How Many Beer Styles Are There?

Let me start by apologizing for the crummy image above, but these guys and gals are too busy learning all they can about the beverage we love to worry about such trivialities as the appropriate scaling of an image for the web.  who the heck cares about that when there is beer to be judged, and I agree!

I was wondering just how many styles of beer there were.  Jim and I sampled about a hundred yesterday at the Brewforia Beer Market yesterday, and each was special, wonderful, and interesting in its own right.  So in an attempt to see just how many styles there were I came across another great beer resource.  See to be a beer judge you need to know a lot about…you guessed it, beer!  So they have put together a style guide that I thought was very well done and provides a very good foundation of knowledge for the noob as well as the geek.

Check it out here:  http://www.bjcp.org/styles04/ I think you will be surprised at just how many styles there are.  Also, they are quick to point out that the expressions are always changing, so while this is a good base of information, surely there have been some new styles created since 2004 when this was written.  Hopefully this will be of use or interest.  Enjoy.

-Don

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3 Comments on “How Many Beer Styles Are There?”

  1. Evan
    August 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Me personally, I like “styles” to be more of a descriptor than a set of guidelines. There are so many good beers out there that don’t fit in to the guidelines as set by the BJCP, and they’ll get knocked at a competition for that.

    I took the BJCP class, but never took the test. It seemed that it was more about analyzing beer, and not enjoying it. I like to enjoy my beer, and not nitpick the hell out of it. I see far too many of these beer judge types that every time they have a beer, they have to take the time to analyze and nitpick everything about it, rather than just hanging out, relaxing, and having a beer with the guys.

    /end rant

    • Don
      August 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

      I would agree Evan. My point here wasn’t to promote criticism of beer that don’t fall into a category, but simply to spark discussion about the sheer volume of brew styles. I think Americans in general think if it isn’t fizzy and yellow it isn’t beer. There are a lot of different options out there and I thought this did a pretty good job of categorizing and explaining just what a broad variety of brews exist in the world.

      • Evan
        August 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

        Oh it definitely does do that, and I saw that point. I just think the whole BJCP thing sparked that rant for some reason. My apologies for the tangeant 🙂

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