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Choosing a Style for Nationals 2023

Started by SlugTrap, January 31, 2023, 04:48:12 PM

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January 31, 2023, 04:48:12 PM Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 09:49:26 PM by SlugTrap
Style v. Category

When you enter your beer into Nationals, you must choose a style.
Styles are defined in the BJCP guidelines.

Categories are groupings of styles used to award medals; the NHC announces these a couple of weeks before judging.

How to Choose a Style
1. Check the Guidelines
Read the characteristics of a beer - that's what the judges will look for.
Note! We are using the 2021 Guidelines. There are several changes from 2015; it's worth giving the new version a read.

2. Brew with Style in Mind
A tasty beer may still not match a style - have an idea of where your beer fits.

3. Taste Your Beer + Adjust
Enter in the style you actually brewed, not the style of your recipe - judges rate on what's in the bottle.

Specific style questions are answered below...

FAQ/"What style is this beer?"

The descriptions below use the term base style.
This means a broad description of the beer; it doesn't need to match the guidelines. It's enough to say "stout" without specifying Irish Stout, Sweet Stout, etc.

Adding spices to your beer? Read this:
Quote...explicitly includes all culinary spices, herbs, and vegetables, as well as nuts (anything with 'nut' in the name, including coconut), chile peppers, coffee, chocolate, spruce tips, rose hips, hibiscus, fruit peels/zest (but not juice), rhubarb, and the like.
If your beer has any combination of these, without fruit, sour or wood, then it goes in 30A or, if you're adding lactose, 30D.

What style should I use for...

..."ice cream" IPA with raspberry puree, vanilla + lactose?
This style is for additional sugars - without the lactose, this goes into 29B.
Specify a base style and the fruit/spice used.

...New England IPA?
NEIPAs have their own style in the 2021 Guidelines: Hazy IPA.
This style is not strict about water chemistry or yeast esters, as long as an entry is soft with low bitterness.
Quote...examples with a dry, crisp finish, at most medium body, and high perceived bitterness should be entered as 21A American IPA.

...Baltic Porter aged on bourbon-soaked oak chips?
Specify the base style, the type of alcohol and the wood or barrel used.

...kettle sour?
Another new style for 2021.
This is for quick sour beers with no Brett.
If you're adding fruit to a basic sour, enter it as 28C.

If you're adding fruit to a Gose, enter it as 29A.
Be aware that judges will still look for signature characteristics (salt, coriander, etc.) even with fruit.

..."dessert" stout with cocoa nibs, walnuts, cinnamon + maple syrup?
This style is for additional sugars - without the maple, this goes into 30A.
All of the other ingredients are considered spices.
Always specify the base style.
Note - Keep in mind with beers like this:
QuoteIf you list every individual ingredient, judges will expect to detect each one.

...sour DIPA with milk sugar, jasmine, green tea + lime purée?
Any sour with fruit, herb + spice goes here.
Specify fruit, yeast and a base style or describe the beer.
Specify  "Double" as strength.

...Cold IPA?
Cold IPA is not yet a defined style, so describe key characteristics for the judges to look for.
Kveik IPAs and IPLs are similar; describe them when entering.
Brut IPAs have their own sub-style: 21B(7).
West Coast IPAs are simply 21A.

If you have any further questions, please post below.
Thank you + good luck!


Any indication of how the style categories will be grouped for this year?


Quote from: DoubleG on February 02, 2023, 02:30:02 PMAny indication of how the style categories will be grouped for this year?

That will depend on the distribution of entries across styles - we group them so there are never too many or too few in one category.
We'll announce well ahead of the day itself.