Hybrid Beer Style Glossary

ALE | LAGER | HYBRID

Flavored Malt Beverage - These are malt-fermented beverages that are enhanced with a variety of flavors, either natural or artificial. A minimum 51% of the fermentable carbohydrates must be derived from malted grains, furthermore the alcohol in these products must be 100% derived from the natural fermentation of the product. No distilled spirits in any form whatsoever are added to these products. Many of these beverages do not have any perceived hop character (and are most often made without hops). They are evaluated and assessed by their drinkability and balance of flavors. They most often do not have any beer-type character whatsoever.

Non-Alcoholic (Beer) Malt Beverages - Non-alcoholic (NA) malt beverages should emulate the character of a previously listed category/subcategory designation but without the alcohol (less than 0.5 percent). Non-alcoholic (beer) malt beverages will inherently have a profile lacking the complexity and balance of flavors which can be attributed to alcohol.

American-Style Cream Ale or Lager - A mild, pale, light-bodied ale, made using a warm fermentation (top or bottom) and cold lagering. Hop bitterness and flavor range from very low to low. Hop aroma is often absent. Sometimes referred to as cream ales, these beers are crisp and refreshing.

California Common Beer (Steam Beer) - California Common Beer is light amber to dark amber in color. They are medium bodied. There is a noticeable degree of caramel-type malt character in flavor and often in aroma. Hop bitterness impression is medium to medium high are balanced with a low to medium-low degree of fruity esters and malt character and give an impression of balance and drinkability. Hop flavor and aroma is low to medium-low. California Common Beer is a style of beer brewed with lager yeasts but at ale fermentation temperatures.

Japanese Sake-Yeast Beer - A beer brewed with Sake yeast or Sake (koji) enzymes. Color depends on malts used. The unique flavor and aroma of the byproducts of sake yeast and/or koji enzymes should be distinctive and harmonize with the other malt and hop characters. Sake character may best be described as having mild fruitiness and a gentle and mild yeast extract-Vitamin B character. Hop bitterness, flavor and aroma should be low to medium and should harmonize with sake-like characters. High carbonation should be evident and a higher amount of alcohol may be evident.

Light American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It can be brewed with 30 to 75 percent wheat malt, and hop rates may be low to
medium. Hop characters may be light to moderate in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Color is usually straw to light amber, and the body should be light to medium in character. Yeast flavor and aroma should be low to medium but not overpowering the balance and character of malt and hops.

Light American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It can be brewed with 30 to 75 percent wheat malt, and hop rates may be low to
medium. Hop characters may be light to moderate in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Color is usually a clear golden to light amber, and the body should be light to medium in character. Because this style is packaged and served without yeast, no yeast characters should be evident in mouthfeel, flavor, or aroma.

Light American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It can be brewed with 30 to 75 percent wheat malt, and hop rates may be low to
medium. Hop characters may be light to moderate in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Color is usually a clear golden to light amber, and the body should be light to medium in character.

Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It can be brewed with 30 to 75 percent malt wheat, and hop rates may be low to medium. Fruity-estery aroma and flavor are typical but at low levels; however, phenolic, clove-like characteristics should not be perceived. Color is dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Yeast flavor and aroma should be low to medium but not overpowering the balance and character of malt and hops.

Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It can be brewed with 30 to 75 percent malt wheat, and hop rates may be low to medium. Fruity-estery aroma and flavor are typical but at low levels; however, phenolic, clove-like characteristics should not be perceived. Color is dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character. Yeast flavor and aroma should be low to medium but not overpowering the balance and character of malt and hops.Because this style is packaged and served without yeast, no yeast characters should be evident in mouthfeel, flavor, or aroma.

American Rye Ale or Lager with or without Yeast - This beer can be made using either ale or lager yeast. It should be brewed with at least 20 percent rye malt, and hop rates may be low to
medium. Color is straw to amber, and the body should be light to medium in character.

German-Style Rye Ale (Roggenbier) with or without Yeast - This beer can be made using phenol producing ale yeast. It should be brewed with at least 30 percent rye malt, and hop rates will be low. Color is straw to dark amber, and the body should be light to medium in character. Darker versions of this style will be dark amber to dark brown, and the body should be light to medium in character.

Fruit Beers - Fruit beers are any beers using fruit or fruit extracts as an adjunct in either, the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation; providing obvious (ranging from subtle to intense), yet harmonious, fruit qualities.

Garden Beer - Garden beers are any beers using vegetables as an adjunct in either the mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation, providing obvious, yet harmonious, qualities. Vegetable qualities should not be overpowered by hop character.

Pumpkin Beer - Pumpkin beers are any beers using pumpkins as an adjunct in either mash, kettle, primary or secondary fermentation, providing obvious , yet harmonious, qualities.

Chocolate/Cocoa-Flavored Beer - Chocolate beers use “dark” chocolate or cocoa in any of its forms other than or in addition to hops to create a distinct character.

Coffee-Flavored Beer - Coffee beers use coffee in any of its forms other than or in addition to hops to create a distinct character.

Herb and Spice Beer - Herb beers use herbs or spices (derived from roots, seeds, fruits, vegetable, flowers, etc.) other than or in addition to hops to create a distinct character, though individual characters of herbs and/or spices used may not always be identifiable.

Specialty Honey Lager or Ale - These beers are brewed using honey in addition to malted barley. Beers may be brewed to a traditional style or may be experimental. Character of honey should be evident in flavor and aroma and balanced with the other components without overpowering.

Gluten-Free Beer - A beer (lager, ale or other) that is made from fermentable sugars, grains and converted carbohydrates. Ingredients do not contain gluten, in other words zero gluten (No barley, wheat, spelt, oats, rye, etc).

Smoke-Flavored Beer (Lager or Ale) - Any style of beer can be smoked; the goal is to reach a balance between the style's character and the smoky properties.

Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer - A wood- or barrel-aged beer is any lager, ale or hybrid beer, either a traditional style or a unique experimental beer that has been aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. This beer is aged with the intention of imparting the particularly unique character of the wood and/or what has previously been in the barrel.

Alcohol-Free Malt Tonic - Commonly called "Malta" or "Malt Tonic" in Latin America and in some African nations, this beverage is essentially unfermented dark wort sometimes brewed from all malt though more commonly with malt and grain or sugar adjuncts. It is very sweet and full bodied with mild hop bitterness. It typically has a “worty” (unfermented beer) flavor. Additional flavoring such as chocolate, caramel and vanilla are often added. The overall character is distinctively sweet. This beverage does not go through any type of fermentation.

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  * Descriptions from the 2007 Brewers Association Beer Style Guide