What is SRM?

The Standard Reference Method, abbreviated as SRM is the color system used by brewers to specify finished beer and malt color.

SRM was adopted by the Ameican Society of Brewing Chemists in 1951. Brewers impose a first impression on their drinkers with the colour of their beers and this chart is helpful in determining the quality and taste of a beer.

 

SRM Beer Colour Guide:

 

Beer Style
SRM Colour
1. LIGHT LAGER
A. Lite American Lager 2-3
B. Standard American Lager 2-4
C. Premium American Lager 2-6
D. Munich Helles 3-5
E. Dortmunder Export 4-6
2. PILSNER
A. German Pilsner (Pils) 2-5
B. Bohemian Pilsener 3.5-6
C. Classic American Pilsner 3-6
3. EUROPEAN AMBER LAGER
A. Vienna Lager 10-16
B. Oktoberfest/Märzen 7-14
4. DARK LAGER
A. Dark American Lager 14-22
B. Munich Dunkel 14-28
C. Schwarzbier 17-30+
5. BOCK
A. Maibock/Helles Bock 6-11
B. Traditional Bock 14-22
C. Doppelbock 6-25
D. Eisbock 18-30+
6. LIGHT HYBRID BEER
A. Cream Ale 2.5-5
B. Blonde Ale 3-6
C. Kölsch 3.5-5
D. American Wheat or Rye Beer 3-6
7. AMBER HYBRID BEER
A. North German Altbier 13-19
B. California Common Beer 10-14
C. Düsseldorf Altbier 13-17
8. ENGLISH PALE ALE
A. Standard/Ordinary Bitter 4-14
B. Special/Best/Premium Bitter 5-16
C. Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale) 6-18
9. SCOTTISH AND IRISH ALE
A. Scottish Light 60/- 9-17
B. Scottish Heavy 70/- 9-17
C. Scottish Export 80/- 9-17
D. Irish Red Ale 9-18
E. Strong Scotch Ale 14-25
10. AMERICAN ALE
A. American Pale Ale 5-14
B. American Amber Ale 10-17
C. American Brown Ale 18-35
11. ENGLISH BROWN ALE
A. Mild 12-25
B. Southern English Brown Ale 19-35
C. Northern English Brown Ale 12-22
12. PORTER
A. Brown Porter 20-30
B. Robust Porter 22-35+
C. Baltic Porter 17-30
13. STOUT
A. Dry Stout 25-40+
B. Sweet Stout 30-40+
C. Oatmeal Stout 22-40+
D. Foreign Extra Stout 30-40+
E. American Stout 30-40+
F. Imperial Stout 30-40+
14. INDIA PALE ALE (IPA)
A. English IPA 8-14
B. American IPA 6-15
C. Imperial IPA 8-15
15. GERMAN WHEAT AND RYE BEER
A. Weizen/Weissbier 2-8
B. Dunkelweizen 14-23
C. Weizenbock 12-25
D. Roggenbier (German Rye Beer) 14-19
16. BELGIAN AND FRENCH ALE
A. Witbier 2-4
B. Belgian Pale Ale 8-14
C. Saison 5-12
D. Bière de Garde 6-19
E. Belgian Specialty Ale Varies
17. SOUR ALE
A. Berliner Weisse 2-3
B. Flanders Red Ale 10-16
C. Flanders Brown Ale/Oud Bruin 15-20
D. Straight (Unblended) Lambic 3-7
E. Gueuze 3-7
F. Fruit Lambic 3-7+
18. BELGIAN STRONG ALE
A. Belgian Blond Ale 4-6
B. Belgian Dubbel 10-14
C. Belgian Tripel 4.5-6
D. Belgian Golden Strong Ale 4-6
E. Belgian Dark Strong Ale 14-20
19. STRONG ALE
A. Old Ale 10-22+
B. English Barleywine 8-22
C. American Barleywine 10-19
20. SMOKE-FLAVORED & WOOD-AGED BEER
A. Classic Rauchbier 14-22+

 

Interested in learning more about beers and the differences between each beer style? Here are some articles we think you might learn from:

How to Learn What Beer Styles You Like
Tour of German Beer Styles
Where Do All The Different Beers Come From?
What Makes Beer Sessionable?

 

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