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Indigenous American styles

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

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  1. patto1ro

    patto1ro Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    1868 William Younger beers - some of my favourites ever. Typical Scottish beers, with lots of hops. If only I could persuade someone to brew the XXP.
  2. Nutwood

    Nutwood Jun 30, 2012 Kentucky

    A couple weeks ago I had an outstanding beer - To Øl Black Ball Porter.

    It is brewed in Belgium and labeled as "American Style Porter"

    I know I've seen at least a couple of other examples I can't name right now of "American Style _______" brewed outside the US.

    Surely this is some indication that American innovation exists, if continental breweries are openly and respectfully paying hommage to the American stylistic influences.
  3. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    BrewDog has stated explicitly that their brewery is modeled after the American craft movement and not British tradition. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/03/food/la-fo-stone-brewing-20110203
    Nogne in Norway and Urthel in Belgium are mentioned as well.

    Nutwood likes this.
  4. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Perhaps you may not be aware of this fact yourself. Last time I checked America was in the world and there are beers from here that are sought after buy people from other country's, some of which are BBA. If you would Like proof check out the reviews for CBS for example. There are reviews from BA's from other country's first page has reviews from Canada and Germany which I believe are also country's in the world. Page through them and you'll find even more country's. I have a sneaking suspicion these beers didn't just fall into their laps by chance.

    If this hasn't convinced you, you could also consult the beer reviews page of BA's from other country's for wants, hads and gots. CwrwAmByth for example who's been posting in this thread has reviewed BCBS. I believe I have sufficiently stated my case but I would entertain any dissent you may still have. :D
  5. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Nope. We're good. America is in the world, as is Germany and reluctantly Canada also. Appreciate your post.
  6. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Fact: The real reason Canadians want to build another bridge to MI so badly is, so they can buy up all our CBS.
  7. pixieskid

    pixieskid Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    Yeah, I did, but just because one recipe at one point seemed to fit the bill for a dipa at the time, doesnt result in it being an established style.

    I'm not exactly sure how to convay my point correctly aside from a comparisson, so here it is.

    A hefeweizen is a traditional German beer that has been brewed for hundreds of years. Today, the hefeweizen is still the same (brewed in Germany or not). This is a German style historically and in modern day.

    The information you provided, doesn't justify the DIPA to historically be a style. American's have yet to really create anything original in terms of beer style (lets be honest, damn near everything that is popular or currently happening, has been done at one point in time, whether it be beer, music, fashion, etc.)

    However, if there is one thing that Americans do well in regards to beer, it's hops and IMO the DIPA is and probably a hundred years from now will be considered an American style.
  8. acevenom

    acevenom Oct 7, 2011 Louisiana

    Isn't all beer just derivative from when early people first discovered that you could have a fermented liquid that resembled what we could call beer?
    franklinn and cavedave like this.
  9. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    People didn't have styles back then , beers were simply given names.Very often the same brew would be called different things under different circumstances.Nobody really distinguished between say bitter, Pale Ale and IPA and the beer in question, though a Scotch Ale , may well not have been called this in Scotland but a Strong Ale.
    But there were many brews of such strength and IBUs at the time.They just weren't grouped together under a single umbrella.Computed IBUs of well over 100 were pretty commonplace in those days.
  10. pixieskid

    pixieskid Jun 4, 2009 Germany

    You say people didn't have differentiating styles back then, are you referring to people in general or those from the UK?

    Going back to my previous example, what did germans call hefeweizen 500 years ago?
  11. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    How exactly does one (person, nation, etc) "do" hops? What about the way Americans "do" hops makes it different and innovative? I think marquis is saying that far back in recorded beer recipe history, there was a brewery and a country that was doing this already at these levels and with every hop variety available at the time.
  12. RichardMNixon

    RichardMNixon Jun 24, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm quite confident I could tell that beer and an American DIPA apart in a blind taste test. After chugging some hot sauce.

    You apparently have a different definition of "innovation" than many of us (and a handful of rising European brewers influenced by American brewing). Please give examples of what you consider innovation and why they're innovative in a way that DIPA, coffee beer, BBA beer, etc. are not. What "counts" as innovation in your view. You've said many things don't count; what does?
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You asked: What about the way Americans "do" hops makes it different and innovative?

    I think that TongoRad did an excellent job addressing this topic in his post to this thread:

    “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.”

    I agree with TongoRad’s post 100%.

    Frankinstiener likes this.
  14. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Jack I can't disagree with that really. Development at the bottom of the supply chain does certainly count as innovation, as do changes in process designed to utilize those new products. This, along with Frankinstiener's earlier comments about refrigeration, sanitation, transportation, etc., are getting at the very heart of the question I think. Whether some of those inventions and innovations can originally be attributed to the States remains to be seen, but they are worth recognizing.

