MEININGER'S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD (MICBA) 2018 awards beers in various categories. When registering, select - different beer styles - or one of the following 6 categories.
I. Different Beer styles
II. Alternative grain beer
Beer that has been brewed with other malted or unmalted grains, such as spelt, rye, oats, maize, rice, triticale, einkorn wheat and emmer, either exclusively or in addition to barley and wheat. Alternative grain beer can be fermented with bottom-fermented 3 or top-fermented yeast, and belongs to a wide analytical and sensory range. Allocation to a particular beer style is therefore necessary for the sensory evaluation.
"Alternative grain beer" is an award category in the MEININGER´S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD
III. Experimental-style beer
Beer to which ingredients other than those allowed by the German purity law (Reinheitsgebot) have been added during the brewing or fermentation process in order to emphasise particular sensory characteristics (e.g. milk stout with lactose, gruit beer with sage, yarrow and juniper, honey beer with honey, etc.). Beer that is a mixture of different beer styles or that cannot be associated with any specific style of beer due to its divergent analytical values. Assignment to a beer style is only important for tasting purposes (the analytical values may deviate from the specifications in the beer style description).
"Experimental-Style Beer" is an award category in the MEININGER´S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD
IV. Fruit beer
Beer to which fresh fruit, fruit juice or fruit extract was added prior to the first or second fermentation. Both the smell and the taste of the fruit is dominant, however the character of the underlying beer should still be recognisable. Fruit beer can be produced using all types of beer as a basis, but usually the underlying beers for this type are spontaneously fermented lambic, ale or wheat beer. A noticeable acidity is typical of fruit lambics (sour beer). Assignment to a beer style is only important for tasting purposes (the analytical values may deviate from the specifications in the beer style description).
"Fruit Beer" is an award category in the MEININGER´S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD
V. Smoke beer
This type of beer is made using smoked malt, and smoky aromas give it most of its character although other aromas are present. Smoked beer can be fermented with bottom-fermented or top-fermented yeast, and belongs to a wide analytical and sensory range. Allocation to a particular beer style is therefore necessary for the sensory evaluation.
"Smoked Beer" is an award category in the MEININGER´S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD
VI. Barrel-aged beer
Beer that has been matured in wooden casks or in contact with wood, and possesses clearly perceptible aromas of wood, vanilla, coconut, dark chocolate, coffee, tar, or the product previously stored in the barrel (e.g. whisky, wine, cognac, sherry, port). Typically, strong beers, such as imperial porter/stout, bock, eisbock or strong ale, are matured in wooden casks or in contact with wood. Due to its storage in wooden barrels, barrel-aged beer is often only slightly, if at all, sparkling. The oxygen intake through the oak barrels can result in subtle bursts of herbs and spices; even solvent-like notes (as found in many whiskies) and rum punch aromas are not uncommon. Leathery and smoky notes arising from Brettanomyces yeasts can play a role in some barrel-aged beers, but they should not mask the fundamental character of the beer. Because very different beer styles are aged in oak casks or in contact with wood, beer must be mapped to a specific beer style for the sensory evaluation.
"Barrel-Aged Beer" is an award category in the MEININGER´S INTERNATIONAL CRAFT BEER AWARD
All categories and styles you find here:
Please note that the stated value ranges for original extract, alcohol, colour (EBC) and bitterness units (IBU) are merely guide values to help you to place your beer speciality into the right category. Deviations from these values are not a reason for barring the beers from the competition. If you have any further questions about the individual categories, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by phone or email.
2 Non-Alcoholic beer (bottom-fermented)
3 Barley Wine
Barley wines are top-fermented, dark amber, copper to reddish-brown beers. They have very little to no hop character. Instead, their flavor is very malty. They usually have no head or, if present at all, the head is very unstable. The beer’s complex and slightly sweet aromas are reminiscent of caramel or grapes and they blend well with the beer’s slightly sour notes. Both are supported by a very rich body. Also prominent are distinct fruity esters with aspects of citrus. Roasted nut aromas, as well as notes of coffee and dark bread crust are not uncommon. Barley wines impress with their long-lasting finish and warming alcohol effects. Sherry or rum notes from oxidation may also be present. Buttery diacetyl notes, however, should not be perceptible. Some barley wines have aromas of sweaty horse blanket, leather, band aid, or burnt rubber, which come from Brettanomyces, which may be added for a “Belgian” character. Barley wines are usually not yeast turbid.
4 Berliner Weisse Style
5 Blonde Ale (American Style)
Pale yellow to gold-coloured golden ales or blonde ales are top-fermented beers with a white, moderately durable head and a fair amount of bubbles. A uniform cloudiness does not hamper this style. Blonde ales often have a sweet malt flavour. The fermentation esters reminiscent of yellow fruit are clearly recognisable, but not dominant. They should have citrus aromas derived from the hops and floral hop tones. The diacetyl should be imperceptible. Blonde ales are not full-bodied ales and should rather be refreshing in nature (summer ale).
6 Blonde Ale (Belgian Style)
This top-fermented, pale yellow to golden-colored beer has fairly good head retention, as well as moderate effervescence. It has very little hop aroma, if any at all. As a result, malty notes of fresh wort dominate. A Belgian blonde should also have fruity, even exotic, fermentation esters. The beer’s aromas and flavors are always a balance between a mild bitterness and a mild sweetness. There are usually no traces of sourness or diacetyl.
