Newly in Style

The 2021 style guidelines dropped at the end of February and here is the news people are tuning in for, what new styles have been added?

Per the Brewers Association press release…

“Hundreds of revisions, edits, format changes, and additions were made to this year’s guidelines, including updates to existing beer styles and the creation of new categories. New additions to the beer styles include:”

  • Kentucky Common Beer
  • New Zealand-Style Pale Ale and India Pale Ale
  • Belgian-Style Session Ale

I bet local Ten Mile Brewing will be sending their Common, Hidden Hollow on to GABF but this also helps the IPA focused breweries who now have less crowded main categories as the entrants shift to hazy. My interest lies in which of Kentucky Common and Belgian Session have more entries.

Stylin’ 2019

So the annual revision of “styles” is out from the Brewers Association and this year I have a couple of questions…

Rotbier? Breslau-Style and Dark Schoeps? Those are some really deep cuts. Maybe it is just housekeeping but I do not think that beer geeks were clamoring for obscure European wheat beers to be consolidated. And speaking of the obscure, Rotbier? Yes, that is the second time I have put a question mark on it. I cannot think of any beers available in that style to me here in SoCal. And I don’t think it is something you can readily pick-up in any beer store around the country. Is it the next new thing? Is it hazy?

The Twitter Machine will probably make hay with the Ice Lager removal for days but it and its brethren the malt liquor were really out of favor with the sometimes pop-up of ironic releases. I would be more concerned that there were not MORE consolidations and removals.

What will the effect be on the GABF awards? Minimal. I don’t see a rush to enter into those (4) new styles since the hazy strong will probably steal entries from the other two hazy categories, Gueuze might grow in later years but has too few current practitioners in the US. IPL’s like regular lagers are the Houston Rockets of the beer world, threatening to take over but then don’t and complains about it afterwards.

Now where is my DDH Rotbier?

Beer Style – Barley Wine

It has been too long since I posted the specifications of a beer style for the education of myself and any interested reader and since I have two Stone Barley Wines in the ‘fridge, I decided to check out the Beer Judge Certification guidelines.

Aroma: Very rich and intense maltiness. Hop character moderate to assertive and often showcases citrusy or resiny American varieties (although other varieties, such as floral, earthy or spicy English varieties or a blend of varieties, may be used). Low to moderately strong fruity esters and alcohol aromatics. Malt character may be sweet, caramelly, bready, or fairly neutral. However, the intensity of aromatics often subsides with age. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Color may range from light amber to medium copper; may rarely be as dark as light brown. Often has ruby highlights. Moderately-low to large off-white to light tan head; may have low head retention. May be cloudy with chill haze at cooler temperatures, but generally clears to good to brilliant clarity as it warms. The color may appear to have great depth, as if viewed through a thick glass lens. High alcohol and viscosity may be visible in “legs” when beer is swirled in a glass.
Flavor: Strong, intense malt flavor with noticeable bitterness. Moderately low to moderately high malty sweetness on the palate, although the finish may be somewhat sweet to quite dry (depending on aging). Hop bitterness may range from moderately strong to aggressive. While strongly malty, the balance should always seem bitter. Moderate to high hop flavor (any variety).

BJCP Style – Dark Lager

Aroma: Little to no malt aroma. Medium-low to no roast and caramel malt aroma. Hop aroma may range from none to light spicy or floral hop presence. Hop aroma may range from none to light, spicy or floral hop presence. Can have low levels of yeast character (green apples, DMS, or fruitiness). No diacetyl.

Appearance: Deep amber to dark brown with bright clarity and ruby highlights. Foam stand may not be long lasting, and is usually light tan in color.

Flavor: Moderately crisp with some low to moderate levels of sweetness. Medium-low to no caramel and/or roasted malt flavors (and may include hints of coffee, molasses or cocoa). Hop flavor ranges from none to low levels. Hop bitterness at low to medium levels. No diacetyl. May have a very light fruitiness. Burnt or moderately strong roasted malt flavors are a defect.

Mouthfeel: Light to somewhat medium body. Smooth, although a highly-carbonated beer.

Overall Impression: A somewhat sweeter version of standard/premium lager with a little more body and flavor.

Commercial Examples: Dixie Blackened Voodoo, Shiner Bock, San Miguel Dark, Beck’s Dark, Saint Pauli Girl Dark, Warsteiner Dunkel, Crystal Diplomat Dark Beer