Beer Maverick

Beer Style Guidelines

The beer community has used styles to group beers of similar color, fragrance, flavor, bitterness or origin for years. By knowing the style of a beer, you can know what to expect when you enjoy it. Our guidelines are a mix of BJCP and Brewers Association styles so that you can get the best mix of both when trying to mimic a particular beer's style.

Use these beer style guidelines when homebrewing or reviewing a beer's appearance, aroma, taste, and feel. Click on any of the names below to see more detail and learn more.

StyleCategoryIBUSRMABVBody
Aged Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
American-Style Cream Ale All Hybrid 10 - 22 2 - 5 4.3% - 5.7% Low
American-Style Fruit Beer All Hybrid 5 - 70 5 - 50 2.5% - 12.0% Varies
American-Style Wheat Beer All Hybrid 10 - 35 2 - 10 3.5% - 5.6% Very low to medium
Belgian-Style Fruit Beer All Hybrid 5 - 70 5 - 50 2.5% - 12.0% Varies
Brett Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Low to high
California Common Beer All Hybrid 35 - 45 8 - 15 4.6% - 5.7% Medium
Chili Pepper Beer All Hybrid 5 - 70 5 - 50 2.5% - 13.3% Representative of underlying style
Chocolate or Cocoa Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Coffee Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Reflective of the underlying beer style
Experimental Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies May vary widely with ingredients used and brewing process
Experimental India Pale Ale All Hybrid 30 - 100 4 - 40 6.3% - 10.6% Very low to medium
Field Beer All Hybrid 5 - 70 5 - 50 2.5% - 13.3% Varies with underlying style
Fresh Hop Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Fruit Wheat Beer All Hybrid 10 - 35 2 - 10 2.5% - 12.0% Low to medium
Ginjo Beer or Sake-Yeast Beer All Hybrid 12 - 35 4 - 20 4.3% - 10.2% Varies depending on original gravity
Gluten-Free Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Herb and Spice Beer All Hybrid 5 - 40 5 - 50 2.5% - 12.0% Varies with underlying style
Historical Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Kellerbier or Zwickelbier All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies depending on underlying style
Mixed-Culture Brett Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Low to high
Non-Alcohol Malt Beverage All Hybrid Varies Varies <0.5% Varies with underlying style
Other Strong Ale or Lager All Hybrid Varies Varies 8% Varies with underlying style
Pumpkin Spice Beer All Hybrid 5 - 35 5 - 50 2.5% - 12.0% Varies with underlying style
Pumpkin/Squash Beer All Hybrid 5 - 35 5 - 50 2.5% - 12.0% Varies with underlying style
Rye Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Low to medium
Session Beer All Hybrid 10 - 35 2 3.5% - 5.0% Varies with underlying style
Session India Pale Ale All Hybrid 40 - 55 3 - 12 3.7% - 5.0% Low to medium
Smoke Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying beer style
Specialty Beer All Hybrid 1 - 100 1 - 100 2.5% - 25+% Varies with underlying style
Specialty Honey Beer All Hybrid 1 - 100 1 - 100 2.5% - 12.0% Varies with underlying style
Wild Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Very low to medium
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer All Hybrid Varies Varies Varies Varies with underlying style
Belgian-Style Blonde Ale Belgian and French Ale 15 - 30 4 - 7 6.3% - 7.9% Low to medium
Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale Belgian and French Ale 20 - 50 9 - 35 7.1% - 11.2% Medium to full
