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Specialty Beer Styles Guide

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Herb/Spice/Vegetable Beers: Examples:
As you would expect from the name, this category of beer encompasses beers that are made with herbs, spices, and/or vegetables. This category does not include beers that have herb or spice flavors that are the natural esters resulting from the brewing process. The herb, spice or vegetable must actually be added to the beer for this category. Common ingredients can include clove, nutmeg, pumpkin, ginger, peppers, cinnamon, and many others. This is a wide open category as the underlying beer style can vary as widely as the extra ingredients that are added. These beers are often seasonal. Alcohol, color, IBUs, carbonation, etc. will vary widely depending on the style of the base beer.
  • Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
  • Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • Anchor Our Special Ale
  • Bison Organic Honey Basil Ale
  • Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Ale
  • Rader Blonde
  • Bag & Kettle Potato Ale

  • Fruit Beers: Examples:
    Just as the name suggests, this category includes beers that have fruit added to them. It does not include beers that have fruit flavors derived from the brewing process such as grapefruit or citrus from hops, or esters from fermentation. Brewers may use fresh fruit, extract, or syrup. The goal of this style is to create a harmonious combination of fruit and a wide variety of underlying styles. The beer should not be overly fruity or artificial tasting. It should not taste like fruit juice. These beers are often seasonal. Alcohol, color, IBUs, carbonation, etc. will vary widely depending on the style of the base beer.
  • McMenamins Purple Haze
  • Bells Cherry Stout
  • Dogfish Head Aprihop
  • Buffalo Bills Orange Blossom Cream Ale
  • Hebrew Origin Pomegranate Ale
  • Kasteel Kriek (Rouge)
  • Sebago Bass Ackwards Blueberry Ale

  • Smoked Beers: Examples:
    This category encompasses beers that utilize smoked malts. These malts can be smoked with peat, Beechwood, Oak, Maple, Mesquite, and a wide variety of other woods. The flavor of the beer will vary widely depending on the product used, but can range from a woody to meaty (bacon) taste. The flavor of the beer will also vary widely depending on the base style of the beer. Commonly smoked beers include porters and a variety of lagers including German Rauchbiers. Rauchbiers are a style from Bamberg, Germany whereby Beechwood-smoked malt is used to make a Märzen-style amber lager. Excessive peat-smoked malt in smoked beers is generally undesirable due to its sharp, piercing phenolics and dirt-like earthiness. Alcohol, color, IBUs, carbonation, etc. will vary widely depending on the style of the base beer.
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen
  • Magic Hat Jinx
  • Alaskan Smoked Porter
  • Dieu du Ciel Revenante
  • Eisenbahn Rauchbier
  • Spezial Rauchbier Lager
  • Rogue Smoke

  • Gluten Free Beers: Examples:
    We are the only site to have this category, but felt that it was an important one to recognize. Celiac Disease is a lifelong autoimmune intestinal disorder in which damage to the mucosal surface of the small intestine is caused by an immunologically toxic reaction to the ingestion of gluten and interferes with the absorption of nutrients. Gluten is the common name for the offending proteins in specific cereal grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in all forms of wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. As a result, those with the disease cannot drink regular beer. New gluten-free forms of beer have made their way to the market and an increasing number of them are available. These beers come in a wide variety of styles. Most of them are brewed with sorghum or buckwheat.
  • Bards Tale Dragons Gold
  • Redbridge
  • Hambleton Toleration
  • Greens Endeavor
  • Lakefront New Grist Sorghum Beer
  • Bi-Aglut 76
  • Ramapo Valley Passover Honey Beer

  • Shandy/Radler: Examples:
    This category encompasses lagers that are mixed with fruit drinks or soda. In Germany and Austria, Radlers are a mixture of lager beer and lemonade. A Russ is a mixture of Hefeweizen and lemonade. In England, the beer and lemonade mixture is called a Shandy. There are other combinations, some involving other fruit drinks or soda that would belong in this category as well. The mixtures are usually 50% beer, 50% other drink resulting in a low alcohol beverage typically between 2.4% and 2.6% ABV. These drinks are often marketed toward bicyclists and other sports enthusiasts.
  • Royal Club Shandy
  • Leinenkugels Summer Shandy
  • Puntigamer Radler
  • Rieder Radler
  • Schloss Eggenberg Salzkammergut-Radler
  • Wurmhoringer Romerweg Radler
  • Zwettler Radler

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