American Barleywine

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American Barleywine is a highly alcoholic, highly hopped beer approaching wine in character. American barleywine differs from the traditional English barleywines primarily in the way it is highly hopped with high alpha varieties of hops.


American Barleywine clearly has its origins in English Barleywine. It is essentially a more highly hopped version of its predecessor, often made with American malts and American hops. Barleywine has had a resurgence in the US with Craft Beer brewers in the 1980s and 1990s.


Full to chewy wine-like body. Moderate hop bitterness flavor and aroma from American hops, but not unbalanced. Alcohol warmth present. Fruity and malty. Amber color. Caramel aroma. Low to moderate carbonation. American version of English Barley wine. More bitter than English counterpart due to American hops, but hops are not extreme. Alcoholic, malty and fruity. Well aged - often a year or more.


  • Color Range: 10.0-22.0 SRM
  • Original Gravity Range: 1.080-1.125 SG
  • Final Gravity Range: 1.020-1.035 SG
  • Bitterness Range: 50.0-100.0 IBU
  • Alcohol by Volume Range: 8.0-13.0 %
  • Carbonation Range: 1.8-2.5 vols
  • BJCP Style Number: 19 C


  • Lots of well modified pale malt with moderate caramel malt
  • Little or no darker malt
  • American hops add bitternes
  • Lengthy boil to enhance color
  • High gravity American ale yeast
  • Moderate to hard water.


  • Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Hair of the DOg Doggie Claws, Victory Old Horizontal, Brooklyn Monster Ale, Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine, Bell's Thurd Coast Old Ale, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot

See Also