A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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eric braun -

This is one case where the craft brewing industry should take a lesson from wine folks.

There's a great deal of backlash against all the ratings systems and a handful of people who tend to set the taste standards. It makes for the tyranny of a few tastebuds.

Narrowing down flavor profiles to a finite group of taste categories only corrals the creative efforts of brewers who will in turn begin to brew to the tastes of these standards.

It also corrals the creative writing of reviewers. There's just no need for it.

Man, this is what happens when people start forming committees.

Greg Clow -

Considering that I have rated over 1400 beers at Rate Beer using numerical scales, it would probably be hypocritical of me to be completely negative about this idea. In fact, I don't have a big issue with brewers presenting their beer inside some sort of framework that describes certain aspects of the brew.

But I do think the idea of having it be a "standardised template" is flawed, as such schemes rarely do a good job when it comes to including things that fall outside of expected norms. Like, what if one of the brewers comes up with something like a barrel-aged smoked barley-wine with blueberries and peppermint, or something freakass like that. How will this fancy "template" deal with such a beast?

Alan -

I think these are wise comments - and not only because you agree with me. There is a great book by (I think Andrew Barr) called <i>Wine Snobbery</i> in which the relationship between authorized standardization description and elitism is made. It is a mechanism to make something rarified, so that only an expert can state if something is really fine. As a result it is anti-craft and anti-individual. If Greg thinks that a certain beer has notes of sweatsock and raspberry (as La Choulette Framboise could possibly be described) he should write that and then I should go out and see if I agree or if I would put it another way by rearranging the flavour elements.

Alan -

The Telegraph from London giggles slightly over the prospect of the beer snob resulting from standardized language.

Thomas -

I tend to think standardization practices, especially on such a simple scale, are pure BS. I say that as someone studying for the BJCP exam. I heard an interview with a BJCP Judge that beers cannot get a top score(in this case a 50), but if an Anchor Steam or as Pilsner Urquell can't get a 50 and they define the style I question the utility of any such practice. But this same judge did make one point of validity, the judging scale provides a common vocabulary base to discuss beer.

DJ Portland Ore -

I absolutely love the idea of this standardized system. It gives the dorks something to do while it give us real beer drinkers one more thing to totally ignore as we go on to enjoy our favourite frosty cold adult beverage, as always. :-)

Alan -

Here is an interesting critique of the standard numerical rating system in wine from today's <i>NYT</i>

Paul -

Burton snatch?? Can't imagine how that can be a good thing inside a pint of beer.

Personally I don't mind the idea of a standardized numerical rating of sweetness based on a quantitative measurement - but nothing else please.

Alan -

Burton Bridge porter may be in the LCBO soon as a seasonal if I remember correctly. You will have a chance to experience the snatch which is a way of describing a rather harsh tang.