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AHA Guideline

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Herb and Spice Beer

Herb and Spice Beers are any range of color depending on underlying style. Clear or hazy beer is acceptable in appearance. Herb and Spice beers are any beers using herbs or spices (derived from roots, seeds, fruits, vegetable, flowers, etc.) other than or in addition to hops to create a distinct (ranging from subtle to intense). Individual aroma and/or flavor characters of herbs and/or spices used may not always be identifiable but should be evident. Hop aroma is not essential but may be evident at low levels and should not dominate over herb-spice character. Malt sweetness will vary dramatically depending on overall balance desired. Hop flavor is not essential but may be evident at low levels and should not dominate over herb-spice character. Hop bitterness is very low to low. The perception of low hop bitterness is optimal for highlighting herbal/spice characters. Positive evaluations are significantly based on perceived balance of flavors. Classifying these beers can be complex; entries which exhibit primarily herbal and/or spicy qualities would appropriately considered as Herb/Spice Beer. As described in other categories and by way of example, chili-flavored beer with notable roast or vegetal chili flavor and/or aroma characters evident would be appropriately considered as Field Beer; whereas such a beer in which chili characters are expressed more as herbal or spice quality (such as the "heat" of a chili pepper) would appropriately be considered as Herb/Spice Beers. Pumpkin beers in which herb and spice characters dominate would also be appropriately be considered as Herb/Spice beers. Body is variable with style. A statement by the brewer explaining what herbs or spices are used is essential in order to qualify in this category and is helpful for fair assessment in competitions. Specifying a style upon which the beer is based may help evaluation. If this beer is a classic style with an herb or spice, the brewer should specify the classic style.


  • Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.030 - 1.110 (7.6 - 25.9)
  • Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.006 - 1.030 (1.5 - 7.6)
  • Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 2.00% - 9.50% (2.50% - 12.00%)
  • Bitterness (IBU) (5 - 40)
  • Color SRM (EBC) 5 - 50 (10 - 100)