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Flashcards in Beer styles - Overall impression Deck (100):

A smooth clean pale German lager with a moderately strong malty flavor and a light hop character. Deftly balances strength and drinkability with a palate impression and finish that encourages drinking. Showcases elegant German malt flavors without becoming too heavy or filling.

04B: Festbier


An ale of moderate to fairly significant alcoholic strength bigger than standard beers though usually not as strong or rich as barleywine. Often tilted towards a maltier balance. “It should be a warming beer of the type that is best drunk in half pints by a warm fire on a cold winter’s night” – Michael Jackson.

17B: Old Ale


A lighter-bodied rich refreshing hoppy bitter pale Czech lager having the familiar flavors of the stronger Czech Premium Pale Lager (Pilsner-type) beer but in a lower alcohol lighter-bodied and slightly less intense format.

03A: Czech Pale Lager


A moderately malty somewhat fruity easy-drinking copper-colored Belgian ale that is somewhat less aggressive in flavor profile than many other Belgian beers. The malt character tends to be a bit biscuity with light toasty honey-like or caramelly components; the fruit character is noticeable and complementary to the malt. The bitterness level is generally moderate but may not seem as high due to the flavorful malt profile.

24B: Belgian Pale Ale


A fuller-bodied black beer with a pronounced roasted flavor often similar to coffee and dark chocolate with some malty complexity. The balance can range from moderately bittersweet to bitter with the more balanced versions having up to moderate malty richness and the bitter versions being quite dry.

15C: Irish Extra Stout


A very dark sweet full-bodied slightly roasty ale that can suggest coffee-and-cream or sweetened espresso.

16A: Sweet Stout


A lightly fruity beer with firm grainy maltiness interesting toasty and caramel flavors and showcasing rustic traditional American hop characteristics.

19B: California Common


A hoppy moderately-strong very well-attenuated pale British ale with a dry finish and a hoppy aroma and flavor. Classic British ingredients provide the best flavor profile.

12C: English IPA


A young fresh Helles so while still a malty fully-attenuated Pils malt showcase the hop character (aroma flavor and bitterness) is more pronounced and the beer is cloudy often with some level of diacetyl and possibly has some green apple and/or other yeast-derived notes. As with the traditional Helles the Keller version is still a beer intended to be drunk by the liter so overall it should remain a light refreshing easy drinking golden lager.

07C: Pale Kellerbier


A well-attenuated malty amber lager with an interesting caramel or toast quality and restrained bitterness. Usually fairly well-attenuated often with an adjunct quality. Smooth easily-drinkable lager character.

02B: International Amber Lager


A complex fruity pleasantly sour wild wheat ale fermented by a variety of Belgian microbiota and showcasing the fruit contributions blended with the wild character. The type of fruit can sometimes be hard to identify as fermented and aged fruit characteristics can seem different from the more recognizable fresh fruit aromas and flavors.

23F: Fruit Lambic


A dark strong malty German lager beer that emphasizes the malty-rich and somewhat toasty qualities of continental malts without being sweet in the finish.

06C: Dunkles Bock


A sweet heavy strong traditional Finnish beer with a rye juniper and juniper berry flavor and a strong banana-clove yeast character.

27A: Sahti


Low gravity low alcohol levels and low carbonation make this an easy-drinking session beer. The malt profile can vary in flavor and intensity but should never override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style

11A: Ordinary Bitter


A strong malty fruity wheat-based ale combining the best malt and yeast flavors of a weissbier (pale or dark) with the malty-rich flavor strength and body of a Dunkles Bock or Doppelbock.

10C: Weizenbock


A rich dark malty Czech lager with a roast character that can vary from almost absent to quite prominent. Malty with an interesting and complex flavor profile with variable levels of hopping providing a range of possible interpretations.

03D: Czech Dark Lager


An elegant malty German amber lager with a clean rich toasty and bready malt flavor restrained bitterness and a dry finish that encourages another drink. The overall malt impression is soft elegant and complex with a rich aftertaste that is never cloying or heavy.

06A: Märzen


A sour fruity red wine-like Belgian-style ale with interesting supportive malt flavors and fruit complexity. The dry finish and tannin completes the mental image of a fine red wine.

23B: Flanders Red Ale


A moderate-strength amber lager with a soft smooth maltiness and moderate bitterness yet finishing relatively dry. The malt flavor is clean bready-rich and somewhat toasty with an elegant impression derived from quality base malts and process not specialty malts and adjuncts.

