Kellerbier or Zwickelbier – Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ale

Kellerbier or Zwickelbier Style

  • Color: Varies depending on the underlying European origin lager or ale style
  • Clarity: Can be slightly hazy to moderately cloudy. A small amount of yeast haze is acceptable and traditional. These beers must be unfiltered but may become clear with age. May exhibit poor head retention.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies depending on the underlying style
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Varies depending on underlying style. Low level attributes typical of late or dry hopping may be present in some versions.
  • Perceived Bitterness: Varies depending on underlying style
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low levels of sulfur and acetaldehyde or other volatiles normally scrubbed during fermentation, if present, can enhance the flavor of these beers. Low fruity esters may be present and may vary slightly from the underlying style due to age and the presence of yeast. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at low levels in keller versions of beer styles which can contain diacetyl when fully aged, such as Bohemian-Style Lager.
  • Body: Varies depending on underlying style
  • Additional notes: Kellerbier or Zwickelbiers are unfiltered versions of lager or ale styles of European origin. These can include traditional Helles, Dunkel, Dortmunder, Vienna, Rotbier, Bohemian, Koelsch, Alt, as well as less common traditional or contemporary European-origin lager and ale styles. Kellerbiers have carbonation ranging from low to normal. These unfiltered beers are packaged and served with very low to moderate amounts of yeast. Contemporary versions may be filtered and dosed with yeast during packaging.
    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 should include the underlying European-origin lager or ale style upon which the entry is based. Competition organizers may create subcategories which reflect groups of entries based on ale or lager yeast type or hue.

Kellerbier or Zwickelbier Vital Statistics

  • Original Gravity (°Plato) Varies with style 
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) Varies with style 
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) Varies with style 
  • Bitterness (IBU) Varies with style
  • Color SRM (EBC) Varies with style

2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines used with permission of Brewers Association.

Credit: 2020 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines – Hybrid/Mixed Lagers or Ale – Kellerbier or Zwickelbier