Style Guidelines

Brewers Association Category Comparison
Brewers AssociationBest of Craft Beer Awards
Adambier33. Rare & Historical Beers
Aged Beer48. Experimental Beers
American-Belgo-Style Ale27. Belgian Ales
American-Style Amber Lager52A. Amber Lagers
American-Style Amber/Red Ale14. Red Beers
American-Style Barley Wine Ale21. Barley Wines, Wheat Wine, & Rye Wine
American-Style Black Ale08. Cascadian Dark Ale
American-Style Brown Ale16. Porters & Brown Ales
American-Style Cream Ale50. North American Lagers
American-Style Dark Lager52B. Dark Lagers
American-Style Fruit Beer40. Fruit & Field Beers
American-Style Fruited Sour Ale34. American Sour Beers
American-Style Imperial or Double India Pale Ale04. Imperial IPA
American-Style Imperial Porter18. Imperial Porters & Brown Ales
American-Style Imperial Stout19. Imperial Stouts
American-Style India Pale Ale03. IPA
American-Style India Pale Lager56. Hop-Forward Lagers
American-Style Lager50. North American Lagers
American-Style Light Lager49. Light Lagers
American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest52B. Dark Lagers
American-Style Malt Liquor50. North American Lagers
American-Style Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
American-Style Pilsener56. Hop-Forward Lagers
American-Style Sour Ale34. American Sour Beers
American-Style Stout17. Stouts
American-Style Strong Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
03. IPA
American-Style Wheat Beer23. American Wheat Beers
American-Style Wheat Wine Ale21. Barley Wines, Wheat Wine, & Rye Wine
Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager49. Light Lagers
Australian-Style Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
Baltic-Style Porter18. Imperial Porters & Brown Ales
Bamberg-Style Bock Rauchbier42. Smoke Beers
Bamberg-Style Helles Rauchbier42. Smoke Beers
Bamberg-Style Maerzen Rauchbier42. Smoke Beers
Bamberg-Style Weiss Rauchbier42. Smoke Beers
Belgian-Style Blonde Ale27. Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Dubbel27. Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Belgian-Style Fruit Beer40. Fruit & Field Beers
Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Belgian-Style Lambic29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Belgian-Style Quadrupel28. Strong Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Session Ale27. Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Speciale Belge27. Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Strong Blonde Ale28. Strong Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Strong Dark Ale28. Strong Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Table Beer27. Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Tripel28. Strong Belgian Ales
Belgian-Style Witbier27. Belgian Ales
Berliner-Style Weisse32. German Sour Beers
Bohemian-Style Pilsener55. Czech Pilsner
Breslau-Style Schoeps33. Rare & Historical Beers
Brett Beer38. Brett Beers
British-Style Barley Wine Ale21. Barley Wines, Wheat Wine, & Rye Wine
British-Style Imperial Stout19. Imperial Stouts
Brown Porter16. Porters & Brown Ales
California Common Beer33. Rare & Historical Beers
Chili Pepper Beer43. Flavored Beers
Chocolate or Cocoa Beer43. Flavored Beers
Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
Classic English-Style Pale Ale12. English Ales
Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison30. Classic Saisons & Farmhouse Beers
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout17. Stouts
Coffee Beer41. Coffee Beers
Contemporary American-Style Lager56. Hop-Forward Lagers
Contemporary American-Style Light Lager49. Light Lagers
Contemporary American-Style Pilsener56. Hop-Forward Lagers
Contemporary Belgian-Style Spontaneous Fermented Ale29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Contemporary-Style Gose32. German Sour Beers
Desert Stout or Pastry Stout45. Wood- & Barrel-Aged Specialty Stouts
Dortmunder/European-Style Export51. Pale European Lagers
Double Hoppy Red Ale14. Red Beers
Dutch-Style Kuit, Kuyt or Koyt33. Rare & Historical Beers
English-Style Brown Ale16. Porters & Brown Ales
English-Style Dark Mild Ale12. English Ales
English-Style India Pale Ale12. English Ales
