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Old 01-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #41
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I guess what I want to know from the OP is what makes something "traditional" is it being made with the exact same ingredients as a beer he/she thinks of when they think of a lager or bock? What's a "traditional Pilsener" is it the one made in Pilzen Czech or is it the one made in Bavaria? As the Pilzen variety has more hop bite or the Bavarian variety which is sweeter and maltier (OMG Europeans changed a beer!!!)

Beer is a constantly developing organism. I forget when it was first used (IIRC it didn't even get to Europe til after the fall of Rome) but it didn't get heavily documented til about the 13th century. Now it's hard to find a beeer without a hop in it

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Old 01-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
This is true for sure, but I have had way too many American wheats were the yeast flavors are over the top - in my opinion. Way over what one expects compared to the German versions
Do you mean American wheat, or do you mean wheat beer brewed by an American brewery? There are plenty of American breweries doing German-style weissbiers. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis comes to mind.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #43
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I recently tried one of these new extreme beer styles. It was made with smoked malt. Can you believe it? It tasted like ham. This new generation of brewers goes way too far trying to be extreme.

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Old 01-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #44
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I recently tried one of these new extreme beer styles. It was made with smoked malt. Can you believe it? It tasted like ham. This new generation of brewers goes way too far trying to be extreme.
I don't think you can extrapolate one example, or a handful of examples, to an entire generation.

I've had many fantastic extreme beers (lychee berliner weisse, beer made with whole pies, mixed seafood stout, grapefruit wood aged saison, american wild ale aged with oranges, etc), and I've had a lot of bad ones too.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #45
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Do you mean American wheat, or do you mean wheat beer brewed by an American brewery? There are plenty of American breweries doing German-style weissbiers. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis comes to mind.
I'm talking American-style wheat beer. Yes there are some very fine American made German-style wheat beers out there. At the same time there are some that border on tasting like what you pour out of the bottom of the fermentor after racking (actually it has toned down in the past couple years - with respect to wheat based beers).

I do appreciate big and/or weird beers, and approve wholeheartedly of experimentation (I am a scientist after all). My concern is that too many people with get it stuck in their heads that massive amounts of flavor must be present for the beer to be condisdered good. If they are not, then the beer is not good. We will have lost the ability to appreciate subtle and nuanced flavors.

In some respects, the beer industry is going the opposite of the wine industry. The big wine companies make the slap you upside the head with flavor wines (often one note) and it is the small producers who make the more elegant and complex wines. I like a good fruit bomb wine now and then, but I find myself more and more wanting wines that are more complex. With beer, the craft breweries are the ones focusing on flavor bombs, not the BMC folks. BMC beers are extremely well made, one might knock them for their low flavor profile, but one cannot say that they are not well made,

Perhaps it is just my curmudgenly ways as I get older. I suspect though that as I have gotten much more serious about wine tasting, I've brought what I've learned about that over to my tastes in beer drinking (and to my brewing!). Unfortunately what that means is that I have gotten much fussier about what *I* consider to be a truly good beer. This has certainly happened with my tastes in wines
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:16 PM   #46
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I've got nothing against "extreme" beer. It has a place in the market. I think today its place in the market is a bit larger than it will be long-term, though...

Craft beer is "hot" right now. The "craft beer drinker" set of people is today comprised of people who have honestly come to craft beer because they enjoy craft beer and what it offers, and it's also comprised of hipsters who drink craft beer because it's "in".

Someday, a bunch of those hipsters will move on, and they'll be drinking extreme spirits (i.e. I think the nano-/micro-distillery boom is in its infancy) or something else. Craft beer won't be "hot" any longer.

When that happens, craft beer will undergo a contraction. That contraction will still leave more breweries in operation than we had in the last contraction in the late 90's, and overall I think the craft beer market will continue to grow on a more stable foundation after that contraction. But the contraction will occur. After it occurs, there will still be extreme beer. It will still have a place in the craft beer market. It just might not be written about in all the fashionable magazines any longer...

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:26 PM   #47
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I just came across the below article that questions the extreme craft brewing movement in America. It raises some interesting questions. I have difficulty understanding why we insist on moving away from beer that has been perfected over hundereds of years just so we can over hop, spice, or add something else to.

http://www.speakbeer.com/extreme-beer-in-america-circus-novelty-or-the-new-normal/
A) Beer was not "perfected" over hundreds of years. Yeast was an unknown ingredient of beer until 1857. How "perfect" could their beers have been if they didn't know that a basic ingredient that caused the fermentation process existed at all? To say nothing about sanitation or temperature control.

B) Yes, of course it's a fad. Do you really think that "Imperial Maple Bacon Coffee Stout" is going to be a common staple among future beer drinkers?

You and the article author need to chill out.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:28 PM   #48
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I don't think you can extrapolate one example, or a handful of examples, to an entire generation.

I've had many fantastic extreme beers (lychee berliner weisse, beer made with whole pies, mixed seafood stout, grapefruit wood aged saison, american wild ale aged with oranges, etc), and I've had a lot of bad ones too.
GTFO!

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Old 01-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpcondo
I have difficulty understanding why we insist on moving away from beer that has been perfected over hundereds of years just so we can over hop, spice, or add something else to.[/URL]
I've read this whole thread, and this is what it boils down to for me: I disagree with the premise that hundreds of years of tradition makes something superior per se. Repetition can perfect a process but doesn't guarantee the appeal of the product. I don't love extreme or new styles simply for the sake of new & extreme. And I DO really like some English styles that have almost disappeared, like mild. But I find most German beers unutterably uninteresting, and many other traditional beers as well.

In short, I am going to brew, buy, and drink the beers that appeal to me, whether 13% and 105 IBUs or my 3.2% Rye Mild. As another poster said, Miller Lite (or Czech Pils) has already been done to death.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I'm talking American-style wheat beer. Yes there are some very fine American made German-style wheat beers out there. At the same time there are some that border on tasting like what you pour out of the bottom of the fermentor after racking (actually it has toned down in the past couple years - with respect to wheat based beers).

I do appreciate big and/or weird beers, and approve wholeheartedly of experimentation (I am a scientist after all). My concern is that too many people with get it stuck in their heads that massive amounts of flavor must be present for the beer to be condisdered good. If they are not, then the beer is not good. We will have lost the ability to appreciate subtle and nuanced flavors.

In some respects, the beer industry is going the opposite of the wine industry. The big wine companies make the slap you upside the head with flavor wines (often one note) and it is the small producers who make the more elegant and complex wines. I like a good fruit bomb wine now and then, but I find myself more and more wanting wines that are more complex. With beer, the craft breweries are the ones focusing on flavor bombs, not the BMC folks. BMC beers are extremely well made, one might knock them for their low flavor profile, but one cannot say that they are not well made,

Perhaps it is just my curmudgenly ways as I get older. I suspect though that as I have gotten much more serious about wine tasting, I've brought what I've learned about that over to my tastes in beer drinking (and to my brewing!). Unfortunately what that means is that I have gotten much fussier about what *I* consider to be a truly good beer. This has certainly happened with my tastes in wines
Well... American wheat as a style is slightly hop forward and brewed with clean yeast, so I'm even more confused by your take on this now.
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