How to classify India Pale Lagers?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by stevepat, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,037) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ha, I dunno, I've never been.

    I'll ask my cousin today, he just went.

    A quick google search brings up this article on a "A Beer Lover's Guide to Vienna".

    According to this article, Ottakringer is one of Austria's most popular beers, and the brewery is located in the center of Vienna.

    They brew three Vienna lagers. Including Ottakringer Wiener Original, which sounds popular and tasty.

    This creation from our brewmaster is based on a 100-year-old recipe of Ottakringer and for sure will make hearts of beer lovers beat faster. This historic beer composition made from Viennese malt, melanoidin malt and the finest Saaz hops captivates with its striking, amber reflections. The Wiener Original has a fine nutty note, and a flavour that transcends into an elegant malt aroma. The Wiener Original leaves a distinct yet gently bitter after-taste.

    Our awards:
    Gold, Austrian Beer Challenge 2017
    Crusader and Bitterbill like this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,092) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Thank goodness we can find them here: Devils Backbone Vienna Lager, Von Trapp Vienna Lager, Workhorse Vienna Lager,...

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  3. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,674) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Snake River makes one, Jenny Lake Lager. I need to revisit post haste.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  4. Ronmarley1

    Ronmarley1 Disciple (376) Jan 20, 2014 Ohio

    2/3 of the word pun are p-u...
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  5. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,595) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Puns are a rare medium well done
  6. Ronmarley1

    Ronmarley1 Disciple (376) Jan 20, 2014 Ohio

    Now that’s one I’ll have to bring out of my back pocket when school starts. I bow in deference to the master!
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  7. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,595) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    There is, and can be, only one master, and her name is Patricia Larson Redvall.
  8. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,310) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Let me just say that I'm more of a numbskull than an "informed folk" and I don't think I know enough about the intricacies of brewing either, but I'll expand on my other post (and forgive me for being repetitive with posts I've made in the past). Yes - the current thinking about ale and lager is that the difference is the fundamental either/or differentiator in beer classification. My take on it is different, so it will not be shared by most people. Contrary to what people think, the ale/lager distinction is not shared by everybody and it hasn't always been the prevalent way of thinking.

    In short, I do not consider every beer to be either an ale or lager, and I do not think that the type of yeast determines the beer type. I think that culture and process are elements in naming. Generally speaking - I consider an "ale" to be a type of beer made in the English tradition, and I consider a lager to be a beer that has been lagered in the German tradition. I don't view porters, stouts, or Kolsch biers (for example) as ales. Kolsch is an "Obergäriges Lagerbier" (top fermented lager). It's not made with "ale yeast" but top-fermenting yeast. This might seem crazy but it's really not.

    Regarding the term "ale yeast," I've used a silly analogy in the past: If you use "spaghetti sauce" to make lasagna, the lasagna doesn't become spaghetti. Call the red sauce "tomato sauce" instead, and nobody will start to think that the lasagna turned into spaghetti. Top-fermenting yeast can be used to make an ale, but it can make other beers too... even lagers.

    Brewers either use the yeast they have or the yeast that they think works best for the job. In the case of IPLs, some brewers are simply using the yeasts they have to make their version of an IPA. Porter brewing has a detailed history of this. Similar to Kolsch, one needs to consider process rather than just ingredients. In the US, an "ale" is legally determined by fermentation temperature rather than yeast type. A similar example that I like to use is Thomas Hardy's Ale. At one point, it was brewed with bottom-fermenting yeast at the warmer temperatures typically associated with ale brewing. If someone was going to argue that Thomas Hardy's Ale (one of the iconic English strong ales) was at one point a lager and at other points an ale, they'd be missing the big picture due to a faulty and narrow set of rules. Look around and you'll encounter plenty of examples of lagers brewed with top-fermenting yeast, porters brewed with various yeast types, etc.

    The IPL genesis comes from a time when brewers were thinking that a bottom-fermenting yeast makes a lager, and to think otherwise was false. Without knowing the specifics of the beers, I don't have an opinion on if such things should be considered lagers, ales, or neither. I'm just pointing out the issue with the ale/lager thinking as a whole.

    Is my way of thinking potentially flawed and inconsistent? Sure, but I think it does better justice to beer than the accepted current norm. You certainly won't find many people here agreeing with it, so take it for whatever it's worth (perhaps just the silly ramblings of an oddball).
  9. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,933) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Nice demo of why some consider puns the highest form of humor.
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  10. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,595) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    I've groan to love them.
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  11. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,933) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Me too, I especially like my puns in the morning along with some honey.
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  12. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,037) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    In my opinion taste should dictate what a style is. Granted that's a slippery slope because taste is subjective, and something such as ingredients are not.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  13. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,224) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I've always wondered why they have beer competitions (home-brew or pro) if taste is so subjective. Same with wine and even food. If a beer is supposed to taste like a prescribed definition a palate can be trained to recognize the characteristics.

    Sure, I may like one style of malt in one beer over that in another, but if the beer falls into line with expected characteristics that can be recognized and "judged" on.

    What's really subjective is which beer in a category is really better than another -- that's where the debates get hot. :slight_smile:
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