony with overall flavor profile.
Alcohol by Volume: 8.50% – 12.20%
IBU: 60-100
Color SRM: 11-2

Category 26: Scottish Ale
Subcategory: Scottish Light Ale
Color: Golden to light brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malty, caramel aroma may be present. A low to medium-low, soft and chewy caramel malt flavor should be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Low
Fermentation Characteristics: Yeast attributes such as diacetyl and sulfur are acceptable at very low levels. Bottled versions may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Fruity-estery aromas, if evident, are low.
Body: Low
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, Scottish Light Ale may be split into two subcategories: traditional (no smoke character) and peated (low level of peat smoke character). Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditional Scottish Light Ale exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. A peaty or smoky character may be evident at low levels. Scottish Light Ales with medium or higher smoke character are considered smoke flavored beers and should be categorized elsewhere.
Alcohol by Volume: 2.80% – 3.50%
IBU: 9-20
Color SRM: 8-17

Subcategory: Scottish Heavy Ale
Color: Amber to dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malty, caramel aroma is present. The style exhibits a medium degree of sweet malt and caramel. The overall impression is smooth and balanced.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Perceptible but low
Fermentation Characteristics: Yeast attributes such as diacetyl and sulfur are acceptable at very low levels. Bottled versions may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions. Fruity-estery aromas, if evident, are low.
Body: Medium with a soft chewy character
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, Scottish Heavy Ale may be split into two subcategories: traditional (no smoke character) and peated (low level of peat smoke character). Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish Heavy Ale exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. A peaty or smoky character may be evident at low levels. Scottish Heavy Ales with medium or higher smoke character are considered smoke flavored beers and should be categorized elsewhere.
Alcohol by Volume: 3.50% – 4.10%
IBU: 12-20
Color SRM: 10-19

Subcategory: Scottish Export Ale
Color: Medium amber to dark chestnut brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt and caramel aromas and flavors define the character of a Scottish Export
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Should not be perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery character may be apparent. Yeast attributes such as diacetyl and sulfur are acceptable at very low levels. Bottled versions may contain higher amounts of carbon dioxide than is typical for mildly carbonated draft versions.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, Scottish Export Ale may be split into two subcategories: traditional (no smoke character) and peated (low level of peat smoke character). Though there is little evidence suggesting that traditionally made Scottish Export Ale exhibited peat smoke character, the current marketplace offers many examples with peat or smoke character present at low to medium levels. A peaty or smoky character may be evident at low levels. Scottish Export Ales with medium or higher smoke character are considered smoke flavored beers and should be categorized elsewhere.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 5.30%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 10-19

Category 27: 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.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.5 – 10%
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).
Alcohol by Volume: 6.5 – 10%
IBU: 25-35
Color SRM: 15-30

Category 28: Irish Red Ale
Color: Copper-red to reddish-brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Slight yeast haze is acceptable for bottle conditioned examples.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium candy-like caramel malt sweetness should be present in flavor. A toasted malt character should be present and there may be a slight roast barley or roast malt presence.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Low levels of fruity-estery aroma and flavor are acceptable. Diacetyl levels may range from absent to very low.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 4.60%
IBU: 20-28
Color SRM: 11-18

Category 29: American Amber/Red Ale
Color: Copper to reddish-brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to high maltiness with low to medium caramel character
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: American-variety hop character may range from low to medium-low in aroma and flavor
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor are low, if present. Diacetyl can be absent or perceived at very low levels.
Body: Medium to medium-high
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 6.10%
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 11-18

Category 30: Imperial Red Ale
Color: Deep amber to dark copper/reddish-brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high caramel malt character is present in aroma and flavor
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: High hop aroma and flavor, derived from any variety of hops. Hop flavor is prominent, and balanced with other beer attributes.
Perceived Bitterness: Very high
Fermentation Characteristics: Very high alcohol is a hallmark of this style. Complex alcohol flavors may be evident. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are medium. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Full
Alcohol by Volume: 8.0%-10.6%
IBU: 55-85
Color SRM: 10-17

Category 31: American Pale Ale
Color: Deep golden to copper or light brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low caramel malt aroma is allowable. Low to medium maltiness may include low caramel malt character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the USA.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 5.40%
IBU: 30-42
Color SRM: 6-14

Category 32: Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale
Color: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavor may be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. Perceived impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance, and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels.
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.4%-5.4%
IBU: 30-50
Color SRM: 4-7

