Hoppy Beer Styles

As you likely know, beer is made from four primary ingredients: grain, HOPS, yeast and water. Therefore, all beers contain hops but the amount of hops utilized and taste of hops will vary by beer and style. Beers that are out of balance toward the hop side are considered hop-forward. Beers that put an emphasis on specific hops are considered hop-focused. At the Long Island Hop Festival, our goal is to showcase beers made with a heavy hand of hops that may have high hop bitterness (IBUs), taste and/or aroma.

The following is a list, based on the Brewers Association’s competition style list, of some hop-forward and hop-focused beers that you may see at the Long Island Hop Festival:

Session India Pale Ale

Color: Straw to copper. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: A low to medium maltiness should be present in aroma and flavor. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor are medium to high and can display qualities from a wide variety of hops from all over the world. Overall hop character is assertive. Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are low to medium. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Low to medium. Additional Notes: Beers exceeding 5.0% abv are not considered Session India Pale Ales. Beers under 5.0% abv (4.0% abw) which meet the criteria for another classic or traditional style category are not considered Session India Pale Ales. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.038-1.052 (9.5-12.9 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.014 (2-4.6 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.0%- 4.0% (3.7%-5.0%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 40-55. Color SRM (EBC): 3-12 (6-24 EBC).

Fresh Hop Beer

Color: Varies with underlying style. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Varies with underlying style. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Fresh hop aroma and flavor is prominent exhibiting green grass-like, fresh mown hay/grass or other fresh hop attributes. Perceived Bitterness: Varies with underlying style. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are usually present, consistent with the ale style being made with fresh hops. Body: Varies with underlying style. Additional Notes: These ales are brewed with freshly harvested hops. Such hops might be undried fresh or frozen cones or ground material, or, freshly kilned dried cones or pellets. These beers are typically consumed while fresh to highlight bright fresh hop attributes. Aging these beers will typically modify and reduce fresh-hop characters resulting in unique flavor outcomes. Original Gravity (°Plato): Varies with style. Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): Varies with style. Alcohol by Weight (Volume): Varies with style. Hop Bitterness (IBU): Varies with style. Color SRM (EBC): Varies with style.

India Pale Lager

Color: Straw to gold. Clarity: Hop haze is allowable. Chill haze should not be present. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium, exhibiting bready, cracker-like or other attributes typical of pale malts. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium to high with attributes typical of hops of any origin. Perceived Bitterness: Medium to high, but not harsh. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters, DMS and diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium-low to medium. Additional Notes: This style of beer should exhibit the fresh character of hops. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.050-1.065 (12.4-15.9 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.016 (2.1-4.1 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 4.4%-5.6% (5.6%-7.0%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 30-70. Color SRM (EBC): 3-6 (6-12 EBC).

American-Style Pale Ale

Color: Straw to light amber. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low caramel malt aroma is allowable. Low to medium maltiness may include low caramel malt character. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the U.S. Perceived Bitterness: Medium to medium-high. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044-1.050 (11-12.4 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.014 (2.1-3.6 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.5%- 4.3% (4.4%-5.4%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 30-50. Color SRM (EBC): 4-7 (8-14 EBC).

Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale

Color: Straw to deep gold. Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low malt aroma and flavor may be present. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin. Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance, and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels. Fermentation Characteristics: Medium-low to medium-high fruity esters are present, and can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile. Additional Notes: Grist may include oats, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. The term "juicy" is frequently used to describe taste and aroma attributes often present in these beers which result from late, often very large, additions of hops. A juicy character is not required, however. Other hop-derived attributes such as citrus, pine, spice, floral or others may be present with or without the presence of juicy attributes. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.044-1.050 (11-12.4 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.014 (2.1-3.6 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 3.5%- 4.3% (4.4%-5.4%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 20-50; may differ significantly from perceived bitterness. Color SRM (EBC): 4-9 (8-18 EBC).

American-Style Strong Pale Ale

Color: Pale to copper. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low caramel malt aroma is allowable. Low level maltiness may include low caramel malt character. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the USA. Perceived Bitterness: High. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.050-1.065 (12.4-15.9 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.016 (2.1-4.1 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 4.4%-5.6% (5.6%-7.0%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 40-50. Color SRM (EBC): 4-14 (8-28 EBC).

