Beers in disguise

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by beaulabauve, Aug 24, 2019.

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  1. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve (0) Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    what is everyones opinion on beers that are labeled by the brewer as a style that they really aren't? Examples such as Rogue's octoberfest come to mind. The beer is clearly an ale. It's a good beer, but the OCD in me wants to "penalize" them on reviews.
    Premo88 likes this.
  2. dennis3951

    dennis3951 (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Is there some rule/law that an Octoberfest can't be an Ale?
    JrGtr, alucard6679, TongoRad and 2 others like this.
  3. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat (0) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
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    Maybe in Germany. You've seen what we've done to the IPA here in America.
  4. jesskidden

    jesskidden (884) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    :grin: It's about time someone resurrected one of America's* lost beer styles, (Brown) October Ale. So all the top-fermentationaphiles have something to drink during the fall (you know, a real beer, not a "tastes just like pumpkin pie" bastardization).

    Appears to have come back after Repeal, but died out by the 1950s.

    * Borrowed from the Brits, IIRC...but likely different than the originals by the 20th century.
  5. deleted_user_1007501

    deleted_user_1007501 (0) Jun 30, 2015

    MadTree Brewing makes a “Kolsch” called Dream Freeze. And it just tastes like a popsicle. Oh and it’s like 7.5%. So...what about that makes it a Kolsch? Been scratching my head this whole time.
    KevSal, GOBLIN, Premo88 and 6 others like this.
  6. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan (0) Mar 15, 2014 California

    Porters that are Stouts and vice versa were always a sore spot for me.
    Sabtos, pat61, Sludgeman and 4 others like this.
  7. rgordon

    rgordon (695) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Uh, oh. Let's parce this out. It is fun and inevitable, but we'll never get to the end of classifying and categorizing beers into tighter quarters of definition. It's all OK with me, but I don't really have a deep need to know exactly where all of these new beers have to fit exactly.
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  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad (1,196) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Or even a hefeweizen? :wink::sunglasses:

    (this actually came up in another discussion here on BA).

    If we're talking some kind of rule or law, in Germany only beers brewed in Munich can be called Oktoberfest. But there are also festbiers and marzens which are primarily defined by gravity, not by style.
  9. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled (1,950) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I agree, but this is at least questionable. What really is a porter? What really is a stout? They're both just marketing terms in the end. But yeah, I agree.
  10. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    What if they are all porters, but some are stout (as in strong beer) porters?
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  11. rtrasr

    rtrasr (0) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    stout porter.
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  12. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan (0) Mar 15, 2014 California

    I have always found on average that Porters were a bit on the thinner side, drier and had less residual sugar. Even the lightest ABV stouts seemed heavier in texture to me so I always pegged that as an element of difference. I know that it's been said that (maybe) theres no real stylistic difference between them, so I admit it could be psychosomatic but since thats where I stand with them I hate drinking thin dry stouts and heavy sweet porters lol
  13. rtrasr

    rtrasr (0) Feb 16, 2009 Arkansas

    Did not Goose Island used to have a fall release of something similar called Harvest Ale? It was tasty. You are definitely on to something.
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  14. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, according to our colleagues familiar with the history of brewing in the UK, porter got it's start there and lots of breweries produced them. Then when they produced a stronger verson than their regular one it was called a Stout Porter (which eventually got shortened to Stout). Makes sense would also help account for the fact that a Stout from a particular brewery might be similar in flavor profile to someone else's Porter. Thus the overlap and fuzzy boundaries between Porters and Stouts.

    Note: BTW I think the word you may want is "psychological." "Psychosomatic" has to do with mental illness.
    #14 drtth, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
    Roguer, cavedave, officerbill and 4 others like this.
  15. eppCOS

    eppCOS (1,099) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Wait, is this another Dogfishhead thread?
    I kid I kid... sort of.
    But yeah, locally (at least) we get a lot of advert for try our crispy Pils! And then it's not a Pils, more like a failed pale ale. Which would be a great name, by the way. Go ahead, no trademark claimed.
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  16. dennis3951

    dennis3951 (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    They may have used Kolcsh yeast.
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  17. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Might have even used the basic recipe to add to/build on/modify, etc.
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  18. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast (0) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Dogfish Head - The Perfect Disguise
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  19. Beer_Stan

    Beer_Stan (0) Mar 15, 2014 California

    I meant it in the same way that a placebo is psychosomatic in it's use, that the belief that it is one thing becoming more important than the thing itself. The idea that seeing the word "Porter" informs my bias and therefore it tastes different (for better or for worse) than if the same bottle said "Stout"
    Ozzylizard likes this.
  20. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I do understand what you meant, but trust me on this one, a placebo does/can have a psychological effect (much as you describe). However, Psychosomatic describes a mental illness that can have physical symptoms. (Unless of course you are self-identifying as being mentally ill....:slight_smile:)

    See link.
    #20 drtth, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  21. jesskidden

    jesskidden (884) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    And don't forget - porters and stouts are ales in the US, but not in the UK.