Category 32a: Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale
Color: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low malt aroma and flavor may be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels.
Fermentation Characteristics: Medium-low to medium-high fruity esters may be present, and can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium-low to medium-high. A silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
Additional notes: Grist may include oats, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. The term “juicy” is frequently used to describe taste and aroma attributes often present in these beers which result from late, often very large, additions of hops. A juicy character is not required, however. Other hop-derived attributes such as citrus, pine, spice, floral or others may be present with or without the presence of juicy attributes.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.6%-9.0%
IBU: 40-50
Color SRM: 4-9

Category 33: American India Pale Ale/IPA
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low-medium to medium maltiness is present in aroma and flavor
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the USA.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to very high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium-low to medium
Additional notes: The use of water with high mineral content may result in a crisp, dry beer rather than a malt-accentuated version. Sugar adjuncts may be used to enhance body and balance. Hops of varied origins may be used for bitterness or for approximating traditional American character.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30% – 7.60%
IBU: 50-70
Color SRM: 6-14

Category 34: Brut IPA
Brut IPA is pale in color and has abone-dry body with fruity hop aromas. Think of a sparkling glass of dry Champagne but with fruit-forward hop aromas.

Category 35: Fruit IPA
Should be judged on the balance of the sweetness or tartness of the fruit and hops and malt of the IPA.

Category 36: West Coast IPA
West Coast IPAs are aggressively hop forward with a lighter malt body. Hop aroma and bitterness, often lingering and palate crushing are the signs of the more extreme versions of this style. Use the ‘C’ hops in abundance.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0% – 7.0% beyond this would be considered a double IPA
IBU: 60 +++
Color SRM: 3 – 10

Category 37: New England/Juicy/Hazy IPA
Color: Straw to deep gold
Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavor may be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.
Alcohol by Volume: 5.0% – 7.4%
IBU: 35 – 75
Color SRM: 4-7

Category 38: New England/Juicy/Hazy DIPA
New England IPAs are more balanced with a sweet maltiness and richer colour showcasing a more subtle hop exhibiting tropical fruit and citrusy juicyness from hop varieties like Galaxy, Mosaic and Citra leading to a sweeter character. Generally cloudy and with subtle yeast flavours coming through unlike in other IPA style; they are smoother even at higher ibu levels as they are late or dry additions balanced against caramel malts and mouthfeel from yeasts and proteins.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5-11.0%
IBU: 50-100
Color SRM: 4-7

Category 39: American Brown Ale
Color: Deep copper to very dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors should be medium.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to med-low. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors may be present. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.20% – 6.30%
IBU: 25-45
Color SRM: 15-26

Category 40: American Black Ale
Color: Very dark to black
Clarity: Opaque
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium caramel malt and dark roasted malt aromas may be evident. Low to low-medium caramel malt and dark roasted malt flavors are evident. Astringency and burnt character of roast malt should be absent.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is medium-high to high, with fruity, citrusy, piney, floral, herbal or other aromas derived from hops of all origins.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors should be low to medium. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30% – 7.60%
Bitterness (IBU): 50-70
Color SRM (EBC): 35+ (70+ EBC)

Category 41: American Strong Pale ale
Color: Deep golden to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low caramel malt aroma is allowable. Low level maltiness may include low caramel malt character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the USA.
Perceived Bitterness: High
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Medium
Alcohol by Volume: 5.60% – 6.30%
IBU: 40 – 50
Color SRM: 6 – 14

Category 42: International Style Pale Ale
Color: Gold to light brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium malt flavor and aroma should be present. Low caramel malt aroma and flavor may be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is low to high. Hop flavor is very low to high. Hop character can vary widely depending on variety and origin of hops used, and should reflect attributes typical of non-U.S. and non-British variety hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery flavor and aroma can be low to high. Diacetyl should be absent or present at very low levels. DMS should not be present.
Body: Low to medium
ABV: 4.40% – 6.60%
IBU: 20 – 42
Color SRM: 5 – 14

Category 43: German Altbier
Color: Copper to dark brown
Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A variety of malts including wheat may be used to produce medium-low to medium malt aroma and flavor. Roast malt attributes may be present at very low levels.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium. Character should reflect traditional German noble hops.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to very high, although 25 to 35 IBU is typical for Altbiers originating in Dusseldorf.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma should be absent or very low. Fruity-estery flavors can be low. No diacetyl should be perceived.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: The Altbier style is originally from the Dusseldorf area. The overall impression is clean, crisp and flavorful with a dry finish.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.60% – 5.60%
IBU: 25-52
Color SRM: 11-19

