It's high time that we update Beer Styles!

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. AmeriCanadian

    AmeriCanadian Champion (845) Jul 5, 2014 Tennessee

    Would love to see a “Light IPA” category of some type. I view this as different than APA as there are now a large number of beers being produced that are intended to have hop-heavier IPA characteristics but at a much lower ABV than had previously become the norm. Especially given how ratings tend to correlate with beer size and boldness, it seems like a breakout of sub-5% IPAs (or something in that ballpark...maybe 5.5%?) from big brothers that weigh in at 6-8% but don’t qualify as IIPAs would be really helpful for those searching out smaller IPAs that can more directly be compared to one another. I’m sure this is an impure thought from a global beer categorization perspective, but from a beer research and ratings perspective (which is BA’s focus) I think it would be really useful.
  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,671) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Never mind, digging around and finding no one can agree on solid ABV ranges for any of the Bocks except maybe Doppel -- but Eisbock muddies that too.
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  3. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve Disciple (372) Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    Let’s not forget festbier or weisn
  4. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (8,599) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Once the dust settles on the changes and beers mostly re-styled, then I'm up for the all-styles quest again!
  5. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (2,701) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I'm 100% down with IPL, and I think it's overdue, so cheers to that. As for the myriad NEIPA categories, please... don't go there. It's all simply... TOO... MUCH. If I log on one day and see Milkshake IPA as its own stand-alone category, I may have to drink lagers for an entire month straight. Good lawwwd!!!

    Cheers, Todd. I love you.
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  6. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,682) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Leikem brews one that makes it stateside.
    If it’s bock strength than put it under bock.
    Yea there is that ...
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  7. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,118) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I don't agree with all of their styles, but it would create some consistency across the two platforms and help with syncing some common data down the road. We wouldn't need to use all of them either.

