Special Bitter or Best Bitter Style
- Color: Deep gold to deep copper
- Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures
- Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium residual malt sweetness should be present
- Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium at the brewer’s discretion
- Perceived Bitterness: Medium and not harsh
- Fermentation Characteristics: Low carbonation traditionally characterizes draft-cask versions, but in bottled versions, a slight increase in carbon dioxide content is acceptable. Fruity esters are acceptable. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at low levels.
- Body: Medium
- Additional notes: When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, competition organizers may choose to create subcategories which reflect English and American hop character.
Special Bitter or Best Bitter Vital Statistics
- Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.038-1.045 (9.5-11.2 °Plato)
- Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.006-1.012 (1.5-3.1 °Plato)
- Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 3.3%-3.8% (4.2%-4.8%)
- Bitterness (IBU) 28-40
- Color SRM (EBC) 6-14(12-28 EBC)
2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.
Credit: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – Ale Styles – British Origin Ale Styles – Special Bitter or Best Bitter