RateBeer Forums

Style classification of beers

Regarding style classification of beers, I still have some questions that are not clear to me after the addition of all the new styles that happened quiet some time ago. Maybe admins could help out. That would make adding new beers and sending corrections easier…

Where should smoked Stout/Imperial Porter/Imperial Stout/Baltic Porter go? We have the Porter – Smoked category should they be added in this category, go to Smoked – Other or stay in their respective category?

Should all beers with honey be categorized as Flavored?
A lot of Imperial Stouts are brewed with honey, which is often not declared, should they all go to Imperial Stout – Flavored / Pastry?
Honigbock – A lot of Bocks are brewed with honey, which is actually kind of a style. Should these beers stay in the category Bock or all be moved to Flavored – Other?Currently, this seems to be a bit inconsistent.

Pale Ale – Australian / New Zealand:
Should all PA brewed exclusively with southern hemisphere hops be categorized in this style?

There are some styles in which flavorings seem (?) to be acceptable to a certain degree.
Should beers of the following styles stay in the category or be moved:
Witbier / Belgian White Ale: If brewed with non classical fruits (passion fruit, peach, berries). Witbier / Belgian White Ale or Flavored – Fruit?
Sour / Wild Beer – Dark: If brewed with fruits. Sour / Wild Beer – Dark or Sour / Wild Beer – Flavored
Porter – Baltic: If flavored. Porter – Baltic or Porter – Flavored//Imperial Porter – Flavored?
Imperial Stouts: If obviously brewed with adjuncts/added flavors, but with no declaration (e.g. certain Omnipollo, Cervisiam

IPA – Hazy / New England, IIPA DIPA – Hazy New England:
I noticed that there are regional differences regarding the criteria when an IPA/DIPA is considered Hazy / New England or “classic”. I understand that we try to follow brewers intend but after the initial wave in Europe many brewers don’t call beers “Hazy” or “NEIPA” anymore. The same is true for the well known American breweries. Sometimes it is referred to the classification on Untappd. Also between the classification on Untappd and Ratebeer there are major differences (particularly for IPAs from the US). Is there a simple rule of thumb to keep our database consistent or should beers be added in the style that seems most appropriate and the final decision left for a local admin?

Many, many questions…if an admin/admins would find time to answer some of them, it would be great!

Thank you!


1 Like

For smoked Imperial Porters and smoked Imperial Stouts without flavoring, they have been going to Stout - Imperial and Stout - Flavored. For those with flavoring, into the respective flavored category.

Honey is a flavoring so generally I put it into flavored subset. I am less eager to include it in Flavored - Other as Kolsch, Pilsner, whatever seems a better fit. Same thing for the bocks you mentioned.

With Baltic Porters, if it is a true Baltic Porter but with some flavoring, it stays. If it is a flavored porter that people slap the name Baltic on, then probably Porter-Flavored or Porter-Imperial Flavored.

NZ/Aus Pale ales are a world I do not touch and fortunately no one makes them in NYC.

Any IS with clear adjuncts even if not called Vanilla Stout should be in flavored category.

I think the answer to many of your points is that these things cannot be 100% defined, and different admins will interpret things differently. Generally, in edge cases, doing what you think is best is fine, and local admins will correct what they disagree with.

No, it is a style beyond just the hops, but also kinda. Anything that just says ‘pale ale’ and is exclusively Aus / NZ hops is probably best added to that style. The big exception would be hazy / NE pale ales with southern hemisphere hops, which are definitely not in keeping with the style.

I think most admins apply the rule that something has to be dominated by the adjunct for it to go in the flavored - other style. Honey rarely does that. I imagine most honey bocks are bock first and honey beer second, so putting them as bocks is fine. Most fruited dark sours are still primarily dark sours, and I think should be kept as such.

Local admins do interpret these things differently. The optimal strategy is for sure to add them in the style that seems most appropriate, and let local admins change it if they wish. As you say, many breweries no longer market their IPAs as hazy because that is the status quo. If something obviously represents itself to you as a NEIPA then add it as such. I would in general ignore what styles things are added under on Untappd.

The easy way I like to think of it is avoid flavoured other category if anything else seems better. Except flavored golden ales or pale lagerd because really the added flavor kind of takes over from your typical golden ale or pale lager. I’m sure someone will disagree with this though too.