Category 44: German Kölsch
Color: Straw to gold
Clarity: Chill haze should not be present
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is very low to low with soft sweetness. Caramel character should not be evident.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is low, and if evident, should express noble hop character.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors should be absent or present at very low levels. Light pear-apple-Riesling wine-like fruitiness may be apparent, but is not required for this style. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium-low. Dry and crisp.
Additional notes: Traditional examples often display persistent head retention. Small amounts of wheat can be used in brewing beers of this style. Koelsch-style beers are fermented at warmer temperatures than is typical for lagers, but at lower temperatures than most English and Belgian-style ales. They are aged cold. Ale yeast is used for fermentation. Lager yeast is sometimes used for bottle conditioning or final cold conditioning.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.80% – 5.30%
IBU: 18-25
Color SRM: 4-6

Category 45: 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.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.90% – 5.60%
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.
Alcohol by Volume: 2.50% – 3.50%
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.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.80% – 5.40%
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.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.80% – 5.40%
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.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00% – 9.50%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 5-30

Category 46: South German Hefeweizen
Color: Straw to amber
Clarity: If served with yeast, appearance may be very cloudy.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium-low
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low
Fermentation Characteristics: Med-low to med-high fruity and phenolic attributes are hallmarks of this style. Phenolic attributes such as clove, nutmeg, smoke and vanilla are present. Banana ester aroma and flavor should be present at low to medium-high levels. No diacetyl should be perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat. Hefeweizens are very highly carbonated. These beers are typically (though not always) roused during pouring, and when yeast is present, they will have a yeasty flavor and a characteristically fuller mouthfeel.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.90% – 5.60%
IBU: 10-15
Color SRM: 3-9

Category 47: French and Belgian Saison
Color: Gold to light amber
Clarity: Chill haze or slight yeast haze is acceptable
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low, but providing foundation for the overall balance.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium and characterized by European-type hops: floral, herbal and/or woody traits are common.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium, but not assertive.
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are medium to high. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Very low levels of Brettanomyces yeast-derived flavors that are slightly acidic, fruity, horsey, goaty and/or leather-like, may be evident but are not required. Fruitiness and spicy black pepper derived from Belgian yeast is common. These beers are well attenuated and often bottle conditioned contributing some yeast character and high carbonation.
Body: Very low to low
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 8.40%
IBU: 20-40
Color SRM: 4-14

Category 48: Belgian Pale Ale
Color: Gold to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aroma should be low. Caramel or toasted malt flavor is acceptable.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is low but noticeable. Noble-type hops are commonly used.
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aromas and flavors are evident. Low levels of yeast-derived phenolic spicy flavors and aromas may be perceived. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium
Alcohol by Volume: 4.10% – 6.30%
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 4-12

Category 49: Belgian and French Ale
Subcategory: French Bière de Garde
Color: Light amber to chestnut brown/red
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable. These beers are often bottle conditioned so slight yeast haze is acceptable.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: These beers are characterized by a toasted malt aroma along with a slight malt sweetness and/or toasted malt flavor.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium from noble-type hops
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas are medium to high. Fruity-estery flavors can be light to medium. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Bière de Garde may have Brettanomyces yeast-derived flavors that are slightly acidic, fruity, horsey, goaty and/or leather-like. Alcohol may be evident in higher strength beers.
Body: Low to medium
Additional notes: Earthy and/or cellar-like aromas are acceptable.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.40% – 8.00%
IBU: 25-30
Color SRM: 8-12

Subcategory: Belgian Table Beer
Color: Gold to black. Caramel color is sometimes added to adjust color.
Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Mild malt character might be evident
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
Fermentation Characteristics: Diacetyl character should not be perceived. Traditional versions do not use artificial sweeteners nor are they excessively sweet. More modern versions can incorporate sweeteners such as sugar and saccharine added post fermentation for additional sweetness and to increase smoothness.
Body: Low
Additional notes: These beers may contain malted barley, wheat, and rye as well as unmalted wheat, rye, oats and corn. Though not common, flavorings such as coriander or orange and lemon peel are sometimes added, but are barely perceptible. The mouthfeel is light to moderate, and sometimes boosted with unfermented sugars/malt sugars. Low carbonation and aftertaste are typical.
Alcohol by Volume: 0.50% – 3.50%
IBU: 5-15
Color SRM: 5-50

