The BJCP Provisional Beer Styles and BeerSmith

Pale Ale

The Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has issued several provisional beer styles in the years since the last major 2015 revision of their style guidelines. BJCP style are used in most home brew competitions here in the US.

Note that these styles are available as an add-on in BeerSmith under File->Add-ons. Install the add-on titled “Provisional BJCP 2015 Beer Styles.”

The Four Provisional Beer Styles

Since the 2015 BJCP update, several styles have emerged and are now brewed widely enough to be recognized by the BJCP as separate provisional styles. The four new styles are:

  • Catharina Sour (X4): A Brazilian kettle soured beer that incorporates fruit. From the guide: “A light and refreshing wheat ale with a clean lactic sourness that is balanced by a fresh fruit addition. The low bitterness, light body, moderate alcohol content, and moderately high carbonation allow the flavor and aroma of the fruit to be the primary focus of the beer. The fruit is often, but not always, tropical in nature.”
  • New Zealand Pilsner (X5): A cleanly fermented, golden pilsner that highlights the fruity, tropical and citrus flavors of New Zealand hops. From the style guide: “A pale, dry, golden-colored, cleanly-fermented beer showcasing the characteristic tropical, citrusy, fruity, grassy New Zealand-type hops. Medium body, soft mouthfeel, and smooth palate and finish, with a neutral to bready malt base provide the support for this very drinkable, refreshing, hop-forward beer.”
  • Burton Ale (17A): A rich, malty, bitter and historic strong ale from the Burton-on-Trent area in England. From the guide: “A rich, malty, sweet, and bitter dark ale of moderately strong alcohol. Full bodied and chewy with a balanced hoppy finish and complex malty and hoppy aroma. Fruity notes accentuate the malt richness, while the hops help balance the sweeter finish. Popular in Burton before IPAs were invented, widely exported to the Baltic countries. After 1822, reformulated to be less sweet and strong. Most popular in the Victorian Era, with several different strengths available in the family. The strongest versions evolved into English Barleywines. Became less popular after WWII, eventually dying out around 1970.”
  • New England IPA (21B): A cloudy American IPA with intense juicy fruit flavors and aroma. From the style guide: “An American IPA with intense fruit flavors and aromas, a soft body, and smooth mouthfeel, and often opaque with substantial haze. Less perceived bitterness than traditional IPAs but always massively hop forward. This emphasis on late hopping, especially dry hopping, with hops with tropical fruit qualities lends the specific ‘juicy’ character for which this style is known.”

Again, you can use all of these provisional styles in BeerSmith by just installing the “Provisional BJCP 2015 Beer Styles” add-on from the File->Add-ons menu item in BeerSmith.

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