Style Details

Best Bit­ter
Bri­tish Bitter
BJCP Style Code
11 B
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.
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.
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.
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.
See comm­ents in cate­go­ry introduction.
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
8 - 16 SRM
3.0 - 4.0 %vol
25 - 40 IBU