Brewers association

Brewers Association Releases 2018 Beer Style Guidelines

New categories include three styles of Juicy or Hazy Ales

Boulder, Colorado.March 20, 2018—The Brewers Association (BA)—the nonprofit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting small, independent craft brewers in the United States—released its 2018 Beer Style Guidelines today. each year by the BA, these guidelines serve as a model resource for brewers, beer judges and competition organizers, and celebrate the great diversity of beer around the world.

Hundreds of revisions, edits, format changes and additions have been made to this year’s guidelines, including updates to existing beer styles and the creation of new categories. Updates of note include:

  • Juicy or foggy beer styles: Adding this trio of styles includes representing what might be called New England IPAs or West Coast Hazy IPAs. Styles will be identified in Brewers Association guidelines and competitions as “Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale”, “Juicy or hazy IPA” and “Juicy or Hazy Double IPA.”
  • Contemporary American Pilsener: The addition of this new category responds to market expansion and provides space for session craft lagers with a higher hop aroma than found in pre-prohibition style beers.
  • Classic Australian-style Pale Ale and Australian Pale Ale: This division from one to two categories of Australian-style Pale Ale reflects the tremendous diversity of the Australian craft beer market and the authoritative contributions of the Technical Committee of the Independent Brewers Association. The classic Australian-style Pale Ale can be slightly darker and generally has a relatively weaker hop aroma. The Australian-Style Pale Ale category offers ample room for a range of slightly paler, more aromatic and flavorful beers, produced today by hundreds of breweries across Australia.
  • Gose and Contemporary Gose: Primarily technical adjustments have been made to create greater differentiation between these two categories.

The Brewers Association beer style guidelines reflect, as much as possible, historical significance, authenticity, or high visibility in today’s commercial beer market. Adding a style or modifying an existing style is not done lightly and is the result of research, analysis, consultation and consideration of the realities of the market, and can be spread over a certain period of time. Another factor considered is that current commercial examples do not always fit well into historical records and instead represent a modern take on the style.

To help inform the creation of the new Juicy and Hazy categories, a wide variety of beers believed to represent or approach this style were researched and tasted.

“What we found and verified was that there was a wide range of alcohol content for what was perceived by the public as a single style,” said Charlie Papazian, head of the BA Beer Style Guidelines since 1979, and Founder and Past President, Brewers Association. “After evaluating appearance, aroma, bitterness, hop characters, mouthfeel and overall balance, these beers gave a cohesive impression that helped frame the inaugural Brewers Association guidelines. for three styles of Juicy Hazy beers.”

“The Brewers Association’s Beer Style Guidelines, led by Charlie Papazian for over 30 years, are a trusted resource for the brewing industry worldwide,” said Chris Swersey, Head of Competition, Brewers Association. “The guidelines fostered a lexicon that enabled the drinking and brewing community to talk about beer and celebrate beer in diverse cultures, around the world.”

The 2018 Beer Style Guidelines can be downloaded from

Note: New styles will come into effect for the 2018 Great American Beer Festival® contest. Suggestions for adding or updating a beer style guideline can be submitted online at

Contact: Abby Cohen, on behalf of the Brewers Association, (646) 695-7044


About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the nonprofit trade association dedicated to America’s small, independent brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents more than 4,000 American breweries. The BA Independent Craft Brewer Seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers from small independent craft brewers. The BA organizes events including the Beer World Cup℠, Great American Oktoberfest®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOUR℠: an American craft beer and a gastronomic experience, Homebrew Con, National Homebrew Competition and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The new brewer® magazines, and Brewers’ Publications™ is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the United States. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the vibrant world of craft beer at and on homebrewing via BAs American Homebrew Association and free Brew Guru™ mobile app. follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, orientation or marital/family status. The BA complies with the provisions of Executive Order 11246 and relevant rules, regulations and orders of the Secretary of Labor.