Rye Beer Style
- Color: A wide range of color is acceptable. Lighter versions are straw to copper, while darker versions are dark amber to dark brown.
- Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable in versions packaged and served without yeast. In versions served with yeast, appearance may range from hazy to very cloudy.
- Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: In darker versions, malt aromas and ﬂavors can optionally include low roasted malt character expressed as cocoa/chocolate or caramel. Aromatic toffee, caramel, or biscuit character may also be present. Low level roastiness, graininess, or tannin astringency is acceptable when balanced with low to medium malt sweetness.
- Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-high
- Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium
- Fermentation Characteristics: Low levels of spicy and fruity ester aromas are typical. Yeast-derived aroma and flavor attributes such as clove-like or other phenolics may be present when consistent with underlying beer style. These beers can be fermented with either ale or lager yeast. Diacetyl should not be present. Low to medium yeast aroma may be present in versions packaged with yeast.
- Body: Low to medium. Rye can impart textural qualities ranging from dry and crisp to smooth and velvety.
- Additional notes: The grist should include sufﬁcient rye so that rye character is evident in the beer. Rye character is often described as spicy and/or black pepper-like and/or earthy. Beers brewed with rye that do not exhibit rye character should be categorized in other beer styles. Versions served with yeast should possess a full yeasty mouthfeel.
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 the underlying beer style upon which the entry is based, or other factors which influence perceived sensory outcomes.
Rye Beer 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 – Rye Beer