Subcategory: Belgian Style Blonde Ale
Color: Pale to light amber
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aroma and flavor is low
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to low. Noble-type hops are commonly used.
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-low
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aromas balanced with light malty and spicy aromas may be present. Low yeast-derived phenolic spiciness may be perceived. Diacetyl and acidic character should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium
Additional notes: Theses beers should display a balance of light sweetness, spiciness and low to medium fruity-estery flavors.
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30% – 7.90%
IBUs: 15 – 30
Color SRM: 4 – 7

Category 50: Belgian Dubbel
Color: Brown to very dark
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Slight yeast haze may be evident in bottle conditioned versions.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Cocoa, dark or dried fruit and/or caramel aroma attributes should be present along with malty sweetness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low, if present.
Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors (especially banana) are appropriate at low levels. Diacetyl character should not be perceived.
Body: Low to medium
Additional notes: Head should be dense and mousse-like
Alcohol by Volume: 6.30% – 7.60%
IBU: 22-30
Color SRM: 18-22

Category 51: Belgian Tripel
Color: Pale to light amber
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Traditional Tripels are bottle conditioned and may exhibit slight yeast haze. However, yeast should not be intentionally roused.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low sweetness from very pale malts should be present. There should be no roasted or dark malt character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low, if present
Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: A complex, sometimes mildly spicy, aroma and flavor characterize this style. Clove-like phenolic aroma and flavor may be very low. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors, including banana, are also common, but not required. Traditional Tripels are often well attenuated. Alcohol strength and flavor should be perceived.
Body: Medium
Additional notes: Head should be dense and mousse-like. Brewing sugar may be used to lighten the body. Hop/malt character should be balanced. The overall beer flavor may finish sweet, though any sweet finish should be light. Oxidized character, if evident in aged Tripels, should be mild and pleasant.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.10% – 10.10%
IBU: 25-35
Color SRM: 6-10

Category 52: Belgian Quadrupel
Color: Amber to dark brown
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Caramel, dark sugar and malty sweet flavors and aromas can be intense, but not cloying, and should complement fruitiness.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low
Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
Fermentation Characteristics: Perception of alcohol can be strong. Complex fruity flavors, such as raisins, dates, figs, grapes and/or plums are often present and may be accompanied by wine-like attributes at low levels. Clove-like phenolic flavor and aroma should not be evident. Diacetyl and DMS should not be perceived.
Body: Full with creamy mouthfeel
Additional notes: Head should be dense and mousse-like. Quadrupels are well attenuated and are characterized by an intense alcohol presence balanced by other flavors, aromas and bitterness. They are well balanced with savoring/sipping-type drinkability. Oxidized character, if present in aged Quads, should be mild and pleasant.
Alcohol by Volume: 9.10% – 14.20%
IBU: 25-50
Color SRM: 8-20

Category 53: Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
Subcategory: Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
Color: Pale to copper
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is low to medium. A complex fruitiness is often present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium-high
Perceived bitterness: Medium-low to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruityestery aromas should be evident. Low levels of yeastderived phenolic spicy flavors and aromas may also be perceived. Diacetyl, if present, should be at very low levels.
Body: Very low to medium
Additional notes: These beers are often brewed with light-colored Belgian candy sugar. Herbs and spices are sometimes used to delicately flavor these strong ales. These beers can be malty in overall impression or dry and highly attenuated. They can have a deceptively high alcohol character and a relatively light body for beers of high alcoholic strength. Some versions may be equally high in alcohol with a more medium in body.
ABV: 7.1%-11.2%
IBU: 20-50
Color SRM (EBC) 3.5-10 (7-20 EBC)

Subcategory: Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale
Color: Medium amber to very dark
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high malt aroma and complex fruity aromas are distinctive.
Medium to high malt intensity can be rich, creamy and sweet. Fruity complexity along with soft roasted malt flavor adds distinct character.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium
Perceived bitterness: Low to medium
Fermentation Characteristics: Very little or no diacetyl character should be perceived. Low levels of phenolic spiciness may be perceived.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: These beers are often (though not always) brewed with dark Belgian candy sugar. Herbs and spices are sometimes used to delicately flavor these strong ales. These beers can be well attenuated with a deceptive alcoholic strength.
Alcohol by Volume: 7.1%-11.2%
IBU: 20-50
Color SRM (EBC) 9-35 (18-70 EBC)

