It's high time that we update Beer Styles!

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. Witherby

    Witherby Initiate (114) Jan 5, 2011 Massachusetts
    Trader

    I have looked into this before and I have not found any evidence of this, other than modern German craft brewers, but not "as long as they've been brewed," unless I have just completely missed something. I would love to know what German breweries have been dry-hopping their pilsners. It was my understanding that this was frowned upon if not forbidden under Reinheitsgebot. See for example:
    https://punchdrink.com/articles/your-move-german-pilsner-beer-tipopils/

    https://kcbier.com/2016/04/21/brewed-according-reinheitsgebot/

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/articl...riment-inside-the-reinheitsgebots-boundaries/

    The last article makes it seem like Gänstaller’s whirlpool hopping in the coolship is groundbreaking (and I can attest that it is delicious).
     
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  2. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (83) May 18, 2017 England

    I'm not sure you can really quote a blog post that describes Golden Ale as "the last new British beer style" as evidence that Golden Ale isn't a British beer style.

    But anyway, here's Roger Protz on the same topic, finding a historic precendent for what's normally thought of as a "new style" from the 80s and 90s:
    https://protzonbeer.co.uk/features/2014/05/02/golden-ale-beer-style-that-s-a-golden-oldie

    And here's a Observer article:
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/may/30/golden-ales-flavour-of-summer

    People don't often go into a pub and ask for a "pale n hoppy" either - because generally if they know names for beer styles they can probably name the beer they want as well...
     
  3. cd_beer_disapear

    cd_beer_disapear Devotee (490) Dec 2, 2013 Ohio
    Trader

    I like the term flavored stout better and suggest changing that name.
     
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  4. cd_beer_disapear

    cd_beer_disapear Devotee (490) Dec 2, 2013 Ohio
    Trader

    Again, the name Dry Hopped German Pilsner is better than the term Italian Pilsner because any brewery can make a dry hopped pilsner not just Italian and further, People would be more likely to look for a Dry Hopped German Pilsner than an Italian Pilsner. Dry hopped is more descriptive.
     
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  5. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (9,009) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I think Pastry or Dessert Stout is the more descriptive name as these things are generally extremely sweet - lots of things can have a flavoring but without that sweetness it remains an American Imperial Stout (think Bourbon County Coffee which has coffee but is not like a dessert).
     
  6. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,564) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I honestly dont care what its called or if it even ends up as a style. I just think that a new style shouldn't be carved out unless there are meaningful differences.
    But why would a dry hopped German pilsner be a separate style?? Its just a German Pilsner thats dry hopped. This is why I dont think Italian pilsner needs to be a separate style.
     
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  7. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,896) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Along the lines of American Pastry Stout, I think anything that adds flavor (other than water, malt, hops, yeast) should be considered "flavored". If it's a strawberry IPA, then it's a "flavored IPA". Coffee added to stout--"Flavored stout".

    I think that if a beer has coffee or chocolate flavors coming only from the malt, then that deserves a category separate than beers in which coffee/chocolate are added. Same with fruit flavors from hops and not from the fruits.

    You can list them under an entirely new category: "Flavored Beers" and break them down under that: Stout, IPA, Sour....
     
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  8. honkey

    honkey Disciple (318) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Brewery Trader

    That's a common misunderstanding of the beer purity law. The Reinheitsgebot was more of a predecessor for a beer purity law and the actual purity law stated that hop extracts couldn't be used after the kettle, but did not state that dry hopping couldn't be performed. Recently, the law was clarified to say that dry hopping is allowed which a lot of Americans have interpreted to mean that dry hopping was legalized at that point, but that's not the case. It was a clarification that dry hopping was legal the whole time as long as it was in the form of natural hops, not powders, oils, or extracts. There's Weihenstephan textbooks that go back at least to 1901 that detail dry hopping techniques. You're unlikely to find breweries that advertise their use of the hops because German breweries rarely tell anything about the brewing process other than generic descriptions of how beer is brewed, but not their individual techniques. The one beer that I'm fairly certain (having been told by one of my German professors that worked at the brewery) to use dry hopping in a Pilsner is Augustiner. I also heard from a German professor that Uerige occasionally dry hops beers.

    One last thing with the purity law, it's not like breweries are always following the law... breaking or bending the purity law is as traditional as brewing itself in Germany.
     