07A: Vienna Lager


An average-strength to moderately-strong British bitter ale. The balance may be fairly even between malt and hops to somewhat bitter. Drinkability is a critical component of the style. A rather broad style that allows for considerable interpretation by the brewer.

11C: Strong Bitter


A fairly sour often moderately funky wild Belgian wheat beer with sourness taking the place of hop bitterness in the balance. Traditionally spontaneously fermented in the Brussels area and served uncarbonated the refreshing acidity makes for a very pleasant café drink.

23D: Lambic


A very pale highly-carbonated light-bodied well-attenuated lager with a very neutral flavor profile and low bitterness. Served very cold it can be a very refreshing and thirst quenching drink.

01B: American Lager


A very dark sweet fruity moderately strong ale with smooth roasty flavors without a burnt harshness.

16C: Tropical Stout


A substantial malty dark beer with a complex and flavorful dark malt character.

20A: American Porter


An intensely hoppy fairly strong pale ale without the big rich complex maltiness and residual sweetness and body of an American barleywine. Strongly hopped but clean dry and lacking harshness. Drinkability is an important characteristic; this should not be a heavy sipping beer.

22A: Double IPA


A pale refreshing and hoppy ale yet with sufficient supporting malt to make the beer balanced and drinkable. The clean hop presence can reflect classic or modern American or New World hop varieties with a wide range of characteristics. An average-strength hop-forward pale American craft beer generally balanced to be more accessible than modern American IPAs.

18B: American Pale Ale


A darker and somewhat sweeter version of international pale lager with a little more body and flavor but equally restrained in bitterness. The low bitterness leaves the malt as the primary flavor element and the low hop levels provide very little in the way of balance.

02C: International Dark Lager


A well-hopped American interpretation of the richest and strongest of the English ales. The hop character should be evident throughout but does not have to be unbalanced. The alcohol strength and hop bitterness often combine to leave a very long finish.

22C: American Barleywine


A flavorful yet refreshing session beer. Some examples can be more malt balanced but this should not override the overall bitter impression. Drinkability is a critical component of the style.

11B: Best Bitter


A refreshing elegant tasty moderate-strength wheat-based ale.

24A: Witbier


A clean well-attenuated flavorful American “lawnmower” beer. Easily drinkable and refreshing with more character than typical American lagers.

01C: Cream Ale


Highly carbonated very light-bodied nearly flavorless lager designed to be consumed very cold. Very refreshing and thirst quenching.

01A: American Light Lager


A dark low-gravity malt-focused British session ale readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing yet flavorful with a wide range of dark malt or dark sugar expression.

13A: Dark Mild


A fairly strong malt-accentuated lagered artisanal beer with a range of malt flavors appropriate for the color. All are malty yet dry with clean flavors and a smooth character.

24C: Bière de Garde


A malt-focused generally caramelly beer with perhaps a few esters and occasionally a butterscotch aftertaste. Hops only to balance and support the malt. The malt character can range from dry and grainy to rich toasty and caramelly but is never roasty and especially never has a peat smoke character.

14C: Scottish Export


Characterized by depth richness and complexity typical of darker Munich malts with the accompanying Maillard products. Deeply bready-toasty often with chocolate-like flavors in the freshest examples but never harsh roasty or astringent; a decidedly malt-balanced beer yet still easily drinkable.

08A: Munich Dunkel


A decidedly hoppy and bitter moderately strong American pale ale showcasing modern American and New World hop varieties and rye malt. The balance is hop-forward with a clean fermentation profile dry finish and clean supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

21B: Specialty IPA - Rye IPA


A low-gravity highly-carbonated light-bodied ale combining an oak-smoked flavor with a clean hop bitterness. Highly sessionable.

27A: Piwo Grodziskie


A relatively pale strong malty German lager beer with a nicely attenuated finish that enhances drinkability. The hop character is generally more apparent than in other bocks.

04C: Helles Bock


Rich characterful pale Czech lager with considerable malt and hop character and a long rounded finish. Complex yet well-balanced and refreshing. The malt flavors are complex for a Pilsner-type beer and the bitterness is strong but clean and without harshness which gives a rounded impression that enhances drinkability.

03B: Czech Premium Pale Lager


A strong rich and very malty German lager that can have both pale and dark variants. The darker versions have more richly-developed deeper malt flavors while the paler versions have slightly more hops and dryness.

09A: Doppelbock


A malty brown caramel-centric British ale without the roasted flavors of a Porter.

