Style Details

Strong Ame­ri­can Ale
BJCP Style Code
22 D
Color ran­ges from gold to deep amber, often with gar­net or ruby high­lights. Low to medi­um off-white head. The head may have cre­a­my tex­tu­re, and good reten­ti­on. Chill haze is allo­wa­ble, but usual­ly cle­ars up as the beer gets war­mer. High alco­hol and vis­co­si­ty may be visi­ble in “legs” when beer is swir­led in a glass.
Hop aro­ma is mild and can repre­sent just about any late hop aro­ma­tic. Mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-strong brea­dy, whea­ty malt cha­rac­ter, often with addi­tio­nal malt com­ple­xi­ty such as honey and cara­mel. A light, clean, alco­hol aro­ma may noted. Low to medi­um frui­ty notes may be appa­rent. Very low levels of diace­tyl are accep­ta­ble but not requi­red. Wei­zen yeast cha­rac­ter (banana/clove) is inappropriate.
Mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-high whea­ty malt fla­vor, domi­nant in the fla­vor balan­ce over any hop cha­rac­ter. Low to mode­ra­te brea­dy, toasty, cara­mel, or honey malt notes are a wel­co­me com­ple­xi­ty note, alt­hough not requi­red. Hop fla­vor is low to medi­um, and can reflect any varie­ty. Mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-high frui­tin­ess, often with a dried-fruit cha­rac­ter. Hop bit­ter­ness may ran­ge from low to mode­ra­te; balan­ce the­r­e­fo­re ran­ges from mal­ty to even­ly balan­ced. Should not be syru­py and under-atte­nu­a­ted. Some oxi­da­tive or vinous fla­vors may be pre­sent, as are light alco­hol notes that are clean and smooth but com­plex. A com­ple­men­ta­ry, sup­port­i­ve oak cha­rac­ter is wel­co­me, but not required.
Medi­um-full to full bodi­ed and che­wy, often with a luscious, vel­ve­ty tex­tu­re. Low to mode­ra­te car­bo­na­ti­on. Light to mode­ra­te smooth alco­hol warm­ing may also be present.
Over­all Impression
A rich­ly tex­tu­red, high alco­hol sip­ping beer with a signi­fi­cant grai­ny, brea­dy fla­vor and sleek body. The empha­sis is first on the brea­dy, whea­ty fla­vors with inte­res­t­ing com­ple­xi­ty from malt, hops, frui­ty yeast cha­rac­ter and alco­hol complexity.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Typi­cal­ly bre­wed with a com­bi­na­ti­on of Ame­ri­can two-row and Ame­ri­can wheat. Style com­mon­ly uses 50% or more wheat malt. Any varie­ty of hops may be used. May be oak-aged.
A rela­tively recent Ame­ri­can craft beer style that was first bre­wed at the Rubicon Bre­wing Com­pa­ny in 1988. Often a win­ter sea­so­nal, vin­ta­ge, or one-off release. Bre­we­ries fre­quent­ly expe­ri­ment with this style, lea­ding to a ran­ge of interpretations.
Dark malts should be used with res­traint. Much of the color ari­ses from a leng­thy boil. Some com­mer­cial examp­les may be lar­ger than the Vital Sta­tis­tics, and some may not be bre­wed every year.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Rubicon Win­ter Wheat Wine, Two Brot­hers Bare Trees Weiss Wine, Smut­ty­no­se Wheat Wine, Ports­mouth Wheat Wine
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.080 - 1.120 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.016 - 1.030 SG
8 - 15 SRM
8.0 - 12.0 %vol
30 - 60 IBU