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  9. Ahypercube

    Ahypercube Disciple (384) Dec 18, 2015 California

    I agree, Black IPA should be its own category. I'm not entirely clear on what distinguishes a "black ale" from a porter though. Is it darker? Thinner? Seems like a matter of opinion to me.

    As a matter of fact, if you want to get ahead of the game (and I'm quite surprised no one has mentioned this yet) there are a few old Latin American "beer" styles that are making a rapid comeback, namely:

    Pulque (A Aztec/Mexican style brewed from agave and corn)
    Chicha (An Incan/Peruvian style with chewed blue corn)
    Xocolatl (A cacao drink spiced with chilies that can be fermented into something like a porter)

    The closest existing category to any of these is "American Adjunct Lager" which would be a terribly generic (and regionally inaccurate) description of all. Some may say these should not be considered beer at all, but if not, then where should a guy go to talk about them?

    I also second the change from "Leipzig Gose" to the new plain old "Gose." All the ones I've had have been from America anyway. On that note, I think adding the name of the country in front of the style name should only be done when other countries create a radically different kind of brew that somehow ended up with the same exact name. Like there's no reason to call something a "Bohemian" or "German" Pilsner. Can't it just be called a Pilsner? If it's a pale lager with noble hops and it tastes like a pilsner, call it a pilsner, no? Why does it matter where it's from? There's already a "From:" section that tells you what country it was brewed in.

    I'm also a little conflicted on the concept of a MIPA category. Lactose in an IPA is a sin against nature, and should be discouraged. But if people need to have their fun, I would prefer to be warned somehow if it has been done. Perhaps a compromise exists. Maybe add a section above Notes for "Allergens", such as wheat, lactose, tree nuts, habanero chili peppers, etc?

    I also could support the idea of there being a different category for "Flavored Beers" and MIPAs Milk Stouts, Pastry Stouts, Fruited Sours, etc. could all go into there.

    In general, I side with adding most of the styles that are being considered. But consolidation and simplification are important to consider too.
     
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  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,972) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    What about changing “low alcohol beer” to Low Alcohol/Gluten Free beers (combo) Gluten Free beers should get some recognition and categorization for people looking for them (and they are becoming pretty popular). Maybe it’s a trend that will die off soon but then there is the Brut IPA so there we always have that as a flash in the pan style.
     
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  11. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,564) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    I think you meant to post this in the controversial beer opinions thread :wink:

    The main reason you have the distinction is that they are In fact very different styles. Also while noble hops are common in German pilsners, they use other hops and Bohemian pilsners use saaz most commonly.
     
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  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,564) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Im no arguing about the American use of the term ... but 1) I wonder how much correlation there actually is between the use of the term and actual good examples the style. Obviously I cannot speak to the older examples you referenced, but I find that there are plenty of "bohemian" pilsners brewed by craft breweries today where the term is more marketing than an actual indication of the style.

    The bolded part is exactly why I was tossing out the idea of changing the Bohemian pilsner to just a Czech dark lager. That would be a more appropriate style name based on the country of origin.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,538) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    For a brewery, doesn't anything they label the beer constitute marketing? If they changed "Bohemian" to "Czech Pale Lager", isn't that marketing?

    Cheers!
     
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  14. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (4,650) Oct 8, 2007 New York
    Society

    Sure, that works.

    But if you're gonna go that way, then Dry Irish Stout is really a roasty English Porter, there's honestly no difference between Quads and Belgian Strong Dark Ales, a Belgian IPA is just a hoppy Tripel...

    You could cut the whole thing down to 20 styles or so, but I don't think that's where BA is headed.
     
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  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,538) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Zum Uerige always dry hops their Sticke version of Altbier but that beer is not a regularly brewed beer - only brewed a couple times a year as I understand it. So, yeah "occasionally' would be consistent with this brewing practice.

    Cheers!
     
  16. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,534) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts
    Society

    I apologize, wasn’t trying to be snarky. I don’t think I really understood the addition of the country label to a style name, but @dbrauneis has cleared this up for me with this post.

    If in fact this is what the purpose is, I agree with that, and it makes sense to me.

    I hear ya, and I do agree and have thought of that myself.

    Our local Notch added “Black Lager” to the label for their beer “černé pivo”, which translates to “black beer”. This was so people would understand what the beer was.

