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Beer Styles

Lagers and Ales... what else is there to know eh? PLENTY.

Beer afficianados break down the two basic types of beer into one hundred and seventeen (yes, 117!) different styles of beer... all with their own sub-styles to boot. And you thought all there was to knowing beer was what to tell the bar-keep you wanted...

Here, we will give you a condensed version of the Beer Style Guide... no worries - if you're expecting a test, its not here - you need to go to for that.

Our information is condensed from the 2006 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines that is used by Brewers for determination of wether their brew meets industry guidelines. This guideline is also used in competition judging, though the BJCP rules are predominant at BJCP sanctioned tastings. Click on one of the following links to see the developmental/judging criteria of the Brew Style.


British Origin

Classic English-Style Pale Ale
English-Style India Pale Ale
Ordinary Bitter
Special Bitter or Best Bitter
Extra Special Bitter or Strong Bitter
English Summer Ale
Scottish-Style Light Ale
Scottish-Style Heavy Ale
Scottish-Style Export Ale
English-Style Pale Mild Ale
English-Style Dark Mild Ale
English-Style Brown Ale
Old Ale
Strong Ale
Strong Scotch Ale
Imperial Stout
Other Strong Ales or Lagers
Other Low Strength Ales or Lagers
English-Style Barley Wine Ale
Robust Porter
Brown Porter
Sweet Stout
Oatmeal Stout

Irish Origin

Irish-Style Red Ale
Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Foreign (Export)-Style Stout

North American Origin

American-Style Pale Ale
American-Style Strong Pale Ale
American-Style India Pale Ale
Imperial or Double India Pale Ale
American-Style Amber/Red Ale
Imperial or Double Red Ale
American-Style Barley Wine Ale
Golden or Blonde Ale
American-Style Brown Ale
American-Style Stout
Specialty Stouts

German Origin

German-Style Kölsch/Köln-Style Kölsch
German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier
Berliner-Style Weisse (Wheat)
South German-Style Hefeweizen/Hefeweissbier
South German-Style Kristal Weizen/Kristal Weissbier
German-Style Leichtes Weizen/Weissbier
South German-Style Bernsteinfarbenes Weizen/Weissbier
South German-Style Dunkel Weizen/Dunkel Weissbier
South German-Style Weizenbock/Weissbock
Kellerbier (Cellar beer) or Zwickelbier

Belgian and French Origin

Belgian-Style Flanders/Oud Bruin or Oud Red Ales
Belgian-Style Dubbel
Belgian-Style Tripel
Belgian-Style Pale Ale
Belgian-Style Pale Strong Ale
Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale
Belgian-Style White (or Wit)/Belgian-Style Wheat
Belgian-Style Lambic
Belgian-Style Gueuze Lambic
Belgian-Style Fruit Lambic
Belgian-Style Table Beer
Other Belgian-Style Ales
French-Style Bière de Garde
French & Belgian-Style Saison


European-Germanic Origin

German-Style Pilsener
Bohemian-Style Pilsener
European-Style Pilsener
European Low-Alcohol Lager/German Leicht(bier)
Münchner-Style Helles
Dortmunder/European-Style Export
Vienna-Style Lager
German-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest
European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel
German-Style Schwarzbier
Bamberg-Style (Smoke) Rauchbier Lager
Traditional German-Style Bock
German-Style Heller Bock/Maibock
German-Style Strong Doppelbock
German-Style Strong Eisbock

North American Origin

American Lager
American-Style Light (low calorie) Lager
American-Style Low-Carbohydrate Light Lager
American-Style Amber (low calorie) Lager
American-Style Premium Lager
American-Style Pilsener
Dry Lager
American Ice Lager
American Malt Liquor
American-Style Amber Lager
American-Style Märzen/Oktoberfest
American Dark Lager

Other Origin

Baltic Porter
Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager
Dry Beer (Japanese)


Other Origin

American Cream Ale or Lager
California Common Beer
Japanese Sake-Yeast Beer
Light American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast
Light American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast
Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager with Yeast
Dark American Wheat Ale or Lager without Yeast
American Rye Ale or Lager with or without Yeast
German-Style Rye Ale (Roggenbier) with or without Yeast
Fruit Beers
Flavored Malt-Fermented Beverages
Vegetable Beers
Chocolate/Cocoa-Flavored Beers
Coffee-Flavored Beers
Herb and Spice Beers
Specialty Beers
Specialty Honey Lagers or Ales
Gluten-free Beers
Smoke-Flavored Beer (Lager or Ale)
Experimental Beer (Lager or Ale)
Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer
Aged Beer (Ale or Lager)
Non-Alcoholic (Beer) Malt Beverages
Alcohol-Free Malt Tonic