13B: British Brown Ale


An IPA with the fruitiness and spiciness derived from the use of Belgian yeast. The examples from Belgium tend to be lighter in color and more attenuated similar to a tripel that has been brewed with more hops. This beer has a more complex flavor profile and may be higher in alcohol than a typical IPA.

21B: Specialty IPA - Belgian IPA


A richly textured high alcohol sipping beer with a significant grainy bready flavor and sleek body. The emphasis is first on the bready wheaty flavors with interesting complexity from malt hops fruity yeast character and alcohol complexity.

22D: Wheatwine


A strong full-flavored American ale that challenges and rewards the palate with full malty and hoppy flavors and substantial bitterness. The flavors are bold but complementary and are stronger and richer than average-strength pale and amber American ales.

22B: American Strong Ale


A light-bodied highly-attenuated gold-colored bottom-fermented bitter German beer showing excellent head retention and an elegant floral hop aroma. Crisp clean and refreshing a German Pils showcases the finest quality German malt and hops.

05D: German Pils


A young unfiltered and unpasteurized beer that is between a Helles and Märzen in color spicier in the hops with greater attenuation. Interpretations range in color and balance but remain in the drinkable 4.8% ABV neighborhood. Balance ranges from the dry spicy and pale-colored interpretations by St. Georgen and Löwenbräu of Buttenheim to darker and maltier interpretations in the Fränkische Schweiz. This style is above all a method of producing simple drinkable beers for neighbors out of local ingredients to be served fresh. Balance with a focus on drinkability and digestibility is important.

07C: Amber Kellerbier


Rich malty dextrinous and usually caramel-sweet these beers can give an impression that is suggestive of a dessert. Complex secondary malt and alcohol flavors prevent a one-dimensional quality. Strength and maltiness can vary but should not be cloying or syrupy.

17C: Wee Heavy


Smooth and balanced all components merge together with similar intensities. Moderate flavors showcasing Australian ingredients. Large flavor dimension. Very drinkable suited to a hot climate. Relies on yeast character.

12B: Australian Sparkling Ale


Malt-driven amber Czech lager with hop character that can vary from low to quite significant. The malt flavors can vary quite a bit leading to different interpretations ranging from drier bready and slightly biscuity to sweeter and somewhat caramelly.

03C: Czech Amber Lager


A malt-focused generally caramelly beer with perhaps a few esters and occasionally a butterscotch aftertaste. Hops only to balance and support the malt. The malt character can range from dry and grainy to rich toasty and caramelly but is never roasty and especially never has a peat smoke character.

14B: Scottish Heavy


A very dark full-bodied roasty malty ale with a complementary oatmeal flavor. The sweetness balance and oatmeal impression can vary considerably.

16B: Oatmeal Stout


Hoppy bitter and moderately strong like an American IPA but with some caramel toffee and/or dark fruit malt character. Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable a Red IPA is a little more flavorful and malty than an American IPA without being sweet or heavy.

21B: Specialty IPA - Red IPA


A dark German lager that balances roasted yet smooth malt flavors with moderate hop bitterness. The lighter body dryness and lack of a harsh burnt or heavy aftertaste helps make this beer quite drinkable.

08B: Schwarzbier


A beer with the dryness hop-forward balance and flavor characteristics of an American IPA only darker in color – but without strongly roasted or burnt flavors. The flavor of darker malts is gentle and supportive not a major flavor component. Drinkability is a key characteristic.

21B: Specialty IPA - Black IPA


A pale highly-attenuated light-bodied German lager with lower alcohol and calories than normal-strength beers. Moderately bitter with noticeable malt and hop flavors the beer is still interesting to drink.

05A: German Leichtbier


A clean refreshing but bitter pale lager often showcasing a grainy-sweet corn flavor. All malt or rice-based versions have a crisper more neutral character. The higher bitterness level is the largest differentiator between this style and most modern mass-market pale lagers but the more robust flavor profile also sets it apart.

27A: Pre-Prohibition Lager


A deep reddish-copper moderately strong malty complex Trappist ale with rich malty flavors dark or dried fruit esters and light alcohol blended together in a malty presentation that still finishes fairly dry.

26B: Belgian Dubbel


A pale bitter highly attenuated and well carbonated Trappist ale showing a fruity-spicy Trappist yeast character a spicy-floral hop profile and a soft supportive grainy-sweet malt palate.

