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Indigenous American styles

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jmw, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. OP, you are confusing innovation and ingenuity with invention. Look around you at the beer scene in the USA. It's full of experimentation, risk-taking, new variations of existing styles. The growth of the craft beer scene in the USA has been phenomenal. It's hard to categorize many of the beers we have available because style guidelines have been blurred by all the innovation.
    I have two hands; one for thumping my chest and one for holding my beer. Now where do I find that beer with the garlic mustard and mouse tits?

    To Beer
     
    auhwfm, beerme411 and drtth like this.
  2. I think virtually all beers in the US are Americanized versions of the classic styles already developed over hundreds of years in every other country on earth. And there is nothing wrong with that! We have more intense tastes for everything and we have adapted our local beers to fit that taste. What I am waiting for is a 'Truly American ONLY' yeast strain to be discovered that creates a new, unique flavor profile, something like the Belgian or Hefe yeasts, that defines American beer as distinctly American. That will change the craft industry in America.
     
  3. That's not one I'd want to lay claim to to be honest :eek: Never tasted a good one


    It doesn't really matter anyway, the US is a very young nation in the modern sense, beer is very old and really rather simple stuff so therefore it's not exactly surprising that they haven't invented many new beers. We should just be concentrating on who is brewing the best beer, whatever the flavour/style and enjoy them

    I'd say the US is in rather rude health beer wise
     
  4. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,035) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Would you mind translating that last bit into American?
     
  5. Very healthy. I think he may be mistaking a teenage growth spurt for haleness.
     
    draheim likes this.
  6. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,035) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    Thanks. I just wanted to know if we were being complimented or insulted. :)
     
  7. DIPA and you can't argue with that.
     
  8. It's definitely a unique substyle, no doubt about that, though I might just join you in that argument anyway.

    It's been a real pleasure watching it all happen over the past few decades, too. From the hop growers developing newer more-aromatic myrcene-rich varieties in addition to the high alpha ones, to the brewers coming up with better ways of utilizing them (i.e. hop bursting) and recipes that feature them best, to the consumers who have proven that there is a market for them. Repeat that cycle for a number of 'generations' and you get to where we are right now. This isn't just "throwing a bunch of hops in a kettle"; these hops are bred for just this style of beer and are at their best when used in copious amounts. And you can't get these huge tropical/citrusy/piney effects using European varieties. These beers feature unique aromas/flavors that weren't around prior to this age. The modern ingredients, in conjunction with a proper recipe, are defining the style here- and if that whole process from the growers on down wasn't 'innovative' then I don't know what is.
     
  9. Definitely complemented

    I was in NYC for 9 days recently and although I was a bit less impressed by the beers than I thought I would be, I blame that on my scattergun approach to beer drinking and also I read on here that it's not the best city for beer. Plus I had to do all the touristy stuff too
     
  10. I totally agree that precisely this will be the lasting (and singular) contribution the current U.S. "craft" movement makes to world beer.
     
    TongoRad likes this.
  11. Cream ale was generally a lager that was primed (krausened) with a still fermenting ale with enough unfermented sugars to carbonate the beer this I believe was a Pennsylvania thing not so much like a kolsch.
     
  12. There is that "American Ecxceptionalism" that cant be matched no matter what the product.
     
  13. draheim

    draheim Poobah (1,035) Washington Sep 18, 2010

    If someone from across the pond comes to the U.S. expecting to be impressed by our beer, I'd say that's progress in itself.
     
    cnbrown313 and jRocco2021 like this.
  14. Sadly we aren't all serviced by great real ale pubs :(
     
  15. sajaffe1

    sajaffe1 Savant (350) Pennsylvania Feb 16, 2013

    Pumpkin ale is a completely American invention. It was created by the settlers in New England in the 1600s to fill in for other grains that were not available for making other ales.
     
  16. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (370) New York Jul 16, 2011

    honestly, in a food anthropology sense, while most of the distinctive styles were created in europe a few hundred years ago, it can easily be argued that the true dev't of beer and its core recipes evolved from the middle east/ancient egypt.

    The real contribution europe made was hops!
    As for barleywine... that shit is thousands of years old. definitely not an American dev't.

    so yeah, I would hesitate to declare any style (whose recipe likely existed prior to the dev't of the styles name) as American... except for the obvious- pumpkin stuff.
     
  17. BKBassist

    BKBassist Savant (470) New York Jan 24, 2013

    Message a NYC BAer next time. We might not have the world class breweries of the west coast/MI/VT, but we have some world class beer bars to drink em in.
     
    loafinaround likes this.
  18. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    A Cream Ale like Amsdell's Polar was a bizarre mix of English Ale and German brewing techniques. Definitely unlike any British Ale.
     
