Beer Styles – English Pale Ales

Below is a description of two types of English ales – English pale ales and English summer ales.

Beer Styles - English Pale Ales | rainerlife.com

English Pale Ale

English pale ales are similar to extra special/strong bitters (ESB) in strength. These beers range in color from gold to copper, and are usually clear. They have moderate hop bitterness. English pale ales have moderate hop aroma, low to moderate malt aroma (caramel), and moderate to high fruitiness. The hop flavor is moderate, with low to moderate maltiness and moderate to high fruitiness. The hop character is generally earthy and/or herbal. The malt character is generally caramel-like. The grain bill may include pale malt and caramel/crystal malt. Traditionally, English hops, such as Fuggle and Goldings, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 8C (Extra Special/Strong Bitter – English Pale Ale).

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.048 – 1.060 1.040 – 1.056
Final Gravity (FG) 1.010 – 1.016 1.008 – 1.016
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 30 – 50 20 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 6 – 18 5 – 12
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.6 – 6.2% 4.5 – 5.5%

Recommendations:
Bass Ale (Anheuser–Busch InBev)
Organic Honey Dew (Fuller’s, Smith and Turner)

English Summer Ale

English summer ales are similar to best bitters, but have a more spicy hop aroma and flavor. These beers range in color from pale straw to gold, and are usually clear. They have moderately low to moderate hop bitterness. English summer ales have low to moderately low hop aroma and low to moderate malt aroma. The hop flavor is low to moderately low, with low to moderate maltiness and low to moderate fruitiness. The hop character is citrus and/or spicy. The malt character is generally biscuit-like. The grain bill may include pale malt, crystal malt, and wheat. English hops (e.g., Challenger and First Gold), American hops (e.g., Citra and Cascade), and/or noble hops may be used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style fits in category 23 (Specialty Beer) of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Since this category is a catch-all for beers that do not fall under another category, and includes different base beers, no BJCP statistics are given.

Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.036 – 1.050
Final Gravity (FG) 1.004 – 1.012
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 20 – 30
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 4 – 7
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 3.6 – 5.0%

Sources:
Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines
Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines

Beer Styles – English Bitters

Below is a description of different styles of English bitters – standard/ordinary bitters, special/premium/best bitters, and extra special/strong bitters.

Beer Styles - Bitters | rainerlife.com

Standard / Ordinary Bitter

Standard / ordinary bitters originated in England as a draught session beer. They are similar to English pale ales, but with a darker color. These beers range in color from pale to copper, and are usually clear. They have moderate hop bitterness. Ordinary bitters have no to moderate hop aroma, low malt aroma (caramel), and low to moderate fruitiness. The hop flavor is low to moderate, with moderate low to moderate maltiness and moderate fruitiness. The hop character is generally floral, earthy, and/or resiny. The malt character is generally caramel-like. The grain bill may include pale malt, crystal malt, amber malt, and some adjuncts (e.g., wheat or corn). Traditionally, English hops, such as Fuggle and Goldings, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 8A.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.032 – 1.040 1.033 – 1.038
Final Gravity (FG) 1.007 – 1.011 1.006 – 1.012
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 25 – 35 20 – 35
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 4 – 14 5 – 12
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 3.2 – 3.8% 3.0 – 4.1%

Recommendation:
Boddington’s Pub Ale (Anheuser–Busch InBev)

Special / Premium / Best Bitter

Special/premium/best bitters originated in England as a draught beer. They are similar to ordinary bitters, but more malty and slightly stronger. These beers range in color from gold to copper, and are usually clear. They have moderate hop bitterness. Best bitters have no to moderate hop aroma, low malt aroma (caramel), and low to moderate fruitiness. The hop flavor is low to moderate, with moderately low to moderate maltiness. The hop character is generally floral, earthy, and/or resiny. The malt character is generally caramel-like. The grain bill may include pale malt, crystal malt, amber malt, and some adjuncts (e.g., wheat or corn). Traditionally, English hops, such as Fuggle and Goldings, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 8B.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.040 – 1.048 1.038 – 1.045
Final Gravity (FG) 1.008 – 1.012 1.006 – 1.012
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 25 – 40 28 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 5 – 16 6 – 14
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 3.8 – 4.6% 4.1 – 4.8%

Recommendations:
London Pride (Fuller’s, Smith and Turner)
Honker’s Ale (Goose Island Beer)