7 Blonde Ale (Kölsch Style)
Beers brewed the Kölsch (Cologne) way are top-fermented, straw-yellow to golden in color, and crystal clear. The head should be very dense and snow-white, but head retention is generally moderate to poor. The beer may have very restrained to no notes of yellow fruit. However, mild apple and pear aromas are typical. Hop flavors and aromas are subtle. In the finish, there is only a slight hint of bitterness, which is accompanied by a delicate sweetness and a lingering dryness on the palate.
8 Bock (dark / amber)
Dark bock beer is bottom-fermented, with a creamy, long-lasting, white head that may be beige around the edges. Effervescence is moderate to strong. The color of dark bock beers ranges from brown to chestnut or copper. The malt character is strong, but bock beers should not be overly sweet. Hop aromas are restrained, though hop bitterness may be more pronounced. Moderate amounts of fruity esters can contribute a note of ripe berries. The upfront aromas, however, should reflect roasted nuts, caramel, and some spice. Dark bock beers, just like their blond cousins, are usually filtered.
9 Bock Beer (pale)
Bock beers are bottom-fermented, light yellow to bright amber, form a sturdy white head and are moderately to very effervescent, in spite of being full-bodied. Their bouquet is dominated by malt, with subtle hints of hops. Spicy, peppery notes may be found in addition to cereal-like aromas. Fermentation esters, which in bock beers are reminiscent of ripe pineapple or berries, should never dominate the aroma. Nor should diacetyl be part of the aroma of a bock beer. The finish is moderately hop bitter. Bock beers are usually filtered.
10 Brown Ale (American Style)
Brown ales are coppery brown, top-fermented beers. They are usually clear, with small to moderate amounts of foam. The head is usually cream-colored or beige. American brown ales are relatively effervescent. They have high concentrations of fruity esters, a moderately strong roasted malt character, and a clearly perceptible hop aroma. Caramel and chocolate-like aromas round out the flavor, but citrus fruit often come into play as well. Diacetyl is, however, not typical in these beers. The bitterness of brown ales ranges from moderate to strong.
11 Brown Ale (Belgian Style)
Belgian brown ales are top-fermented, very dark brown and mostly clear. The have a cream-colored but not very stable head. They are very effervescent and their malt aroma is dominant. Hints of caramel, chocolate, toast and biscuit unfold, as well as spicy, nutty flavors. The hop character is rather subtle. The amount of bitterness is slight to moderate. Diacetyl is not typical in these beers; however, fruity esters should be noticeable. The flavor of Belgian as opposed to English or American brown ales is often slightly sour.
12 Brown Ale (Düsseldorf Style)
Düsseldorf-style brown ales (Altbier) are top-fermented and chestnut to copper-colored to deep brown. They have a thick, creamy, and stable head. They can be produced using various barley malts and even a small portion of wheat malt. The bouquet, however, should always be distinctly malty and counterbalanced by clear fruity aromas. The hop aroma is slight to moderate upfront, while the bitterness is slightly tangy in the finish. The effervescence in a Düsseldorf-style brown ale can range from moderate to strong. The overall impression of an Altbier should be one of a lively, fresh, and clean-tasting brew. There must no trace of diacetyl.
13 Brown Ale (English Style)
The color of English-style brown ales is deep brown or dark copper. These ales are mildly to moderately effervescent and have a dense, sturdy head. The maltiness is dry with hints of toast, chocolate, and nuts. English brown ales have an impressively solid mouthfeel. The hop aroma is faint and the bitterness is subdued. Fruity esters may be perceived at very low concentrations. English brown ales have no diacetyl or smoky aromas.
14 Dark Ale (American Style)
Dark or black ales are very dark brown to, indeed, black. They are moderately to strongly effervescent and are served with a creamy, relatively sturdy head. Upfront, there are roasted malt aromas, which, however, should not be acrid, smoky, or astringent. Both hop aroma and bitterness are strong. They can even be overpowering in dry-hopped dark ales, such as Black IPAs. American dark ales give off fruity, floral, spicy, resinous, and herbal aromas, while Black IPAs are also distinguished by their citrus, melon, and blackberry aromas.
15 Dark Ale (Belgian Style)
Belgian-style dark ales range in color from brown to black. They are top-fermented and are moderately to strongly effervescent. The head is white to cream-colored and relatively firm. Roasted malt aromas are accompanied by fruity fermentation esters, which give the brew a bouquet of wild berries and ripe bananas. Hints of spice, herbs, and smoke may round out the bouquet. The hop flavor is barely noticeable, but traces of clove and orange are. Nevertheless, the finish is bitter, with some intial sweetness and often a slight astringency. A moderate amount of acidity gives this beer style a long finish.
16 Dark Ale (English Style)
English dark ales range from dark amber to dark brown or black in color. They have a relatively firm and dense, cream-colored head, and a moderate amount of effervescence. The main aromas in the bouquet are malt, caramel, and toast. Traces of liquorice and dark chocolate are also commonly noticeable, while the hop character is very subtle. Hop bitterness is very subdued, whereas the roasted malt gives English dark ale a very dry, bitter finish. Diacetyl or funky barnyard aromas from Brettanomyces play no part.
