Note: In the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, The Light Hybrid Beer style category has been deleted and the beers have been reclassified into various other categories. In the old style guideline, these beers are a collection of four different beer styles which share one thing in common (other than being light beers), they are all considered ales but have characteristics typical of a lager.
All four are summer styles, ie. they are light, crisp, and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer day. For different reasons, these beers just don't fit into any other categories. Each has its own reasons for being in this category.
The cream ale is the ale version of the American lager. Cream ales are sometimes brewed with a lager yeast at warmer temperatures, and sometimes a combination of lager and ale yeast.
Blonde ales are occasionally made with lager yeast and cold conditioned.
A Kölsch is typically made using an ale strain that ferments very close to lager temperatures, and is usually cold conditioned prior to bottling.
The American wheat and rye sub-category is very similar to the German styles of Hefeweizen and Roggenbier, but brewed with clean American yeast.
Each of these beers make great lawnmower beers and are fairly easy to brew. These are great introductions to the world of homebrew and craft beer for the uninitiated. Here are the beer styles in this category:
Information for this page was adapted from the Michigan Beer Guide, Volume 13 · Issue 104 · September/October 2009 entitled Ale or Lager? Who cares, it's refreshing! The summer beers referred to as Light Hybrids By David Curtis, from Brewing Classic Styles, 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew, by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer, and from the 2008 and 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines.
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