Malt Liquor

(Redirected from American-Style Malt Liquor)
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Malt Liquor, generally known as Super-strength Lager in the UK, is a sweet, high-alcohol, lightly hopped lager which originated as a low-budget, mass-market product delivering high alcohol at a low price and usually at a fairly low quality. However, craft brewers occasionally do attempt to produce quality beers in this style as well.

The term "malt liquor" is the product of American alcoholic beverage regulations; notably labeling laws in some states that would not allow particularly strong beers to be marketed as "beer".

Malt liquor is traditionally marketed in oversize forty ounce (about 1.2L) bottles referred to in popular culture as "Forties".

History of Malt Liquor

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Brewing Malt Liquor

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Competition Styles

Since the style is not usually of great interest to home brewers, the BJCP does not define a style guideline for Malt Liquor. The GABF, with its emphasis on commercial beer styles, does.

GABF Style Listings

American-Style Malt Liquor

27C. American-Style Malt Liquor
GABF Style Listing (2007)
High in starting gravity and alcoholic strength, this style is somewhat diverse. Some American malt liquors are just slightly stronger than American lagers, while others approach bock strength. Some residual sweetness is perceived. Hop rates are very low, contributing little bitterness and virtually no hop aroma or flavor. Perception of sweet fruity esters and complex alcohols (though not solvent-like) are acceptable at low levels. Chill haze and diacetyl should not be perceived.
Original Gravity (ºPlato): 1.050-1.060 (12.5-15 ºPlato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato): 1.004-1.010 (1-2.5 ºPlato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume): 5-6% (6.25-7.5%)
Bitterness (IBU): 12-23
Color SRM (EBC): 2-5 (4-10 EBC)