Last week, the Brewers Association – an American trade group of over 7,400 brewers, breweries in planning, suppliers, distributors and craft beer retailers, released its 2020 Beer Style Guidelines.
These guidelines have been serving as a resource for not just brewers but also beer judges and competition organizers (including the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup) since 1979 – and are evaluated and adjusted by the Brewers Association and a panel of global collaborators every year.
The latest update to the Beer Style Guidelines includes a few new styles such as another Hazy category while a handful of beer styles have been consolidated. Meanwhile, the much-coveted American-Style Ice Lager has been completely eliminated.
Here’s a quick look!
- Contemporary American-Style Lager
- Contemporary American-Style Light Lager
Significant Style Revisions
- The former Emerging India Pale Ale: renamed as Experimental India Pale Ale and moved to the Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales group
- American-Style India Pale Ale and Imperial India Pale Ale, Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale and Imperial India Pale Ale, and American-Style Black Ale: revised to affirm distinctions between these styles and Experimental India Pale Ale
- Contemporary Belgian-Style Spontaneous Fermented Ale: style name amended to remove reference to “Gueuze Lambic”
- Session Beer: edited to strengthen the separation between beers made to lower alcohol levels relative to classic versions and beers that fall within classic versions, defined as containing alcohol levels under 5.0%
- Rye Beer: altered to reflect broader range of mouthfeel and sensory attributes that arise from use of many different varieties of rye malt
- American-Style Session Indian Pale Ale: moved to Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ales group
Download the complete set of guidelines here: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/brewersassoc/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/BA-beer-style-guidelines-2020.pdf