We use the common or culinary definitions of spices, herbs, and vegetables, not botanical or scientific ones. In general, spices are the dried seeds, seed pods, fruit, roots, bark, etc. of plants used for flavoring food. Herbs are leafy plants or parts of plants (leaves, flowers, petals, stalks) used for flavoring food. Vegetables are savory or less sweet edible plant products, used primarily for cooking or sometimes eating raw. Vegetables can include some botanical fruit. This category explicitly includes all culinary spices, herbs, and vegetables, as well as nuts (or anything with ‘nut’ in the name, including coconut), chile peppers, coffee, chocolate, spruce tips, rose hips, hibiscus, fruit peels/zest (but not juice), rhubarb, and the like. It does not include culinary fruit or grains. Flavorful fermentable sugars and syrups (e.g., agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, sorghum, treacle, honey) or sweeteners (e.g., lactose) can be included only in combination with other allowable ingredients, and should not have a dominant character. Any combination of allowable ingredients may also be entered.
See Category 29 for a definition and examples of fruit. See the Introduction to Specialty-Type Beer section for additional comments, particularly on evaluating the balance of added ingredients with the base beer.
The description of the beer is critical for evaluation; judges should think more about the declared concept than trying to detect each individual ingredient. Balance, drinkability, and execution of the theme are the most important deciding factors.
The SHVs should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. Base style attributes will be different after the addition of SHVs; do not expect the beer to taste identical to the unadulterated base style.