Beer Styles Have Finally Been Updated!

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

  1. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (3,399) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    There are a lot of arguments about if Kvass belongs, but I'd like to bring up and discuss the Japanese Happoshu. I can't find much information the style, but apparently it has to do with alcohol taxation laws in Japan. As such, it's not really a true 'style' of beer, meaning an IPA or pilsner or pale could fall into this taxation bracket. In fact, technically speaking, Kvass would be taxed as a Japanese Happoshu if sold in Japan due to its ingredient list.

    Further more, Happoshu is referred to as "the non beer beer" in Japanese slang.

    Personally, I don't mind keeping Japanese Happoshu as apart of the categories (or any of the recently mentioned categories), as it doesn't hurt anything to have an additional style listing aside from perhaps some having a difficult time earning a 'tick' in the style. It also gives a little notoriety to international beer culture.
     
    imposterzilla likes this.
  2. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Not to mention Britain is an island, not a country.
     
    FBarber likes this.
  3. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I mean it could refer back to the Kingdom of Great Britain, but that term hasn't been used since 1800.
     
    imposterzilla and Sabtos like this.
  4. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (70) May 18, 2017 England

    Agree.

    That said, it does feel like there's a case for fiddling with the definitions here - it seems like a bit unhelpful to put clean-ish beers like Saison Dupont, which are essentially cheap, fresh, everyday beers together with things that have been aged for 18 months on a mixed brett culture in Chateau Margaux casks - it doesn't really feel like there's a fair comparison to be made. Not sure it needs a whole new category, though - maybe just a bit of re-balancing of the existing Belgian Saison, American Brett and American Wild categories.
     
  5. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (70) May 18, 2017 England

    By the way, do the "English" styles - English Bitter, English ESB, English Pale Ale, English IPA, English Strong Ale, English Old Ale, English Pale Mild, English Dark Mild etc - make sense in terms of English-style stuff brewed in the US? Because it seems like a slightly odd way of slicing up what people actually brew and drink over here.

    For instance, English Bitter, IPA and Pale Ale, as described, are essentially the same thing, but there's no category for Golden Ales - which are a fairly massive thing. Pale Mild is rarer than hen's teeth - the only one on here with a triple-figure number of ticks is described as a Golden Ale by the brewery - and could rolled up into a general "Mild" category without losing much value.

    Meanwhile things like English IPA, Extra Special Bitter, English Old Ale and English Strong Ale basically exist over here as a small number of surviving examples, oddities, recreations and reimaginings and it feels like the styles are largely based on American brewers' ideas of what they ought to be like. Which is fine, but makes the actual English examples (Old Peculiar at 5.6% as an Old Ale, for instance) sit a bit oddly in the lists...
     
    mikeinportc likes this.
  6. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,099) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I am still wondering why BA is using "British Barleywine" instead of "English Barleywine". This was brought up earlier, but hasn't been addressed. This just doesn't make any sense, and there doesn't seem to be any precedent for this change. I still vote to change this back to English Barleywine to align with everyone else in the beer community (including in Europe).
     
  7. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,787) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I don't think they've run any changes since they implemented this update. My impression was they would address some of these in the next update.
     
  8. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,099) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    OK - that would be good. It has been a while, so figured I would bring it up again. Thanks!
     
    FBarber likes this.
  9. Snowcrash000

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

    It's been a while... Is there any kind of a rough ETA for this update?
     
  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,578) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    We're busy preparing for Extreme Beer Fest and wrapping up some other projects, but we plan on revisiting styles soon after.
     
  11. Houborg1

    Houborg1 Crusader (723) Jun 4, 2016 Denmark
    Society

    I have a quick question about one of the new styles added, smoke beer..
    This, to me, is like a “one-fits-all” type of category, with smoky beers.. Or is it just me?
    I have a grodzidski that needs to be added, would this be the category of choice?
     
  12. HopBelT

    HopBelT Meyvn (1,314) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
    Society Trader

    Good question.
    I had the same problem when I added a Grisette. I categorised it under Saison...
     
    FBarber likes this.
  13. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    There are too many vague catch-all styles which gives secondary (and in some cases tertiary or more) styles that could apply to a beer. Some examples are Fruit & Field, Pumpkin, Chile beer, etc. All beers falling into those styles are based on another style, for instance a Pumpkin Stout. Could have been a Fruit & Field, but why isn't it a Stout or Imperial Stout? In a lot of cases the distinctions between the many styles of Stouts and IPAs are overkill, and it could just be left to the brewer to describe it on their label without having so many styles to handle them.
     
    stevepat, PapaGoose03 and dennis3951 like this.
  14. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (894) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Agreed I will never understand why there is a Listing for American Imperial Stouts and Russian Imperial Stouts. It would be more useful to have Imperial Stouts and Flavored Imperial Stouts.
     
  15. Snowcrash000

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

    To answer your question, yes, entering it under Smoked Beer does seem to make the most sense.
     
    Houborg1 and FBarber like this.
  16. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I'm not convinced we even need the imperial vs non-imperial designation as it risks nearly doubling the number of styles. The ABV ranges overlap, and in the end why can't it just be left to the brewer to state "imperial" or "high-test" or "premium" on their label, along with ABV? We don't need a new style to account for every tweak a brewer comes up with.
     
  17. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (70) May 18, 2017 England

    "Let's put half as much water in" isn't the most creative bit of thinking a brewer ever does, but I think the imperial-as-a-new-style thing makes sense if you want styles to enable you to compare like-with-like or to give sensible recommendations, which to me is a lot of the point of talking about them. Imperial versions and bretted / barrel aged versions tend to be big, complex, expensive special-occasion beers, and it doesn't really make sense to judge them on the same terms as the regular, everyday-drinking versions of the same basic style.