Category 54: Belgian Lambic
Subcategory: Belgian Lambic
Color: Gold to medium amber
Clarity: Cloudiness is acceptable
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt character should not be present
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low, and can include cheesy or floral lavender character. Hop character is achieved by using stale and aged hops at low rates.
Perceived Bitterness: Very low
Fermentation Characteristics: Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic aromas and flavors derived from Brettanomyces yeast are often present at moderate levels. High to very high fruity-estery aromas are present. Traditionally, Lambics are unblended and spontaneously fermented. They express high to very high levels of fruity esters as well as bacteria and yeast-derived sourness. Some versions are fermented with the addition of cultured yeast and bacteria. Carbonation can range from very low to high. Vanillin and other wood-derived flavors should not be evident.
Body: Very low with dry mouthfeel
Additional notes: Lambics originating in the Brussels area of Belgium are often simply called Lambic. Versions of this beer style made outside of the Brussels area cannot be called true Lambics. These versions are said to be “Belgian-Style Lambic” and may be made to resemble many of the beers of true origin. Historically, traditional Lambic is dry and completely attenuated, exhibiting no residual sweetness either from malt, sugar or other sweeteners. Sweet versions may be created through addition of sugars or other sweeteners. Traditionally, Lambics are brewed with unmalted wheat and malted barley.
ABV: 6.30% – 8.20%
IBU: 11-23
Color SRM: 6-13

Subcategory: Belgian Gueuze Lambic
Color: Gold to medium amber
Clarity: Cloudiness is acceptable, as Gueuze is nearly always bottle conditioned.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt character is not perceived
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived to very low, and can include a cheesy or floral or lavender-like attributes.
Perceived Bitterness: Very low
Fermentation Characteristics: Gueuze is characterized by intense fruity-estery, sour, and acidic aromas and flavors. Diacetyl character should be absent. Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic aromas and flavors derived from Brettanomyces yeast are often present at moderate levels. Old Lambic is blended with newly fermenting young Lambic to create this special style of Lambic. 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 flavors. Vanillin and other wood-derived flavors should not be evident. Carbonation can be none (flat) to medium.
Body: Very low with dry mouthfeel
Additional notes: Gueuze Lambics, whose origin is the Brussels area of Belgium, are often simply called Gueuze Lambic. Versions of this beer style made outside of the Brussels area are said to be “Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambics.” The Belgian-style versions are 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 other sweeteners. Traditionally, Gueuze is brewed with unmalted wheat, malted barley, and stale, aged hops. Some modern versions may have a degree of sweetness contributed by sugars or other sweeteners. See also Belgian-Style Lambic for additional background information.
ABV: 7.00% – 8.90%
IBU: 11-23
Color SRM: 6-13

Subcategory: Belgian Fruit Lambic
Color: Often influenced by the color of added fruit
Clarity: Cloudiness is acceptable
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt sweetness should be absent, but sweetness of fruit may be low to high.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is not perceived. Cheesy hop character should not be perceived.
Perceived Bitterness: Very low
Fermentation Characteristics: Characteristic horsey, goaty, leathery and phenolic aromas and flavors derived from Brettanomyces yeast are often present at moderate levels. Fermented sourness is an important part of the flavor profile, though sweetness may compromise the intensity. Fruit sourness may also be an important part of the profile. These flavored Lambic beers may be very dry or mildly sweet. Vanillin and other woody flavors should not be evident.
Body: Dry to full
Additional notes: These beers, also known by the names Framboise, Kriek, Peche, Cassis, etc., are characterized by fruit aromas and flavors. Fruit Lambics, whose origin is the Brussels area of Belgium, are often simply called Fruit Lambic. Versions of this beer style made outside of the Brussels area are said to be “Belgian-Style Fruit Lambics.” The Belgian-style versions are 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 other sweeteners. Some versions often have a degree of sweetness contributed by fruit sugars, other sugars or other sweeteners. See also Belgian-Style Lambic for additional background information. Such beers exhibiting wood-derived attributes should be categorized in other Wood-Aged categories. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, fruit, or other ingredients. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying lambic beer upon which the entry is based, or other information unique to the entry such as fruit ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
ABV: 5.70% – 8.90%
IBU: 15-21
Color SRM: Color takes on hue of fruit

