Brewers Association Releases 2014 Beer Style Guidelines

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Boulder, CO • May 1, 2014—The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers, released its annual 2014 Beer Style Guidelines. These guidelines, put together annually by the Brewers Association, serve as a reference tool for beer experts and enthusiasts, highlighting various beer styles.

The 2014 version of the beer style guidelines represents the largest revision and reorganization to date. The guidelines were rewritten to follow a standard format of appearance, aroma, flavor and body, following the sensory experience. Guidelines were also rearranged within larger groups roughly in order of increasing original gravity and alcohol content, with some exceptions. Additionally, style origins were clarified and several new guidelines were added, while some underwent significant revision.

New styles added to this year’s list include Australian-Style Pale Ale, Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, Dutch-Style Kuit, Historical Beer and Wild Beer. Significant revisions include the removal of Australasian-Style Pale Ale, folding Asian-Style Pale Ale into International-Style Pale Ale, American-Style Fruit Beer, Herb and Spice Beer, and Indigenous/Regional Beer.

“These guidelines are compiled every year to help bring awareness to the different styles and to portray the ever advancing differences between beers. Creativity and ingenuity of craft brewers continues to be a force in the evolution of beer.” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association. “As craft continues to see tremendous growth, it is important to provide guidelines to help differentiate and describe the various categories of beer.”

Since 1979 the Brewers Association has provided beer style descriptions as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. Much of the early work was based on the assistance and contributions of beer journalist Michael Jackson. The task of creating a realistic set of guidelines is always complex. The beer style guidelines use sources from the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses, and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts as resources for information. 

The 2014 beer style guidelines are available for download.

Contact: Abby Berman (on behalf of the Brewers Association), (646) 695-7044


About the Brewers Association
The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®, SAVOR?: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.