  19. djsmith1174

    djsmith1174 Savant (480) Minnesota Aug 21, 2005

    Sadly, I think it's that fizzy, off clear stuff known as AAL. :(
     
  20. beerme411

    beerme411 Savant (350) California Sep 28, 2010

    I thought this was going to be a thread about "native american" beer like Blackhawk stout or Crazy Horse Buffalo Brown :rolleyes:
     
  21. We copied most of these styles from other countries (mainly the UK), we just Americanized them. Steam beer and cream ale and perhaps one or two more are originally American. For example we too IPAs and added more hops.
     
  22. stealth

    stealth Advocate (545) Minnesota Dec 16, 2011

    we've perfected horse blanket
     
    djsmith1174 likes this.
  23. It's very difficult to think of something in the beer world that hasn't been done before, perhaps a very long time ago.The European beer industry was monumentally innovative and inventive before events intervened in the early 20th century such as Reinheitsgebot in Germany and WW1 in the UK. Germans were beginning to brew with large proportions of rice adjunct for example and British beers were usually strong and often massively hopped even by modern US standards.They were also continually evolving so a 1900 IPA would be very different from one in 1850, new ingredients were introduced and hop breeding institutions were set up.
    What is new is the concept of styles , before that it was just names. So a DIPA wouldn't have been called a DIPA but all the elements would have been there.Kristen England of the BJCP made this comment about 1868 William Younger No. 3 Export “This one for sure looks just like the very first double IPA ever made.A crap ton of hops,a good amount of alcohol,100% focuses on the hop” Now the beer in question was a Scotch Ale yet it struck him as like what a DIPA would have been back then using the available ingredients
    I'm not sure that new hop varieties constitute innovation as much as development. I can make an apple pie with a load of a new apple variety which gives a different flavour from what's gone before but I haven't reinvented the apple pie!
    Whether the first settlers regarded themselves as Americans except as an address is doubtful so pumpkin ale is in question.
    Summing up-American brewers have worked wonders and have earned the respect of the entire beer world with their dedication, skill and enthusiasm.But they are working on a palimpsest rather than having a clean sheet.
    They have invented Scottish Ales.Not to be confused with ales from Scotland which the Scots have the temerity to call Scottish Ales too.
     
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  24. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Savant (395) Wisconsin Mar 13, 2010

    Bourbon barrel aged beers may not be a style but Bourbon is uniquely american and any beer made with it will be too. A good chunk of the most sought after beers in the world are BBA I would say its a pretty significant contribution. Not sure about America inventing the spirit barrel aging of beers but we're damn good at it anyway and we use what I regard as one of the worlds best spirits Bourbon.
     
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  25. pixieskid

    pixieskid Advocate (660) Germany Jun 4, 2009

    IPA, yes, DIPA nope. That's american my friend.
     
  26. Read my post
     
  27. xanok

    xanok Savant (405) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

    You spelled "Samsung" and "South Korea" wrong.
     
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  28. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (940) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Yeah, this and pumpkin beer are the only possible answers. The rest of the ingredients in accepted styles are not indigenous to North America.
     
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (940) New York Mar 12, 2009

    You are wrong. See above.
     
  30. I've never seen any historic evidence that California's "steam beer" was influenced specifically by German dampfbier in particular (other than the coincidence of the name) - Fritz Maytag - naturally, pretty much the authority on the style - never suggested any connection that I've read. Steam beer was a bottom fermented beer fermented in shallow pans at higher than normal "lager" temperatures. "Steam" was a nickname based either on the mist given off by the rooftop fermentation tanks or the high carbonation of the kegs.

    Cream ale in the US was one of several "present use" (i.e., not long aged, like stock ales) ale styles developed by ale brewers to compete with the dominating lager brewers beers in the mid-1800's. As such they tended to be a combination of German lager brewing techniques and US lager's adjunct usage, with the top fermentation and other equipment of the US ale brewing industry of the time. Other similar styles- ales brewed to mimic lagers w/higher carbonation, more transparent, less hoppy in many cases - were called sparkling ale, brilliant ale, etc.

    The blended lager/ale "cream ale" appears to have been a creation of Rochester, NY's Genesee in 1960 and was not at all related to the top fermented cream ales of the US industry in the pre-Pro and post-Repeal era before that. Traditionally, in the US, the brewers who came to brew both ale and lager beers kept the brewing and fermenting of the two beers separate (usually separate brewhouses and cellars), to keep the yeast strains pure.

    Even Genesee brewed a true top fermented "Cream Ale" in the late '30's-early '50's (though they no longer even acknowledge it o_O - below, circa 1950).

