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23. SPECIALTY BEER

This is explicitly a catch-all category for any beer that does not fit into an existing style category. No beer is ever “out of style” in this category, unless it fits elsewhere.

The category is intended for any type of beer, including the following techniques or ingredients:

  • Unusual techniques (e.g., steinbier, ice/eis beers)
  • Unusual fermentables (e.g., maple syrup, honey, molasses, sorghum)
  • Unusual adjuncts (e.g., oats, rye, buckwheat, potatoes)
  • Combinations of other style categories (e.g., India Brown Ale, fruit-and-spice beers, smoked spiced beers)
  • Out-of-style variations of existing styles (e.g., low alcohol versions of other styles, extra-hoppy beers, “imperial” strength beers)
  • Historical, traditional or indigenous beers (e.g., Louvain Peetermann, Sahti, vatted Porter with Brettanomyces, Colonial Spruce or Juniper beers, Kvass, Grätzer)
  • American-style interpretations of European styles (e.g., hoppier, stronger, or ale versions of lagers) or other variants of traditional styles
  • Clones of specific commercial beers that aren’t good representations of existing styles
  • Any experimental beer that a brewer creates, including any beer that simply does not evaluate well against existing style definitions

This category can also be used as an “incubator” for any minor world beer style (other than Belgians) for which there is currently no BJCP category. If sufficient interest exists, some of these minor styles might be promoted to full styles in the future. Some styles that fall into this grouping include:

  • Honey Beers (not Braggots)
  • Wiess (cloudy, young Kölsch)
  • Sticke Altbier
  • Münster Altbier
  • Imperial Porter
  • Classic American Cream Ale
  • Czech Dark Lager
  • English Pale Mild
  • Scottish 90/-
  • American Stock Ale
  • English Strong Ale
  • Non-alcoholic “Beer”
  • Kellerbier
  • Malt Liquor
  • Australian Sparkling Ale
  • Imperial/Double Red Ale
  • Imperial/Double Brown Ale
  • Rye IPA
  • Dark American Wheat/Rye