    And some porters are bottom-fermented - in both the US and the Baltic region.

  22. deleted_user_1007501

    deleted_user_1007501 (0) Jun 30, 2015

    I mean I can have a malt bill of a stout and condition with cinnamon and vanilla, but if I ferment it with a Kolsch yeast does that make it a Kolsch? Probbbbbbably not.
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  23. deleted_user_1007501

    deleted_user_1007501 (0) Jun 30, 2015

    I understand I’m thinking very technically of the “Kolsch” term. And how easily it’s thrown around in US craft beer.

    To me, a Kolsch-style ale should have no “modification” or any need to have anything “built on it”. If you want to call it a Kolsch-style, it should at least resemble that of Kolsch beer made in Koln.

    That being said, Dogfish The Perfect Disguise used a Kolsch yeast, but in no way was it anything resembling a Kolsch style ale. Therefore it shouldn’t be called a Kolsch.

    I know I’m splitting hairs, and I’m super open to all beer, but having these beers labeled as “Kolsch” is doing a huge disservice by misinforming everyone on what the style actually is.
  24. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Understood. There are purists and there are experimenters for each style. That's fine from my perspective since I don't think new things emerge unless folks who know what they are doing try new things based on old stuff and while keeping what works and discarding those that don't. Personally I like to know the origins of ideas and it shouldn't be misleading if the Brewer also indicates there are other things going on.

    Dogfish Head, for example, is famous, in part, for their sense of experimentation which is not random or just throwing things against the wall... From an historcal perspective many of the styles we enjoy today originated for much the same reasons...

    #24 drtth, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  25. nc41

    nc41 (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Stout? Porter? You know the difference when you drink one, even if the verbiage is similar there’s usually a huge difference when you drink one. Usually not always, depends on many factors bigger abvs right off the top.
  26. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard (1,518) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
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    To me, porter and stout are just different places on the spectrum. Stouts = more robust porters.
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  27. craigbelly

    craigbelly (994) Dec 31, 2015 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Porter..stout..octoberfest...these are not verbs
  28. TongoRad

    TongoRad (1,196) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Not if someplace had an Irish Dry Stout and a Baltic Porter as part of their lineup.
  29. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics (0) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    From what I understand, many London breweries in the 19th and 20th centuries used the exact same recipe for porter and Stout, the only difference being the amount of water used: more water = lower ABV. So maybe they are different in the same way an IPA and an imperial IPA are, but the line between them is definitely fuzzy.
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  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz (754) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Are you talking about Dead Guy? It is more of a Maibock. John Maier, retired Brewer at Rogue, said it was first brewed using lager yeast. The next year they didn't have/order lager yeast, and it sold just as well. They then kept using the house ale yeast.
  31. beaulabauve

    beaulabauve (0) Aug 5, 2011 Louisiana

    You're right about that. I meant saint arnold oktoberfest, but dead guy is another example
  32. dennis3951

    dennis3951 (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    That's what Twin Elephant did a few weeks ago when they did a colab with a local meadery. They called it a Honey Lemon Kolcsh. It did not taste remotely like a Kolcsh.
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  33. hottenot

    hottenot (0) Aug 13, 2018 North Carolina

    Kind of like Miller Lite being called a Pilsner. Without any hop presence. The Nerve!
  34. keithmurray

    keithmurray (815) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Breweries trying to pass of pale ales as “pilsners”. Really burns me.
  35. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt (1,930) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Breweries labelling IPAs as Pale Ales.
  36. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber (0) Jun 13, 2017 California

    Isn't "robust porter" its own category?
    Bitterbill likes this.
  37. Imbiber

    Imbiber (0) Oct 20, 2003 New York

    Yes, as an Oktoberfest is a lager.
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  38. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson (1,073) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Any time a beer is just labeled sine old world lager style but is in fact full of new age hop flavor it's annoying. Just tell me what the beer is so I can go into it with realistic expectations
  39. taalhiker

    taalhiker (0) Aug 26, 2008 Ohio

    I believe it's just a supersized version of their Dreamsicle kolsch.
  40. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt (1,930) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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