M-84: An MBAA Beer Steward method of classifying beer by flavor instead of style

K. OCKERT (1); (1) Master Brewers Association of the Americas, Eagan, MN, U.S.A.

Saturday, June 7 - 1:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Level 3, Crystal Room

With the surge in popularity of craft and specialty brewing worldwide, a conundrum has emerged in which new beers have overwhelmed traditional style characterizations. There are now over 140 beer styles recognized by the Brewers Association 2014 Beer Style Guidelines. This is certainly great fodder for beer competitions but nothing short of confusing for brewers, salespeople, and beer drinkers alike. Brewers tend to think of beers as either lagers or ales and then focus on the ingredients, process, and positive flavors they are trying to achieve. The Belgians famously let the rest of the brewing world categorize and label their beers. The MBAA Beer Steward program has developed a method of classifying beers into four broad flavor-led categories that any lager or ale can fit into. This method takes some of the memorization out factor out and allows for an easier way to describe and understand a beer’s flavor without necessarily linking it to a particular style.

Karl Ockert has served as the Technical Director for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas since 2010 where he directs the Brewing and Packaging short courses and serves as editor of the MBAA Technical Quarterly. Prior to that he served as the brewmaster of BridgePort Brewing Co. in Portland, Oregon, which he helped found and build in 1984. He earned his B.S. degree in fermentation sciences from the University of California at Davis in 1983. Karl’s brewing career has covered the spectrum of brewing ranging from brewpub size to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Newark, NJ. Karl is the editor of the MBAA Practical Handbook for the Specialty Brewer published in 2005 and the second edition of Beer Packaging Technology published in 2014.

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