Best Bitter

Includes styles: Special Bitter, Premium Bitter

Recipes:
5,283
BJCP 2021:
11B
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇬🇧 Great Britain
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Bitter

Profile

Best Bitter is an integral part of the British pub culture and brewing tradition, representing a more robust version of the ordinary or standard bitter. Historically, it emerged as a stronger option to its lower ABV sibling, offering a richer flavor experience while still remaining sessionable – that is, having moderate alcohol content and being suitable for drinking over an extended period.

Best Bitters usually fall into a golden to deep copper color spectrum, characterized by brilliant clarity and a moderate head that may range from white to off-white with good retention. The visual appeal of the Best Bitter is matched by an inviting aroma profile that typically exhibits a mix of British hop characteristics – think earthy, floral, and herbal – and malt contributions that balance caramel tones with biscuity notes. On the palate, the flavor continues this marriage of moderate-to-high hop bitterness with supportive maltiness. It's neither too sweet nor too bitter; rather, these elements are in harmony providing a classic British ale experience. Best Bitters proudly showcase their hop flavors alongside malt-derived notes of toast and nuttiness but without overshadowing them. The finish tends to be dry with lingering bitterness and malt complexity subtly intertwined.

This beer style shares ties with Ordinary Bitter and Strong Bitter – forming a gradient where each step brings more flavor intensity and higher alcohol content while maintaining the drinkability that is foundational to British Bitters.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
3.8 – 4.6 %

In Database
3.6 < 4.3 < 5.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
25 – 40 IBU

In Database
21 < 32 < 44 IBU

Color

Specification
16 – 32 EBC
8 – 16 SRM

In Database
11 < 19 < 32 EBC
6 < 10 < 16 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
10.0 – 11.9 °P
1.040 – 1.048 OG

In Database
9.4 < 11.0 < 13.0 °P
1.038 < 1.044 < 1.053 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.1 – 3.1 °P
1.008 – 1.012 FG

In Database
1.8 < 2.8 < 4.3 °P
1.007 < 1.011 < 1.017 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes