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Craft beer style guide released

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted May 16, 2014
booze news

BA greatly revises style guidelines for craft beer.

The US Brewers Association (BA) has now published its 2014 Beer Style Guidelines, which, highlighting various beer styles, "serve as a reference tool for beer experts and enthusiasts" alike.

According to a BA press release, the 2014 edition of the annual guidelines "represents the largest revision and reorganisation to date", having been "rewritten to follow a standard format of appearance, aroma, flavour and body, following the sensory experience".

The guidelines were also rearranged within larger groups "roughly in order of increasing original gravity and alcohol content".

Furthermore, style origins were also clarified and several new guidances added, with others undergoing "significant revision".

New styles added to this year's guidelines include Australian-Style Pale Ale; Belgian-Style Fruit Beer; Dutch-Style Kuit; Historical Beer; and Wild Beer.

Meanwhile, the revisions also saw "the removal of Australasian-Style Pale Ale, folding Asian-Style Pale Ale into International-Style Pale Ale, American-Style Fruit Beer, Herb and Spice Beer and Indigenous/Regional Beer".

"These guidelines are compiled every year to help bring awareness to the different styles and to portray the ever advancing differences between beers," says BA president Charlie Papazian.

"[The] creativity and ingenuity of craft brewers continues to be a force in the evolution of beer."

"As craft continues to see tremendous growth, it is important to provide guidelines to help differentiate and describe the various categories of beer."

The BA has provided beer style descriptions as a reference for brewers and beer competition organisers since 1979, with much of the early work based on the assistance and contributions of late beer journalist Michael Jackson.

"The task of creating a realistic set of guidelines is always complex," the BA says, explaining that the guidelines "use sources from the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts as resources for information".

The 2014 edition can be downloaded as a 48-page PDF here.

See also New best beer practices out, posted 9/2/14.

Ignatius Rake
is a freelance journalist, geographer and world traveller who has visited more than 70 countries on six continents. In 2013, he represented the UK at the Fourth Annual Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship in Toronto, coming an abysmal last and getting his arse royally whipped by Rake & Herald reader and Major League Eating speedscarfing supremo Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut. He has been known to like a pint.

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