    Excluding cider, mead, seltzer, and whatnot, they have just under 200 beer styles.
    1. Adambier
    2. Altbier
    3. American Wild Ale
    4. Australian Sparkling Ale
    5. Barleywine - American
    6. Barleywine - English
    7. Barleywine - Other
    8. Belgian Blonde
    9. Belgian Dubbel
    10. Belgian Quadrupel
    11. Belgian Strong Dark Ale
    12. Belgian Strong Golden Ale
    13. Belgian Tripel
    14. Bière de Champagne / Bière Brut
    15. Black & Tan
    16. Blonde Ale
    17. Bock - Doppelbock
    18. Bock - Eisbock (Traditional)
    19. Bock - Hell / Maibock / Lentebock
    20. Bock - Single / Traditional
    21. Bock - Weizenbock
    22. Bock - Weizendoppelbock
    23. Brett Beer
    24. Brown Ale - American
    25. Brown Ale - Belgian
    26. Brown Ale - English
    27. Brown Ale - Imperial / Double
    28. Brown Ale - Other
    29. Burton Ale
    30. California Common
    31. Chilli / Chile Beer
    32. Cream Ale
    33. Dampfbier
    34. Dark Ale
    35. Dunkelweizen
    36. English Bitter
    37. English Mild Ale
    38. Extra Special / Strong Bitter
    39. Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Garde
    40. Farmhouse Ale - Bière de Mars
    41. Farmhouse Ale - Other
    42. Farmhouse Ale - Sahti
    43. Farmhouse Ale - Saison
    44. Festbier
    45. Freeze-Distilled Beer
    46. Fruit Beer
    47. Ginger Beer
    48. Gluten-Free
    49. Golden Ale
    50. Grape Ale - Italian
    51. Grape Ale - Other
    52. Grisette
    53. Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
    54. Grätzer / Grodziskie
    55. Happoshu
    56. Hefeweizen
    57. Hefeweizen Light / Leicht
    58. Historical Beer - Other
    59. Honey Beer
    60. IPA - American
    61. IPA - Belgian
    62. IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
    63. IPA - Brett
    64. IPA - Brut
    65. IPA - English
    66. IPA - Farmhouse
    67. IPA - Imperial / Double
    68. IPA - Imperial / Double Black
    69. IPA - Imperial / Double Milkshake
    70. IPA - Imperial / Double New England
    71. IPA - International
    72. IPA - Milkshake
    73. IPA - New England
    74. IPA - Quadruple
    75. IPA - Red
    76. IPA - Rye
    77. IPA - Session / India Session Ale
    78. IPA - Sour
    79. IPA - Triple
    80. IPA - Triple New England
    81. IPA - White
    82. Kellerbier / Zwickelbier
    83. Kentucky Common
    84. Kombucha
    85. Kristallweizen
    86. Kvass
    87. Kölsch
    88. Lager - Amber
    89. Lager - American
    90. Lager - American Amber / Red
    91. Lager - American Light
    92. Lager - Dark
    93. Lager - Dortmunder / Export
    94. Lager - Euro Dark
    95. Lager - Euro Pale
    96. Lager - Helles
    97. Lager - IPL (India Pale Lager)
    98. Lager - Japanese Rice
    99. Lager - Munich Dunkel
    100. Lager - Pale
    101. Lager - Red
    102. Lager - Strong
    103. Lager - Vienna
    104. Lager - Winter
    105. Lambic - Faro
    106. Lambic - Framboise
    107. Lambic - Fruit
    108. Lambic - Gueuze
    109. Lambic - Kriek
    110. Lambic - Traditional
    111. Lichtenhainer
    112. Malt Beer
    113. Malt Liquor
    114. Mumme
    115. Märzen
    116. Non-Alcoholic Beer
    117. Old Ale
    118. Pale Ale - American
    119. Pale Ale - Australian
    120. Pale Ale - Belgian
    121. Pale Ale - English
    122. Pale Ale - International
    123. Pale Ale - Milkshake
    124. Pale Ale - New England
    125. Pale Ale - New Zealand
    126. Patersbier
    127. Pilsner - Czech
    128. Pilsner - German
    129. Pilsner - Imperial / Double
    130. Pilsner - Other
    131. Porter - American
    132. Porter - Baltic
    133. Porter - Coffee
    134. Porter - English
    135. Porter - Imperial / Double
    136. Porter - Imperial / Double Baltic
    137. Porter - Imperial / Double Coffee
    138. Porter - Other
    139. Pumpkin / Yam Beer
    140. Rauchbier
    141. Red Ale - American Amber / Red
    142. Red Ale - Imperial / Double
    143. Red Ale - Irish
    144. Red Ale - Other
    145. Roggenbier
    146. Root Beer
    147. Rye Beer
    148. Rye Wine
    149. Schwarzbier
    150. Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
    151. Scottish Ale
    152. Scottish Export Ale
    153. Shandy / Radler
    154. Smoked Beer
    155. Sour - Berliner Weisse
    156. Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
    157. Sour - Flanders Red Ale
    158. Sour - Fruited
    159. Sour - Fruited Berliner Weisse
    160. Sour - Fruited Gose
    161. Sour - Gose
    162. Sour - Other
    163. Specialty Grain
    164. Spiced / Herbed Beer
    165. Steinbier
    166. Stout - American
    167. Stout - Coffee
    168. Stout - English
    169. Stout - Foreign / Export
    170. Stout - Imperial / Double
    171. Stout - Imperial / Double Coffee
    172. Stout - Imperial / Double Milk
    173. Stout - Imperial / Double Oatmeal
    174. Stout - Imperial / Double Pastry
    175. Stout - Imperial / Double White
    176. Stout - Irish Dry
    177. Stout - Milk / Sweet
    178. Stout - Oatmeal
    179. Stout - Other
    180. Stout - Oyster
    181. Stout - Pastry
    182. Stout - Russian Imperial
    183. Stout - White
    184. Strong Ale - American
    185. Strong Ale - English
    186. Strong Ale - Other
    187. Table Beer
    188. Traditional Ale
    189. Wheat Beer - American Pale Wheat
    190. Wheat Beer - Other
    191. Wheat Beer - Wheat Wine
    192. Wheat Beer - Witbier
    193. Wild Ale - Other
    194. Winter Ale
    195. Winter Warmer
    196. Zoigl
  8. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,432) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    IPL to the rescue, good call man. I think this one has been standing out the longest for some time. Seemed like at one point it was also quite the rage for a short bit... have had some real dandy ones. It's sort of ebbed as the NEIPAs have taken much of the hop limelight.

