Beer Styles Have Finally Been Updated!

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Sep 1, 2018.

  1. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    The issue you're gonna have with the NE style IPAs moving forward is that there are lots of beers (including those referenced by @TylerJ) that aren't labeled as NE style IPA per se, but which may be considered a NE style IPA by some or even a majority of the people here. The Toppling Goliath beers are a great example. Something like Skulls, Fire, Money - is that a NE style IPA or just an IPA? You can end up with the style being classified (on here) based on one persons opinion and not necessarily on what the Brewer intended.
     
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  2. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (8,175) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    Not that different than the system that is already in place which allows the person adding the beer to select the style - and they can get it wrong or there are beers that don't nicely fit into any specific style... Things will settle out over the next few weeks/months.
     
  3. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Fair enough. But I also think that whether a beer is a NE style IPA or not is a bit more contentious that if Stiegl Goldbrau is a helles or not :wink:
     
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  4. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (8,175) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
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    Agreed - there is definitely a subjectivity to what is hazy/juicy and whether or not the act of double dry-hopping makes it fit the style.
     
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  5. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    As Clark would tell you, since you know he was one of the originators of the style, it is indeed a North East Iowa-style IPA!
     
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  6. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    :joy:
    Definitely need that added as a style.
     
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  7. meefmoff

    meefmoff Defender (632) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
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    That's really interesting that the canned pumpkin products are actually a different sort of squash (and i love me some butternut squash so no wonder I love "pumpkin" pie). But the article is making a strangely straw man argument about how bad jack-o-lantern pumpkins are to cook with. I'm prettty sure nobody tries to make anything out of those unwieldy things. If you want to try it from scratch you use the much smaller, denser, and sweeter sugar pumpkins.

    That said, we tried that once and I still agree that the canned stuff was better!
     
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  8. TylerJ

    TylerJ Aspirant (294) Apr 10, 2016 Kansas
    Trader

    Yeah, recent batches of King Sue have been fairly hazy, but I don't remember it always being like that.
     
  9. joerooster

    joerooster Initiate (33) May 15, 2018 Virginia

    I think the fruited IPAs should be put in the fruit beers or their own style. For example, why put the fruited hefeweizens in the fruit beers, yet the fruited IPAs are in one of the many IPA styles? Just doesn't seem very consistent.

    Maybe an adjunct IPA style? To include the fruited IPAs as well as the milkshake/lactose IPAs. I think this would serve a better purpose then the NE IPA style that was added.
     
  10. TylerJ

    TylerJ Aspirant (294) Apr 10, 2016 Kansas
    Trader

    This is going to get real complicated real fast. What about sour IPAs? There are also plenty of fruited IPAs (some hazy, some not) that aren't milkshake IPAs. IF we had a category for IPAs with adjuncts, shouldn't we have categories for stouts with adjuncts?
     
  11. joerooster

    joerooster Initiate (33) May 15, 2018 Virginia

    Like I said, a category for adjunct IPAs, doesn't matter if it's fruit, lactose, etc.

    Again, why are the hefe's with fruit in the fruit beer style category?

    Sure, adjunct and BA stouts could be a different style as there seems to be a lot of those as well.
     
  12. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (1,547) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
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    Gruit is a historic style that, being traditionally brewed without hops, is certainly unique enough to retain its own style. I couldn't really comment on Winter Warmers as I don't know anything about the style.
     
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  13. Phoodcritic

    Phoodcritic Crusader (793) Jul 3, 2014 Michigan
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    On the basis of flavor, I think Weizenbock should be moved from the Bock group to the Wheat Beers group, together with Dunkelweizen. Consider the description: "The German-style Weizenbock is a wheat version of a German-Style Bock, or a bigger and beefier Dunkelweizen."
     
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  14. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (5,144) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
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    I read through this thread and I am surprised that nobody has bought this up.