    [​IMG]
     
    Chaz likes this.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (940) New York Mar 12, 2009

    If you are going to posit the first sentence, you are going to have to also rethink the second.

    My opinion is that all techniques for brewing go back further than countries with recognized names and boundaries to which to attribute them.

    However, what isn't in doubt is that pumpkins and corn are native to North America, apples are native to China, and that is where pumpkin and corn beers, and apple pie, originated. Trying to decide if settlers considered themselves rebels or not is not only foolish, it is impossible, and obfuscative rather than helpful.

    I would suggest you do not recognize that you are against any idea that can be attributed to America, and hence do not recognize the logical stretches you use to try and make those prejudices represent facts that do not support them. When you say that IIPA is not American, well of course it isn't. When you say pumpkin beer is not American, hmmm, that is more a product of your prejudice than your reason.
     
  32. 'Zackly. An argument like that, taken to extremes, can be applied to virtually every innovation. Did the Germans innovate the high-T tail in aircraft? Or was that just a variation of the developments made by the Wright Brothers? And were they simply applying technology to what DaVinci invented?

    How about food? The development of gourmet cooking started with the Italians, so do we say the French really didn't innovate their own food styles, but just tweaked the Italians? And the Italians got their ideas from the spices introduced by the opening of the trade routes to the East. And those spices probably came from who knows where lost in antiquity.

    Fact is, American brewers have distinctly changed many beer styles and created ones which even now are quite different from their European sources. I think if you snuck an American IPA like Bell's or Green Flash into a British pub and gave it to someone who had ordered an English IPA, they'd notice right away. It's the same but it's different. That's innovation.

    And, just as an aside, what's with all the sophomoric embarrassment over being American from some BAs? Guess they are still ashamed of their frat-boy AAL-chugging pasts. Or something.
     
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  33. Er, really?
     
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  34. “We copied most of these styles from other countries (mainly the UK), we just Americanized them.”

    I specifically addressed that topic via my example of the American Pale Ale: “This topic has been discussed in the past and the crux of the issue is often how do you define innovation. For example, an American Pale Ale (APA) is distinctly different from an English Pale Ale since they utilize ‘new’ hops (American Aroma Hops like Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe, etc.). A BA from the UK would state that an APA is not a ‘unique’ beer; it is just a variation of an English Pale Ale. I personally do not agree with that argument, I view an APA to be a distinctly different beer style since those beers taste so different from an English Pale Ale.”

    You state: “For example we too IPAs and added more hops.” It is not just an issue of “more hops” it is the type of hops used (and how they are used). An American style IPA with Citra (or Simcoe or Amarillo or …..) hops tastes distinctly different from an English style IPA. TongoRad discussed this very well in his post and summarized: “The modern ingredients, in conjunction with a proper recipe, are defining the style here- and if that whole process from the growers on down wasn't 'innovative' then I don't know what is.”

    Cheers!
     
  35. jmw

    jmw Savant (430) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Perhaps you weren't aware, but not all BAs are American

    It's apparent that some have confusion between "America" and "world".

    Yes. Yes I certainly can.
     
  36. You also need to remember that lots of English pale ales (i.e. pale ales made in England) use American hops, and have been since the 1800s at least. For example, Fullers were making a strong IPA in the 1890s using hops from Oregon.

    Though I would say we need to term them in view of recent developments in beer, so I take the traditional "craft styles" (strong hoppy IPAs, strong stouts and porters made with non-traditional ingredients, and more flavoursome versions of other European styles like lagers, barleywines and saisons) as being American styles, or at the very least, American influenced styles.

    I think we need to draw a line at how far we look back when talking of who invented what, because eventually you'll go back to the first fermented grain drink sometime roughly 6000 years ago.
    You can actually buy quite a few DIPAs in England, although it's a pretty irrelevant argument.
    There's one brewery I know of claiming to have recreated the traditional IPA like the ones made to send to overseas troops, and it's 7.5%.
     
  37. My dad after I gave him some fresh Kernel Mosaic Simcoe pale ale - "somebody's put grapefruit in my beer!".
     
  38. Reneejane

    Reneejane Savant (415) Illinois Jan 15, 2004

    last months BA mag had a fascinating article on the IPA's, they're totally different than what consider an IPA, with OG: 1056-1060
     
  39. Not sure how that relates to my comment, or why you think I'm not aware some BAs are not from the Americas.

    I'm referring to the slurs about being"Murrican" and so forth, as if those posters are embarrassed and want to separate themselves from their perceived inferiors.
     
  40. Birch and Maple beers due to lack of barley in Colonial times.

    North American hops, such as Cluster, used with Corn and 6 row are all sort of indigenes, as in Classic American Pilsner.
     
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