    The gist of my OP was bolstered by several comments along the lines of "DIPA and you can't argue with that." Bold flavors in beer are not an American invention. The use of copious amounts of hops is not something that springs from the US west coast. American beer drinkers that have discovered finer brews relatively recently seem to think that this is a new and wondrous invention that Americans have created. I think the discussion so far has been refreshing, because it seems that the majority who have commented realize that, in most ways, what is being touted as American 'innovation' is actually being borrowed from not-too-distant brewing history. Pushing the boundaries did not begin in the 1980s in the States. That's all.

    No I'm not going to do that I'm afraid. It will turn into an attack on a few specific things, and I would rather keep the discussion flowing. What I consider innovation, however, would be something that has not been widely done before. Everything that you mentioned has.
  15. sarcastro

    sarcastro Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Let me get this right, you aren't willing to say what you feel are innovations in the beer world, but you are very willing to tell people what isn't innovation?
  16. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I am not going to list innovations in the beer world and ask folks to attribute them to specific countries or regions, no.
    However when folks trot out an alleged American innovation, I am willing to point out that it is either not an innovation, not American, or both.
    That is the point of the thread. Please don't derail it with personal attack, which we have managed to avoid for 4 pages now.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You state: “However when folks trot out an alleged American innovation, I am willing to point out that it is either not an innovation”.

    I recognize that you started this thread. Does that mean you get to personally judge what is a genuine innovation?

    In my first post (the 11th post of this thread) I stated: “This topic has been discussed in the past and the crux of the issue is often how do you define innovation?”

    In my first post I also opined that beers like American Pale Ale are indeed innovative beers since the type and manner of hopping is distinctly different from English Pale Ales.

    cavedave likes this.
  18. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    I am just trying to find out what folks regard as American innovation, since I hear the term so much. Some things are clearly not as innovative as some think they are. I am not trying to personally judge anything.
    I am beginning to think this thread has run its course though.
  19. patto1ro

    patto1ro Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    You could argue that most of the innovation in American brewing has come from the hop breeders and growers.
    rlcoffey, jmw and herrburgess like this.
  20. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Changing the name IS an innovation. :) And an invention.
  21. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky


    Also, THIS.
  22. Reneejane

    Reneejane Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    Jmw, I'm not sure why you're unwilling to acknowledge hop hybridization and development of new strains as innovation. The Americans first started by developing VERY high AA strains of hops for commercial breweries to improve hop utilization in beer. Then since then more specific strains with different hybrids and research, these have different disease and pest resistance and different flavor qualities.
  23. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    And there is the innovation. There are new hops not available at that time.
  24. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    The island that England is located on isnt very wide. :p
    WilliamLee likes this.
  25. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    You know what one of my least favorite things are?

    People on the internet who think they get to control the point of a thread. Once released into the wild, it evolves, and the OPs can suck it if they dont like the direction it goes.
  26. jmw

    jmw Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Actually I did, just above:

  27. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Considering the title of the thread, shouldnt this be a 4 page discussion of Kentucky Common?

    That would be much more enjoyable than arguing about the definition of innovation (which the OP should have provided in the first post).
  28. marquis

    marquis Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Regarding hops, the real innovation was to set up establishments specifically for breeding new varieties of hops.These have been around for a long time.When new hop varieties are available,as always brewers will explore the possibilities.New hops don't perhaps create new styles but make the older styles different.
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I stated in my first post (the 11th post of this thread): “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.”

    And on cue: “New hops don't perhaps create new styles but make the older styles different.”

    It never ceases to amuse me (is amuse the correct word?) how thread discussions just repeat themselves over and over.

  30. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Utilization does not depend on AA. High AA resultS in less going into the boil, which is cheaper. The BMCs wanted to save money and funded the research.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Absolutely agree, and this has been true for as long as there have been hops to use. Innovation also needs tagged to the maltster, the farmer, and indeed the insects of a given area. At the end of the day the brewer uses them to the best of his ability.

    Arguing that the upstarts here on this side of the Atlantic might be credited with the same rights to claiming innovations as the many ancient cultures and breweries given that right seems to rankle some.

    Fact remains that if one finds it necessary to attribute changes/innovations/ostensible major improvements, than the modern breeding, use, and development of style improvements with new flavors of hops would have to be given to American brewers. And some folks would argue against it, but then argue for the recognition of other areas whose contributions were as simple as noticing an infected beer tasted well, or for noticing that if they left the malt too long over a fire, and added it so as not to waste it, it tasted well. Me, I don't care, Native Americans used stuff, ancient Europeans and Middle Easterners did too, none of these cultures has more than the tiniest relation to modern man, foolish to claim them now, though I am guilty of it too.

    What is both indigenous and innovative in brewing, sticking to strictest interpretations? Well, if that matters to some, I would guess that it would be impossible to imagine, except to say it was one of my nickname's predecessors in a cave long ago. His name was NGom and his picture in front of a stone crock is on my wall:)
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