Saturday, May 09, 2015

2015 Style Guidelines

If you are a brewer, you probably know that the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has finally updated its Style Guide.

Of course, in 2013, I made the effort to brew the at least one beer in all the BJCP categories that I had not brewed up until that point in time. See SheppyBrew Styles if you need a refresher.

On almost the last day of 2013, I brewed Schnockered to Comfortably Numb in my last category (Category 19 Strong Ale) to fulfill my goal. At that point, I had brewed at least one all-grain batch in every one of the 23 BJCP Beer Categories.

And now, they have changed things all up.

As I write this, they have not updated their web version, but you can go out and download a pdf of the 2015 Style Guidelines from

I've been looking through the new guidelines. They've totally overhauled how they categorize the beers. In fact, I don't think there is a single category named the same as it was in 2008. They've moved styles into different categories. They've come up with new styles. The bottom line is ... I no longer have brewed beer in all the BJCP categories.

Yes, even as early in the document as category 2. There was not such a category in the last guidelines, so I never attempted to make something from it. The styles in this category are:
  • 2A. International Pale Lager
  • 2B. International Amber Lager
  • 2C. International Dark Lager
I suspect I will attempt an Amber Lager, and recreate a beer similar to Dos Equis Amber.

There used to be a Bock category and a Porter category for this beers. Now, they pulled them away from their weaker brothers and dumped them in their own category.
  • 9A. Doppelbock
  • 9B. Eisbock
  • 9C. Baltic Porter
I'm not sure which one I'll do. I'm usually not too keen on high-alcohol beers, so I'll probably stick to the lower ABV range of Dopplebock or Baltic Porter. 

I actually have a couple of beers I might possibly shove into this category, but I think I'll just go ahead and make myself design a new beer to put into here.
  • 12A. British Golden Ale
  • 12B. Australian Sparkling Ale
  • 12C. English IPA
I would certainly be willing to brew any one of these. I'll probably end up doing 12A or 12C.

It is surprising that I've never really done a Scottish Ale. In the previous guidelines, these beers were in a category with Irish Red, and that was what I brewed. Now I will have to brew one of the following:
  • 14A. Scottish Light
  • 14B. Scottish Heavy
  • 14C. Scottish Export
Changes are, I'll go with Scottish Light, but you never know.

It really isn't surprising at all that I have not brewed a beer in this category. Now, I guess I am going to have to brew one of four:
  • 17A. British Strong Ale
  • 17B. Old Ale
  • 17C. Wee Heavy
  • 17D. English Barleywine
I really don't know which one of these I'll brew. I'll let you know when I decide.

Again, it isn't real surprising that I have not brewed a Trappist Ale. In 2008, most of these were in the Belgium Strong Ale category, and that was one of the last categories I did. Here are my choices for the new category:
  • 26A. Trappist Single
  • 26B. Belgian Dubbel
  • 26C. Belgian Tripel
  • 26D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
I think that Trappist Single is the way to go here.

This is an interesting category, and I might try to do more than one of: 
  • Historical Beer: Gose
  • Historical Beer: Kentucky Common
  • Historical Beer: Lichtenhainer
  • Historical Beer: London Brown Ale
  • Historical Beer: Piwo Grodziskie
  • Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Lager
  • Historical Beer: Pre-Prohibition Porter
  • Historical Beer: Roggenbier
  • Historical Beer: Sahti
I'll be sure to let you know what I decide to do here first. I think I'm leaning toward a Pre-Prohibition Lager.

To be honest, this category scares me. I'm pretty sure this will be the last one I do.
  • 28A. Brett Beer
  • 28B. Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer
  • 28C. Wild Specialty Beer
 Stay tuned. It may be awhile before I decide what to brew here.

Last but not least. This should be pretty easy as there is a wide range of beer styles I can do.
  • 33A. Wood-Aged Beer
  • 33B. Specialty Wood-Aged Beer

I will most likely use wood chips instead of a wood barrel.

And that is it. If I am counting correctly, I am missing beers in 9 of the 34 beer categories. It is sort of strange that I went from having brewed at least one style in all the categories (100%) to only 25 out of 34 (73%).

I'll be working these additional styles in 2015, but I don't think I'll finish them all this year. There are a couple I'm not sure I want to actually brew at all. We'll see.

If you ever are curious how I'm doing on this quest, you can always check out the latest by looking at Sheppy's Blog: BJCP Goal.

Take a look yourself. Do you have any beer styles you want to attempt? Leave comments below.

Go Blackhawks!

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