Who thinks "fruit smoothies" needs their own style category?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by bubseymour, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Ranbot

    Ranbot Savant (907) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, I know the customers buying and hyping all that nonsense is as much or more to blame than Other Half. Other Half is just the lightning rod for ire.

    And I did visit Other Half in Brooklyn once, years ago before the current tap room was built and they were less well-known. Their beer was just so-so to me, and since then my taste preferences have drifted further away from their schtick, so I have zero interest in going again.
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  2. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I think all American sours need better classification.

    Essentially 100% of all of Jester Kings beers here on BA are misclassified because there isn't an appropriate category for them. American Wild Ale vs. Belgian Saison? Both wrong IMO.

    I really don't think there should be such a thing as American Wild Ale, it's way too broad of a catch-all and means next to nothing because of it. And how can an American beer be a Belgian Saison? That's just ridiculous.

    Of course fruited Berliners and goses should have their own classification. I think there's even a distinction to be made between Florida-weisse and the uber thick 450 Slushys out there.
    #42 Sabtos, Jan 15, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  3. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I also think that's another piss poor catch-all that needs deleted.
  4. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Why not?

    Plenty of US brewer's make German Pilsners.
  5. Ranbot

    Ranbot Savant (907) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    This bothers me less when I remember that Germans have been mixing sweet syrups into their berliner-weisses for decades. American brewers are doing it for the customer in advance, but using real fruits, rather than cheap flavor shot syrups like you would find in gas station slushies or bad coffee shops. :nauseated_face: Not that I would drink them regardless, so maybe that's why I don't care about the classification distinction.

    Now American brewers shouldn't be making time-bomb cans of unfermented sugars and live yeasts... maybe we need to classify them different for sake of people's safety... :wink:
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  6. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
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    I sympathize with the syrup defense as I use it myself in justifying the existence of these absurd drinks to begin with, against those that either say it's not beer or not in keeping with tradition. It's only inevitable here in the United States of Absurdity that we continue to push the bounds.

    That said, Florida-weisse and Slushys are just so drastically different from your classic Berliner at a brewer with a few drops of added syrup...

    Well no, they make American pilsners.

    The only reason they are classified as German pilsners here is because there are only three choices of pilsner on this site, and one of them is named incorrectly from the jump.

    Most American breweries when you visit them, if they have a pils on draft, simply label it as a pilsner on their menu.

    That said, I'm not really that strongly opinionated on German vs. American Pils. If it's widely accepted that a non Czech-style pils = German, ok, whatever.

    But a Belgian saison is much different than an American saison, and American Wild Ale is not an appropriate substitute.

    Ultimately I think we need to remove the country or city of origin labels from beer styles entirely (esp. on this site) unless the beer in particular is already globally and widely accepted as being classified as such, ala Berliner, Czech Pils, AAL.
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  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    If they use German Pils malt and Noble hops, and brew it to style, it's American because it was brewed by an American brewer?

    I could link to numerous breweries that label their Pils as either German or Czech.

    What's the difference between an American and a Belgian Saison (genuinely curious)?

    Except "Czech Pils" isn't a thing in the Czech Republic. The only beers labeled "Pilsner" come from Plzeň. The rest are simply called "pale lagers" and will have specific style names based on original gravities.
  8. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Honestly I don't care about any of the pils stuff. If people are passionate about the existing labeling remaining as such and prefer it, particularly the way it's used here on BA, okay fine. I feel like there's room for improvement but it's not important to me.

    In regards to Belgian vs American, it's not so much that they're different, it's this: should there really be an indicator that saison is Belgian, in the first place? Could it not just simply be saison? Or, if not, if we want to append the country of origin, let's keep the Belgian saison Belgian, and make a new style of Farmhouse, for everything else that isn't Belgian. Saison is a lot harder to nail down than something like Belgian Dubbel, Tripel, Quad, which are far more strictly defined.

    It comes down to this: American saisons are not Belgian saisons, because they are not Belgian. It's just ridiculous and nothing that a brewery like Jester King makes just sounds right being called a Belgian saison. They go to great lengths to ensure they are making beer in their time, their place, their way, respecting tradition while also carving their own path for all of the challenges and blessings they encounter in their own part of the world.

