Category 59: American Light Lager

  • Color: Very light to pale
  • Clarity: Chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Absent to very low
  • Perceived Bitterness: Absent to very low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low fruity-estery aromas and flavors are acceptable. Diacetyl should be absent. Corn, rice, or other grain or sugar adjuncts are often used. These beers are characterized by an extremely high degree of attenuation. Final gravity is often less than 1.000 (0 ºPlato).
  • Body: Low with dry mouthfeel
  • Additional notes: These beers are high in carbonation. Flavor attributes typical of beer are usually very low when present. Calories should not exceed 125 per 12-ounce serving. Low carb beers should have a maximum carbohydrate level of 3.0 gm per 12 oz. (356 ml).

ABV: 3.50% – 4.40%
IBUs: 5-10
Color SRM: 1.5-4

Category 60: American Lager/Pilsner

  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is medium to high, exhibiting attributes typical of noble-type hops
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: DMS, fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should be absent.
  • Body: Medium-low to medium
  • Additional notes: Up to 25% corn and/or rice in the grist should be used. Beers in this category hew to American-style lagers typical of the pre-Prohibition era. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, organizers may wish to subcategorize this category into rice and corn subcategories, or may wish to group Pre-Prohibition and Contemporary American-Style Pilseners as subcategories.

ABV: 4.10% – 5.10%
IBU: 5-14
Color SRM: 2-4

Category 61: American Premium Lager
This style has low malt (and adjunct) sweetness, is medium bodied, and should contain no or a low percentage (less than 25%) of adjuncts. Color may be light straw to golden. Alcohol content and bitterness may also be greater. Hop aroma and flavor is low or negligible. Light fruity esters are acceptable. Chill haze and diacetyl should be absent.
ABV: 4.10% – 5.10%
IBU: 6-15
Color SRM: 2-6

Category 62: American Amber Lager
A. Subcategory: American-Style Amber Lager

  • Color: Gold to copper
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low caramel or toasted malt aromas and flavors should be present
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium-high
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should be absent
  • Body: Medium

ABV: 4.80% – 5.40%
IBUs: 18–30
Color SRM: 6–14

B. Subcategory: California Common Beer

  • Color: Light amber to medium amber
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Toasted malt and/or caramel malt aroma and flavor may be perceived
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors are low to medium-low. Diacetyl should be absent.
  • Body: Medium
  • Additional notes: California Common beers are brewed with lager yeasts but fermented at warm temperatures like ales

ABV: 4.60% – 5.70%
IBUs: 35-45
Color SRM: 8-15

Category 63: Bohemian Pilsener

  • Color: Straw to gold
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A slightly sweet and toasted, biscuity, bready malt aroma and flavor is evident.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Very low levels of diacetyl and DMS character, if perceived, are characteristic of this style and may accent malt character. Low levels of fermented malt-derived sulfur compounds may be evident.
  • Body: Medium
  • Additional notes: The head should be dense.

ABV: 4.1%-5.1%
IBU: 30-45
Color SRM: 3-7

Category 64: German Lager/Pilsener

  • Color: Straw to pale
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A malty sweet aroma and flavor should be present.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is moderate and pronounced, derived from late hopping (not dry hopping) with noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Very low levels of DMS aroma and flavor, usually below most people’s thresholds, may be detectable by trained or sensitive palates. Other fermentation or hop-derived sulfur aromas and flavors may be perceived at low levels. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors should not be perceived. These are well attenuated beers.
  • Body: Medium-light
  • Additional notes: The head should be dense, pure white and persistent.

ABV: 4.6%-5.3%
IBU: 30-40
Color SRM: 3-4

Category 65: International Style Pilsner

  • Color: Straw to pale
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Residual malt aroma and flavor may be perceived at low levels
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Very low levels of DMS aroma and flavor are acceptable. Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Additional notes: These beers are often brewed with rice, corn, wheat, or other grains making up part of the mash. Sugar adjuncts may be added during the wort production process.

ABV: 4.60% – 5.30%
IBU: 17 – 30
Color SRM: 3 – 4

Category 66: American Imperial Pilsner
Imperial pilseners are full bodied, and they can be as dark as a light amber color. This style balances moderate bitterness and noble-type hop aroma and flavor with a malty, slightly sweet, medium body. Extremely low levels of diacetyl and low levels of sweet corn-like dimethylsulfide (DMS) character, if perceived, are characteristic of this style and both may accent malt aroma. A toasted-, biscuit-like, bready malt character along with low levels of sulfur compounds may be evident. There should be no chill haze. Its head should be dense and rich.
ABV: 6.0%-10.0%
IBU: 30-60
Color SRM: 10-35

Category 67: Münchner Helles

  • Color: Pale to golden
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt aroma and flavor are pronounced. Low levels of yeast-produced sulfur aromas and flavors may be present. Malt character is sometimes bready and suggestive of lightly toasted malted barley. There should be no caramel character.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is not perceived to low. Hop flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low, derived from European noble-type hops.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors should not be perceived. Diacetyl should not be perceived. DMS should not be perceived. A very low level of fermentation-derived sulfur attributes may be evident in balance with other characters.
  • Body: Medium

ABV: 4.80% – 5.60%
IBU: 18-25
Color SRM: 4-5.5

Category 68: Münchner Dunkel/Dark Larger

  • Color: Light brown to brown
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is low to medium, with chocolate, roast, bread or biscuit aromas and flavors contributed by the use of dark Munich malt.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should not be perceived
  • Body: Low to medium-low
  • Additional notes: Dunkels do not offer an overly sweet impression, but rather a balance between malt and dark malt sweetness and hop character.

