Do you have a vested interest in whether a beer is a porter or a stout?
Two words, but for me a two-part question.
* First, I drink beer. And I have an affection for imperial stouts. So if a beer is called “imperial porter” should I trifle with it?
You answered no? Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter won the gold medal in the imperial stout competition at the 2008 World Beer Cup. So much for style guidelines holding a beer back. Just to be sure it still suits me I had a dram of the barrel-aged version just this past weekend. Flat out great.
That doesn’t mean that if I walk into a brewpub pub and happen to be in a dark-and-roasty mood I won’t look at the chalkboard listing beers and wonder just what the brewer intended when he chose to brew those “styles.” My solution is simple. I ask for a sample of each. Something you can do in a brewpub, but can’t at the beer store when confronted by a six-pack you haven’t seen before.
* Second, I write about beer. It is hard for me to avoid the concept of style, as mindbending as the discussions may be. But do I need to weigh in on the topic every time a spirited discussion breaks out on beerblogland? It seems I do this time.
“Does beer style matter? Does it mean anything?” was the topic at the British Guild of Beer Writers’ annual seminar this week. I suggest starting with Mark Dredge’s summation and questions that popped into his head (that’s where I stole the line at the top from), then the comments that followed.
More to come, I suspect, but I’m leaving it to others. Instead I suggest tomorrow we climb into the wayback machine and read what somebody other than Micheal Jackson was writing about styles in 1977 (the same year Jackson first published his World Guide to Beer). That should be fun.
Meanwhile, to the question Mr. Pencil & Spoon posed: “Beer Style: Does
is it Matter?” In I moment I will signal WordPress it is time to publish these words. Then I will head to what here in the southwest constitutes a beer cellar (a chest freezer with a temperature controller). I will retrieve a beer, not a style. OK, the style might be “strong.”
I think the answer to the question is, “Not tonight.”