Brewers Association Releases 2018 Beer Style Guidelines


BOULDERS, Colo. — The Brewers Association has released its Beer Style Guidelines for 2018 that include three new styles of juicy or hazy ales.

Reviewed and revised annually by the BA, the guidelines serve as a model resource for brewers, beer judges and competition organizers. Hundreds of revisions, edits, format changes and additions were made to this year’s guidelines, including updates to existing beer styles and the creation of new categories

The new styles will take effect for the 2018 Great American Beer Festival competition.

The addition of a trio of styles in the Juicy or Hazy Ales category include representation of what may be referred to as New England IPAs or West Coast Hazy IPAs. The styles will be identified in the guidelines and Brewers Association competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale,” “Juicy or Hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”

To help inform the creation of the new Juicy and Hazy categories, a wide variety of beers that were thought to represent or approach this style were sought and tasted.

“What we discovered and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was being perceived in the public as just one style,” said Charlie Papazian, Brewers Association founder and past president. “After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance, these beers gave a consistent impression that helped frame the Brewers Association’s inaugural guidelines for three styles of Juicy Hazy ales.”

Other updates of note included:

  • Contemporary American-Style Pilsener: The addition of this new category addresses marketplace expansion and provides space for sessionable craft brew lager beers with higher hop aroma than found in pre-Prohibition style beers.
  • Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale and Australian-Style Pale Ale: This split from one to two Australian-Style Pale Ale categories reflects tremendous diversity in the Australian craft beer market and authoritative input from the technical committee of the Independent Brewers Association. Classic Australian-Style Pale Ale can run slightly darker and typically exhibits relatively lower hop aroma. The Australian-Style Pale Ale category provides ample room for a range of somewhat paler, more hop aroma- and flavor-forward beers being produced today by hundreds of breweries in Australia.
  • Gose and Contemporary Gose: Predominantly technical tweaks were made to create more differentiation between these two categories.

The 2018 Beer Style Guidelines are available for download at