Brewers Association Releases 2015 Style Guidelines


Boulder, CO—The Brewers Association (BA), the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers, released its annual 2015 Beer Style Guidelines. Put together yearly by the Brewers Association, these guidelines serve as a reference tool for beer experts and judges, highlighting various beer styles.

Over 600 total changes were made to this year’s version, ranging from minor tweaks of style parameters and revision of several category names, all the way to addition and deletion of beer style category guidelines, including:

  • Category Additions: Added Session India Pale Ale, Contemporary Gose, Chili Pepper Beer and Mixed Culture Brett Beer categories.
  • Category Revisions: Significantly revised German-Style Rye Ale, Fruit Wheat Beer, Belgian-Style Fruit Beer, Brett Beer and International-Style Pale Ale categories.
  • Category Deletions: Deleted Indigenous Beer category.

“The Brewers Association’s beer style guidelines serve to showcase and structure the plethora of styles in today’s advancing beer world,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association. “While the basic tenets of beer remain the same, the evolution and innovation in specific styles is remarkable. The guidelines recognize both traditional styles and new types of beers brewed by today’s creative brewers.”

Since 1979 the Brewers Association has provided beer style descriptions as a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. Much of the early work was based on the assistance and contributions of beer journalist Michael Jackson. The task of creating a realistic set of guidelines is always complex. The beer style guidelines use sources from the commercial brewing industry, beer analyses, and consultations with beer industry experts and knowledgeable beer enthusiasts as resources for information.

The 2015 beer style guidelines are available for download at

About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America®SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience,AHA National Homebrewers Conference, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.


Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at and about homebrewing via the BA’s American Homebrewers Association. Follow us on Twitter.


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