Beer Styles

When was CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain introduced?

It was held at the second Great British Beer Festival (held at Alexandra Palace in North London)
It’s probably the longest running consumer beer competition
CAMRA’s National Executive set up a Beer Styles Review Group in 2019 to have a good look at the beer style categories and the results are what we are going to look at today.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Explain why we have beer styles
  • Distinguish between different beers and allocate them to the new beer style categories

In line with CAMRA’s New Styles

  • Why do we bother to have beer styles?

To help the drinker make informed decisions about what beer to chose.

  • Most people will have an idea what a golden ale or a bitter is

To make it easier to judge beer

  • It’s much easier to make a decision when judging beers of a similar type
  • Does anyone know how many style categories CAMRA currently uses for judging the Champion Beer of Britain?

Currently 10

Beer styles are not static. For example, the growth of golden ales led to the introduction of a golden ales in category in 2005.

But can anyone tell me when the last major changes were made to the CAMRA’s Champion Beer of Britain categories?


And it’s for that reason the Review took place. The result is an increase in the number of categories from 10 to 12.

So why this number?

Each beer category is judged in the regions before the winner of each category goes forward to the national judging. So we needed to ensure that:

  • There are sufficient beers in any category to give a sensible number of beers to be judged at a regional level
  • There are enough beer festivals available to host a judging.

Below is a list of the new beer styles. Click here to download the styles as a PDF file.

Mild 4% & below
Session Bitters 4.3% & below
Premium Bitters 4.4% to 6.4%
IPAs (English & New World) 5.5% & above
Session Pale, Blond and Golden Ales 4.3% & below
Premium Pale, Blond and Golden Ales4.4 – 6.4%
Red Ales, Brown Ales, Old Ales and Strong Milds 4.1% – 6.4%
Session Stouts and Porters 4.9% & below
Strong Stouts and Porters including Imperial Stouts and Baltic Porters5% & above
Barley Wines and Strong Ales 6.5% & above
Speciality Beers – Differently Produced
Speciality Beers – Flavoured

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