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Standard Reference Method or SRM

Standard Reference Method, or SRM, is a method of measurement used to determine and define a beer’s color on a numeric scale using a photometer or spectrophotometer. The color of a beer is an important factor when judging a beer’s overall quality. Different beer styles are expected to fall into a specific color range, and the SRM is a way of measuring that. The lighter the color of a beer, the lower the corresponding SRM value will be, and, as expected, the darker the beer, the higher the SRM value will be. Beers range anywhere from 2 to in excess of 40 on the SRM scale. Below is a chart featuring the SRM value on the left with the approximate color and beer style example to the right.


West Coast Brewer SRM / Standard Reference Method Beer Color Scale

West Coast Brewer SRM Lovibond Beer Color Scale


Lovibond is one of the methods used to measure the color of beer. Using the Lovibond method, a beer’s color is compared against colored glass slides to determine a numerical value for the beer. The more recently created and precise Standard Reference Method has for the most part replaced the Lovibond method.


The following chart shows approximate Lovibond numerical values with the corresponding color and is categorized by style of beer.

West Coast Brewer SRM Lovibond Beer Color Scale

West Coast Brewer SRM Lovibond Beer Color Scale