English-Style Pale Mild Ale12. English Ales
English-Style Summer Ale12. English Ales
European-Style Dark Lager52B. Dark Lagers
Experimental Beer48. Experimental Beers
Experimental India Pale Ale09. Experimental Hop-Forward Beers & Other IPAs
Export-Style Stout17. Stouts
Extra Special Bitter12. English Ales
Field Beer40. Fruit & Field Beers
Finnish-Style Sahti33. Rare & Historical Beers
Franconian-Style Rotbier14. Red Beers
French-Style Bière de Garde30. Classic Saisons & Farmhouse Beers
Fresh Hop Beer57. Fresh Hop
Fruit Wheat Beer40. Fruit & Field Beers
German-Style Altbier14. Red Beers
German-Style Doppelbock53. Bocks
German-Style Eisbock53. Bocks
German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock53. Bocks
German-Style Koelsch11. Kölsch
German-Style Leichtbier49. Light Lagers
German-Style Leichtes Weizen26. German Wheat Beers
German-Style Maerzen52B. Dark Lagers
German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn52B. Dark Lagers
German-Style Pilsener54. German Pilsner
German-Style Rye Ale22. Rye Beers
German-Style Schwarzbier52B. Dark Lagers
Ginjo Beer or Sake-Yeast Beer36. Mixed-Culture Beers
Gluten-Free Beer25. Gluten-Free Beers
Golden or Blonde Ale10. Golden or Blonde Ale
Grodziskie42. Smoke Beers
Herb and Spice Beer43. Flavored Beers
Historical Beer33. Rare & Historical Beers
Imperial Red Ale15. Strong Red Beers
International-Style Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
International-Style Pilsener56. Hop-Forward Lagers
Irish-Style Red Ale14. Red Beers
Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale07. Hazy or Juicy Imperial IPA
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale05. Hazy or Juicy Pale Ale
Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale05. Hazy or Juicy Pale Ale
Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale05. Hazy or Juicy Pale Ale
06. Hazy or Juicy IPA
Kellerbier or Zwickelbier51. Pale European Lagers
Kentucky Common Beer33. Rare & Historical Beers
Leipzig-Style Gose32. German Sour Beers
Mixed-Culture Brett Beer36. Mixed-Culture Beers
Munich-Style Dunkel52B. Dark Lagers
Munich-Style Helles51. Pale European Lagers
New Zealand-Style India Pale Ale03. IPA
New Zealand-Style Pale Ale02. Pale Ale
Non-Alcohol Malt Beverage39. Non-Alcoholic Beers
Oatmeal Stout17. Stouts
Old Ale20. Strong Ale/Old Ale & Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Ordinary Bitter12. English Ales
Other Belgian-Style Ale27. Belgian Ales
28. Strong Belgian Ales
Other Strong Ale or Lager48. Experimental Beers
Pumpkin Spice Beer43. Flavored Beers
Pumpkin/Squash Beer40. Fruit & Field Beers
Robust Porter16. Porters & Brown Ales
Rye Beer22. Rye Beers
Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy20. Strong Ale/Old Ale & Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Scottish-Style Export Ale13. Scottish Ales
Scottish-Style Heavy Ale13. Scottish Ales
Scottish-Style Light Ale13. Scottish Ales
Session BeerNot currently available
Session India Pale Ale01. Hop-Forward Session Beers
Smoke Beer42. Smoke Beers
Smoke Porter42. Smoke Beers
South German-Style Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen26. German Wheat Beers
South German-Style Dunkel Weizen26. German Wheat Beers
South German-Style Hefeweizen26. German Wheat Beers
South German-Style Kristal Weizen26. German Wheat Beers
South German-Style Weizenbock26. German Wheat Beers
Special Bitter or Best Bitter12. English Ales
Specialty Beer24. Specialty Grains & Fermentables
Specialty Honey Beer24. Specialty Grains & Fermentables
Specialty Saison31. Specialty Saisons & Farmhouse Beers
Strong Ale20. Strong Ale/Old Ale & Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Swedish-Style Gotlandsdricke33. Rare & Historical Beers
Sweet Stout or Cream Stout17. Stouts
Traditional Belgian-Style Gueuze29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Traditional German-Style Bock53. Bocks
Vienna-Style Lager52B. Dark Lagers
West Coast-Style IPA03. IPA
Wild Beer29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer46. Wood- & Barrel-Aged Beers Under 8%
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer36. Mixed-Culture Beers

