Revolutions in our life
The twenty-first century is a time of new technologies, of stunning discoveries in all fields. They make our lives richer and expand the horizons of perception. Unfortunately, every coin has a downside, and in this case all these changes are breaking age-old rules. Is it good or bad? – Probably not unambiguously.
Brewers have not been spared these innovations, but let’s go through them in order. As you know, the popularity of a particular beer depends directly on marketers. It is they who can translate all the faults into its virtues. Beer has a terrible aroma – let’s not pour it into a glass, let’s drink it straight from the bottle. Beer is not afraid of light? – Let’s not wonder why, let’s pour it into transparent bottles and pass it off as a virtue. At the same time, really interesting beer often goes ignored.
It’s all marketing, but brewers have their own rules and criteria that they try to adhere to. These rules also apply to beer championships, which are held regularly in different countries. It is a great honor for a brewer to win a medal at such a prestigious championship. They are different in different countries and their requirements for beer are different, but these are the Rules!
So, in the USA in 1985 a non-profit organization was created to regulate the rules for judging beer championships, as well as a detailed description of almost all types of beer. The new organization was called the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The description of each variety consists of several points:
- General descriptions of beer, how it should be
- Aroma of the beer: intensity, duration and specific description
- Appearance: color, clarity, foam (description, persistence, color)
- Taste: it includes the aftertaste and its duration. This is why beer should be swallowed, not spat out, as in a wine tasting
- Mouthfeel: it describes the feeling of the “body” of the beer, the level of its carbonation.
- Comments: these include details specific to the brew that were not included in the preceding paragraphs.
- History: Almost every one of these beers has a history. This is what is described in this paragraph.
- Characteristic Ingredients: Each variety requires specific ingredients. Specific malts, hops, etc. must be used during brewing.
- Comparison of styles: different styles are often similar to each other (porter and stout) and not everyone can tell them apart. This paragraph describes similar brews.
- Characteristics: The parameters which must be met by a particular style. They are not many, but are essential:
- starting density
- final density
- alcohol content
It’s all very simple and academic. As solid brewers should be, ???? at the same time, in all other areas of our life, real revolutions began to take place. In the education of children, in their upbringing. Just a small example: I’ve always been a supporter of computerization, but changing the education of first graders to computer-based! At the age of 5 or 6, removing them from human contact?! What will they grow up to be? A human android? Political correctness, a very fashionable word these days, has been taken to the point of absurdity – immortal plays by Shakespeare began to be changed because of the color of their skin.
The brewers held on for 30 years, but in 2015 they broke, too. And the new management is based not on brewing traditions, but on market trends. And the stylistics of the names are sometimes taken to the point of absurdity: black Indian pale ale. You can imagine such a thing?!! George Hudson must be turning over in his coffin. It is by these new rules that beer judges, have to judge beers in competition.
So, what to do? Not to grouse and grumble, but to try to understand these new varieties. It’s not a bad thing at all that historical varieties are being revived and new ones are being created. After all, beer has always been a part of our lives, which are changing very quickly these days. And the foam that usually appears on the crest of revolutions will go away and only real Beer, time-tested varieties, will remain. It always has been and always will be.