    HA pun!

    I like the other suggestions as well it's a good start, there's a lot out there, but yeah its going to be tough to cover all the bases...

    You got this man. And I think it's cool you got Grodziske Gratzer in there as well as Lichtenhaier. (can I spell no?)
    realJohnnyHobo and FBarber like this.
  9. Kman_Colorado

    Kman_Colorado Initiate (68) Aug 17, 2014 Colorado

    Along the same lines I always thought the term pastry stout was meant to be derogatory. Apparently I am wrong about that.
  10. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Crusader (767) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    That's one of the few cases in which it makes sense. Pretty unnecessary in most other situations IMO.

    To quote @cjgiant "If a French brewer makes a pastry stout, is it still American?". It would be nice to have at least an "Other" option.

    In any case it's not a huge issue for me, just voicing a suggestion.
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  11. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (8,599) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    If true, let's not add any styles that would preclude achieving "all-styles" because of a style only being available in a specific country - or not at all.
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  12. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,671) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

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  13. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,973) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I only just saw this and haven't read through the whole thread yet, but hoping there have been some suggestions for American Wild Ale expansion/alteration. Not just the Kettle Sours, which I'm glad to see here, but there are plenty of saison and sour beer styles that are distinct (has Grisette been mentioned? edit: oh yes it has, good!). But American Lambic or American Gueuze are a real thing and we all know it. But since we and Belgium both really don't like outside-of-their-region brews being labeled as Belgian or using those terms, I just think it'd be nicer to have a more American style name. I'm not a fan of the generic "American Wild Ale" which means so little. I like Saison or even Farmhouse for subtle, often wood aged American brett beers, but for the Lambic and Gueuze styles, I'd rather call them as such, with the American prefix, or else I suppose we could go with the Méthode Traditionnelle…?
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  14. filstan

    filstan Initiate (103) Mar 4, 2012 Illinois

    Yes, I believe it is pursued by enough lager directional breweries to warrant designation.
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  15. Beginner2

    Beginner2 Poo-Bah (3,291) Feb 14, 2016 Illinois

    Thanks for asking... But I pretty much go with what we get and work with it and offer commentary in my reviews. Working within the structure and personalizing is probably the only way to move forward without making too many mistakes in this very dynamic industry.

    I'd say every two years is a goodly time so fads can fade and trends can be captured in the new styles. I have no objection to the proposed styles... but then I drink mostly in the Belgian tradition which is less dynamic.
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  16. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Champion (818) Sep 23, 2018 Maine

    Here's what I think. Just the opinion of one of many active BAs.
    • American India Pale Lager (IPL) - Yes
    • American Kettle Sour - Yes!
    • American Pastry Stout - Really leaning towards no. I think American Imperial Stout could cover this. Description should cover the details.
    • American Pilsner - Yes!
    • English Golden Ale - Yes
    • New England Imperial India Pale Ale (NEIIPA) - On the fence. Not totally against it, but I predict many inaccurate examples.
    • New England Pale Ale (NEPA) - Yes!
    • Milkshake India Pale Ale (MIPA) - On the fence - leaning towards Yes. If it can be noted in the description that it has lactose, I'd be okay without it though.
    • Radler / Shandy - Yes
    • American Kettle Sour with Fruit - No. Just note that it has fruit in the description. Otherwise, wild ales, stouts, IPAs, saisons, and a bunch of other styles would "need" a "with fruit" subcategory. Let's just give that one to lambic.
    • Asian Lager - does Japanese Rice Lager not cover this?
    • Belgian Grisette - Okay with this. I predict a lot of misuse though. I like to differentiate though.
    • Can't really speak for those more obscure German/Dutch/Polish styles.
    I think much of this can be simplified by just utilising the description box when adding a beer. Some of these are definitely critical, and should be added, but I think much of this is just superfluous hair-splitting that can be remedied by a proper description.
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  17. filstan

    filstan Initiate (103) Mar 4, 2012 Illinois

    There are in Germany, Heller and Blonderbock beers that encompass Maibock, Weinachtsbock, or just golden bockbier in general. Helles Bock would encompass all of the above if that’s what people want to use to associate a style. Strong golden lager beer. 7% plus?
    FBarber likes this.
  18. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (154) Jul 1, 2009 Scotland

    I mean what it says. Zoigl is not a style. Zoigl is a beer made in a communally owned brewhouse and served to the public from private homes. Theoretically you could make an imperial stout in a communal brewery and it would be Zoigl.
  19. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (154) Jul 1, 2009 Scotland

    English Golden Ale isn’t a thing either.

