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Rye beer refers to any beer in which rye (generally malted) is substituted for some portion of the barley. Rye beers are considered specialty beers that are brewed with unusual fermentables such as rice, corn, or wheat.

One example of this is roggenbier which is a specialty beer produced with up to sixty percent rye malt. The style originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany, and is brewed with the same type of yeast as a German hefeweizen, resulting in a similar light, dry, spicy taste.A German smoke-flavored rauchroggen/rauchbier could be made by drying some rye malt over an open flame rather than in a kiln.

In the United States, another style of rye beer is being developed by homebrewers and microbreweries. In some examples, the hop presence is pushed to the point where they resemble American India pale ales (IPAs). This style is often called a Rye IPA, or just a "Rye-P-A", a take-off of the abbreviation for an India Pale Ale: "IPA."

Finnish sahti is another style of rye beer, produced by brewing rye with juniper berries and wild yeast.

Another type of rye beer is the traditional Slavic kvass, although the alcohol is low enough to be considered a non-alcoholic beer in many cases; it is made using bread that has been steeped and fermented.

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