17 Dark Strong Ale
Dark strong ales are top-fermented, range in color from amber to brown to almost black. They have a mousse-like, white, cream-colored or beige head. They are slightly to moderately effervescent and usually clear. A pronounced malt character blends well with a variety of fruit and honey notes to produce a complex aroma profile. Phenolic, herbal, and spice aromas are not uncommon. These are often derived from Brettanomyces. There is no clearly perceptible hop aroma, nor is the hop bitterness very strong. One of the key characteristics of this beer style is its sweet and creamy taste and its full-bodied mouthfeel. Diacetyl is only slightly perceptible, if at all.
18 Doppelbock (dark)
19 Doppelbock (pale)
Bottom-fermented, light, double bock beers are golden to amber in color. They have a white, firm head and a low to moderate effervescence. The bouquet is dominated almost entirely by malt, while the influence of hops on the flavor is slightly stronger than it is in dark double bocks. Yet, it is still fairly subtle. Along with cereal-like or lightly toasted aromas, slightly floral and citrus notes are perceptible. The high alcohol content brings out aromas of caramel and honey. The paler versions of doppelbock often show hints of plum or grapes, which result in a very complex aroma. The finish is full-bodied and sweet, with some bitterness that is, in part, produced by the alcohol rather than the hops.
20 Dubble (Belgian Style)
Dubbels are top-fermented, brown to dark amber, often yeast-turbid beers with a thick, creamy head, and flavors of caramel and chocolate. Their effervescence is moderate to pronounced, while the hop aromas and bitterness are very faint. A bouquet of banana may emerge from moderate concentrations of fruity esters. Hints of raisin and cocoa can be detected, and low levels of diacetyl may also be present.
21 Dark Lager
Dark lagers are usually clear. Their color is medium to dark brown with reddish hues. The head is white or cream-colored and often not very stable, in spite of the beer’s relatively aggressive effervescence. The bouquet of a classic dark lager is characterized by a malt dominance with notes of toast, bread crust, nuts, chocolate, and coffee. Both the hop flavors and bitterness are subtle. Fruity fermentation esters and buttery notes are also atypical. Dark lagers are medium-bodied on the palate, with sweetness and bitterness in balance.
22 Eisbock (bottom-fermented)
Eisbocks range in color from copper and mahogany to dark brown. Their unusually high alcohol content is the result of freeze distillation. In these beers, the head is quite weak or may not exist at all. There is also next to no effervescence. A very sweet malt character is typical. The hops add no aromas and only an extremely subtle bitterness, if any at all. The flavor is influenced by the very high alcohol content – from the upfront taste all the way through the finish. The alcohol also brings out the beer’s caramel and honey aromas. Some Eisbocks have flavors reminiscent of plum or grapes. With age, they also take on notes of lovage, plum liqueur, and rum.
Bottom-fermented export beers are usually very effervescent and crystal clear. They have a white, often coarse head. Their color ranges from pale yellow or golden yellow to gold. Upfront, they exhibit a noticeable malt sweetness and subtle honey aromas, which change into spicy aromas reminiscent of bread crust or gingerbread in the finish. Fruity fermentation esters play no part in export beers. In export beers, the use of hops is only moderate, which is why hop aromas can scarcely be detected. The finish is full-boidied and malty. Yet there is also some hopp bittewrnes, which, however, is always in balance with the sweetness. Diacetyl or phenolic components play no part in the sensory aspects of the brew.
Helles means light in German, in color, not in alcoholic strength. It is a straw-blond, bottom-fermented, moderately to strongly effervescent, and crystal clear beer. It has a firm white head. The hops exert very little influence on the character, except as aromatics in the finish. Yeast-produced fruity esters are virtually absent. Instead, these beers are defined by a clean, delicate maltiness. Their aromas are often reminiscent of wort and white bread crust. Initially, a slight sweetness may be noticeable, but it quickly evolves into a gentle and refreshing dryness. There should be no sour taste sensations, while sulfur compounds (hydrogen sulphide odors, as well as vegetable or herbal notes may contribute to the bouquet. Nor should there be any hint of caramel, yellow fruit, or diacetyl.
26 Helles (new style)
27 Honey beer
28 IPA (Amercian Style)
American-style IPAs are top-fermented. They are yellow, copper, or reddish-brown in color. They are strongly dominated by hop flavors and aromas. Especially West Coast IPAs push the hop character to extremes. A coarse, white to off-white head often lasts for a long time, because of the beer’s high carbonation level. In spite of the predominance of hop aromas, these beers can also have an intense malt character (more so in East Coast IPAs) and a high concentration of fruity esters. The bouquet is mostly of citrus or grapefruit aromas, with hints of geranium and passion fruit, as well as floral and hay-like nuances. Sometimes there may also be resinous and nutmeg-like aromas. Overall, the bouquet can be extremely varied. American IPAs tend to be full-bodied, with a fruity and fresh taste, as well as a long-lasting, hop-bitter finish.
