It is always odd when the law is used to protect something. There are policies at play, interests and stuff that can't quite have a finger put upon it. Which makes one think about this:
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill supported by Democrats and Republicans that ensures certain microbrews will be licensed, regulated and labeled as "beer" throughout California. The measure applies to beers aged in wooden barrels that previously held wine or other spirits, a Belgian-style brewing process that the state's craft beer industry has embraced with gusto. The bill's sponsor, the California Craft Brewers Assn., feared that because the beers receive some of their flavor from the alcohol in the wood they could be considered distilled spirits -- and thus taxed at a higher rate.
Not sure that I have heard of the Belgian process of using barrels that had wine or spirits. Time was anytime a beer was off, twangy or otherwise led to screwing up the face you could always say that it was not off, it was just Belgian. Now, it seems, one can say that this or that process needs protection - even under law - because, you know, it's Belgian. Yet, it's an innovation, barrel aging of this sort. It is a real thing. Not everything is. Things can be not real. Makes you think. But a law can deem something. Takes not being "X" in the first place to need deeming by law, right? So is it a beer into which tasty booze and other flavors leach out of a barrel into beer or is it just a beer? Is the law protecting what it is or what some wish it was?