Monday, March 4, 2013

Brewers Association Adds Two Styles to Guidelines

BOULDER, CO—Two historic beer styles are making their first appearance on the Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines.

The BA released its 2013 Beer Style Guidelines on Monday and the addition of Adambier and Grätzer boosts the total number of styles to 142, up from 140 styles in 2012. Both Adambier and Grätzer are historic pre-Reinheitsgebot styles that are making a slow revival among U.S. and international brewers. Adambier and Grätzer are historically smoky ales, with the former thriving in and around Dortmund, Germany, and the latter brewed primarily in Poland.

Changes were also made to the guidelines for American wheat ale, reflecting a growing trend in the craft brewing and homebrewing communities by which all-wheat grists are used in the brewing process.

As consumers and beer judges generally use their senses of sight and smell before they taste a beer, the descriptive text for virtually every listed beer style has been updated and reorganized to reflect the order of the beer sensory experience. The guidelines now focus first on appearance, aroma, flavor and finish, in that order. They also include vital statistics on each of the 142 styles including ranges for: original gravity/plato; apparent extract/final gravity; alcohol by weight/volume; bitterness and color.
“These guidelines are first and foremost an educational tool, but they also help to illustrate the United States’ role as a leading beer nation,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association.
“The Brewers Association toasts America’s small and independent brewers, including homebrewing enthusiasts, who continue to push the evolution of style guidelines with their innovative brewing and ingredients.”

Since 1979, the BA has provided beer style descriptions as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. The beer style guidelines developed by the BA use sources from the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts as resources for information. Much of the early work was based on the assistance and contributions of beer journalist Michael Jackson and Fred Eckhardt. The guidelines are used in some of the world’s most prestigious beer competitions, including the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

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