Honey - depends. In some cases it’s “just a fermentable” not giving anything of note to the final taste. Often times, in Europe especially, there are actual honey beers with honey playing a major component both in the beer’s name, intent and image, along with major impacts on the flavor profile. Something certain people without, I’d guess, much Euro experience, could not / refused to wrap their heads around when styles were being done, so Flavored - Honey never became a thing.

So right now it’s a gray area, unless the branding of the beer clearly puts it in the Flavored category - that is - Flavored-Other for a lack of a better category, it’s to the user’s discretion I guess.

No-one seems to have touched on the part of the original post which I was interested in. If I understand correctly, having read the style definitions, all flavoured Wild/Sour Ales go under Wild / Sour Beer - Flavoured, even if they are dark?

Witbier / Belgian White Ale: If brewed with non classical fruits (passion fruit, peach, berries). Witbier / Belgian White Ale or Flavored – Fruit? Flavored - Fruit, always if brewed/flavored with fruit, apart from citrus zest/peel (which is an integral part of the style). Tag as witbier though.

Sour / Wild Beer – Dark: If brewed with fruits. Sour / Wild Beer – Dark or Sour /
Wild Beer – Flavored toughest one - whatever you feel is the more correct call, depending on how obvious the fruit is

Porter – Baltic: If flavored. Porter – Baltic or Porter – Flavored//Imperial Porter – Flavored? - Porter/IP - Flavored (but tag it as Baltic Porter)

Imperial Stouts: If obviously brewed with adjuncts/added flavors, but with no declaration (e.g. certain Omnipollo, Cervisiam) - if adjuncts are obvious, flavored.

I did touch on that :cry:

I also said the pretty much the same thing as Marko, so this post is pretty much just to make it clear that you hurt my feelings.

1 Like

Or if you ask the bartender at the brewpub and they tell you it’s flavored btw - that’s what I do sometimes when it’s not obvious. Bartenders in craftbeer bars will often know too if you ask.

This would create a lot of confusion. I think most are still under Porter - Baltic, and I have dropped them there too.

Eh, no more than dumping obiously flavored beers under the base style. Also, if there is ever going to be a further split, much out to fish out all Porter - Flavoreds tagged with baltic porter than to go looking for flavored stuff among all BPs I’d guess. :slight_smile:

It’s not that I don’t see your point, just thinking from a future practical perspective. And flavoring can muddle base beer style differences when it comes to that whole Porter, Baltic Porter, Stout pantheon, but eh.

I mean the separation of Baltic Porter and Imperial Porter (and Imperial Stout actually) is already problematic, and this would add to the confusion (why is suddenly something that says on the label “Baltic Porter” under Imperial Porter? and what’s the difference in the first place?). I see that it will increase bug reports, because it will be very confusing for regular users :smiley: After all the current highest rated Baltic Porter (and bunch of others from the top) should be then moved to under IP - Flavored…

I thought Baltic porters were mainly bottom-fermented, whereas other porter styles are always top-fermented?

1 Like

Unfortunately this is less and less true. A lot of craft baltic porters are top fermented (for example I know for a fact that Põhjala’s are, they don’t hide it). Hence in theory I’m not actually against putting them IP - flavored category like Marko recommended (despite what it may have looked like). In practice it would create more admin work and constant need to explain why they are there. Given the choice between something that is in theory more correct and what is more practical, I just prefer the second one.

It was more of a light graze of the fingers across the buttocks.

Any pictures offered?

Asking for a friend.

I’m thinking 750ml per buttock.

Ya, that’s why I would put flavored baltics in baltic porter rather than elsewhere. My general rule is if you can avoid vague categories, then avoid them. That being said, I routine drop hazy IPAs with a bunch of junk in them into flavoured IPA… so ya.

Possibly with Baltic Porters it’s just because at least in these parts, there aren’t that many of them?
And ya, even though they aren’t always bottom fermented, they still ought to be, per style, making them a whole different beast from porters or IP IMO.

UK brewers seem to be producing more Baltic Porters at the moment so it’s more relevant over here. I’ve got one trad Baltic Porter waiting to be drunk but also one that is described as a Maple Iced Latte Baltic Porter.

with chocolate sprinkles and raspberry ripple sauce?! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Add To RateBeer

Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Add An Event

Manage Your Account

Add Premium
Edit Profile
Sign out

RateBeer Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, RateBeer Weekly, a must for understanding new people, places and beers in worldwide craft culture.

Stay Connected

2000- 2017 © RateBeer, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service