**NEW** COLLABORATION CATEGORY

We love the cooperative spirit of the craft beer industry. We’re adding an award category for collaborations to recognize that spirit. Entries in this category will be judged at the same time as the main competition and evaluated as a “Best of Show” format, separate from all other categories.

  • Only a single brewery needs to register and send samples
  • When registering, the registrant will list collaborator info (Brewery Name, City, State)
  • Both collaborators of a winning beer will receive medals and online/print promotion
  • Medals from this category do not count toward BotY points

ALE STYLES

HOP-FORWARD BEERS

In categories 1-9, creative expression of hop aroma, flavor, and bitterness is rewarded.
1. Hop-Forward Session Beers
Under 5.0% ABV, copper or lighter in color.  May include Session IPAs, IPLs, or hop-forward versions of other styles meeting the color and ABV criteria. Beers may be clear or hazy.

2. Pale Ale
5.1- 6.5% ABV , copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is allowable. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Hazy or Juicy Pale Ale. English Pale Ales should be entered in English Ales.

3. IPA
6.6 – 8.0% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is acceptable. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable, though English IPAs should be entered in Category 12. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Hazy or Juicy IPA. English IPAs should be entered in English Ales.

4. Imperial IPA
Over 8.1% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is acceptable. Detectable alcohol is allowable, but should not distract from the hop character. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Hazy or Juicy Imperial IPA.

5. Hazy or Juicy Pale Ale
5.1- 6.5% ABV, amber or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable.

6. Hazy or Juicy IPA
6.6 – 8.0% ABV, amber or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance. Lactose is allowable at low levels, but milkshake IPAs or other examples with prominent lactose character should be entered in Experimental Hop-Forward Beer & Other IPAs. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable.

7. Hazy or Juicy Imperial IPA
Over 8.1% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance. Detectable alcohol is acceptable, but should not distract from the hop character. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable.

8. Cascadian Dark Ale
Over 4.0% ABV, dark brown or darker in color. Roasted malt character should be present at low to medium levels and support the hop character rather than challenge it for dominance. Astringency or burnt flavors should not be present. Imperial versions should be noted as such in the base style for proper judging. Beers in this category should be hop-forward; Stouts or Porters with notable hop character should be entered in their respective categories. Aroma/flavor profiles from African, American, European, and Oceanic origin hops are acceptable.

9. Experimental Hop-Forward Beers & Other IPAs
This is a catch-all category for hop-forward beers which do not fit in categories 1-8 . Brett, Brut, Cold, Kveik, Red, and White IPAs can go here. Wood, barrel, fruit, or other flavors are allowed at low levels but should be secondary to hop character. Imperial versions should be noted as such in the base style for proper judging.

Allowed:

  • Brett IPA
  • Brut IPA
  • Cold IPA
  • Kveik IPA
  • Red IPA
  • Rye IPA
  • White IPA
MALT-FORWARD BEERS

In categories 10-24, malt and grain character is emphasized relative to other ingredients even if it is not aggressively malty. Category 25 (Gluten-Free Beer) is included here though it is defined more by the absence of certain fermentables than their contribution to the beer.

10. Golden or Blonde Ale
Under 6.0% ABV, gold or lighter in color. A range of hop aromas, flavors, and intensities are allowable, but should remain secondary to clean malt flavors.

11. Kölsch
Under 6.0%, pale yellow to gold in color. Assertive carbonation to support head retention. Versions with non-Noble hops are acceptable provided hop intensity is in balance for the style.

12. English Ales
4.1- 7.0% ABV, pale yellow to dark brown in color. Malt complexity and depth should take precedence over hop intensity.

