Style Details

Name
Best Bit­ter
Cate­go­ry
Bri­tish Bit­ter
BJCP Style Code
11 B
Appearan­ce
Pale amber to medi­um cop­per color. Good to bril­li­ant cla­ri­ty. Low to mode­ra­te white to off-white head. May have very litt­le head due to low car­bo­na­ti­on.
Aro­ma
Low to mode­ra­te malt aro­ma, often (but not always) with a low to medi­um-low cara­mel qua­li­ty. Brea­dy, bis­cuit, or light­ly toas­ty malt com­ple­xi­ty is com­mon. Mild to mode­ra­te frui­ti­ness. Hop aro­ma can ran­ge from mode­ra­te to none, typi­cal­ly with a flo­ral, ear­thy, resi­ny, and/or frui­ty cha­rac­ter. Gene­ral­ly no dia­ce­tyl, alt­hough very low levels are allo­wed.
Fla­vour
Medi­um to moder­ate­ly high bit­ter­ness. Moder­ate­ly low to moder­ate­ly high frui­ty esters. Mode­ra­te to low hop fla­vor, typi­cal­ly with an ear­thy, resi­ny, frui­ty, and/or flo­ral cha­rac­ter. Low to medi­um mal­ti­ness with a dry finish. The malt pro­fi­le is typi­cal­ly brea­dy, bis­cui­ty, or light­ly toas­ty. Low to mode­ra­te cara­mel or tof­fee fla­vors are optio­nal. Balan­ce is often deci­ded­ly bit­ter, alt­hough the bit­ter­ness should not com­ple­te­ly over­power the malt fla­vor, esters and hop fla­vor. Gene­ral­ly no dia­ce­tyl, alt­hough very low levels are allo­wed.
Mouth­feel
Medi­um-light to medi­um body. Low car­bo­na­ti­on, alt­hough bot­t­led examp­les can have mode­ra­te car­bo­na­ti­on.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A fla­vor­ful, yet refres­hing, ses­si­on beer. Some examp­les can be more malt balan­ced, but this should not over­ri­de the over­all bit­ter impres­si­on. Drin­ka­bi­li­ty is a cri­ti­cal com­po­nent of the style.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Pale ale, amber, and/or crys­tal mal­ts. May use a touch of dark malt for color adjus­t­ment. May use sugar adjuncts, corn or wheat. Eng­lish finis­hing hops are most tra­di­tio­nal, but any hops are fair game; if Ame­ri­can hops are used, a light touch is requi­red. Cha­rac­ter­ful Bri­tish yeast.
Histo­ry
See comments in cate­go­ry intro­duc­tion.
Comments
More evi­dent malt fla­vor than in an ordi­na­ry bit­ter, this is a stron­ger, ses­si­on-strength ale.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Adnams SSB, Conis­ton Blue­bird Bit­ter, Fuller’s Lon­don Pri­de, Harvey’s Sus­sex Best Bit­ter, She­pherd Nea­me Mas­ter Brew Ken­tish Ale, Timo­thy Tay­lor Landlord, Young’s Spe­cial
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.040 - 1.048 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.008 - 1.012 SG
Color
8 - 16 SRM
Alco­hol
3.0 - 4.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
25 - 40 IBU