Beer Maverick

Smoke Beer

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Category: Hybrid
BJCP Comparable Category: 32A - Classic Smoked Beer

Style Description

This is the description of how the Smoke Beer 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 Smoke Beer beer style.

Any style of beer can be smoked. The goal is to reach a balance between the style’s character and the smoky properties. Any smoke beer that does not fit other smoke beer categories are appropriately categorized here. When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include the underlying beer style(s), or other information unique to the entry such as type of wood smoke or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes.

  • Color: Any beer of any style incorporating smoke, and therefore may range from very light to black
  • Body: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Varies with underlying beer style
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Varies with underlying beer style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: For Smoke Beers based on lager styles, any phenolic notes (if present) should be derived from smoke; in such lagers yeast-derived phenolics should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Different materials used to smoke malt result in unique flavor and aroma characteristics. Beechwood, or other hardwood (oak, maple, mesquite, alder, pecan, apple, cherry, other fruitwoods) smoked malts may be used. The various woods may remind one of certain smoked products due to their food association (e.g., hickory with ribs, maple with bacon or sausage, and alder with salmon). Evergreen wood should never be used since it adds a medicinal, piney flavor to the malt. Noticeable peat-smoked malt is universally undesirable due to its sharp, piercing phenolics and dirt-like earthiness. The remaining ingredients vary with the base style. If smoked malts are combined with other unusual ingredients (fruits, vegetables, spices, honey, etc.) in noticeable quantities, the resulting beer should be entered in the Specialty Smoked Beer.
  • Commercial Examples: Alaskan Smoked Porter, Schlenkerla Weizen Rauchbier, Schlenkerla Ur-Bock Rauchbier, Spezial Bockbier, Spezial Lagerbier, Spezial Weissbie

Brewing Properties of Smoke Beer

These are the functional brewing properties of Smoke Beer 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.

ABV
The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
Bitterness
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
SRM
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 »

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