26A: Trappist Single


Refreshing wheat beers that can display more hop character and less yeast character than their German cousins. A clean fermentation character allows bready doughy or grainy wheat flavors to be complemented by hop flavor and bitterness rather than yeast qualities.

01D: American Wheat Beer


A pale well-balanced smooth German lager that is slightly stronger than the average beer with a moderate body and a mild aromatic hop and malt character.

05C: German Helles Exportbier


A malty but hoppy beer frequently with chocolate and caramel flavors. The hop flavor and aroma complements and enhances the malt rather than clashing with it.

19C: American Brown Ale


A malty fruity aged somewhat sour Belgian-style brown ale.

23C: Oud Bruin


A very pale refreshing low-alcohol German wheat beer with a clean lactic sourness and a very high carbonation level. A light bread dough malt flavor supports the sourness which shouldn’t seem artificial. Any Brettanomyces funk is restrained.

23A: Berliner Weisse


A moderate-strength golden ale that has a subtle fruity-spicy Belgian yeast complexity slightly malty-sweet flavor and dry finish.

25A: Belgian Blond Ale


An amber hoppy moderate-strength American craft beer with a caramel malty flavor. The balance can vary quite a bit with some versions being fairly malty and others being aggressively hoppy. Hoppy and bitter versions should not have clashing flavors with the caramel malt profile.

19A: American Amber Ale


A pale somewhat spicy dry strong Trappist ale with a pleasant rounded malt flavor and firm bitterness. Quite aromatic with spicy fruity and light alcohol notes combining with the supportive clean malt character to produce a surprisingly drinkable beverage considering the high alcohol level.

26C: Belgian Tripel


A sour smoked lower-gravity historical German wheat beer. Complex yet refreshing character due to high attenuation and carbonation along with low bitterness and moderate sourness.

27A: Lichtenhainer


A pale refreshing German wheat beer with high carbonation dry finish a fluffy mouthfeel and a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast character.

10A: Weissbier


A moderately dark German wheat beer with a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast character supported by a toasted bread or caramel malt flavor. Highly carbonated and refreshing with a creamy fluffy texture and light finish that encourages drinking.

10B: Dunkles Weissbier


A showcase of malty richness and complex intense flavors. Chewy and rich in body with warming alcohol and a pleasant fruity or hoppy interest. When aged it can take on port-like flavors. A wintertime sipper.

17D: English Barleywine


A fruity spicy refreshing version of an American IPA but with a lighter color less body and featuring either the distinctive yeast and/or spice additions typical of a Belgian witbier.

21B: Specialty IPA - White IPA


An elegant malty German amber lager with a balanced complementary beechwood smoke character. Toasty-rich malt in aroma and flavor restrained bitterness low to high smoke flavor clean fermentation profile and an attenuated finish are characteristic.

06B: Rauchbier


A hop-forward average-strength to moderately-strong pale bitter. Drinkability and a refreshing quality are critical components of the style.

12A: British Golden Ale


A highly-carbonated tart and fruity wheat ale with a restrained coriander and salt character and low bitterness. Very refreshing with bright flavors and high attenuation.

27A: Gose


An intensely-flavored big dark ale with a wide range of flavor balances and regional interpretations. Roasty-burnt malt with deep dark or dried fruit flavors and a warming bittersweet finish. Despite the intense flavors the components need to meld together to create a complex harmonious beer not a hot mess.

20C: Imperial Stout


A malt-focused generally caramelly beer with perhaps a few esters and occasionally a butterscotch aftertaste. Hops only to balance and support the malt. The malt character can range from dry and grainy to rich toasty and caramelly but is never roasty and especially never has a peat smoke character. Traditionally the darkest of the Scottish ales sometimes nearly black but lacking any burnt overtly roasted character.

14A: Scottish Light


A well-balanced well-attenuated bitter yet malty clean and smooth amber- to copper-colored German beer. The bitterness is balanced by the malt richness but the malt intensity and character can range from moderate to high (the bitterness increases with the malt richness).

07B: Altbier


Easy-drinking approachable malt-oriented American craft beer often with interesting fruit hop or character malt notes. Well-balanced and clean is a refreshing pint without aggressive flavors.

18A: Blonde Ale


A dark complex very strong Belgian ale with a delicious blend of malt richness dark fruit flavors and spicy elements. Complex rich smooth and dangerous.

26D: Belgian Dark Strong Ale


A clean crisp delicately-balanced beer usually with a very subtle fruit and hop character. Subdued maltiness throughout leads into a pleasantly well-attenuated and refreshing finish. Freshness makes a huge difference with this beer as the delicate character can fade quickly with age. Brilliant clarity is characteristic.

