Monday linkbait

A number of links that caught my eye recently that, while I might have more to say on them at some point, I thought were at least interesting enough to mention.

Are Pumpkin Ales Really All That Divisive?: Alan links to an article at The Atlantic titled, “The Divisive Pumpkin Ale” which broaches this question and himself defends the noble pumpkin. Of course I will always defend the use of pumpkin in a beer (does anyone who reads my blog really expect anything less?) but frankly I do also wonder why there is such antagonism towards beers with pumpkin in them—it’s one thing to not like a style of beer, but I’m hard-pressed to think of another style which invokes such a vocal response against it.

And, as I mention in my comment on Alan’s post, I want to see how pumpkin beer evolves: I love the “classic” spiced pumpkin ale, but what more can be done with it?

Oregon Pumpkin Beer Hunt: Speaking of pumpkin beers, this is a shameless plug back to my earlier post where I’m tracking pumpkin beers being brewed by Oregon breweries. I updated that with three new beers based on Brewpublic’s Killer Pumpkin Fest going on this very evening.

In Defense of Language: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Black IPA: The latest argument in the “Black IPA vs. CDA” debate by Stone Brewing‘s Greg Koch. (Good article, but basically linkbait.) Koch argues that “Black IPA” should be the term largely because language has evolved so that “IPA” doesn’t really mean “India Pale Ale” anymore. But if the language has evolved to make “Black IPA” valid… isn’t coming up with a new term for an emerging style (Cascadian Dark Ale in this case) oh I don’t know, the evolution of beer language? You know, pretty much the exact same argument?

And for what it’s worth, I’m not a fan of regionalism in the names of styles. I rather hate “American IPA” as a name because, well, it really doesn’t make any sense, and I kind of hate that we’re stuck with it. (Go read the article to see why I bring this up.)

(Also for what it’s worth, I don’t really care what the term is for this new style—Cascadian Dark Ale, Noonan Black Ale, Hoppy Black Ale, even American Black Ale to a certain extent—I just don’t like “Black IPA” because it is self-contradictory. I have actually had conversations with people who have asked me why it’s called Black IPA because “IPA” is supposed to be a pale ale—and these are people who are relatively normal beer drinkers, not pedantic beer geeks like I am.)

The Oxford Companion to Beer: Based on the commentary flying around the internet, this book is not without its flaws but is also a great (first start?) overall reference to all things “beer.” So, probably one of those invaluable resources to your beer bookshelf. Maybe. At any rate, Alan has set up a wiki to make commentary and corrections on the book, should you be interested.

One Response to Monday linkbait

  1. Justin says:

    I’ve read many of these same blogs / commentaries, too. I agree on most counts, but I am still undecided on the Black IPA one. Being an English / Linguistics undergrad, I can certainly understand your chagrin over the apparent discrepancy in nomenclature. At the same time, I recognize that language is a living thing and that change is inevitable, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. People generally forget what an acronym stands for; consequently, they unwittingly misuse it. For example, consider the phrases PIN number and RSVP please. Yes, it is somewhat grating, but is it so wrong? Dare we hold back innovation over mere semantics? Who are we to say? At least it gives us something to write about!