Allowed:

  • English Summer Ale
  • English Mild Ale
  • Ordinary, Special, and Best Bitters
  • ESB
  • English Pale Ale
  • English India Pale Ale

13. Scottish Ales
4.1- 8.0% ABV, pale yellow to dark brown in color. Malt sweetness is the defining characteristic; peat aroma/flavor is acceptable at low levels, but examples with more peat character should go in Smoke Beers.

Allowed:

  • Scottish Light
  • Scottish Heavy
  • Scottish Export
  • Lightly smoked/peated examples

14. Red Beers
Under 8.0% ABV, copper to reddish brown in color. Hop-forward examples are better suited to the Experimental Hop-Forward Beer & Other IPAs category. Darker examples may exhibit low roast character, but it should be secondary to carmelly, toasty, and/or nutty characteristics from malts with lower kilning regimens.

Allowed:

  • American Amber/Red
  • Irish Red
  • Altbier
  • American Amber Lager
  • American Maerzen/Oktoberfest

15. Strong Red Beers
Over 8.1% ABV, copper to reddish brown in color. Imperial versions of Category 14 beers. Hop bitterness can be high to balance alcohol and specialty malt sweetness.

Allowed:

  • Double Hoppy Red Ales
  • Imperial Red Ales

16. Porters & Brown Ales
4.1- 8.0% ABV, light brown to black in color. American versions with elevated hop character are welcome, but entries should still be malt-forward. Hop-forward dark beers are better suited to Category 8.

Allowed:

  • American Brown Ale
  • American Porter
  • English Brown Ale
  • English Porter

17. Stouts
4.1- 8.0% ABV, dark brown to black in color. Roast, dark chocolate, coffee, and other highly kilned malt-derived flavors are the centerpiece. Examples with actual chocolate or coffee in them should be entered in those respective categories, and hop-forward examples are better suited to Category 8.

Allowed:

  • Dry Irish Stout
  • Sweet/Cream Stout
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Export Stout
  • American Stout

18. Imperial Porters & Brown Ales
Over 8.1% ABV, light brown to black in color. Detectable alcohol is allowable. Examples with actual chocolate or coffee in them should be entered in those respective categories, and truly hop-forward examples are better suited to Category 8.

Allowed:

  • Baltic Porter
  • Imperial Brown Ale
  • Imperial Porter

19. Imperial Stouts
Over 8.1% ABV, dark brown to black in color. Roast, dark chocolate, coffee, and other highly kilned malt-derived flavors are the centerpiece. Detectable alcohol is allowable. Examples with actual chocolate or coffee in them should be entered in those respective categories.

20. Strong Ale/Old Ale & Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Over 6.1% ABV, amber to dark brown in color. Oxidation and other characteristics of aging are acceptable at low levels, but wood/barrel characteristics should be very low to absent. Versions with more prominent barrel characteristics should be entered in the appropriate Wood- & Barrel-Aged category.

Allowed:

  • Strong Ale
  • Old Ale
  • Scotch Ale
  • Wee Heavy

21. Barley Wines, Wheat Wine, & Rye Wine
Over 8.1% ABV, gold to brown in color. Both English and American barleywines go here, as well as variants incorporating wheat, rye, or other grains. Barrel-aged versions should be entered in the Strong Wood- & Barrel-Aged Beers category.

22. Rye Beers
This category is meant to reward ideal expressions of rye character in beer across base styles. ABV and color will vary, though examples with prominent hop, alcohol, or other flavors may fare better elsewhere.

Allowed:

  • Rye Lagers
  • Roggenbier
  • Rye Stout

23. American Wheat Beers
This category accepts wheat beers other than traditional German Wheat Beers with their yeast signature. Examples with prominent hop, alcohol, or other flavors may fare better elsewhere.

24. Specialty Grains & Fermentables
ABV and color varies by base beer style. Beers which showcase grains and fermentables including (but not limited to): spelt, triticale, quinoa, frikeh, agave, honey, and maple syrup.