Belgian-Style Dubbel Belgian and French Ale 20 - 35 16 - 36 6.3% - 7.6% Low to medium
Belgian-Style Flanders Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ale Belgian and French Ale 5 - 18 12 - 25 4.8% - 6.6% Low to medium-low with a refreshing mouthfeel
Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic Belgian and French Ale 15 - 21 Varies 5.0% - 8.9% Dry to full
Belgian-Style Lambic Belgian and French Ale 9 - 23 6 - 13 5.0% - 8.2% Very low with dry mouthfeel
Belgian-Style Pale Ale Belgian and French Ale 20 - 30 6 - 12 4.1% - 6.3% Low to medium
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale Belgian and French Ale 20 - 50 3.5 - 10 7.1% - 11.2% Very low to medium
Belgian-Style Quadrupel Belgian and French Ale 25 - 50 16 - 36 9.1% - 14.2% Full with creamy mouthfeel
Belgian-Style Table Beer Belgian and French Ale 5 - 15 5 - 50 0.5% - 3.5% Low
Belgian-Style Tripel Belgian and French Ale 20 - 45 4 - 7 7.1% - 10.1% Medium
Belgian-Style Witbier Belgian and French Ale 10 - 17 2 - 4 4.8% - 5.6% Low to medium
Classic French & Belgian-Style Saison Belgian and French Ale 20 - 38 3 - 7 4.4% - 6.8% Very low to low
Contemporary Belgian-Style Spontaneous Fermented Ale Belgian and French Ale 11 - 23 6 - 40 5.0% - 8.9% Very low with dry mouthfeel
French-Style Bière de Garde Belgian and French Ale 20 - 30 7 - 16 4.4% - 8.0% Low to medium
Other Belgian-Style Ale Belgian and French Ale Varies Varies Varies Varies
Specialty Saison Belgian and French Ale 20 - 40 3 - 20 4.4% - 8.4% Low to medium
Traditional Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic Belgian and French Ale 11 - 23 6 - 13 5.0% - 8.9% Very low with dry mouthfeel
British-Style Barley Wine Ale British Ale 40 - 65 11 - 36 8.5% - 12.2% Full
British-Style Imperial Stout British Ale 45 - 65 20 - 35+ 7.0% - 12.0% Full
Brown Porter British Ale 20 - 30 20 - 35 4.4% - 6.0% Low to medium
Classic English-Style Pale Ale British Ale 20 - 40 5 - 12 4.4% - 5.3% Medium
English-Style Brown Ale British Ale 12 - 25 12 - 24 4.2% - 6.0% Medium
English-Style Dark Mild Ale British Ale 10 - 24 17 - 34 3.4% - 4.4% Medium-low to medium
English-Style India Pale Ale British Ale 35 - 63 6 - 14 4.5% - 7.1% Medium
English-Style Pale Mild Ale British Ale 10 - 20 6 - 9 3.4% - 4.4% Low to medium-low
English-Style Summer Ale British Ale 20 - 30 3 - 6 3.7% - 5.1% Low to medium-low
Extra Special Bitter British Ale 30 - 45 8 - 17 4.8% - 5.8% Medium
Oatmeal Stout British Ale 20 - 40 20 3.8% - 6.1% Full
Old Ale British Ale 30 - 65 12 - 30 6.3% - 9.1% Medium to full
Ordinary Bitter British Ale 20 - 35 5 - 12 3.0% - 4.2% Low to medium
Robust Porter British Ale 25 - 40 30 5.1% - 6.6% Medium to full
Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy British Ale 25 - 35 15 - 30 6.6% - 8.5% Full
Scottish-Style Export Ale British Ale 15 - 25 9 - 19 4.1% - 5.3% Medium
Scottish-Style Heavy Ale British Ale 12 - 20 8 - 30 3.5% - 4.1% Medium with a soft chewy character
Scottish-Style Light Ale British Ale 9 - 20 6 - 15 2.8% - 3.5% Low
Special Bitter or Best Bitter British Ale 28 - 40 6 - 14 4.2% - 4.8% Medium
Strong Ale British Ale 30 - 65 8 - 21 7.0% - 11.3% Medium to full
Sweet Stout or Cream Stout British Ale 15 - 25 40 3.2% - 6.3% Full
Bamberg-Style Bock Rauchbier European Lager 20 - 30 20 - 30 6.3% - 7.6% Medium to full
Bamberg-Style Helles Rauchbier European Lager 18 - 25 4 - 5.5 4.8% - 5.6% Medium