Extra Special / Strong Bitter

Extra special/strong bitters (ESB) are similar to best bitters, but more hoppy and slightly stronger. These beers range in color from gold to reddish brown, and are usually clear. They have moderate hop bitterness. ESBs have moderate hop aroma, moderate malt aroma, and low to moderate fruitiness. The hop flavor is moderate, with low to moderate maltiness and moderately low to high fruitiness. The hop character is generally floral, earthy, and/or resiny. The malt character may be caramel-like, biscuit-like, and/or nutty. The grain bill may include pale malt, crystal malt, amber malt, and some adjuncts (e.g., wheat or corn). Traditionally, English hops, such as Fuggle and Goldings, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 8C.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.048 – 1.060 1.046 – 1.060
Final Gravity (FG) 1.010 – 1.016 1.010 – 1.016
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 30 – 50 30 – 45
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 6 – 18 8 – 14
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.6 – 6.2% 4.8 – 5.8%

Recommendations:
Fuller’s ESB (Fuller’s, Smith and Turner)
Redhook ESB (Redhook Ale Brewery)
Alaskan ESB (Alaskan Brewery)

Sources:
Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines
Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines

Beer Styles – Stouts

This post describes different types of stouts (American stouts, dry stouts, foreign export stouts, imperial stouts, oatmeal stouts, and sweet/cream/milk stouts).

Beer Styles - Stouts | rainerlife.com

American Stout

American stouts are similar to foreign export stouts, but hoppier and more bitter. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. American stouts have low to moderate hop aroma (citrus) and moderate to high malt aroma from roasted grains (coffee). The hop flavor is low to high, with moderate to high maltiness. The malt character is generally chocolate and coffee, and may have a caramel sweetness. The grain bill typically includes American pale malt, crystal malt, and chocolate and/or black malts. Traditionally, American hops, such as Cascade and Williamette, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an American ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13E.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.050 – 1.075 1.050 – 1.075
Final Gravity (FG) 1.010 – 1.022 1.010 – 1.022
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 35 – 75 35 – 60
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 30 – 40 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 5.0 – 7.0% 5.7 – 8.8%

Recommendations:
Obsidian Stout (Deschutes Brewery)
Left Coast Voo Doo (Left Coast Brewing Co.)
Buried Hatchet Stout (Southern Star Brewing Co.)

Dry Stout

Dry stouts originated in England and evolved from porters. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. Dry stouts have no to low hop aroma and moderate to high malt aroma. The hop flavor is none to moderate, with moderate maltiness. The malt character is generally chocolate and roasted grains (coffee-like). The grain bill typically includes roasted barley, pale malt, and specialty grains. Traditionally, English hops, such as Goldings, Fuggles, and Challenger, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an Irish ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13A.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.036 – 1.050 1.038 – 1.048
Final Gravity (FG) 1.007 – 1.011 1.008 – 1.012
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 30 – 45 30 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 25 – 40 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.0 – 5.0% 3.8 – 5.0%

Recommendations:
Black Hawk Stout (Mendocino Brewing Company)
Guinness Draught (Guinness & Co.)
Guinness Extra Stout (Guinness & Co.)

Foreign Export Stout

Foreign export stouts were originally brewed for export to tropical areas, and may be known as “tropical stouts”. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. Foreign export stouts have no to low hop aroma and moderate to high malt aroma from roasted grains (chocolate or coffee). The hop flavor is none to low, with moderate to high maltiness. The malt character is generally chocolate and coffee. The grain bill typically includes pale malt, roasted barley, flaked barley, and chocolate, caramel, and/or black malts. Traditionally, English hops, such as Challenger, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an Irish ale yeast, but tropical versions may use a lager yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13D.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.056 – 1.075 1.052 – 1.072
Final Gravity (FG) 1.010 – 1.018 1.008 – 1.020
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 30 – 70 30 – 60
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 30 – 40 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 5.5 – 8.0% 4.5 – 7.5%

Recommendations:
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (Guinness & Co.)

Imperial Stout

Imperial stouts are similar to dry stouts, but with more hops and higher alcohol content. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. Imperial stouts have low to high hop aroma and moderate to high malt aroma (caramel, chocolate, and/or coffee). The hop flavor is low to moderate (floral or citrus), with moderate to high maltiness. The malt character is generally chocolate and coffee. The grain bill typically includes pale malt, roasted barley, and dark malts (chocolate, crystal, and/or black). English hops (e.g., Fuggles or Goldings) or American hops (e.g., Galena or Chinook) may be used. These beers are generally fermented using an American or English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13F – Russian Imperial Stout.