    In Britain such beers fall across three styles:
    a) Light Mild (if not very hoppy)
    b) Bitter (if brewed with English hops)
    c) Pale 'n' Hoppy (if brewed with US/NZ hops and extra pale malt)
  20. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,045) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    That was a really, really fun quest years ago. Happoshu, for me, was hands down the hardest.
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  21. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,045) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    That is some excellent data, thank you. That winds up being what...50ish more styles than we have here? Stylistically, some of those are a tad niche (example: white stouts), but, a lot of good style data there. Is it possible to work backwards from there? Like, cross referencing our list to that and removing those. Then left with the differences and whittling down from there what here on BA might be 'missing'. Like you, there are styles on that list I disagree with but that is an excellent reference point especially if comparing to say, BJCP acknowledged styles.
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  22. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,104) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I love the suggestions so far and am very interested in the others as I read through the entire thread. Would love to volunteer to be a part of the Style Council.
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  23. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (3,003) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    Agreed with all the primary styles, although I think that American Triple IPA and New England Triple IPA should also be added and the "Imperial" IPAs be renamed to "Double" IPAs. There is quite a difference between a 7% and a 12% ABV IPA in my opinion. When it comes to the secondary styles, I think that there are a lot of really obscure, pretty much extinct styles there that are not really needed. Maybe a Historical Ale style could be added as a catch-all instead.

    When it comes to the (fruited) Kettle Sours, Berliners and Gose, I'm actually rather torn. Personally, I think that all fruited Berliners and Gose should simply be classified as Kettle Sours as they have little in common with traditional examples of the style, but that just isn't in line with how modern brewers are classifying these styles. So I think that Fruited Berliner Weisse and Fruited Gose are also needed. On the other hand, is a distinction between Kettle Sour and Fruited Kettle Sour really needed? I don't think I've ever encountered a non-fruited Kettle Sour, isn't that just a Sour IPA?

    So, styles that I would nominate are as follows:

    • American India Pale Lager
    • American Kettle Sour
    • American Pastry Stout
    • American Pilsner
    • English Golden Ale
    • Session IPA
    • American Triple IPA
    • New England Triple IPA
    • New England Double IPA
    • New England Pale Ale
    • Milkshake IPA
    • Radler / Shandy
    • Fruited Berliner Weisse
    • Fruited Gose
    • American Sour IPA
    • Historical Ale
    Although I expect that there will be a lot of arguing and wrong classifications when it comes to the Pastry Stout style...
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  24. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,104) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    But a Kentucky Common and a California Steam/Common are very different beers.
  25. morimech

    morimech Poo-Bah (3,830) Nov 6, 2006 Minnesota

    Artificially flavored beer. Might cover 15% of the beer added to the database the last couple of years (hyperbolic).
  26. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,104) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I think in general these beers are Fruited Kettle Sours (at least initially) with some lactose. Do they really need to be separated from Fruited Kettle Sours?
    traction likes this.
  27. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (8,599) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    That was my last one too, and it came in a trade.
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  28. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (8,599) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Could call it Add-junk beer (playing off all the people that call them adjuncts)
    morimech likes this.
  29. traction

    traction Zealot (561) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    I think they are unique enough to warrant their own subcategory but I don't think they necessarily require it. If we are getting specific enough about categories that we are separating NEIPA versus NEIIPA and adding things like MIPA like suggested in the OP I think there is just as much variation in the fruited kettle sour category as the IPA category.
  30. DigestingBeer

    DigestingBeer Initiate (111) Oct 31, 2008 Massachusetts

    IPL is obviously needed.

    American kettle sour is all that's needed to cover kettle soured beers that aren't made solely with traditional german ingredients and processes like berliner weisse.

    American pilsner as well would be good to cover all the hoppy pale lagers made with non traditional pilsner ingredients like potent US or South pacific hops or fruits/spices.