ABV: 4.80% – 5.30%
IBU: 16-25
Color SRM: 15-20

Subcategory: Dark Lager

  • Color: Light brown to dark brown
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt character is low to medium, with chocolate, roast, and malt aromas and flavors evident.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium-high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should not be perceived.
  • Body: Low to medium-low
  • Additional notes: These beers offer a fine balance of sweet maltiness and hop bitterness.

ABV: 4.80% – 5.30%
IBU: 14-20
Color SRM: 14-25

Category 69: Märzen/Oktoberfest 

  • Color: Pale to reddish-brown
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Bready or biscuity malt aroma and flavor should be present. Sweet maltiness is medium-low to medium and leads to a muted clean hop bitterness. Malt flavors should be of light toast rather than strong caramel. Low level caramel character is acceptable.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is low and of noble character
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should not be perceived
  • Body: Medium

ABV: 5.1%-6.0%
IBU: 18-25
Color SRM: 4-15

Category 70: Vienna-Style Lager

  • Color: Copper to reddish-brown
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Characterized by malty aroma and light malt sweetness, which should have a lightly toasted malt character.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low, clean and crisp.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: DMS, diacetyl, and fruity esters should not be perceived.
  • Body: Medium

ABV: 4.80% – 5.40%
Bitterness (IBU): 22 – 28
Color SRM: 12 – 26

Category 71: Schwarzbier

  • Color: Very dark brown to black, with a pale-colored head.
  • Clarity: Beer color may be too dark to perceive. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze should not be present.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium malt aroma displays a mild roasted malt character. Malt sweetness is low to medium, and displays a mild roasted malt character without bitterness.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very low to low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery and diacetyl aromas and flavors should not be perceived
  • Body: Low to medium-low

ABV: 3.80% – 4.90%
IBU: 22-30
Color SRM: 25-30

Category 72: Bock
Subcategory: German Bock

  • Color: Dark brown to very dark
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Traditional Bocks are made with all malt, and have high malt character with aromas of toasted or nutty malt, but not caramel. Traditional bocks display high malt sweetness. The malt flavor profile should display a balance of sweetness and toasted or nutty malt, but not caramel.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium, increasing proportionately with starting gravity.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors if present, should be minimal. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
  • Body: Medium to full

ABV: 6.30% – 7.60%
IBU: 20-30
Color SRM: 20-30

Category 73: German Heller Bock/Maibock

  • Color: Pale to light amber. The German word “helle” means light-colored, thus Heller Bock is a pale beer.
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Light toasty and/or bready aroma and flavor is often evident. Roast or heavy toast/caramel malt aromas and flavors should not be present.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low, derived from noble-type hops.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-estery aromas and flavors, if present, should be low. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
  • Body: Medium to full

ABV: 6.3%-8.1%
IBU: 20-38
Color SRM: 4-10

Category 74: Strong Bock
Subcategory: German Strong Doppelbock

  • Color: Copper to dark brown
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Pronounced aromas and flavors of toasted malted barley. Some caramel and toffee character can contribute to complexity in a secondary role. Malty sweetness is pronounced but should not be cloying. There should be no astringency from roasted malts.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma is absent. Hop flavor is low.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Alcoholic strength is high. Fruity-estery flavors and aromas are commonly perceived at low to moderate levels. Diacetyl should be absent.
  • Body: Full

ABV: 6.60% – 7.90%
IBU: 17-27
Color SRM: 12-30

Subcategory: German Strong Eisbock

  • Color: Light brown to black
  • Clarity: Appearance should be bright; chill haze should not be present
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Sweet malt character is very high
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is absent
  • Perceived Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Alcohol may be perceived in aroma. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors may be evident, but not overpowering. Diacetyl should be absent. Alcoholic strength is very high.
  • Body: Very full
  • Additional notes: This is a stronger version of Doppelbock. Traditionally

ABV: 8.60% – 14.30%
IBU: 26-33
Color SRM: 18-50

Category 75: Baltic-Style Porter

  • Color: Very deep ruby/garnet to black
  • Clarity: Often opaque. When clarity is perceivable, chill haze should not be present.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Malt sweetness is medium-low to medium-high. Distinctive malt aromas and flavors of caramelized sugars, dark sugars and licorice along with chocolate character of roasted malts are present. Roasted dark malts may contribute coffee character but there should be no bitter or astringent flavors. Debittered roast malts are best used for this style.
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low. Floral hop aroma can complement aromatics.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Due to its alcoholic strength, there may be very low to low levels of complex alcohol aromas and flavors and/or higher levels of fruitiness suggestive of berries, grapes and plums, but not banana. Fruity-estery aromas and flavors from warm fermentation is not appropriate. Diacetyl and DMS should not be apparent.
  • Body: Medium to full
  • Additional notes: Baltic Porter is brewed with lager yeast and fermented and lagered cold producing a smooth beer.

Alcohol by Volume: 7.60% – 9.10%)
IBU: 35-40
Color SRM: 40+

Category 76 – India Pale Lager
IPLs are fermented with lager yeast rather than ale yeast, IPLs generally combine a crisp lager finish with amplified hops. Where it goes from there, though, is  open to interpretation of the judges.
ABV: 4.1%-6.0%
IBU: 45-80
Color SRM: 3-7