29 IPA (Black IPA)
30 IPA (English Style)
English IPAs are top-fermented, sometimes turbid and sometimes crystal clear. Their color ranges from bright golden to copper. The cream-colored to almost white head of foam is stable. These beers are mildly to strongly effervescent. They have a strong aroma of geraniums, lime, roses, and carnations, as well as some strong hop bitterness. From a sensory perspective, they also contain noticeable amounts of fruity esters. These beers display a strong malt character, with a bouquet reminiscent of caramel, biscuit, and toast. The hops contribute citrus and floral aromas, an earthiness, and often hints of herbs or hay. The beer’s characteristic dry freshness is the result of mineral-rich brewing water. The alcohol level is low and quite subtle. In the finish, the hops can come across as rather bitter. Diacetyl should be extremely subdued, if perceptible at all.
31 IPA (Imperial)
Imperial IPAs are top-fermented, golden to chestnut beers with good head stability and a tangy freshness in spite of their high alcohol content. Their effervescence and dominant hop aromas do not conflict with the full-bodied texture of these beers. The bouquet, which may reveal notes of mango, passion fruit, and berries, as well as honey, ripe banana and caramel, does not come just from the hops. The types of malt in the mash, as well as the fermentation processes may also contribute to these characteristis. On the one hand, the high alcohol content helps to intensify these aromas, on the other hand, it also adds an almost viniferous character to this beer. The fruity bouquet, however, should not appear oxidatized or overripe. Diacetyl must not play a sensory role. In the finish, Imperial IPAs are strongly bitter and clearly alcoholic. Both taste aspects linger for a long time. Although Imperial IPAs have a high alcohol content, they should not taste acrid or fusel-like.
32 IPA (New England Style)
33 IPA (Wheat IPA)
34 Kellerbier (amber / dark)
Dark Kellerbier is bottom-fermented, with a dark amber to dark brown color. Its white to beige-colored head is usually coarse, but firm. Other indispensable stylistic elements include turbidity and a very mild carbonation. Full, intense malt aromas reminiscent of chocolate, biscuit, bread crust, plus a mild caramel bouquet characterize the aromas of dark Kellerbiers. The hop aroma is barely noticeable; and the hop bitterness is moderate. All hop elements are in harmony with the malt flavors. Fermentation-related fruitiness and diacetyl are both undesirable in this beer style.
35 Kellerbier (pale)
Pale Kellerbiers are bottom-fermented and light yellow to amber in color. They are yeast-turbid and only moderately effervescent. The white head is firm and porous. In an unfiltered Kellerbier, just as in a filtered lager, the malt character of should be dominant, but there should be no traces of caramel, nor of fruity esters or diacetyl. However, sulfur notes that might be mildly reminiscent of cabbage, sauerkraut or shallots may play a certain role. Hops have very little influence on the character of Kellerbier. The turbidity from the yeast in suspension give the beer a medium to full body. The often very low effervescence makes these beers seem very creamy. The finish in a Kellerbier is slightly to moderately bitter.
36 Keller Pils
Keller Pils is bottom-fermented, pale to golden yellow in color, yeast-turbid, and effervescent. It has a coarse white head. In contrast to a Kellerbier, hops strongly influence the flavor of a Keller Pils. In addition to the classic Pils-style hoppiness, there may also be floral-aromatic and citrus hop flavors and aromas. Maltiness is an important attribute of this style, but it should not be caramel-like; nor should there be any diacetyl or fruity esters. However, mildly vegetal aromas of green beans or asparagus may be present. In the finish, a Keller Pils is distinctly bitter, which provides a good cover for any residual sweetness.
37 Crystal Wheat Beer
Crystal wheat beer is filtered, top-fermented, and straw to deep yellow in color. It must be made with at least 50% malted wheat. The head is white, very firm, and long-lasting. Crystal wheat beers have a fruity banana bouquet, as well as aromas of clove and nutmeg. Vanilla and smoky notes may also contribute to the bouquet. Hop aromas are largely absent. In spite of the malty, fruity sweetness upfront, crystal wheat beers are usually not full-bodied. In fact, they may even feel rather thin on the palate because of their high effervescence. In the finish, hop bitterness should be very subdued to nonexistent. There should be no diacetyl in the bouquet or flavor.
Lager beers are straw-blond to dark gold and bottom-fermented. They are usually very effervescent and crystal clear with a thick, white head. The hoppiness may vary greatly, ranging from barely perceptible to strong. There are few, if any, fruity fermentation esters. Lager beers should always be strongly malty and thus have aromas reminiscent of wort and white bread crust. Upfront, they may be slightly sweet, but the mouthfeel changes quickly to full-bodied. In the finish, the bitterness should not be too pronounced, and there must never be any sourness. Sulfur compounds (odorous hydrogen sulphide, as well as vegetale or herbal notes), caramel aromas, yellow-fruit aromas, and diacetyl should not be part of a lager aroma profile.
39 Lager (amber)
Amber lagers are bottom-fermented and usually crystal clear. They are red-golden to amber to dark amber in color. They are effervescent with a white, coarse head, which dissipates fairly quickly. The intensity of the hop aroma varies from low to noticeable. The malt character of the beer is very caramel-like and sweet. This beer style is characterized by bread-like or brioche-like aromas. Strong notes of green apple are part of the style. Fruity esters and diacetyl, however, are atypical, and the latter is considered a defect.
