Massachusetts Beverage Business



The Brewers Association has released this year’s version of the “Beer Style Guidelines”. Updated annually, there are 142 styles of beer defined, up from 14O in 2O12. Compiling the guidelines annually is a collaborative effort, and the 2O13 version incorporates more than 1OO suggestions from US and international beer judges and experts, brewers and beer lovers. This year, Adambier and Grätzer styles were added for the first time. Both are historic pre-Reinheitsgebot styles that are making a slow revival among American 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.

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