    On the other hand where fruited / smoked / dessert-flavoured versions of things are doing pretty much the same thing at pretty much the same price-point, they can reasonably be put on the same shelf.
     
    bbtkd likes this.
  18. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (6,536) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Why keep bringing this up? The entire process is completely different making an imperial vs a lower ABV beer. It's like classifying a wedding cake the same as a muffin just because it might be the same color and have a similar flavor profile.
     
  19. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (894) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Imperial Stouts are not a new style like DIPAs. They have been brewed for a long time.
     
    MNAle, FBarber and RochefortChris like this.
  20. Luscious_Malfoy

    Luscious_Malfoy Poo-Bah (1,630) Oct 5, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    one of the newest “styles” i struggle with is ‘Imperial Milk Stout’ - Imperial Stout or English Sweet / Milk Stout? i almost always throw them in the English Sweet / Milk Stout style if they contain lactose. furthermore, imperial is open to interpretation. Perennial or 3 Floyds’ imperial stouts are 13-15% while a Tree House “imperial” stout might be 7-9%...
     
    FBarber likes this.
  21. Houborg1

    Houborg1 Crusader (723) Jun 4, 2016 Denmark
    Society

    Thank you!
     
    PapaGoose03, Snowcrash000 and FBarber like this.
  22. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,472) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    The Russian Imperial Stout ... the word "Imperial" refers to the Imperial Court of Russia, and its origin is from the 18th century: an English Porter brewed for the Russian Court. (Or, at least, so I have read.... in fact, I have seen some purported quotes of historical documents referring to the beer as simply a "porter"). And, for emphasis, the Russian Imperial Stout is an English beer, not a Russian beer.

    So, historically, what is the difference between a porter and a stout? Apparently, none.

    Using the term "imperial" to mean "a high ABV version of the base style", while the modern meaning of the term, is a bastardization of brewing history.

    I don't care, either way, but to complain about it in reference to RIS betrays a lack of historical perspective. And, speaking of which, wouldn't using "double", "triple", or "quadruple" be more in line with brewing history? (re: Belgium, Germany...)

    I also agree with others who have pointed out that the "imperial" styles are convenient for being able to compare beers with their peers.
     
  23. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,480) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I didn't mention RIS, for that very reason
     
  24. Chuckdiesel24

    Chuckdiesel24 Meyvn (1,072) Jul 6, 2016 Illinois
    Trader

    It's use is so prevalent in the industry though that the bastardization has become the norm.

    Particularly for stouts; I definitely would prefer calling a stronger IPA a DIPA over an IIPA for a number of reasons - the confusion of having two I's just being one of those.
     
    MNAle and FBarber like this.
  25. beer_beer

    beer_beer Aspirant (228) Feb 13, 2018 Finland
    Society

    It's easier to drink NA. Always the same classification :grin:
     
    LuskusDelph, drtth and Sabtos like this.
  26. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,472) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    I agree. I was more lamenting than expecting anything to change.
     
    Chuckdiesel24 likes this.
  27. Snowcrash000

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

    Having had a few Golden Ales recently, I would agree that there needs to be a style added for these, as they are quite different from a Pale Ale or Bitter, especially a Bitter, which they really don't have a lot on common with as far as I can tell. Maybe that's why many of them are rated so low if people rate them to style as a Bitter...

    I would also agree that the distinction between Dark and Pale Mild is not needed, no other site I can think of has it in place.
     
  28. Chuckdiesel24

    Chuckdiesel24 Meyvn (1,072) Jul 6, 2016 Illinois
    Trader

    From the style page - seems like those should generally be in here:

    American Blonde Ale
    One of the most approachable styles, a golden or Blonde Ale is an easy-drinking beer that is visually appealing and has no particularly dominating malt or hop characteristics. Rounded and smooth, it is an American classic known for its simplicity. Sometimes referred to as “Golden Ale.” These beers can have honey, spices and fruit added, and may be fermented with lager or ale yeast.
     
  29. Snowcrash000

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

    I meant English Golden Ales though, and these are usually in here as either Bitters, ESBs or Pale Ales.
     
    Bitterbill and Chuckdiesel24 like this.
  30. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,099) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I might be beating a dead horse here, but I never got any response regarding the use of "British Barleywine" instead of "English Barleywine". This was brought up a few times. This just doesn't make any sense, and there doesn't seem to be any precedent for this change. I still vote to change this back to English Barleywine to align with everyone else in the beer community (including in Europe). @Todd - any chance this can be considered?
     
    jmdrpi, KarlHungus, MNAle and 5 others like this.
  31. Wasatch

    Wasatch Poo-Bah (6,144) Jun 8, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    That messed me up a little while ago, should be "English".

    Cheers!
     
  32. Houborg1

    Houborg1 Crusader (723) Jun 4, 2016 Denmark
    Society

    Or just “Barleywine” since it is the only barleywine style on BA..
     
  33. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (2,073) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    FBarber likes this.
  34. Snowcrash000

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

    There are still a lot of open ends after the last style update, for example we desperately need a Kettle Sour/Fruited Sour style. Every time I have to enter a Kettle Sour as an American Wild Ale, I die a little on the inside. Plus there are numerous other possible changes that have been pointed out throughout this thread which should be addressed.

    A "future" update has been hinted at a few times already, but I don't think we will be seeing any of that until the app is all done and out, as this seems to be the main focus of BA right now.
     
  35. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,578) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    Correct. In the meantime, we've been reviewing feedback for consideration in the next update.
     
  36. Houborg1

    Houborg1 Crusader (723) Jun 4, 2016 Denmark
    Society

    SLeffler27 likes this.