This post from Boak and Bailey jumped into my mind when I read Jeff's thoughts on a restricted use of the word "lambic" yesterday. It is an understanding of little value to me, being that combination of dreary taxonomy and unspoken branding that one meets too often in claims to the traditional. But it's one that goes to the root of the quandary that we have in the beery discourse - how to identify and handle facts.
Not all facts are the same. We have this thing called degrees of abstraction. Factual discussions can occur at more or less specific degrees of precision. It's normal. So, just as with whether something is champagne or sparkling wine, one can ask which US lambics folk like or which US wild fermentations they like - and no one loses an eye. Plus, forms of beer are naturally mobile. I like US IPAs, Canadian tripels and sweet stouts from the Indian Ocean. I find no magic in the Trappist brand. And, to be honest, people come and people go as do the facts that revolve around them. We learn more as we research more and see how much of the dialogue has gotten hitched upon the most firmly placed assertion. And one should always inquire as to what lies behind such assertions.
Me, I have few daydreams about lambics... but my thoughts can get stalled on gueuze... and spotting a bottle of Girardin black label catches my breath. I love the stuff. They grow their own grain, reject promotion and have a fondness for the idea of buying a jug of their bulk beer for next to nothing. These things stand behind their name, their word. An immutable word. Should you care deeply about, then, about the use of a more general term for a form of something? Up to you but if you do think that way about words about beer maybe you do the same for shoelaces and ornamental bushes. But if you are insistent about the accuracy of specific knowledge, well, sit right down good nerd. We share an interest.