Juicy or Hazy Strong Pale Ale

Color: Straw to deep gold. Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low malt aroma and flavor may be present. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin. Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels. Fermentation Characteristics: Medium-low to medium-high fruity esters may be present, and can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium-low to medium-high. A silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile. Additional Notes: Grist may include oats, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. The term "juicy" is frequently used to describe taste and aroma attributes often present in these beers which result from late, often very large, additions of hops. A juicy character is not required, however. Other hop-derived attributes such as citrus, pine, spice, floral or others may be present with or without the presence of juicy attributes. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.050-1.065 (12.4-15.9 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.016 (2.1-4.1 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 4.4%-5.6% (5.6%-7.0%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 40-50; may differ significantly from perceived bitterness. Color SRM (EBC): 4-9 (8-18 EBC).

American-Style India Pale Ale

Color: Gold to copper. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Hop haze is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium intensity malt attributes are present in aroma and flavor. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is high, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur/diesel-like, onion-garlic-catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the USA. Perceived Bitterness: Medium-high to very high. Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters are low to high. Diacetyl and DMS should not be present. Body: Medium-low to medium. Additional Notes: The use of water with high mineral content may result in a crisp, dry beer rather than a malt-accentuated version. Sugar adjuncts may be used to enhance body and balance. Hops of varied origins may be used for bitterness or for approximating traditional American character. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.060-1.070 (14.7-17.1 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.010-1.016 (2.5-4.1 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 5.0%-6.0% (6.3%-7.5%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 50-70. Color SRM (EBC): 6-12 (12-24 EBC).

Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale

Color: Straw to deep gold. Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium-low malt aroma and flavor may be present. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin. Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels. Fermentation Characteristics: Medium to medium-high fruity esters are present, and can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium-low to medium-high. A silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile. Additional Notes: Grist may include oats, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. The term "juicy" is frequently used to describe taste and aroma attributes often present in these beers which result from late, often very large, additions of hops. A juicy character is not required, however. Other hop-derived attributes such as citrus, pine, spice, floral or others may be present with or without the presence of juicy attributes. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.060-1.070 (14.7-17.1 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.008-1.020 (2.0-5.0 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 5.0%-6.0% (6.3%-7.5%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 30-60; may differ significantly from perceived bitterness. Color SRM (EBC): 4-9 (8-18 EBC).

Imperial India Pale Ale

Color: Straw to medium amber. Clarity: Chill haze is acceptable at low temperatures. Haze created by dry hopping is allowable at any temperature. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to medium pale malt character is typical. Low pale caramel malt character may be present. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Hop aroma and flavor is very high. Hop character should be fresh and evident, derived from any variety of hops. Hop flavor should not be harsh. Perceived Bitterness: Very high but not harsh. Fermentation Characteristics: Alcohol content is medium-high to high and evident. Fruity esters are medium to high. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium to full. Additional Notes: This style of beer should exhibit the fresh character of hops. Oxidized or aged character should not be present. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.070-1.100 (17.1-23.7 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.012-1.020 (3.1-5.1 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 6.0%-8.4% (7.6%-10.6%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 65-100. Color SRM (EBC): 2-9 (4-18 EBC).

Juicy or Hazy Imperial Pale Ale

Color: Straw to deep gold. Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category. Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to high malt aroma and flavor may be present. Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: High to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin. Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance, and may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels. Fermentation Characteristics: Medium-high to high fruity esters are present, and can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present. Body: Medium to high. A silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile. Additional Notes: Grist may include oats, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. The term "juicy" is frequently used to describe taste and aroma hop derived attributes often present in these beers which result from late, often very large, additions of hops. A juicy character is not required, however. Other hop derived attributes such as citrus, pine, spice, floral or others may be present with or without the presence of juicy attributes. Original Gravity (°Plato): 1.070-1.100 (17.1-23.7 °Plato). Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato): 1.012-1.024 (3.1-6.0 °Plato). Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 6.0%-8.4% (7.6%-10.6%). Hop Bitterness (IBU): 65-100; may differ significantly from perceived bitterness. Color SRM (EBC): 4-9 (8-18 EBC).

Note there are many other styles that put an emphasis on hops or that brewers may take the liberty of making hop-forward. The above list is to get you acquainted with some styles you may see at the festival.