40 Lager (dry hopped / IPL)
Dry-hopped lagers are bottom-fermented, effervescent and crystal clear, with a white head of foam. They have a distinct hoppiness with notes of citrus, apple, and passion fruit from plenty of aroma hops. There are few, if any, fruity fermentation esters. Even though these lagers are dry-hopped, they should have a strong malt character that is reminiscent of wort flavors. Upfront, they may be slightly sweet. The beer’s bitterness may be more distinct than is common in other classic lagers because of the large amounts of hops. Sulfur compounds (odorous hydrogen sulphide, as well as vegetale or herbal notes), caramel aromas, yellow-fruit aromas, and diacetyl should not be part of a lager aroma profile.
41 Märzen / Oktoberfest-Style Lager
Golden yellow, bright amber to reddish-brown Märzen and its Oktoberferst-Style cousin are close relatives to the Helles and the generic Lager categories. They are bottom-fermented and crystal clear with a firm, white head. These beers are mildly to strongly effervescent. The hop notes are subdued but, nonetheless, more pronounced than are those of most pale lagers. Malt aromas are dominant, and notes of wort and bread crust and sometimes of fudge or vanilla are common. Compared to most pale lagers, they have a slightly higher alcohol content, a feature they share with Exports, yet the less intense sweetness and the stronger hop bitterness distinguish Märzen and Oktoberfest-Style beers from Exports. Fruity aromas from fermentation byproducts are not common. Buttery aromas, however, would be a defect.
42 Pale / Blone Strong Ale
Pale or blonde strong ales are yellow, golden yellow, or light amber in color with a coarse and often fleeting white head. Malt aromas are subdued, but hints of caramel may be present. High concentrations of fermentation esters produce complex, sweet, and fruity aromas. The high alcohol content produces sensations of flambéed, honey-covered banana, wild berry jam and fruit punch. The sometimes intense hopping can contribute fruity-floral, resinous, and citrus-like aromas. Diacetyl should be barely perceptible, but volatile phenols with aromas of clove or herbs should be noticeable. These beers are moderately to highloy effervescent, and they tend to be full-bodied. Retronasally, the sensation is one of sweet toast combined with strong but not burning alcohol notes. These change into a strong hop bitterness in the finish for a lingering ale taste experience.
43 Pale Ale (American Style)
American pale ales, with their strong golden to light amber appearance, are top-fermented beers with a sturdy, white to cream-colored head. These beers tend to be very effervescen. They have an upfront freshness and a fairly bitter finish. A moderate malt aroma with subtle notes of caramel is accompanied by a pronounced hop aroma. Notes of citrus and stone fruit, as well as floral and resinous notes are also present. In addition, there may be noticeable concentrations of fermentation esters with aspects of yellow fruit or red berries. Full-bodied American pale ales often taste very fruity and have a lingering hop-bitter finish. The diacetyl should be imperceptible. Yest turbibity is acceptable in this style. It should also be noted that many American beers labeled Pale Ale have alcohol and bittering levels that exceed the typical style specifications.
44 Pale Ale (Belgian Style)
Belgian pale ale is a golden to copper-colored beer with a moderate effervences and a creamy, white head that may be of short duration. The hop character is relatively weak, at least compared to American pale ales. Malt and hop aromas and flavors are in balance, allowing the fruity fermentation esters with notes of banana, phenols, even oranges and pears, to come to the fore. Hints of peppery spice and cloves round off the aroma of this beer style. The overall flavor of a Belgian pale ale is well balanced, sweet upfront and pleasantly bitter in a short finish. There should be no trace of diacetyl.
45 Pale Ale (English Style)
English pale ales, which also include the categories of ordinary (or “standard”), special (or “best”), and extra special (ESB) bitters, throw a weak to moderate head. They are less effervescent than English golden ales. Their golden to copper color is similar to that of Belgian pale ales. In taste, however, they differ greatly from their Belgian cousins. English pale ales are truly bitter beers, characterized above all by hop aromas and expecial hop bitterness. Herbal and earthy notes complement the overall aroma, as well as fruity aromas from fermentation esters. Compared to the hop components, the malt aroma is less pronounced, though there are hints of biscuit or caramel. Similarly, low levels of diacetyl are not only acceptable, but are often considered typical for this beer style. The hop bitterness can range from moderate to very strong depending on the sub-category.
46 Pils (German Style)
A German Pils is a crystal clear, pale to straw-yellow lager. It should have a dense, white head. It is quite effervescent, with sensory characteristics equally determined by hops and malt. Fruity fermentation esters, diacetyl and sulfurous aromas should not be present. Upfront, there are grassy, citrus-like, or floral hop aromas. The malt character is aromatic-sweet and, at times, reminiscent of bread. A typical Pils is lean and straight forward. The gentle malt sweetness upfront fades into the background as strong, hoppy bitter notes take over. Depending on the locale, where the Pils is brewed, its hop notes are often accentuated by traces of minerals from the brewing water.
47 Pils (new style)
A dry-hopped Pils is bottom-fermented, pale to straw-yellow, and topped by a dense, snow-white crown of foam. It is very effervescent and the sensory profile ows much more to the hops than the malt. Fruity fermentation esters, diacetyl and sulfurous aromas should not be present. Apart form the classic floral hoppy character, a dry hopped Pils has more of a citrus accent, as well as distinct aromas of mango, passion fruit, and nectarines. Upfront, a dry-hopped Pils is sweet, herbal, and light-bodied. The slight malt sweetness soon gives way to hoppiness, which may linger for several minutes.