    Methode Traditionelle should be a listable beer style on this site. There are a fair number of beers brewed by Jester King (Spon series), Funk Factory (pretty much all of their spontaneously fermented beers), amongst others. See the official website with descriptions of their standards: https://methodetraditionnelle.org/standards/

    When I am adding new beers under the Funk Factory listing, I am always struck by the dichotomy of "American Wild Ale" (which encompasses a very broad spectrum of wild beers in the USA) and "Belgian Lambic/Geuze". Funk Factory's Glory in the Morning is a blend of spontaneous coolship fermented beer, but it certainly isn't a "Belgian lambic" despite it being brewed in the same tradition with different terroir; but "American Wild Ale" fails to capture the effort and time it takes to brew, ferment and age such a beer when you have beers like "7 Day Golden Sour" from Trinity which is a kettle soured beer (yet is currently listed as "Belgian Lambic" on this site right now). So as a default, I choose to label such offerings from Funk Factory as "American Wild Ale" to err on the side of caution. There should be a way to distinguish such beers from all the other "sour" or "wild" beers on the site.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
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  15. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    Not to mention, Belgian Saison is under Pale Ales... (?)

    I too am always conflicted about how to add an American Gueuze or Saison...
     
  16. TylerJ

    TylerJ Aspirant (294) Apr 10, 2016 Kansas
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    At least for me, 99% of the time I see "American Wild Ale", I assume it's been at least spontaneously fermented and likely aged in oak and all that. If we start creating styles for every combination of hops, how long it took to brew, how long it aged, and all that we would have the same number of styles as beers and styles wouldn't mean anything. So many beers cross over between styles these days. I think even adding NE IPA as a different style than American IPA or American Imperial IPA opened up a huge can of worms. At this rate we're going to have styles for "Citra-hopped IPA", "Mosaic-hopped IPA", "Mosaic & Citra hopped IPA", "Double Dry-Hopped kinda hazy but not quite New England IPA that might be kinda tart IPA".
     
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  17. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    Huh? I mean, I don't have the numbers, but I'd hazard a guess that 75-90% of the "American Wild Ale" beers here on BA are not spontaneously fermented at all. And a slim minority even aged in oak.

    American Wild Ale may possibly be the worst catch all on the site actually. I'm surprised it's taken this long to suss it out.
     
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  18. TylerJ

    TylerJ Aspirant (294) Apr 10, 2016 Kansas
    Trader

    I mean I haven't researched every single one to make sure. But my point is: for many of these styles there are so many variations of the style, the catch all just makes more sense. What styles could you see American Wild Ale being divided up into and what would differentiate them? Aren't the majority of kettle sours either a Berliner Weiss or a Gose? I'm sure you'd find some on BA under American Wild Ale, but plenty of beers on here are listed under the wrong style, so that wouldn't exactly be surprising.
     
  19. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,225) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I quite agree but rather than listing new styles I think it would be more accurate to call things simply what they are. Beers labeled as Methode Traditionelle could be included under "Wild Ales" without creating any confusion.
     
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  20. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (5,144) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
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    I mean, that's fine and all. And I think they do fall under that broad category of American Wild Ale and I'm OK with that, I was just thinking that more specificity (not just for Methode Traditionelle which is in a way, a marketing term) could be more instructive to those with more discerning sour/wild palates and a sense of history.

    Either way, I really believe that we cannot call "7 Day Sour" from Trinity a Belgian lambic. At minimum, that falls under American Wild Ale, and would definitely fall under a "kettle soured" subcategory. I think it's misleading to label that kind of beer as a "Belgian Lambic" because that is lightyears away from being the same thing.

    Maybe there are too many categories, and I get that. A hoppy IPA is a hoppy IPA, but there is a not insubstantial difference between goses, berliner weisses, sour beer with the yeast pitched in by the brewer, spontaneously fermented wild beer, brett beers, etc.
     
