Beer Maverick

Strong Ale

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Location: British
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 17A - British Strong Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the Strong 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 Strong Ale beer style.

When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to split this category into subcategories which reflect strong and very strong versions.

  • Body: Medium to full
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium to high malt and caramel sweetness. Very low levels of roast malt may be present.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Not present to very low
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Rich, often sweet and complex fruity ester attributes can contribute to the profile of Strong Ales. Alcohol types can be varied and complex. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at very low levels.
  • Common Ingredients: Grists vary, often based on pale malt with caramel and specialty malts. Some darker examples suggest that dark malts (e.g., chocolate, black malt) may be appropriate, though sparingly so as to avoid an overly roasted character. Sugary adjuncts are common, as are starchy adjuncts (maize, flaked barley, wheat). Finishing hops are traditionally English.
  • Commercial Examples: Fuller’s 1845, Harvey’s Elizabethan Ale, J.W. Lees Manchester Star, Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome, Young's Winter Warmer

Brewing Properties of Strong Ale

The functional properties of brewing Strong Ale beers as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market.

ABV
The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
7.0 - 11.3%
Bitterness
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
30 - 65 IBUs
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 »
8 - 21 SRM
(16 - 41 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.
1.060 - 1.125
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.014 - 1.040

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.

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