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 Beer Style Guidelines for 2018. Reviewed and revised annually by the BA, these guidelines serve as a model resource for brewers, beer judges and competition organizers, and celebrate the great diversity of beer around the world.
Most notably to change in the 2018 edition is the addition of the “Juicy or Hazy Ale Styles,” which brewers and craft beer fans alike have been clamoring for since the meteoric rise in popularity of that hopped-up style in recent years. And yes, the Hazy IPA will be a category along with other new styles in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition.
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, which include:
The Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines reflect, as much as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market. The addition of a style or the modification of an existing one is not undertaken lightly and is the product of research, analysis, consultation and consideration of market actualities, and may take place over a period of time. Another factor considered is that current commercial examples do not always fit well into the historical record, and instead represent a modern version of the style.
To help inform the creation of the new Juicy and Hazy categories, a wide variety of beers that were thought to represent or approach this style were sought and tasted.
“What we discovered and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was being perceived in the public as just one style,” said Charlie Papazian, chief of the BA Beer Style Guidelines since 1979, and founder and past president, Brewers Association. “After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance these beers gave a consistent impression that helped frame the Brewers Association’s inaugural guidelines for three styles of Juicy Hazy ales.”
The 2018 Beer Style Guidelines are available for download here.
The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 4,000-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the World Beer CupSM, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® magazine, and Brewers Publications™ is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S.