    So perhaps we could label Czech beers on here as Czech Pale Light Lager, Czech Dark Light Lager, Czech Pale Lager, Czech Dark Lager...etc.
     
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  17. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,564) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Cant argue with that! But, its also supposed to be a useful indicator for the consumer to have at least an ida of what they should be getting when they buy a beer. If I buy a bohemian pilsner or a Czech pale lager from a brewery - I'm expecting certain characteristics from it - ya know?
     
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,538) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    We have gone back & forth quite a bit. I personally have zero issue with the terminology of "Bohemian Pilsner" and I have detailed in prior posts the 100+ year history & momentum here. I have homebrewed a batch of Bohemian Pilsner every year for the past 20-ish years and every one of those batches were 'branded' as "Bohemian Pilsner". I am not a commercial brewery so no "marketing" here.This terminology makes sense and works for me.

    Na Zdravi!
     
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  19. 57md

    57md Poo-Bah (2,945) Aug 22, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society

    From the list above, I would definitely encourage you to establish both a Pastry Stout and Milkshake category. Both of these styles are specialties but they both divert from the standard style radically which makes them hard to compare and contrast.

    Also, I'd like to see the emergence of an Imperial Brown category. Classic browns, even American Browns, such as Old Brown Dog or Tumbler are hard to compare to the high abv malt-bomb browns such as Palo Santo and the Founders Mountain series.

    Finally, I'd add a category of Barrel Aged Stouts. I understand that you can barrel age many styles. But clearly high abv stouts are the prime candidates for barrel aging. With all the big BA stouts out there, it's hard to compare standard fare stouts, even high abv ones, to them.
     
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  20. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,489) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Look man I totally get your point and would normally agree with you if this was a thread about simplifying styles. However, I’m just following the parameters of the original post which asked about expanding styles. My rationale is that if there are so many sub styles of IPA, for example, it is so that it can provide context for fair comparisons. Thus, I feel it would be unfair for me to compare say Heady Topper with Founders All Day IPA since each is intended for such a different purpose and it seems just plain wrong to plainly call them both IPA. This is why I brought up the notion that it would be hard for me to think of say a 14% ABV Pumpkin Stout (doesn’t Avery make one?) and a moderate ABV pale malt Pumpkin as the same style.
    That is all. Regardless, I’m not losing any sleep over it.
    Cheers!
     
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  21. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Crusader (750) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    I don't know if you agree, but beer styles are based on tradition and a little bit of politics (in its broader definition), so they are generally subjective (nothing wrong with that). For the people familiar with the science of beer, do you know if beer scientists have objective ways to classify styles?

    Objectives methods to classify styles that come to mind include clustering techniques and there are all sort of machine learning methods that could also be applied. Just curious
     
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  22. bwarner2015

    bwarner2015 Initiate (95) Mar 25, 2016 Connecticut

    So with the addition of these, there would be 3 NE categories? NEPA, NEIPA, and NEIIPA?
    I guess this thread isn't for me then.. :-) It would be very hard to separate beer into APA and NEPA the way so many beers blend styles now. Can someone give me a current example of what may be considered a NEPA? Possibly Two Roads Lil' Heaven? I consider that a session IPA. How about that for a category? BA lists Lil' Heaven as American IPA at 4.8%.
     
  23. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Trader

    Just in case I did a poor job of conveying the appropriate tone, I was sincerely trying to help you rather than criticize. That's why I bothered to post. But on the topic of expanding styles, your comment of, "doesn't Avery make one?" reveals everything you need to know though.

    "Pumpkin beer" exists as a distinct category here because of the collective volume, visibility and impact those beers have in our marketplace. If there were only a handful of brewers producing them, they would get lumped in with the fruit beer or spiced beer categories alongside a "banana beer." The same logic holds true for what you're describing. If there were a very large volume of high ABV "pumpkin stouts," then it might reach a tipping point that would lend itself to fragmenting the category here. Without that, you're just splitting categories for every little variety of beer.

    If someone thinks it's unfair to compare a pumpkin stout with a 4% ABV pumpkin pale ale, then they should just compare it to the other big pumpkin stouts in the category. If they can't do that because there aren't enough other big pumpkin stouts to compare it to, then a separate category is clearly overkill.
     