    This is further exacerbated by the fact that Gueuze and Lambic are reserved for Belgian-only beers, and then beers of a similar style made elsewhere are shoehorned into "AMERICAN WILD ALE" (even if they aren't brewed in American) or "BELGIAN SAISON" just cuz...

    And then there's the fact that, although it has been agreed to internationally, sites like this and others refuse to add MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE as a style.

    Everything went awry and became much more entanglingly complicated when we started putting a country in front of every single style type. In many if not most cases, it means nothing or is redundantly superfluous.
  9. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,438) Aug 3, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    I agree. There needs to be just a Sour or Fruited Sour category. These smoothie beers are not Berliners or Gose' most of the time.
  10. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Oh ok, I gotcha now. That makes sense to me.
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  11. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,034) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    I don't think "fruit smoothie" beer needs a new category per se, but I would like to reiterate that kettle sours need their own category and not be considered American Wild Ales. Kettle sours are not wild ales at a fundamental level. Having uniquely different styles of fermentation and development is a hell of a lot bigger stylistic difference than whether or not you add a mess ton of fruit puree.
  12. RyanK252

    RyanK252 Poo-Bah (2,476) May 18, 2014 California
    Society Trader

    If I was to add some categories I'd definitely want one for "milkshake IPAs". I wouldn't mind one for kettle sours either. Calling them American Wild Ales or whatever just doesn't feel quite right. I'd definitely be in favor of a smoothie beer sub-category for lactose and fruit dosed ones.
  13. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    You know, greatly reduced main categories with expanded subcategories could be a nice update to the system here
  14. ScaryEd

    ScaryEd Poo-Bah (2,363) Feb 19, 2012 New Hampshire

    Didn't want to bring any negativity towards Other Half in this thread. I like them a lot. Their taproom is a great stop if you're in Brooklyn, or more specifically the Gowanus area.

    Just found that one beer to be particularly odd and worthy of mention in this thread.
  15. Ranbot

    Ranbot Savant (907) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That might help, but then you have to define what "MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE" is and for some styles drawing that line in history may be just as arbitrary as assigning a place of origin. Beer styles never had a moment in history where they were all static to officially call "original."

    Also I'm against allowing the francophiles to take over beer terms. They have their wine, we don't have to give them beer too. The English "Traditional Method" or German "Traditionelle Methode" will do fine. :wink:

    The "American" moniker is even more confusing because depending on the base style it can indicate either:
    -more bitterness/hops (e.g. American Pale/IPA/Stout/Porter/Brown/Strong),
    -use of adjuncts (e.g. American Adjunct Lager/Light Lager/Malt Liquor), or
    -fermented with a neutral yeast (e.g. American Wheat/Amber).

    I agree the beer styles are "entanglingly complicated" but I don't think that can helped at this point. As I alluded to above when discussing MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE, there are centuries of history in beer styles, but nothing was ever static in those centuries. Any attempt to retroactively assign or reassign beer styles will cause just as many problems, if not more, than going with the styles as is- as the beers originally appeared in history. If you tried to reclassify beers by an arbitrary modern standard I'll bet at least Greene King would tell you that if you don't think their 3.6% ABV flagship is an IPA then you should have been there in 1799 to tell them so. :wink:
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  16. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    I'm fine with American IPA, but American Imperial Porter? Ridiculous. A few breweries started labeling their stouts that way (highly likely as a joke, considering most of them were highly flavored with pastry ingredients), and now we just add a category to accommodate their fuckery?

    Same with Brut IPA. Like 5 people made this "style" that never caught on and varied drastically in execution, but we add it, meanwhile we ignore Lichtenhainer...? And dozens of other styles most people acknowledge historically and more contemporarily.

    Why is Cream Ale suddenly American?

    German Pils? Ok. German Marzen or German Dunkelweizen? Ridiculous.

    And really, this mostly only applies here on BA because someone decided it would be easier, likely for sorting purposes alone.

    All that is to say, everyone recognizes there's a dearth of clarification with our sour ale styles and there has been for many years.
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  17. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,801) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Yo, back off of dunkelweizens bro!

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  18. Sabtos

    Sabtos Poo-Bah (7,420) Dec 15, 2015 Ohio
    Society Trader

    lol I'm just saying, we all know the country of origin, that doesn't also need to be in the style name.

    There are only a few styles that we have not nationalized here. How about the Antarctican Fruit and Field Beer?
    FBarber likes this.