Overview for the Rye Beer

A Rye Beer may be an ale or a lager and is generally based on a classic beer style with the addition of Rye malt making up twenty percent or more of the grain bill. Craft brewers most frequently add Rye malt to American Pale Ales, American IPAs, and American Brown Ales. The degree of rye spiciness in the aromas and flavors of a rye ale or a lager varies across examples but will always add a signature kick to the beer’s overall character. Some beers brewed with rye may be classified under their base style due to the overriding flavor profile.

Style Expectations

Refreshing rye beers can display more hop character and less yeast character than their German cousins.


Usually pale yellow to gold. Clarity may range from brilliant to hazy with yeast approximating the German hefeweizen style of beer. Big, long-lasting white head.


Low to moderate grainy rye character. Some malty sweetness is acceptable. Esters can be moderate to none, although should reflect American yeast strains. The clove and banana aromas common to German hefeweizens are inappropriate. Hop aroma may be low to moderate, and can have either a citrusy American or a spicy or floral noble hop character. Slight crisp sharpness is optional. No diacetyl.


Light to moderately strong grainy wheat or rye flavor, which can linger into the finish. Rye versions are richer and spicier than wheat. May have a moderate malty sweetness or finish quite dry. Low to moderate hop bitterness, which sometimes lasts into the finish. Low to moderate hop flavor (citrusy American or spicy/floral noble). Esters can be moderate to none, but should not take on a German Weizen character (banana). No clove phenols, although a light spiciness from wheat or rye is acceptable. May have a slightly crisp or sharp finish. No diacetyl.


Medium-light to medium body. Medium-high to high carbonation. May have a light alcohol warmth in stronger examples.


Manhattan Double Rye Ale

Rye Beer  •  Funky Buddha Brewery

The Manhattan Double Rye Ale is a Rye Beer by Funky Buddha Brewery that’s complex, sticky sweet, and as boozy as a cocktail. Here’s why you should give it a try. Read More


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