48 Pilsner (Bohemian Style)
Bohemian-style lager beers are clear and straw to light amber in color with a dense, white head and a strong effervescence. The malt character is pronounced and aromatic with subtle and slightly sweet bread notes. The hop bitterness tends to be less pronounced than that of a German Pils, for instance, but hop aromas are very distinct. Small amounts of diacetyl and sulfur aromas add to the aromatic complexity of this beer, as long as all components are in balance. Upfront, a Bohemian Pilsner is malty; it has a very hoppy – and therefore moderately to strongly aromatic – finish.
Deep black, top-fermented porters have a dense and stable, cream-colored to brownish head. The aroma is dominated by dark malt. Expect hints of coffee, dark chocolate, or smoke in the aroma. Upfront, the taste can be sweet from malt, yet the sweetness quickly fades into the background because of the high carbonation. In the finish, next to a moderate to strong bitterness from hops, these beers may be slightly astringent, mostly from roasted malts. Diacetyl should not be perceptible.
50 Porter / Stout (Baltic Style)
Baltic-style porters have a very dark red to black color and a very thick and stable head that can also be slightly in coarse with higher alcohol levels. In spite of their name, many Baltic porters are usually made with bottom-fermenting yeast — though some versions are indeed top-fermented, often at cooler temperatures than British ales. Regardless of the choice of fermentation agent, Baltic porters should have a very distinct malt aroma with hints of caramelized sugar, liquorice, chocolate or coffee, and smoke. The malt sweetness is moderate to strong, while the hop character is very restrained and may add a slightly sweet, floral touch. Complex fruit aromas, such as those resembling red or black berries, grapes, and plums, are typical. Banana or clove aromas should not be dominant. Diacetyl and sulfurous aromas, however, should not be present.
51 Porter / Stout (Imperial)
Imperial stouts are deep black, top-fermented beers that range from mildly to highly effervescent. They have a creamy, light brown head of average firmness. These beers have an impressive body and mouthfeel, as well as a sweet and intense malt aroma. The overall taste is determined, in large part, by roasted, smoky, and honey-like flavor nuances. Fruity fermentation esters combine with an often hoppy character that gives the beer aspects of candied orange peel, as well as liquorice-like, floral, herbal, and resinous notes. Often, there are also background flavors of ripe plum, grapes or berries, which may combine with slightly medicinal and barnyeard aromas. The malt flavor is rich with retronasal hints of caramel and sherry. The high alcohol content is easy to detect and, in conjunction with the malt sweetness and hop bitterness, creates an interesting bitter-sweet taste experience. The hop bitternes, though not dominant, lengthens the perceived bitternes of the roasted malts. Diacetyl should not be present.
52 Red Ale / Amber Ale
Red and amber ales are top-fermented, with brilliant colors ranging from amber or chestnut to dark amber. The head is moderately high, cream-colored, and stable. These ales are medium to strongly effervescent. They contain small amounts of fruity esters. The hop aroma is mild and the hop bitterness is slight. By comparison, the malt aroma is much more intense and may come with mild to strong caramel notes that are backed by hints of pine and vanilla. As a result of the combination of fermentation esters and hop aromas, red ales can also be reminiscent of orange peel, grapefruit, or berries.
53 Saison (Belgian Style)
Bright yellow to orange, a typical Bière de Saison is highly effervescent. As one of its distinguishing characteristics, it has a sturdy, white to off-white head. Bottle conditioning, which enhances the aromas from fermentation byproducts, is also a common practice. On the palate, Saisons have flavors of honey, spice (such as pepper), and leather, with hints of barnyard from Brettanomyces, as well as a mild sourness from lactic acid bacteria. Some Saisons may even be "wild"-fermented. In addition, there is a mild, sometimes very sweet, malt aroma, a mild to medium hop aroma, and an earthy bouquet. Saisons often have a fairly marked hint of bitterness, and they may even be astringent because of a substantial phenol content. Fruity esters also characterize this top-fermented beer. Orange and lime aromas may be present, too. The stronger the beer, the tarter it seems.
54 Saison (New Style)
55 Sour Beer
Sour beers are bright yellow to amber in color and have a white, usually unstable head. It is not uncommon for theses beers to be hazy. The hop aroma is very weak and can seem soapy or even slightly rancid, but usually stays well in the background. Fruity esters from the primary – and sometimes secondary – fermentation are strong and, along with a light malt character, are reminiscent of citrus fruit, biscuit, and brioche. A clearly perceptible but not overpowering smell of horse sweat, wet leather, burnt rubber, or band aid may be present, often as a products of Brettanomyces. Tart tastes are dominant but should be lactic or citric, not acetic, in nature. Sour beers can be very effervescent, and have a dry and light-bodied finish. Both alcohol and hop bitterness are only in the background. Diacetyl is rarely discernible.
56 Sour Beer (Fruit Sour Beer)
57 Sour Beer (barrel-aged / Gueuze)
58 Black Beer (Bohemian Style)
The bottom-fermented, Bohemian-style black beer is very effervescent and has a tall, firm, light brown head. Its flavor is malt-dominant. Notes of toast, sweetness, hints of dark chocolate, and a slightly smokiness are characteristic of this style. These aspects blend well with the beer’s rather restrained hop aroma. Upfront, Bohemian black lager is malty-sweet, which, in combination with the beer’s slight tartness, makes for an interesting taste sensation. The hop bitterness, too, is very restrained, but is sufficient to balance the bitter-sweet finish, for which Bohemian-style black lagers are known.
