Beer Maverick

German-Style Rye Ale

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Location: German
Category: Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the German-Style Rye Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the German-Style Rye Ale beer style.

Grist should include at least 30 percent rye malt. Versions with yeast are often roused during pouring. When yeast is present, the beer should have a yeasty flavor and a fuller mouthfeel.

  • Color: Pale to very dark, with darker versions ranging from dark amber to dark brown.
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: In darker versions, malt aromas and flavors can optionally include low roasted malt characters expressed as cocoa/chocolate or caramel, and/or aromatic toffee, caramel, or biscuit attributes. Malt sweetness can vary from low to medium. Low level of roast malt astringency is acceptable when balanced with low to medium malt sweetness.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Not present
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very low to low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium banana–like and/or other fruity ester aromas and flavors are typical. Clove-like and/or other phenolic aromas and flavors should also be present. No yeast aroma should be present in versions without yeast. Versions packaged and served without yeast will not have yeast flavor or full mouthfeel typical of beers with yeast. Versions with yeast will have low to medium yeast aroma and flavor and a full mouthfeel, but the yeast character should not overpower the balance of rye and barley malts, esters and phenolics.

Brewing Properties of German-Style Rye Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of German-Style Rye Ale beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.9 - 5.6%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
10 - 15 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
4 - 25 SRM
(8 - 49 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.047 - 1.056
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.008 - 1.016

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.