05B: Kölsch


A dunkelweizen made with rye rather than wheat but with a greater body and light finishing hops.

27A: Roggenbier


An American adaptation of English Porter using American ingredients including adjuncts.

27A: Pre-Prohibition Porter


A pale complex effervescent strong Belgian-style ale that is highly attenuated and features fruity and hoppy notes in preference to phenolics.

25C: Belgian Golden Strong Ale


A highly-attenuated pale lager without strong flavors typically well-balanced and highly carbonated. Served cold it is refreshing and thirst-quenching.

02A: International Pale Lager


Most commonly a pale refreshing highly-attenuated moderately-bitter moderate-strength Belgian ale with a very dry finish. Typically highly carbonated and using non-barley cereal grains and optional spices for complexity as complements the expressive yeast character that is fruity spicy and not overly phenolic. Less common variations include both lower-alcohol and higher-alcohol products as well as darker versions with additional malt character.

25B: Saison


A black beer with a pronounced roasted flavor often similar to coffee. The balance can range from fairly even to quite bitter with the more balanced versions having a little malty sweetness and the bitter versions being quite dry. Draught versions typically are creamy from a nitro pour but bottled versions will not have this dispense-derived character. The roasted flavor can be dry and coffee-like to somewhat chocolaty.

15B: Irish Stout


An easy-drinking pint often with subtle flavors. Slightly malty in the balance sometimes with an initial soft toffee/caramel sweetness a slightly grainy-biscuity palate and a touch of roasted dryness in the finish. Some versions can emphasize the caramel and sweetness more while others will favor the grainy palate and roasted dryness.

15A: Irish Red Ale


A Baltic Porter often has the malt flavors reminiscent of an English porter and the restrained roast of a schwarzbier but with a higher OG and alcohol content than either. Very complex with multi-layered malt and dark fruit flavors.

09C: Baltic Porter


A fairly strong highly roasted bitter hoppy dark stout. Has the body and dark flavors typical of stouts with a more aggressive American hop character and bitterness.

20B: American Stout


A moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and bitterness. May have a range of roasted flavors generally without burnt qualities and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile.

13C: English Porter


A very dark moderately strong fairly dry stout with prominent roast flavors.

16D: Foreign Extra Stout


A complex pleasantly sour but balanced wild Belgian wheat beer that is highly carbonated and very refreshing. The spontaneous fermentation character can provide a very interesting complexity with a wide range of wild barnyard horse blanket or leather characteristics intermingling with citrusy-fruity flavors and acidity.

23E: Gueuze


A decidedly hoppy and bitter moderately strong American pale ale showcasing modern American or New World hop varieties. The balance is hop-forward with a clean fermentation profile dryish finish and clean supporting malt allowing a creative range of hop character to shine through.

21A: American IPA


A strong full-bodied rich and malty dark German lager often with a viscous quality and strong flavors. Even though flavors are concentrated the alcohol should be smooth and warming not burning.

09B: Eisbock


A luscious sweet malt-oriented dark brown ale with caramel and toffee malt complexity and a sweet finish.

27A: London Brown Ale


A clean malty gold-colored German lager with a smooth grainy-sweet malty flavor and a soft dry finish. Subtle spicy floral or herbal hops and restrained bitterness help keep the balance malty but not sweet which helps make this beer a refreshing everyday drink.

04A: Munich Helles


Hoppy bitter and moderately strong like an American IPA but with some caramel chocolate toffee and/or dark fruit malt character as in an American Brown Ale. Retaining the dryish finish and lean body that makes IPAs so drinkable a Brown IPA is a little more flavorful and malty than an American IPA without being sweet or heavy.

21B: Specialty IPA - Brown IPA


A darker-colored light-flavored malt-accented beer with a dry finish and interesting character malt flavors. Refreshing due to its high carbonation and mild flavors and highly sessionable due to being served very fresh and with restrained alcohol levels.

27A: Kentucky Common


An ale of respectable alcoholic strength traditionally bottled-conditioned and cellared. Can have a wide range of interpretations but most will have varying degrees of malty richness late hops and bitterness fruity esters and alcohol warmth. Judges should allow for a significant range in character as long as the beer is within the alcohol strength range and has an interesting ‘British’ character it likely fits the style. The malt and adjunct flavors and intensity can vary widely but any combination should result in an agreeable palate experience.

17A: British Strong Ale