Monday, October 22, 2007

Winter beer: bah humbug

It happened again today.

"What makes Winter Storm a winter beer?", I was asked. After all, it's not spiced. As if spices were only consumed at Christmas. My, there go my cookbooks. Toss them out the window. Bland food for 11 months per year.

Winter Storm - Clipper City's Imperial ESB brewed as its winter warmer- could be brewed at any time of year, I was told.

True! And following that line of reasoning, why then are any beer styles appropriate for any season? What makes an amber lager appropriate for October? What makes a bock beer appropriate for March?

The concept of winter warmer - the idea of a stronger beer as special brew, as a reward to customer and employee - is apparently considered by some to be an antiquated concept, and via revisionist history, an incorrect style. Style formalism has run amok in the US craft beer world. Bah, humbug.

1 comment:

  1. Good points,

    But I think in many cases, it's the novelty of special seasonal beers that add interest to home brewing or brings "non-believers" away from their cans of bud and back to the pint of a more quality beer, even if only for "special occasions". It's like going to church for Christmas and Easter...

    I plan on using one of these "seasonal" winter beers as a gimmick to get friends interested in "Teach a Friend to Home Brew Day"... I guess it's the manly version of inviting folks over to make gingerbread houses... LOL!


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