Style Guidelines
for the
2007 Celtic Brew-off


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clicking on the links provided will direct you the the BJCP page for that category

Category 8. English Pale Ale

8A) Standard/Ordinary Bitter
8B) Special/Best/Premium Bitter
8C) Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
8D) Welsh Bitter/Welsh Mild *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Aroma: Mild to rich malt aroma with some fruity overtones. Hop aroma should be very low, if evident at all.
Appearance: Deep amber to a reddish copper color. Head could range from very low in cask versions to fairly thick for bottled versions.
Flavor: A malty sweetness should be dominant with low to medium hop bitterness in the finish. Hop flavor should be low.
History: See Historical Notes**
Comments: The flavor and bitterness characteristics of Welsh Ale are somewhere between English bitter and Scottish ale. Welsh-style ale will have more malt character and less bitterness than a “bitter”, but have less malt and more bitterness than Scottish ale.
Overall Impression: A well-balanced, low alcohol, session-type beer.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035-1.043 FG: 1.007-1.015 IBUs: 10-20 SRM: 10-25 ABV: 3.2-4.0%
Commercial Examples: Brains Bitter, Brains Dark, Whitbread Welsh Bitter.

Category 9. SCOTTISH ALE

9A) Scottish Light 60/-
9B) Scottish Heavy 70/-
9C) Scottish Export 80/-
9E) Strong Scotch Ale

Category 11. English Brown Ale

11A) Mild
11B) Southern English Brown
11C) Northern English Brown Ale
11D) Irish Red Ale(BJCP Category 9D) *{ A Special Celtic Brew-off category}

Category 12. Porter

12A) Brown Porter
12B) Robust Porter
12C) Baltic Porter

Category 13. Stout

13A) Dry Stout
13B) Sweet Stout
13C) Oatmeal Stout
13D) Foreign Extra Stout

Category 14. India Pale Ale (IPA)

14A) English IPA

Category 19. Strong Ale

19A) Old Ale
19B) English Barleywine
19D) Heavy Scotch Ale 120/- *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Aroma: Moderate to intense malt aroma. Hop aromas should be very low and, generally, are not present. Roasted or peat smoked malts may be evident at low levels. Fruity esters are generally low.
Appearance: Heavy Scotch Ale can range from deep copper to dark brown in color. Due to the high alcohol content, head retention can be low to almost none. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures.
Flavor: Full, rich malt flavors characterize this ale. Complex alcohols are very evident and enhance the sweet maltiness of the beer. Hop flavor should be very low, if perceived at all. Some smokiness may be present either from the addition of peat smoked malt or the yeast used in fermentation. Low diacetyl (butterscotch) levels are acceptable.
Mouthfeel: A thick, rich body, almost chewy in character. A slickness on the tongue due to the high alcohol content is often present. Very low carbonation levels are typical.
Comments: These ales are extremely malty, very sweet, full-bodied, and very alcoholic. Heavy Scotch Ale has sometimes been described as having something like the flavor of fine Scotch whiskey. Very warming.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.086-1.120+ FG: 1.025-1.040 ABV: 6.7-9.6% IBU: 25-40 SRM: 15-25.
Commercial Examples: None known. 120/- Ales have not been brewed commercially since the 1850’s, but some brewpubs have produced similar styles.

19E) Russian Imperial Stout (BJCP Category 13F) *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Category 23. Specialty Beer

SPECIALTY, CELTIC HISTORICAL *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Any Celtic style brewed using ingredients other than (or in addition to) malted barley or sugar. The special ingredient(s) must make a unique contribution to the overall character of the beer and be native to the northern or western British Isles or the Brittany area of Northern France. Examples of Celtic specialty ales include (but are not limited to) beers brewed with berries (blackberry, elderberry, blueberry, rowan berry), herb/flowers (heather, gorse, rosemary, thyme, sage, sweet gale), honey, and apples. If honey and/or apples make up the most of the fermentable ingredients, the beverage should be entered in a Mead or Cider category below. Ales with a dominant smoke character due to the use of peat-smoked malt or spiced beers from the Brittany area of France should be entered in this category. The special ingredient(s) should be listed on the entry form and be apparent in the flavor and/or aroma of the ale.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.035-1.080+; FG: 1.012-1.020+; ABV: 3.0-6.0%+; IBU: 10-30+; SRM: 10-20+.
Commercial Examples: Faroach Heather Ale (Scotland); Alba Scots Pine Ale (Scotland); Rogue Buckwheat Ale; Siletz Spruce Ale (Ore.); Apple Ephemore, Unibroue (Canada); Abita Purple Haze; Cherry Ale, Melbourne Bros. Brewery (England). Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale, Divide Bee Sting Honey Ale, Stoudt’s Honey Double Mai Bock, Rogue Yellow Snow, Rogue Honey Cream Ale, Dogfish Head India Brown Ale, Zum Uerige Sticke Altbier

Introduction to Mead Guidelines

Category 24. Traditional Mead

24A) Dry Mead

24B) Semi Sweet Mead

24C) Sweet Mead

Category 25. Melomel (Fruit Mead)

25A) Cyser (Apple Melomel)

25B) Pyment (Grape Melomel)

25C) Other Fruit Melomel

Category 26. Other Mead

26A) Metheglin

26B) Braggot

26C) Open Category Mead

Introduction to Cider Guidelines

Category 27. Standard Cider and Perry

27A) Common Cider

27B) English Cider

27D) Common Perry

27E) Traditional Perry

Category 28. Other Mead

28B) Fruit Cider

28C) Applewine

28D) Other Specialty Cider/Perry

Category 30. Celtic Lagers

30A) Scottish-Style Lager *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Aroma: Hop aroma and flavor is low or negligible. Light fruity esters are normal and acceptable.
Appearance: Color may be light straw to golden. Chill haze should be absent.
Flavor: Alcohol content and bitterness should be greater than American-style lagers but less than a traditional Pilsner. Hop aroma and flavor is low or negligible. Light fruity esters are normal and acceptable.
History: See Historical Notes**
Comments: Scottish-style lagers have low malt (and sometimes adjunct) sweetness, are medium bodied, and should contain no or only a low percentage of adjuncts.
Vital Statistics: OG 1.046-1.050 FG 1.010-1.014 ABV 4.3-5% IBU 6-15 SRM 2-6.
Commercial Examples: Tennet’s Lager


30B) Irish-Style Lager *{A Special Celtic Brew-Off Category}

Aroma: Perceptible, but low hop aroma. . Fruity esters, chill haze, and diacetyl should not be perceived.
Appearance: Color is straw to deep golden. Chill haze should not be present.
Flavor: Grain and Malt flavors predominate, with just enough hop bitterness to balance. Bitterness should be medium, but less than a traditional Pilsner style. Hop flavor should be low. Alcohol content should be fairly high. This is a medium bodied beer.
History: See Historical Notes**
Comments: Irish-Style Lagers have medium hop bitterness. Hop flavor and aroma are perceptible but low. Sweet malt flavor is desired but should not be caramel-like.
Vital Statistics: OG 1.048-1.056 FG 1.010-1.014 ABV 5-6% IBU 23-29 SRM 3-5.
Commercial Examples: Harp Lager, Kells Irish Lager (Rogue Ales).



Styles marked with an asterisk are Celtic Brew-off Specialty categories.
Some have been moved to another category to fit this competition.

For a list of style guidelines in .doc format click here.

For an introduction to Meads and Ciders in .doc format click here.

For historical notes on special Celtic Brew-Off categories in .doc format click here.

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Updated 04/28/07
© 2007