59 Black Beer (German Style)
German black beers are bottom-fermented and very dark red, dark brown or completely black. They form a stable, cream-colored to light brown head. In the nose, there are sweet toast aromas and a bouquet of caramel and coffee. Smoky aromas, too, may be present in small amounts, but they must not be overpowering. Hop aromas with notes of pine needles or liquorice are usually only recognizable in the background, behind a strong malt character. Many German black lagers taste sweet and full-bodied upfront and are moderately to strongly effervescent. Hop bitterness is mild to moderate, while the finish may be dominated by bittersweet, toasted flavors. Diacetyl and fruity esters should not be present.
60 Session Ale / Summer Ale / Light Wheat
61 Session Beer
There are many very different sub-categories of stout, ranging from sweet to dry. All are top-fermented beers and share a very dark to black color, as well as a dense, very firm, light brown head. Beers in this style may vary greatly in terms of their effervescence from very low, in a sweet stout, for instance, to very high, in an extra stout, for instance. The same goes for smoky aromas: While there should be no smoky aromas in an Irish stout, a foreign stout would be flawed if it did not have strong smoky aromas. Next to strong malt aromas characterised by hints of coffee, cocoa and toast, there may also be fruity fermentation esters reminiscent of dark berries, ripe banana, and sometimes orange peel. In addition, some stouts are innoculated with Brettanomyces and may, therefore, have aromas reminiscent of medicinal compounds, burnt rubber, or horse sweat. These attributes may give the beer a rough edge, but should never mask the characteristic malt aromas. Stouts can have either a dry or a slightly sweet taste, but most finish on a dry, mildly astringent note on the palate. The finish may even be slightly tart. The hop aromas, often with a hint of herbs or resins, are usually very subtle, if perceptible at all, yet a moderate to strong hop bitterness, next to bitter roasted notes, are part of the defining characteristics of this style. Diacetyl and sulfurous aromas should not be in play.
63 Tripel (Belgian Style)
Top-fermented, light to golden yellow Tripels have are very effervescent and have a thick, creamy head. The hop aroma is very restrained and often even imperceptible. Hop bitterness, however, may be more pronounced. Complex aromas, such as orange and clove – the latter produced by volatile phenols – are desirable. A striking banana aroma — from bottle conditioning and the resulting yeast sediment — is also characteristic. Yeast-turbid Tripels are increasingly common. They have a light, sweet malt character, but should not have any toasted aromas or diacetyl.
64 Wheat Beer (amber)
Amber-colored wheat beers are top-fermented and made with at least 50% wheat. Often they are also marketed under the name of Hefeweizen. They are yeast-turbid beers and have a white, very firm, long-lasting head. Typical aromas of amber-colored wheat beers include caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, banana, apple, and cloves. Hop aromas are largely absent. Upfront, a malty, fruity sweetness may be apparent, but it recedes quickly because of the beer's powerful effervescence and slightly tart taste. The carbonation is released in very fine bubbles which is why the beer’s effervescence does not interfer with its full body. There should be little to no hop bitterness in the finish. Diacetyl should not be a factor in the beers bouquet or flavor.
65 Wheat Beer (dark)
A dark, yeast-turbid wheat beer is top-fermented. It has a brown, copper, dark amber, or dark brown color and is brewed with at least 50% malted wheat. In the glass, the beer develops a very dense, cream-colored, and long-lasting head of mousse-like consistency. A key attribute of dark wheat beers is their deep malt character. Nougat-like chocolate notes, toasted aromas paired with aromas of banana, raspberry and clove, as weall as an upfront sweetness make this beer style unmistakable. The hops have little to no effect on the flavor. The hop bitterness is very subtle. Dark wheat beer acquires its characteristic freshness from its strong carbonation and slight tartness. It has a distinctive, full-bodied flavor. Diacetyl and dimethyl sulphide are not present.
66 Wheat Beer (pale)
Original extract: 11 – 15 °P
Pale wheat beers are top-fermented and light yellow to straw-colored. They are made with at least 50% wheat. Often marketed under the name of Hefeweizen, all wheat beers are yeast turbid unless they are filtered crystal wheat beers (Kristallweizen). They have a dense, white, long-lasting, mousse-like head. Typical aromas of pale wheat beers include banana, citrus fruit, apple, and clove, often accompanied by notes of nutmeg and a hint of vanilla. Slightly smoky notes may also be present, but hop aromas are largely absent. Upfront, the beer may be malty and fruity-sweet. These aspects, however, recede quickly because of the beer’s powerful effervescence and slightly tart taste. The carbonation is released in very fine bubbles which is why the beer’s effervescence does not interfer with its full body. There should be little to no hop bitterness in the finish. Diacetyl should not be a factor in the beer’s bouquet or flavor.
