Brewers Association Releases 2019 Beer Style Guidelines

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Brewers Association Releases 2019 Beer Style Guidelines

TheBrewers Association(BA) today released itsBeer Style Guidelinesfor 2019. Assessed and adjusted annually by the BA and a panel of global collaborators, these guidelines serve as a model resource for brewers, beer judges and competition organizers.

The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers—today released its 2019 Beer Style Guidelines. These guidelines serve as a resource for brewers, beer judges, and competition organizers including the Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup®, and are assessed and adjusted annually by the Brewers Association and a panel of global collaborators.

The 2019 version includes over 1,000 edits, revisions, formatting changes, and general housekeeping updates, as well as the addition, deletion and combination of several beer style guidelines made for brevity. Among the notable updates:

Style additions:

  • Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale
  • Contemporary Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic
  • Franconian-Style Rotbier
  • American-Style India Pale Lager
  • Style consolidations:
  • Pale and Dark American-Belgo-Style Ale styles consolidated into one guideline
  • Kellerbier or Zwickelbier Ale and Lager styles consolidated into one guideline
  • Breslau-Style Pale and Dark Schoeps styles consolidated into one guideline
  • American-Style Light and Dark Wheat Beer styles consolidated from four guidelines to one
  • Wood-and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber, Dark and Strong into one guideline
  • American-Style Ice Lager was removed as a category.

“As brewers continue to innovate and evolve styles, so must the criteria which reflect their passion and their beers in the U.S. and global marketplace,” said Chris Swersey, competition manager, Brewers Association.

“The annual audit of the Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines is a complex undertaking and a truly collaborative process allowing for robust dialogue and a great final product. We’re proud to put forth such an important resource for the global community of brewers, drinkers, and beer lovers.”

The 2019 Beer Style Guidelines will form the basis for the 2019 Great American Beer Festival and 2020 World Beer Cup competition guidelines. Several of the style consolidations reflected in the 2019 BA Beer Style Guidelines will be expanded into multiple categories at those competitions. Examples include the various American-Style Wheat beer styles, and the Wood and Barrel-Aged styles.

Since 1979, the Brewers Association has published beer style guidelines as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. The beer style guidelines are informed by the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses, and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts.

The 2019 Beer Style Guidelines are available for download at

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