Experimental Beer Style
- Color: May vary widely with ingredients used
- Clarity: Varies with ingredients used and brewing process
- Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: May vary widely with ingredients used and brewing process
- Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: May vary widely with ingredients used and brewing process
- Perceived Bitterness: May vary widely with ingredients used and brewing process
- Fermentation Characteristics: Will vary widely depending on the nature of the techniques and/or ingredients used to create the beer
- Body: May vary widely with ingredients used and brewing process
- Additional notes: Experimental beers are beers that either 1. employ unique and unusual techniques and/or ingredients; or 2. beers that don’t meet the criteria of individual existing categories, representing a combination of two or more hybrid, specialty or classic categories. Experimental beers are primarily grain-based with a minimum of 51% of fermentable carbohydrates derived from malted grains. Beers produced using non-experimental techniques and/or ingredients are considered experimental beers if their properties overlap two or more existing categories and exhibit the distinctive characteristics of each of those categories. Uniqueness is the primary consideration when evaluating this category. Within the framework of these guidelines, ﬁeld, fruit, chocolate, coffee, spice, specialty, wood-aged or other beers that fit within another individual category should not be categorized as experimental beers.
When using these guidelines as the basis for evaluating entries at competitions, brewers may be asked to provide supplemental information about entries in this category to allow for accurate evaluation of diverse entries. Such information might include an underlying beer style(s) upon which the entry is based (if such style(s) is apparent), or other information unique to the entry such as ingredients or processing which influence perceived sensory outcomes. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on color, hop varieties, microflora, fruit, spices or other ingredients, wood aging, etc.
Experimental Beer Vital Statistics
- Original Gravity (°Plato) Varies widely
- Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) Varies widely
- Alcohol by Weight (Volume) Varies widely
- Bitterness (IBU) Varies widely
- Color SRM (EBC) Varies widely
2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.
Credit: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ale – Experimental Beer