67 Wheat Berr (with hop aromas)
This beer's color ranges from bright golden yellow to dark amber, while its firm and dense head is white or slightly cream-colored. Dry hopped wheat beers (also sometimes referred to as wheat IPAs) are yeast-turbid, strongly carbonated and, in contrast to classic wheat beers, very hoppy. There may be hints of passion fruit, oranges, and nutmeg-like floral notes, which blend with the typical fermentation aromas of banana, clove and raspberries, creating an exceptionally aromatic taste sensation. Traces of herbs, kiwi, and honey can also be found in wheat IPAs. Upfront, these beers may often seem a bit tart, but the strong carbonation and very full body create a quick balance. Wheat IPAs have a long-lasting bitter finish. Diacetyl should not be a factor in the beer’s bouquet or flavor.
68 Wheat Bock (dark / amber)
Top-fermented wheat bocks are brewed with at least 50% wheat malt. They are yeast-turbid and range in color from amber or copper to mahogany to dark brown. The heads is firm and cream-colored. In darker versions of the style, the typical wheat beer aromas of banana and clove blend well with aromas of caramel, chocolate and toast. Aromas of honey, spice, and herbs, too, are not uncommon. Because of the dark malts and high alcohol content, Weizenbocks often taste quite sweet upfront, though this sweetness gives way gradually to a pleasant acidity and a sherry-like finish. The carbonation is high, in spite of the beer’s full-bodied mouthfell. Hop aroma should not be perceptible and hop bitterness should be extremely subdued. Diacetyl should be absent.
69 Wheat Bock (pale)
Pale wheat bock beers are top-fermented. They are straw- to gold-colored, with a white, very firm, and long-lasting head. The typical fermentation aromas of bananas, orange peel, and cloves blend with notes of nutmeg, caramel, vanilla, and honey. A flowery hint of fresh hops may contribute to the sophistication of these beers. Upfront, Weizenbocks taste malty and fruity, sometimes slightly acidic and – in part because of the high alcohol content – very creamy and full-bodied. They are very effervescent, and a moderate amount of sweetness makes this beer taste very pleasant. There should be next to no hop bitterness in the finish; and diacetyl should not be part of the bouquet or flavor
70 Wheat Bock / Wheat Double Bock (dry-hopped)
Wheat bocks and wheat double bocks are dry-hopped with aroma hops. The beers can vary greatly in color, ranging from light golden yellow to dark shades of amber. The dense head is white or slightly cream-colored. This yeast-turbid beer is moderately to highly effervescent and, in contrast to classic wheat bocks or wheat double bocks, is very hoppy. The aroma is a mixture of passion fruit, orange peel, and honey, as well as spicy notes such as nutmeg, cardamom and cloves. The upfront taste sensation of these beers is sweet, soft, pleasant, creamy, and full-bodied, with a slight tartness. The finish is extremely long-lasting and bitter as a result of the hops combined with the high alcohol content. Diacetyl should not be part of the bouquet or flavor.
71 Wheat Double Bock (dark / amber)
Top-fermented dark or amber-colored wheat double bocks are yeast-turbid. Their color ranges from amber to chestnut to mahogany to dark brown. The firm head is cream-colored. The beer is malty with traces of caramel and chocolate, as well as dominant nutty, almond-like, or toasty notes. Thanks to fruity esters reminiscent of orange peel or berries, the aroma of these beers is quite complex. Cloves, honey, lovage, or liquorice may also be present. The hops have only a minor influence. The upfront flavor is sweet, followed by a dense body and broad mouthfeel with sherry aromas. The bitter finish is accentuated by the high alcohol content and is as much a part of the defining characteristics of this beer as is the creamy consistency.
72 Wheat Double Bock (pale)
Top-fermented, light wheat double bocks can be any color from golden yellow to maroon. The moderately to strongly effervescent beer is yeast-turbid with a firm, white head. The upfront aroma is dominated by spices, especially cardamom, clove, and allspice. The hops are only slightly influential. The upfront flavor sweet, soft, and pleasant. The mouthfeel is creamy and full-bodied. A slight acidity underlines the tangy impression. The finish is extremely strong and long-lasting, often with a some smoky notes and a bitterness supported by the high alcohol content.
Weizeneisbocks are usually bronze to mahogany-colored. Their very high alcohol content is the result of freeze distillation. The head of these beers is weak and the carbonation low. Clove, nutmeg, ripe banana, and nutmeg may be noticeable in the bouquet. The upfront taste is sweet, without any hop bitterness. Instead, the very high alcohol content determines the flavor from start to finish. It also amplifies the beer’s caramel and honey aromas. In addition, Weizeneisbocks can have notes of plum or grapes. As they age, they may also take on notes of lovage, plum liqueur, and rum.
74 Witbier ( Belgian Style)
Witbiers are top-fermented beers spiced with coriander and orange peel, and sometimes with other flavorings as well. They are pale yellow, yeast-turbid and very effervescent. The head is white, dense, and very long-lasting. These beers are brewed using unmalted wheat and malted barley. Thus, grassy, green aromas are not uncommon. Fermentation aromas of banana or pineapple are easily recognizable, but not the hop aroma, which is barely noticeable – if at all. Hop bitterness is equally weak and should not overpower a clearly discernible acidity, as well as moderate amounts of fruity esters (citrus, orange) and spice. The spicy notes, however, must not be overpowering, either. The beer’s sweetness is balanced by touches of vanilla and honey. Diacetyl is not present.
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