Subcategory: Belgian Flanders/Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale
Color: Copper to very dark. SRM/EBC color values can be misleading because the red spectrum of color is not accurately assessed by these measurement systems.
Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Some versions may be more highly carbonated. Bottle conditioned versions may appear cloudy when served.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Roasted malt aromas and flavors including cocoa are acceptable at low levels. A very low level of malt sweetness may be present and balanced by acidity from Lactobacillus.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-low, though acidity and wood aging (if used) may mask higher bitterness levels.
Fermentation Characteristics: Brettanomyces-produced aromas and flavors should be absent or very low. Fruity-estery, cherry or green apple aroma and flavor is apparent. Overall flavor is characterized by low to high lactic sourness. Some versions may express very low to low acetic sourness and aroma.
Body: Low to medium-low with a refreshing mouthfeel
Additional notes: Oaky or woody flavors may be pleasantly integrated. Flavors of wine or distilled spirits associated with used barrels should not be evident. Bottle conditioned versions are often a blend of old and young beer to create the brewer’s intended flavor balance.
ABV: 4.80% – 6.60%
IBU: 15-25
Color SRM: 12-20

Category 55: Belgian Witbier
Color: Straw to pale
Clarity: Unfiltered starch and yeast haze should be visible. Wits are traditionally bottle conditioned and served cloudy.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Low, from noble-type hops.
Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aromas and flavors should be present. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Mild phenolic spiciness and yeast flavors may be evident. Mild acidity is appropriate.
Body: Low to medium, with a degree of creaminess from wheat starch.
Additional notes: Wits are brewed with malted barley, unmalted wheat and sometimes oats. They are spiced with coriander and orange peel. Coriander and light orange peel aroma may be perceived, sometimes as an unidentified spiciness.
Alcohol by Volume: 4.8-5.6%
IBU: 10-17
Color SRM: 2-4

Category 56: Berliner Weisse
Color: Straw to pale. These are the lightest of all the German wheat beers. Versions made with fruits or other flavorings may take on corresponding hues.
Clarity: May appear hazy or cloudy from yeast or chill haze
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt sweetness is absent
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not perceived
Perceived Bitterness: Non-existent to very low
Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aroma and flavor should be evident at low to medium levels. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Brettanomyces character may be absent or present at low to medium levels, and if present may be expressed as horsey, goaty, leathery, phenolic, fruity and/or acidic aromas and flavors. The unique combination of yeast and lactic acid bacteria fermentation yields a beer that is acidic and highly attenuated.
Body: Very low
Additional notes: Carbonation is high. Berliners are sometimes served with sweet fruit or herbal syrups. Contemporary examples may be brewed or served with fruit, spices or other ingredients. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Subcategories for unfruited and fruited or flavored versions of the style could be created. For unfruited versions, brewer would indicate that no fruit or flavor has been added. Fruited or flavored entries would be accompanied by a very brief description of the fruit/flavor used by the brewer.
ABV: 2.80% – 3.80%
IBUs: 3–8
Color SRM: 2 – 3

Category 57: Gose
Leipzig-Style Goses are straw to medium amber. Appearance is cloudy/hazy with yeast character, may have evidence of continued fermentation activity. Lemony or other citrus-like aromas are often present. Some versions may have the spicy aroma character of added coriander at low to medium levels. Horsey, leathery or earthy aromas contributed by Brettanomyces yeasts may be evident but have a very low profile, as this beer is not excessively aged. Hop aroma is not perceived. Malt sweetness is not perceived to very low. They typically contain malted barley and unmalted wheat, with some traditional varieties containing oats. Hop flavor is not perceived. Hop bitterness is not perceived. Lemony or other citrus-like flavors are often present. Some versions may have the spicy flavor character of added coriander on the palate at low to medium levels. Salt (table salt) character is also traditional in low amounts. Horsey, leathery or earthy flavors contributed by Brettanomyces yeasts may be evident but have a very low profile, as this beer is not excessively aged. Modern German Gose breweries typically introduce only pure beer yeast strains for fermentation. Traditional examples of Gose are spontaneously fermented, similarly to Belgian style gueuze/lambic beers, and should exhibit complexity of acidic, flavor and aroma contributed by introduction of wild yeast and bacteria into the fermentation. Low to medium lactic acid character is evident in all examples as sharp, refreshing sourness. A primary difference between Belgian Gueuze and German Gose is that Gose is served at a much younger age. Gose it typically enjoyed fresh and carbonated. Overall complexity of flavors and aromas sought while maintaining a balance between acidity, yeast-enhanced spice and refreshment is ideal. Body is low to medium-low. At competitions, brewers might provide supplemental information such as modern or traditional version, spices used if any and/or information about the brewing process.
ABV: 4.40% – 5.40%
IBU: 10 – 15
Color SRM: 3 – 9

Category 58: Fruit Gose
Same as Gose above with the fruit complimenting the ale.
ABV: 4.40% – 5.40%
IBU: 10 – 15