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  21. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    I don't believe that beers containing adjuncts (defined in beer brewing terms as unmalted grains) should lead to them being lumped together in another style separate from the base style. I also don't believe that "add-junks" such as fruit, vegetables, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, peppers, pumpkin specifically, or bourbon/rum/tequila should lead to separate styles either, even though some currently do.
     
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  22. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    I'm just going to say it since I'm not sure anyone else has, the simple fact is, there are not too many categories. I mean, there just aren't

    We are already ignoring a huge subset of beers from Germany that everyone already recognizes outside of here are their own styles. We're ignoring a huge subset of beers out of America that make no sense to call American Wild because almost no brewery or beer consumer calls any of them that. Yet we have added few niche styles, like New England IPA, and the hyper brand spanking new Brut IPA which I'm not sure is really deserving of a style and may not even stick around for 3 more months.

    American Wild Ale means absolutely nothing to me, signifying a catch-all for anything that could be remotely related to beers that might be sour, funky, yeasty, etc in a largely Belgian vein, but not always, with wildly different results and outcomes across the spectrum and also relative to Belgian beers.
     
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  23. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,472) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    Well, of you're going to only go by appearance to categorize Toppling Goliath beers, they will have change styles monthly...
     
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  24. TylerJ

    TylerJ Aspirant (294) Apr 10, 2016 Kansas
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    You're not wrong...
     
  25. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    To further illustrate the point, Deschutes The Ages is currently a Belgian Gueuze...
     
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  26. Houborg1

    Houborg1 Crusader (723) Jun 4, 2016 Denmark
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    I have to say that I’m a fan of the many styles to choose from!

    A lot of the scandinavian beers is troublesome to add due to it being very experimental.
    I do get the arguments for only having a few to choose from, but it can make it quite a hazzle to make some fit!
     
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  27. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    You say "categories" but do you mean "styles"? If styles, I'll say it - there are too many styles. Granted, there may be one or two that deserve to be broken out as you note, but others really need to go away; Imperials, Pumpkin, Chili, and Fruit for starters. Just let them be their base style, and let the brewer denote the strength and add-junks on the label.
     
  28. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    Sorry, shouldn't have been throwing the word category around, although some of the categories and category placements are a little puzzling as well.

    But nah, seriously, the stance of too many styles has been made countless times, and I think it's just the other way around.

    Again, we're missing dozens of styles here that are historically and globally already recognized.

    I think you may be one of the very, very few advocating for getting rid of the Imperial prefix, as ABV really does have a massive effect on the overall beer's characteristics, let alone ingredients. Consolidation might make things look neater to you, but that doesn't serve any purpose other than to muddle completely different experiences together.

    Also, you may not like Pumpkin, Chile, and Fruit beers, but the only one of those I don't think is really it's own style and can agree with removing is Chile, as you really don't come across many beers that are specifically, myopically focused on solely the chile. They usually aren't even brewed with much chilies, but just have a touch of it for added flavoring. There are tons and tons of beers that are brewed with chilies--I think those beers should be classified under their base styles. For instance, why are Huna and Mexican Cake classified as stouts, but Autumnal Mole, Theobroma, and 5 Vulture classified as "Chile Beers." None of the breweries that make those three consider them Chile Beers or are focusing solely on the Chile. Dogfish calls theirs a chocolate beer, Ska a stout with mole as the inspiration, and 5 Vulture might as well be 5 Rabbit's mole ale too, which is closer to a brown or an amber, but definitely not just a "Chile beer," more akin to a herb/spice.

    I've gone over the Pumpkin validity already, but as for Fruit Beer, nothing is more perfectly illustrative of the style than a beautiful New Glarus Rasberry Tart, "Belgian" Red, or Serendipity. Beers like that don't really fit anywhere else, even and especially the Belgian Fruited Lambic category they may have been inspired by.
     
