Food, Beer & Buffoonery - Hops

The Missing BJCP Styles, part 4: (almost) Lost American Ales

At long last, another issue of the Missing BJCP Styles series. Last time we looked at some Australian Lagers.  This time we look at two of the several “almost” lost styles of American Ale.  The American Stock Ale and the Kentucky Common Beer. As always, these descriptions are a work in progress. If you have any additional information on these styles, please post a comment (with references) and I’ll incorporate it into the style description.

As information on these two styles is so difficult to come by, and commercial examples are extremely rare to non-existent, this post is a bit more of a work in progress than some of the previous “Missing Styles” posts. However, the information below should be enough to formulate your own recipe. So, with that in mind…


Aroma: Distinctive hop aroma, slight malt fruitiness. May smell a hint of sourness due to lactic acid.

Appearance: Pale to amber in color. Can be slightly cloudy.

Flavor: Quite bitter, and can be somewhat tart from lactic acid. Strong hop flavor. Finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel: (more info needed)

Overall Impression: (more info needed)

Comments: Traditional mash schedule: start at 149-151°F for 15 to 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 154°F for 1 hour. A long secondary fermentation is traditional; 3-6 months. Traditional boil time is often 2 hours with a hop schedule of: 1/3 of hops added at start of boil, another 1/3 added an hour into the boil and the last 1/3 10 minutes before flame out. If sugar is used, it is added towards the end of the boil. American Stock Ales are either similar to or synonymous with Imperial Pale Ales.

Ingredients: Six-row malted barley with up to 25% sugar. American hop varieties Cluster, Northern Brewer and US grown Goldings. American ale yeast, at 68-70°F (20-21.1°C); WYeast 1056 or 1272 would both be good choices. Dry hop with up to 2.5 ounces (71 g) of hops per 5 gallons. Adding a small amount of lactic acid may be appropriate.

Vital Statistics:
OG:  1.066 – 1.079 (even up to 1.100? Though in 1896, average was 1.067)
IBUs:  70 – 100
FG: 1.013 – 1.016
SRM: 3 – 15
ABV: 5.5 – 7.9+%

Commercial Examples (tentative): Rogue Imperial IPA, Three Floyds Dreadnuaght IPA (9.5% abv).

References: “Radical Brewing” by Mosher, “American Handy-book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades” by Wahl and Henius


Aroma: (more info needed)

Appearance: Dark amber to almost black in color, comparable to a Bavarian dunkel.

Flavor: Pronounced malt flavor, slightly sweet, mild.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, high carbonation.

Overall Impression: (more info needed)

Comments: Ferment at 68-70°F. Consumed Young. Highly Carbonated.

Ingredients: Pale malt, 25-30% corn or flaked maize, and 1-2% caramel or black malts for color (or some caramel coloring). American hop varieties, such as Cluster or Northern Brewer. American Ale, California Common or a London Ale yeast. Should be pitched with a very small amount (2% of yeast) lactobacillus – or add a very small amount of lactic acid.

Vital Statistics:
OG:  1.044 – 1.048
IBUs:  20 – 30
FG: 1.009 – 1.013
SRM: 18 – 27
ABV: 4.0 – 5.0%

Commercial Examples: Mosher (see references) reports that the Bluegrass Brewing Co. in Louisville, KT has brewed a Kentucky Common in recent years.

References:, “Radical Brewing” by Mosher, “American Handy-book of the Brewing, Malting and Auxiliary Trades” by Wahl and Henius

Other Missing Styles to be covered in coming articles:
Kellerbier, Gose, Wiess, Broyhan, Graetzebier, Honey Beers (not Braggots), Classic American Cream Ale, American Stock Ale, Czech Dark Lager, English Pale Mild, Scottish 90/-, English Strong Ale, Non-alcoholic “Beer”, Malt Liquor, Imperial/Double Red Ale, Imperial/Double Brown Ale, Imperial Lager, Imperial Pilsner, Imperial Porter, Rye IPA, Dark American Wheat/Rye, Dry Beer, Pennsylvania Swankey.