25. Gluten-Free Beers
ABV and color varies by base beer style. Beers entered in this category must be made with gluten-free ingredients; gluten-removed beers are not acceptable.

FERMENTATION-FORWARD BEERS

These beers are defined by their fermentation byproducts, whether from Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, or other bacteria.

26. German Wheat Beers
Beers entered here should have 50% or more wheat in the grist and POF+ yeast. 

Allowed:

  • Hefeweizen
  • Kristallweizen
  • Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen
  • Dunkel Weizen
  • Weizenbock

27. Belgian Ales
4.1- 7.0% ABV pale yellow to dark brown in color. Traditional spices such as coriander and orange peel are often integral to the nature of these beers but should be at subtle levels. 

Allowed:

  • Belgian Table Beer
  • Witbier
  • Belgian Single
  • Belgian Dubbel

28. Strong Belgian Ales
Over 7.1% ABV, gold to dark brown in color.

Allowed:

  • Belgian Dark Strong Ale
  • Belgian Pale Strong Ale
  • Belgian Quadrupel
  • Belgian Tripel

29. Spontaneous Fermentation Beers
5.1- 9.0% ABV, generally gold to amber in color though fruit or flavorings may produce different results. Brettanomyces character may be present.

Allowed:

  • Lambic
  • Fruited Lambic
  • Gueuze
  • Wild Ale

30. Classic Saisons & Farmhouse Beers
4.1- 8.0% ABV, pale yellow to amber. Strong saisons (higher than 8%) and examples with fruit or flavors should be entered in Category 31. Low level Brettanomyces characteristics are acceptable but should not overpower the primary fermentation profile.

31. Specialty Saisons & Farmhouse Beers
Fruited or flavored versions may produce non-traditional colors, and versions with higher ABV than typical are found here. Low level Brettanomyces characteristics are acceptable but should not overpower the primary fermentation profile.

32. German Sour Beers
4.1- 6.0% ABV, generally straw yellow to gold, though fruits or other flavorings may produce atypical colors. Traditional Berliner Weisses and Goses and their fruited/flavored counterparts are acceptable, though the base beer should still be identifiable and possess primarily lactic acidity. Beers with sufficient fruit/flavor content to obscure the base beer style should be entered in the Smoothie Sour, Fruit & Field Beers, or Flavored Beers categories.

HYBRID/MIXED

33. Rare & Historical Beers
A catch-all category for historical and modern beer styles with small market presence. Including but not limited to: Adambier, California Common, Kentucky Common, Kuyt, Pennsylvania Swankey, and Sahti.

FERMENTATION-FORWARD BEERS

Entries in categories 34-38 have profound fermentation characteristics that relegate ale/lager considerations and often base beer style to the backseat. Breweries should provide information about process, ingredients, and/or objectives to paint a picture of the intended final product, but may elect to declare no base style at their discretion.

Entries in categories 34-38 have profound fermentation characteristics that relegate ale/lager considerations and often base beer style to the backseat. Breweries should provide information about process, ingredients, and/or objectives to paint a picture of the intended final product, but may elect to declare no base style at their discretion.

34. American Sour Beers
Kettle soured beers with or without fruits or other flavorings. Clean lactic fermentation characteristics are rewarded, as long as they are in balance with the beer’s other flavors and not harsh. Any acetic character should be low; Brettanomyces character should be absent.

35. **NEW** Smoothie Sour Beers
Beers with acidity, prominent fruit character, and lactose or other methods of increasing body. Ideal examples should not be boozy, but should still balance fermentation character rather than tilting too far toward a pure fruit smoothie.

36. Mixed-Culture Beers
Demonstrating fermentation characteristics from multiple bacteria and non-Saccharomyces yeasts. Entries may incorporate spices and/or other non-fruit flavorings, versions containing any fruit should be entered in Category 37. Barrel-aged mixed-culture beers are acceptable here.

37. Fruited Mixed-Culture Beers
Demonstrating fermentation characteristics from multiple bacteria and non-Saccharomyces yeasts in harmony with fruit characteristics. Barrel-aged fruited mixed-culture beers are acceptable here.