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  29. Ice_Cream_And_IPAs

    Ice_Cream_And_IPAs Champion (874) Jul 16, 2016 California
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    So just to clarify, should we be adding kettle sours into the American Wild Ale group?
     
  30. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (8,175) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
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    Likely not - most kettle sours are based on either a Berliner Weisse or a Gose.
     
  31. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (1,547) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
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    Yeah, I've submitted a correction for a Kettle Sour that I had previously entered as an American Wild Ale to be changed to a Berliner Weiße even though it irked me, to be honest. An American Fruited Kettle Sour has little in common with a traditional Berliner Weiße in my opinion, but even less with an American Wild Ale, I guess.

    Then again, I kinda agree with @Sabtos that American Wild Ale is more of a catch-all than an actual style and I'm already having second thoughts about that correction...

    This is why we need styles such as Kettle Sour/American Fruited Sour/Whatever or Indiana Pale Lager, it's really frustrating being forced to enter beers under styles that they just don't really fit into.
     
  32. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,472) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
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    That did not just happen with this change.
     
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  33. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (1,547) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Trader

    INDIA Pale Lager, lol...:sweat_smile:

    Never said that. My point is that it didn't get fixed with this change either.
     
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  34. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I'm sure there's some downsides to it, but I honestly don't see many. Bring on multiple styles.

    This would be fine if we weren't rating to style on this site, but unfortunately we are.

    For example, it's unfair to lump New England IPAs in with regular American double IPAs/IPAs/pales.

    The New England IPAs will bury the others in ratings, making it impossible to find out which ones are the "best".
     
  35. seakayak

    seakayak Defender (646) May 20, 2007 Massachusetts
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    One great improvement of creating the New England IPA style was that it removed all the NEIPA beers (Trillium, Tree House, etc.) that clogged and obscured the American IPA "Top Rated" list, which had made it virtually useless for finding traditional IPA's.

    However, after repeated edit suggestions for style-changes, many obviously NEIPA-styled beers remain in the American Pale Ale category, apparently because they have "pale ale" in their name (I don't know if this is the only reason; but I've also suggested that guidance be published so we're not left guessing).

    Galaxy Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale (6.6%) and Double Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale (6.6%), plus many others, all have the classic hallmarks of a NEIPA, but the brewer name "Pale Ale" is keeping it in the BA American Pale Ale style, which is again clogging and obscuring the traditional APA's in the style lists.

    The style-contradictions pointed out in this thread show how complex it must have been to roll out a complete overhaul, and I'm certain nobody is more aware of it than the staff. So here's hoping there will be a follow-through with the new styles to make them all more useful than they were before.
     
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  36. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yup.

    Oh, wow, yeah that's an issue.

    You'd never be able to find out that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is likely rated favorably compared to beers of a similar style, because DDH Fort Point has incredibly high ratings.

    It's absolutely a New England pale ale.
     
  37. Ice_Cream_And_IPAs

    Ice_Cream_And_IPAs Champion (874) Jul 16, 2016 California
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    Agreed. Though, Fort Point to me is especially complicating, because it's my go-to example of why beers don't necessarily need to be categorized based on what brewers call them. Like how is it a pale ale at 6.6% ABV and such hop-dominated taste profile? It's a NEIPA, and it should be categorized as such.
     
  38. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Substance from Bissell is also 6.6% ABV and is called an IPA by the brewer. I could see it both ways, but I definitely lean towards your argument that it's really an IPA.

    Even the Brewer's Association's new style guidelines puts a cap on "juicy/hazy pale ales" at 5.4%.
     
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  39. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Savant (996) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I think this has been mentioned already, but one downside is that if you have too many styles, then the individual styles become meaningless. And you could also have too few examples in a style to make it worthwhile.
     
  40. joerooster

    joerooster Initiate (33) May 15, 2018 Virginia

    I guess one could argue either way but the way it's set up now, it's not consistent. I have a hard time classifying the following beer as an AIPA.

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/42560/333518/


    .
     
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