So your friend leans over a cold beer and says, “It’s got subtle yet harmonious fruit flavor, not hoppy in character, slightly hazy in appearance, and has an acidic taste to it,” this is most likely because they’ve been reading the 2012 Beer Style Guidelines, recently released by the Brewers Association. This guide, which is updated annually, describes 140 styles of beer and uses comments and suggestions from Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup judges, as well as other beer industry members, to make pertinent revisions to the guidelines.
For over 30 years, the BA has been providing a reference for brewers and beer competition organizers. The guide draws from sources such as: commercial brewing industry, beer analyses, and consultations with beer industry experts or knowledgeable beer enthusiasts. Much of its early work was based on the contributions of beer journalist Michael Jackson.
A guideline recently added this year to the Indigenous Beer Category, specifies the beer must contain “at least one regional combination of ingredients and/or techniques must be unique and differentiated from ingredients and/or techniques commonly used by brewers throughout the world.”
“These guidelines help to illustrate the growth of craft brewers in the United States and also offer insight and a foundation for helping appreciate the hundreds of beer types brewed for the beer lover,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association.
You can find the 2012 Beer Style Guidelines here.