Bamberg-Style Maerzen Rauchbier European Lager 18 - 25 4 - 15 5.1% - 6.0% Full
Bohemian-Style Pilsener European Lager 30 - 45 3 - 6 4.1% - 5.1% Medium
Dortmunder/European-Style Export European Lager 23 - 29 3 - 6 5.1% - 6.1% Medium
European-Style Dark Lager European Lager 20 - 35 15 - 24 4.8% - 5.3% Low to medium-low
Franconian-Style Rotbier European Lager 20 - 28 13 - 23 4.8% - 5.6% Medium
German-Style Doppelbock European Lager 17 - 27 12 - 30 6.6% - 7.9% Full
German-Style Eisbock European Lager 26 - 33 15 - 50 8.6% - 14.3% Very full
German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock European Lager 20 - 38 4 - 9 6.3% - 8.1% Medium to full
German-Style Leichtbier European Lager 16 - 24 2 - 4 2.5% - 3.7% Very low
German-Style Maerzen European Lager 18 - 25 4 - 15 5.1% - 6.0% Medium
German-Style Oktoberfest/Wiesn European Lager 23 - 29 3 - 5 5.1% - 6.1% Medium
German-Style Pilsener European Lager 25 - 50 3 - 4 4.6% - 5.3% Low to medium-low
German-Style Schwarzbier European Lager 22 - 30 25 - 40 3.8% - 4.9% Low to medium-low
Munich-Style Dunkel European Lager 16 - 25 15 - 17 4.8% - 5.3% Low to medium-low
Munich-Style Helles European Lager 18 - 25 4 - 5.5 4.8% - 5.6% Medium
Traditional German-Style Bock European Lager 20 - 30 20 - 30 6.3% - 7.6% Medium to full
Vienna-Style Lager European Lager 22 - 28 10 - 18 4.8% - 5.4% Medium
Bamberg-Style Weiss Rauchbier German Ale 10 - 15 4 - 18 4.9% - 5.6% Medium to full
Berliner-Style Weisse German Ale 3 - 6 2 - 4 2.8% - 5.0% Very low
Contemporary-Style Gose German Ale 5 - 30 3 - 9 4.4% - 5.4% Low to medium-low
German-Style Altbier German Ale 25 - 52 11 - 19 4.6% - 5.6% Medium-low to medium
German-Style Koelsch German Ale 22 - 30 3 - 6 4.8% - 5.3% Low to medium-low
German-Style Leichtes Weizen German Ale 10 - 15 3.5 - 15 2.5% - 3.5% Low with a lighter mouthfeel than Hefeweizen
German-Style Rye Ale German Ale 10 - 15 4 - 25 4.9% - 5.6% Low to medium
Leipzig-Style Gose German Ale 5 - 15 2 - 7 4.4% - 5.4% Low to medium-low
South German-Style Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen German Ale 10 - 15 9 - 13 4.8% - 5.4% Medium to full
South German-Style Dunkel Weizen German Ale 10 - 15 10 - 25 4.8% - 5.4% Medium to full
South German-Style Hefeweizen German Ale 10 - 15 3 - 9 4.9% - 5.6% Medium to full
South German-Style Kristal Weizen German Ale 10 - 15 3 - 9 4.9% - 5.6% Medium to full
South German-Style Weizenbock German Ale 15 - 35 4.5 - 30 7.0% - 9.5% Medium to full
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout Irish Ale 30 - 40 40 4.1% - 5.3% Medium-light to medium
Export-Style Stout Irish Ale 30 - 60 40 5.6% - 8.0% Medium to full
Irish-Style Red Ale Irish Ale 20 - 28 11 - 18 4.0% - 4.8% Medium
American-Belgo-Style Ale North American Ale Varies Varies Varies Medium-low to medium
American-Style Amber/Red Ale North American Ale 25 - 45 11 - 18 4.4% - 6.1% Medium to medium-high
American-Style Barley Wine Ale North American Ale 60 - 100 11 - 18 8.5% - 12.2% Full
American-Style Black Ale North American Ale 40 - 70 35 6.3% - 7.6% Medium
American-Style Brown Ale North American Ale 30 - 45 15 - 26 4.2% - 6.3% Medium
American-Style Fruited Sour Ale North American Ale Varies Varies Varies Low to High
American-Style Imperial or Double India Pale Ale North American Ale 65 - 100 2 - 9 7.6% - 10.6% Medium to full
American-Style Imperial Porter North American Ale 35 - 50 40 7.0% - 12.0% Full