    Radler/Shandy is obviously needed.

    Belgian grisette might be good, but breweries rarely use that word, so a lot of low alcohol saisons might not be placed there.

    American (wild?) farmhouse ale might be good to place all the sour, funky, and/or barrel-aged saison that are nothing like typical Belgian saison. This is where Side Project, De Garde, Hill Farmstead, Logsdon, and Jolly Pumpkin should be. There might be a lot that needs to be recategorized, though...

    Yay, go Gratzer!

    I'm not sure about the others because it would be messy recategorizing, or they are such rare/obscure styles.
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  31. paulish

    paulish Poo-Bah (2,058) Feb 2, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Too much changes in one time.Too much job for moderators.
    Will be enough for this summer:
    • American India Pale Lager (IPL)
    • American Kettle Sour
    • American Pastry Stout
    • New England Imperial India Pale Ale (NEIIPA)
    • New England Pale Ale (NEPA)
    • Radler / Shandy
    lucius10 likes this.
  32. DigestingBeer

    DigestingBeer Initiate (111) Oct 31, 2008 Massachusetts

    I couldn't edit my former comment after 15 minutes so....

    Session IPA!! I didn't realize there was no category for it, even though there are soooo many examples. Call it Session/light IPA if you really want to.

    People are all about the fruited sour thing, but american kettle sour would catch all of that. If we had AKS and fruited AKS there would be little to no AKS entries. Almost all unflavored kettle sours would fit under berliner weisse. How many all barley, unflavored kettle sours exist? My bet is that with both, the AKS category would have mostly dry-hopped sours. Is that necessary? I don't know.
    jlindros likes this.
  33. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,091) Apr 21, 2014 Canada

    I like the idea of expanding.

    The only thing I don’t see, that would now be a fruit and field beer I suppose is the beer/wine hybrid (10% or more wine in the bottle). It is a pretty big thing up here.
    KRug likes this.
  34. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,682) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    thanks, thats what I thought you were driving at, but couldn't be sure since many people don't really know much at all about Zoigl to start with.

    As for your example, wouldn't it be a Baltic Porter since it would be lagered? :stuck_out_tongue:
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  35. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,523) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Wouldn’t they all have to be called American Saison then? I could be totally wrong, but it was my understanding that Saison/Farmhouse Ale was a somewhat broadly defined rustic ale brewed for the seasonal workers and varied by region in Belgium. It was my understanding that it fell by the wayside and rejuvenated by the American Craft Beer movement. Do they still make Saison in Belgium?
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  36. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,523) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    I like that idea. It is a very broadly defined and hard to categorize style.
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  37. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,523) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Yes to IPL, American Kettle Sour and Grissette. On the fence about Milkshake IPA. I don’t like them and tend to give them poor reviews, but defining the style might improve their scores.
    I’m pretty much ok with all other suggestions although I haven’t heard of many of these.
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  38. biboergosum

    biboergosum Poo-Bah (13,321) Oct 28, 2007 Canada

    Me too, it was my last one, before the most recent style reorg - thankfully I worked with a dude who was really into Japanese culture, and would travel there on vacation. He brought me back two cans of Happoshu, and I offered to pay him, and he just said 'they were like 50 cents each out of a vending machine'. Ok, then.
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  39. Boone757

    Boone757 Poo-Bah (6,040) Nov 21, 2012 Virginia

    1. With BA and Untappd owned by the same folks, should you not consider just standardizing on the same beer styles to be listed for both now?
    2. For new styles, would be nice to put it to the members as a chance to vote on.
    3. I'm ok with new styles, but they should have a measurable % of the total beer list count. Otherwise, just seems another variant of another style and of less value or need.
  40. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (83) May 18, 2017 England

    Not sure about this - at least, what I'd call Golden Ale is basically pale n hoppy - pale, bitter, very little midrange / crystal malt character - but with the aroma hops being too restrained or old-world to start pushing into American Pale / Session IPA territory. To me this seems like definitely a thing, and definitely not the same as "pale bitter".

    If you don't want to take my word for it, you can ask Martyn Cornell, who gives Golden Ale a chapter in Amber, Gold and Black - pretty much the definitive history of British beer styles - or CAMRA, who give it a category in the Champion Beer of Britain.