Beer Judge Certification Program Russian Imperial Stout Brewers Association American Imperial Stout Brewers Association British Imperial Stout
Original Gravity (OG) 1.075 – 1.115 1.080 – 1.100 1.080 – 1.100
Final Gravity (FG) 1.018 – 1.030 1.020 – 1.030 1.020 – 1.030
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 50 – 90 35 – 50 45 – 65
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 30 – 40 40+ 20 – 35+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 8.0 – 12.0% 7.0 – 12.0% 7.0 – 12.0%

Recommendations:
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (North Coast Brewing Company)
Storm King (Victory Brewing Company)
Ten Fidy (Oskar Blues Brewing Company)

Oatmeal Stout

Oatmeal stouts originated in England as a seasonal sweet stout. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate hop bitterness. Oatmeal stouts have no to low hop aroma, low to moderate malt aroma, and a low oatmeal aroma. The hop flavor is none to moderate, with moderate to high maltiness. The malt character is generally oatmeal and roasted malt (caramel and/or chocolate). The grain bill typically includes pale malt, oatmeal, caramel malt, chocolate and/or black malt, and may contain roasted grains. Traditionally, English hops, such as Goldings and Fuggles, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13C.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.048 – 1.065 1.038 – 1.056
Final Gravity (FG) 1.010 – 1.018 1.008 – 1.020
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 25 – 40 20 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 22 – 40 20+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.2 – 5.9% 3.8 – 6.0%

Recommendations:
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (Samuel Smith Old Brewery)
Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout (Breckenridge Brewery)

Sweet / Cream / Milk Stout

Sweet stouts are similar to dry stouts, but have a sweeter flavor. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a low to moderate hop bitterness. Sweet stouts have no to low hop aroma and moderate malt aroma. The hop flavor is none to low, with moderate to high maltiness, and a sweetness due to unfermented sugars. The malt character is generally chocolate and roasted grains (coffee-like). The grain bill typically includes pale malt, lactose, roasted barley, and may have black, chocolate, and/or crystal malts. Traditionally, English hops, such as Goldings and Fuggles, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 13B.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.044 – 1.060 1.045 – 1.056
Final Gravity (FG) 1.012 – 1.024 1.012 – 1.020
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 20 – 40 15 – 25
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 30 – 40 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.0 – 6.0% 3.0 – 6.0%

Recommendations:
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (Wells & Young’s Brewing)
Left Hand Milk Stout (Left Hand Brewing)
Hitachino Nest Lacto Sweet Stout (Kiuchi Brewery)

Sources:
Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines
Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines

Beer Styles – Porters

Below are descriptions of different types of porters – Baltic porters, brown porters, imperial porters, robust porters, and smoked porters.

Beer Styles - Porters | rainerlife.com

Baltic Porter

Baltic porters stemmed from English brown porters, and are influenced by Russian imperial stouts. These beers range in color from reddish brown to dark brown. They have a low to moderate hop bitterness. Baltic porters have no hop aroma and a moderate malt aroma (caramel, chocolate, coffee, or molasses). The flavor is low hops (sweet and/or spicy), moderate to high maltiness, and hints of dark fruits (e.g., cherry, plum, etc.). The malt character may be caramel, molasses, or toffee, with a hint of roasted coffee or licorice. The grain bill typically includes Munich or Vienna malts, black or chocolate malt, and may contain crystal malt. Traditionally, European hops (German, Czech hops, Polish, etc.) are used. These beers are generally fermented using an lager yeast, but may use an ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 12C.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.060 – 1.090 1.072 – 1.085
Final Gravity (FG) 1.016 – 1.024 1.016 – 1.022
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 20 – 40 35 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 17 – 30 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 5.5 – 9.5% 7.5 – 9.0%

Brown Porter

Brown porters originated in England. These beers range in color from light brown to dark brown, and may have a red tint. They have a moderate hop bitterness. Brown porters have no to moderate hop aroma and a low to moderate malt aroma, often chocolate. The hop flavor is none to moderate, with low to moderate maltiness. The malt character is generally chocolate and caramel, and may have other flavors, like coffee. The grain bill typically includes pale malt with brown, chocolate, and/or caramel malts. Traditionally, English hops, such as Goldings, Fuggles, and Willamette, are used. These beers are generally fermented using an English or Irish ale yeast, but may also use a lager yeast. Brown porters are similar to robust porters, but have a more sweet and caramel flavor with less alcohol. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 12A.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.040 – 1.052 1.040 – 1.050
Final Gravity (FG) 1.008 – 1.014 1.006 – 1.014
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 18 – 35 20 – 30
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 20 – 30 20 – 35
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.0 – 5.4% 4.5 – 6.0%

