When you can’t quite remember the technical differences among Old, Strong, and Heavy Ales, you need the Beer Style Guidelines published by the Brewers Association.
The recently updated guidelines describe 140 styles of beer and are used in prestigious beer competitions, such as the Great American Beer Festival® and the World Beer Cup®. It is the most authoritative source for descriptions of beer styles the way they are made today.
Restaurateurs will find the guidelines useful when planning or updating a beer menu. Its categories and sub-groupings are helpful when deciding how to organize and stratify a restaurant beer list. Its style definitions are useful in deciding what to emphasize in a beer’s description on the beer list. Just reading through the details of the 140 styles will undoubtedly give beer ideas to even the most experienced food and beverage managers.
One new beer style added this year was Indigenous Beer. Beers in this category must contain “at least one regional combination of ingredients and/or techniques must be unique and differentiated from ingredients and/or techniques commonly used by brewers throughout the world. Commercial examples of indigenous beers might include current day versions of highly regional and/or historic styles which are not represented elsewhere in these guidelines, such as Finnish-style sahti, South American chicha, African sorghum based beers, and others.”
“These guidelines help to illustrate the growth of craft brewers in the United States and also offer insight and a foundation for helping appreciate the hundreds of beer types brewed for the beer lover,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association.
For more information on Organizing a Beer List by Style, follow this link to Craft Beer Restaurant Times.