38. Brett Beers
Showcasing the expressions of Brettanomyces fermentation: barnyardy, fruity, leathery, and/or spicy. Acidity should be low; Brett Beers with significant acidity should be entered in Mixed-Culture Beers.

39. Non-Alcoholic Beers
Under 0.5% ABV.

Subcategories:

– 39A. NA Hop-Forward Beers
Copper or lighter in color. Non-alcoholic versions of hop-forward beer styles.

Allowed:

  • NA Pale Ale
  • NA IPA, including Black/CDA, Red, White, and other variants
  • NA Imperial/Double IPA

– 39B. NA Dark Beers
Light brown to black in color. Non-alcoholic versions of dark beer styles.

Allowed:

  • NA Brown Ales
  • NA Porters
  • NA Stouts

– 39C. NA Light Beers.
Gold or lighter in color. Non-alcoholic versions of light beer styles.

Allowed:

  • NA Golden Ale
  • NA Kolsch
  • NA Lager
  • NA Light Lager

– 39D. NA Other Beers.
Non-alcoholic versions of beer styles not already listed

FLAVORING-FORWARD BEERS

Entries in categories 40-48 should have as their showcase an ingredient or flavor other than is standard from malt, hops, water, or yeast/bacteria. For entries with multiple flavorings, entrants should choose among relevant categories based on which flavor is dominant or the highlight (e.g. A chocolate raspberry beer should be entered in Fruit & Field Beers if more raspberry-forward or Flavored Beers if more chocolate-forward). Additional information about ingredients, process, and objectives is crucial to proper assessment by judges.

40. Fruit & Field Beers
Fruits and veggies are the star, though entries should remain identifiable as beer. Highlighting specific attributes of the ingredient and or creative combination of flavors is preferred over brute-force fruitiness. Pumpkin/squash beers with low or absent levels of spice should be entered here. Pumpkin Spice beers should be entered in Category 43. Some fruits and vegetables may display some natural acidity, but sour beers with fruit or vegetables added should go in categories 29, 32, 34, 35, or 36 as applicable.

41. Coffee Beers
Whether subtle or intense, fruity or roasty, coffee aroma and flavor should integrate into the rest of the beer instead of a discrete layer atop. Barrel-aged versions should go in the appropriate Wood- & Barrel-Aged category.

42. Smoke Beers
Rauchbiers, Smoked Porters, Grodziskie/Gratzer, and other beers with defining smoke or peat character should be entered here. Entries with other flavorings in addition to smoke should be entered in Experimental Beers.

43. Flavored Beers
Beers with flavors other than those covered by Categories 40-42 should be entered here.

Allowed:

  • Herb and Spice Beer
  • Chili Pepper Beer
  • Chocolate/Cocoa Beer
  • Pumpkin Spice Beer

44. Wood- & Barrel-Aged Stouts
Stouts aged in any kind of barrel or in contact with wood. No fruit, spices, or other flavorings added. Should a brewery wish to enter a non-imperial strength barrel-aged Stout, it will likely fare better in Category 46 due to the expected intensity of entries in this category.

45. Wood- & Barrel-Aged Specialty Stouts
Stouts aged in any kind of barrel or in contact with wood and with fruit, spices, or other flavorings added.

46. Wood- & Barrel-Aged Beers Under 8%
Low- and medium-strength beers with prominent wood/barrel character and no acidity should be entered here. Barrel-Aged beers with perceptible acidity should be entered in Mixed-Culture Beers or Fruited Mixed-Culture Beers regardless of ABV.

47. Strong Wood- & Barrel-Aged Beers
High-strength beer styles other than Stouts which feature wood/barrel character. May include beers with fruit, spices, or other flavorings added.

48. Experimental Beers
Beers which cannot comfortably be placed in another category should be placed here. Hybrids of two or more extant styles, Aged Beers, and other experimental ingredients or processes are appropriate. Barrel-aged Experimental Beers are acceptable.