Recommendations:
Old Engine Oil (Harviestoun Brewery)
Polygamy Porter (Wasatch Brewery)
Pipeline Porter (Kona Brewing Company)

Imperial Porter

Imperial porters are similar to baltic porters. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a low to moderate hop bitterness. Imperial porters have low to moderate hop aroma and a moderate malt aroma. The hop flavor is low to moderate , with moderate malt flavor. The malt character is often caramel or chocolate. The grain bill typically includes pale, chocolate, and crystal malts, but will not include roasted barley or black malt. American or English hops may be used. These beers are fermented using an American or English ale yeast. This style fits in category 23 (Specialty Beer) of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Since this category is a catch-all for beers that do not fall under another category, and includes different base beers, no BJCP statistics are given.

Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.080 – 1.100
Final Gravity (FG) 1.020 – 1.030
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 35 – 50
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 40+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 7.0 – 12.0%

Robust Porter

Robust porters are a darker and stronger variation of the brown porter. These beers range in color from dark brown to black. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. Robust porters have low to high hop aroma and a roasted malt aroma, which may have hints of coffee, chocolate, or caramel. The hop flavor is low to high, with moderate to high roast malt flavor. The malt character is black malt, and may have other flavors, like coffee or chocolate. The grain bill typically includes black malt, and may contain chocolate malt and roasted barley. American or English hops may be used. These beers are generally fermented using an American or English ale yeast. This style is recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as 12B.

Beer Judge Certification Program Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.048 – 1.065 1.045 – 1.060
Final Gravity (FG) 1.012 – 1.016 1.008 – 1.016
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 25 – 50 25 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 22 – 35 30+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 4.8 – 6.5% 5.0 – 6.5%

Recommendations:
BJ’s PM Porter (BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse)
Rogue Mocha Porter (Rogue Brewery)
Deschutes Black Butte Porter (Deschutes Brewery)

Smoked Porter

Smoked porters are similar to robust porters, but with a smoky aroma and flavor. These beers range in color from chestnut brown to dark brown. They have a moderate to high hop bitterness. Smoked porters have no to low hop aroma and a moderate smoked malt aroma. The hop flavor is none to low , with moderate to high smoked malt flavor. The malt character is often caramel or chocolate. The grain bill typically includes pale, chocolate, and smoked malts, and may contain black malt. American or English hops may be used. These beers are fermented using an American or English ale yeast. This style fits in category 22B (Other Smoked Beer) of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). Since this category includes different base beers, no BJCP statistics are given.

Brewers Association
Original Gravity (OG) 1.040 – 1.050
Final Gravity (FG) 1.006 – 1.014
International Bitterness Unit (IBU) 20 – 40
Standard Reference Method (SRM) 20+
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) 5.0 – 8.7%

Recommendations:
Stone Smoked Porter (Stone Brewing)
Ass Kisser Porter Pounder (Ass Kisser Ales)

Sources:
Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines
Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines

Garden Cover for Raised Beds

We recently added a cover to each of the raised garden beds. I had started seeing birds in the garden, and since everything is planted, I didn’t want the birds and other critters eating the seeds and young plants. In an earlier post about how we built our raised beds, we had secured 8-inch-long, 1-inch-diameter PVC to the inside of the garden beds. To make the hoops, we used 10-foot-long, 1/2-inch-diameter PVC and placed it in the secured 1-inch PVC. Then we placed a wildlife netting over the hoops. This structure is temporary and can easily be taken down. Also, the netting can be swapped out with plastic or frost blankets, if necessary.

PVC hoops in place (without netting cover).
PVC hoops in place (without netting cover).
PVC hoops in place (with netting cover).
PVC hoops in place (with netting cover).

The wildlife netting keeps the birds out, and my little garden is safe for the time being. We are considering putting a short fence around each bed. We have rabbits in the neighborhood, and are waiting for them to discover this garden. Once they do, the wildlife netting will probably not be sufficient to keep them out… so, we may need a more permanent solution (i.e., a fence). Hopefully, this hoop system with netting will keep all critters at bay for a while.

Raised beds with PVC hoops and wildlife netting.
Raised beds with PVC hoops and wildlife netting.