Any ale or lager beer brewed using unusual techniques (hot rocks, etc.), unique fermentables (such as maple syrup, honey, etc.),unique adjuncts (oats, rye, potatoes, etc.), low alcohol, combinations of fruits and spices/herbs/vegetables, or historical beers (Entire, IPA with Brettanomyces, Louvain Peeterman, etc.). Experimental beers that do not otherwise meet the other established style categories may be entered here.
The character of the stated uniqueness should be distinctive in the aroma. Overall the aroma should be a balanced combination of malt, hops and the featured uniqueness as appropriate to the specific type of beer being presented. If the base beer is an ale then general fruitiness and other fermentation byproducts such as diacetyl may be present as appropriate for the warmer fermentation. If the base beer is a lager, then overall less fermentation byproducts would be appropriate. The overall aroma should be balanced and harmonious.
Appearance should be appropriate to the base beer being presented and will vary depending on the base beer.
The character of the particular ingredient or technique should be distinctive in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness and flavor, malt flavors, alcohol content and fermentation byproducts, such as diacetyl, should be appropriate to the base beer and harmonious and balanced with the distinctive nature of flavors present.
Mouthfeel may vary depending on the base beer selected and as appropriate to that base beer. Body and carbonation levels should be appropriate to the base beer style being presented.
A harmonious marriage ingredients, processes and beer.
Overall balance is the key to presenting a well-made specialty beer. The distinctive nature of the stated specialty should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and ingredients or techniques work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The brewer must specify the underlying beer style as well as the type of unique ingredients used, process utilized or historical beer style being brewed. If the base beer is a classic style, the original style should come through in aroma and flavor. Additionally, whenever multiple fruits, spices, herbs or vegetables are used each should be distinctive in their own way. For historical styles that may not be known to all beer judges, the brewer may provide a copy of the text of references to these beers as an aid to the judges.
OG, FG, IBUs, SRM and ABV will vary depending on the underlying base beer.