American-Style Imperial Stout North American Ale 50 - 80 40 7.0% - 12.0% Full
American-Style India Pale Ale North American Ale 50 - 70 6 - 12 6.3% - 7.5% Medium-low to medium
American-Style Pale Ale North American Ale 30 - 50 4 - 7 4.4% - 5.4% Medium
American-Style Sour Ale North American Ale Varies Varies Varies Low to high
American-Style Stout North American Ale 35 - 60 40 5.7% - 8.0% Medium to full
American-Style Strong Pale Ale North American Ale 40 - 50 4 - 14 5.6% - 7.0% Medium
American-Style Wheat Wine Ale North American Ale 45 - 85 5 8.5% - 12.2% Full
Double Hoppy Red Ale North American Ale 45 - 80 10 - 17 6.1% - 7.9% Medium to full
Golden or Blonde Ale North American Ale 15 - 25 3 - 7 4.1% - 5.1% Low to medium with a crisp finish
Imperial Red Ale North American Ale 55 - 85 10 - 17 8.0% - 10.6% Full
Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double India Pale Ale North American Ale 45 - 80 3 - 7 7.6% - 10.6% Medium to high
Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale North American Ale 30 - 50 3 - 7 6.3% - 7.5% Medium-low to medium-high
Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale North American Ale 5 - 30 3 - 7 4.4% - 5.4% Medium-low to medium-high
Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale North American Ale 20 - 40 3 - 7 5.6% - 7.0% Medium-low to medium-high
Smoke Porter North American Ale 20 - 40 20 5.1% - 8.9% Medium to full
American-Style Amber Lager North American Lager 18 - 30 6 - 14 4.8% - 5.4% Medium
American-Style Dark Lager North American Lager 14 - 24 14 - 25 4.1% - 5.6% low
American-Style India Pale Lager North American Lager 30 - 70 3 - 6 5.6% - 7.0% Medium-low to medium
American-Style Lager North American Lager 5 - 15 2 - 4 4.1% - 5.1% Low to medium-low body
American-Style Light Lager North American Lager 4 - 10 1.5 - 4 3.5% - 4.4% Low with dry mouthfeel
American-Style Maerzen/Oktoberfest North American Lager 20 - 30 4 - 15 5.1% - 6.0% Medium
American-Style Malt Liquor North American Lager 12 - 23 2 - 6 6.3% - 7.6% Low to medium-low
American-Style Pilsener North American Lager 25 - 40 3 - 6 4.9% - 6.0% Medium-low to medium
Contemporary American-Style Lager North American Lager 5 - 16 2 - 4 4.1% - 5.1% Low
Contemporary American-Style Light Lager North American Lager 4 - 15 1.5 - 12 3.5% - 4.4% Low to medium-low
Contemporary American-Style Pilsener North American Lager 25 - 40 3 - 6 4.9% - 6.0% Medium-low to medium
Adambier Other Ale 30 - 50 15 - 35 9.0% - 11.0% Medium to full
Australian-Style Pale Ale Other Ale 15 - 40 3 - 9 4.0% - 6.0% Low to medium-low with a dry finish
Breslau-Style Schoeps Other Ale 20 - 30 2 - 40+ 6.0% - 7.0% Full
Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale Other Ale 15 - 35 3 - 10 4.0% - 6.0% Low to medium with a dry finish
Dutch-Style Kuit, Kuyt or Koyt Other Ale 25 - 35 5 - 12.5 4.7% - 7.9% Low to medium
Finnish-Style Sahti Other Ale 3 - 16 4 - 12 7.0% - 8.5% Medium to full
Grodziskie Other Ale 15 - 25 3 - 6 2.7% - 3.7% Low to medium-low
International-Style Pale Ale Other Ale 20 - 42 5 - 12 4.4% - 6.6% Low to medium
Swedish-Style Gotlandsdricke Other Ale 15 - 25 4 - 12 5.5% - 6.5% Medium to full
Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager Other Lager 9 - 18 2 - 5 4.1% - 5.1% Low
Baltic-Style Porter Other Lager 35 - 40 20 7.6% - 9.3% Medium to full
International-Style Pilsener Other Lager 17 - 30 3 - 4 4.6% - 5.3% Low to medium

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