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  24. Gajo74

    Gajo74 Poo-Bah (2,489) Sep 14, 2014 New York
    Society Trader

    Fair enough. I did not feel criticized, no worries. So what is your take then on the multitude of IPA sub styles?
     
  25. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Crusader (750) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    I think we are going with whatever style the brewery claims it is
     
  26. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,179) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Trader

    Once again putting aside my personal feelings of if it's "good" or "bad," they are a reflection of the marketplace, which is a result of the term IPA somewhat slipping away from a modern style designation and into the broader signifying of "craft beer."
     
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  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,654) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    But... isn't that just brewing "evolution," as the kids call it these days? :rolling_eyes::wink:
     
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  28. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Regarding American farmhouse vs Belgian saisons, this is an underrated post/example. Well done.
     
  29. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (3,786) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society

    Can we get an improvement to the GUI for selecting beer style when entering a new beer? Dropdown with 100+ entries is hard to use. I find myself having to go back to the styles list page to find the right name and then scroll through the dropdown looking for it.
     
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  30. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,031) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Yeah. It's currently a PITA. Goal is to eventually redesign everything, but I have an idea that I might apply soon that could help here.
     
  31. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I'm assuming the same reason that has been said over and over again for the past decade plus...this is 'beer' advocate.
     
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  32. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I didn't think Kveik was a style though? I know using the yeast started to become trendy in the US last year or the year before but more often than not those were just IPAs with kveik yeast. Some were tasty but still was an IPA.
     
    #232 rudzud, Jun 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  33. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Wasn't going to bring this up in Golden Ale discussion but since you mentioned Britain, back in 2012 the Shelton Brothers hosted the inaugural 'The Festival' in Worcester, MA. There was a guy from Britain on that first floor in the far left corner who had something like 8 casks of golden ales that were all in the 3.5-sub 5% ABV range, with various dry hoppings. My god were those incredible. Still think about those beers. And the fest itself for that matter.
     
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  34. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Not sure if intended but definitely got this vibe about mixing Welsh, Scotts, and English styles.
    [​IMG]

    Regarding Trappists...Spencer Abbey better be considered historically accurate for their traditional beers. With all the effort and certs and hoops they had to jump through in order to be allowed to brew. There's plenty of crap they do that isn't, but their mains are most certainly authentic.
     
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  35. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    1) Where are those beverages making a rapid comeback, southern CA? And does rapid mean having gone from 0 brewed to 2 brewed?

    2) In a perfect world, when a beer is added things like the brewery provided beer description would go in the notes. That's where you would see if it contains lactose, nuts, etc. Unfortunately people don't add information like that and/or it is not explicitly stated by the brewery. Either way it relies on users to create those informational updates. If someone can input allergens into a drop down then they can include that in the already created 'note' field, rendering a separate allergen field redundant.
     
  36. rudzud

    rudzud Poo-Bah (7,098) Apr 28, 2010 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Are you adding from computer or phone? Having added so many damn beers I just hit the letter I know the style starts with or sometimes first two letters (ie, 'en' to get me to english so I can select english milk/sweet stout). Easy peasy. On mobile it's slightly more of a pain.
     
  37. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,098) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I would vote to keep both sites consistent. I think most users on Ba are also on Untappd. So it would make total sense to mirror the styles listed. I feel this provides some consistency, everyone will always argue over small items but this gives a good foundation.
    Cheers
     
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  38. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (3,786) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society

    I've done both. More computer than mobile, though.

    I have to remember with it's American IPA or IPA (American) or New England IPA or NEIPA...whatever the case. "go" doesn't get me to Gose, or the options for Gose. I haven't really thought too deeply about it, and I probably shouldn't have to. I'd rather have a whole page dedicated to this step than a dropdown.

    That said...it's still just an annoyance. But it's one that will get worse if we add more styles.
     
  39. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,031) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Thanks to everyone who provided constructive feedback. I'll be reviewing and taking everything into consideration. Updates to follow...
     
  40. Amendm

    Amendm Crusader (784) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island
    Society

    Welcome to BA, IPL. Glad to see this style added and Jack's Abbey has risen to the top as expected. I'm happy to see the strong showing by Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams) and will be on the lookout for some. I also have my eye out for the von Trapp India Pale Lager.

    I would like to thank Todd for the update and the work involved, without sounding like too much of a wipe. I like the new naming convention.

    Cheers.