LAGER STYLES

Malt-Forward Lagers

49. Light Lagers
Up to 4.5% ABV. Pale yellow or lighter in color.

Allowed:

  • American Light Lager
  • Contemporary American Light Lager
  • German Leichtbier
  • Tropical and International Light Lagers

50. American Lagers
4.6- 8.0% ABV. Pale yellow to gold. Low fruity esters acceptable due to adjunct usage. Lagers above 8% ABV should be entered in Category 48.

Allowed:

  • American Lager
  • Cream Ale
  • Malt Liquor
  • Mexican Lager

51. Pale European Lagers
4.1- 6.0% ABV, pale yellow to light amber in color. A small amount of haze is acceptable. Low fruity esters contribute to overall flavor depending on yeast age.

Allowed:

  • Czech Pale Lager
  • Helles
  • Festbier
  • Dortmunder/Export Lager
  • Kellerbier/Zwickelbier

52. Amber & Dark Lagers
4.1- 6.0% ABV, copper or darker in color. No chill haze in any style. All should present light malt sweetness, bready and toasted malt character.

Subcategories:

– 52A. Amber Lagers

Allowed:

    • American Amber Lager
    • Czech Amber Lager
    • Maerzen

<li”>Vienna Lager

– 52B. Dark Lagers

Allowed:

  • American Dark Lager
  • Czech Dark Lager
  • Dunkel
  • Schwarzbier

53. Bocks
Above 6.1% ABV, yellow or darker in color.

Allowed:

  • Heller Bock
  • Maibock
  • Traditional Bock
  • Doppelbock
  • Eisbock
Hop Forward Lagers

54. German Pilsner
4.1- 5.6% ABV, straw yellow to light yellow. No chill haze or DMS should be present. Dense, white head persists. Bready/biscuit-like aroma common, with moderate hop aroma and flavor due to late hop additions.

55. Czech Pilsner
4.1- 5.6% ABV, straw yellow to light gold. Low levels of sulfur and/or diacetyl are allowable. Moderate hop aroma and flavor due to late hop additions. Lightly sweet, biscuity aroma and flavor.

56. Hop-Forward Lagers
4.1- 7.0% ABV, straw yellow to gold. Lagers with low-medium hop character and above.

Allowed:

  • American Pilsner
  • Contemporary American Lager
  • Contemporary American Pilsner
  • India Pale Lager
  • International Pilsner
  • Italian Pilsner
  • West Coast Pilsner

FRESH HOP STYLES

57A. Fresh Hop Pale Ale
4.1- 6.5% ABV , copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is allowable. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Fresh Hop Hazy Pale Ale.

57B. Fresh Hop Hazy Pale Ale
4.1- 6.5% ABV, amber or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance.

57C. Fresh Hop IPA
6.6 – 8.0% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is acceptable. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Fresh Hop Hazy IPA.

57D. Fresh Hop Hazy IPA
6.6 – 8.0% ABV, amber or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance.

57E. Fresh Hop Imperial IPA
Over 8.0% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Beers should be clear though hop haze is acceptable. Detectable alcohol is acceptable, but should not distract from the (fresh) hop character. Hazy or juicy versions should be entered in Fresh Hop Hazy Imperial IPA.

57F. Fresh Hop Hazy Imperial IPA
Over 8.0% ABV, copper or lighter in color. Haziness may derive from any source or technique, though it should not detract from appearance. Detectable alcohol is acceptable, but should not distract from the (fresh) hop character.

57G. Fresh Hop Lagers
4.0 – 8.0% ABV. Lagers of any base style are acceptable.

57H. Fresh Hop Saisons or Sour Beers
4.0 – 8.0% ABV, pale yellow to amber. Low level Brettanomyces characteristics are acceptable but should not overpower the primary fermentation profile or fresh hop character.

57I. Fresh Hop Beer- Other Styles
Fresh hop beers from base styles not otherwise specified.

 

2024 Best of Craft Beer Awards Style Guidelines © Original Gravity Events