The Brewers Association has released its 2019 Beer Style Guidelines, and there are a number of significant changes to the list.
Released annually since 1979, the guide serves as a resource for brewers, beer judges and competition organizers for both the Great American Beer Festival as well as the World Beer Cup and are “assessed and adjusted annually by the Brewers Association and a panel of global collaborators.” According to a press release on the Brewers Association’s website, the 2019 incarnation includes more than 1,000 edits, revisions and formatting changes, as well as the addition, deletion and combination of several beer styles.
First, the association added four new beer styles:
- Juicy or hazy strong pale ale
- Contemporary Belgian-style gueuze lambic
- Franconian-style rotbier
- American-style India pale lager
In addition, there were five different examples of styles that were combined:
- Pale and dark American-Belgo-style ale styles were consolidated into one guideline
- Kellerbier/Zwickelbier ales and lager styles were consolidated into one guideline
- Breslau-style pale and dark schoeps styles were consolidated into one guideline
- American-style light and dark wheat beer styles were consolidated from four guidelines to one
- Wood-and barrel-aged pale to Amber, dark and strong were consolidated into one guideline
Finally, one style was removed entirely from the guideline, namely American-style ice lager.
“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 for the Brewers Association, in a press release. “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 Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers.