Beer styles are hard work, so why don’t we sometimes talk instead about the ways in which different types of beer act on our palates and emotions, or the social functions they perform?
When Chris Hall wrote about ‘juicy bangers’™ last week, something seemed to click:
It captures in two words everything I look for from my first beer of the night: a full-bodied but brightly refreshing, finely-balanced beer of big flavour yet peerless drinkability. It’s become a hallmark by which I measure a brewer. If they can brew a Juicy Banger, a beer loaded with assertive, juicy hop character but one I could happily drink all night, and by the pint, then they’re all right by me.
What’s great about this is that it sidesteps some of the tedious argument over nomenclature in the context of ever-sub-dividing style categories: “It’s ridiculous to say this isn’t hoppy enough for an imperial IPA when the label clearly declares it to be a double session West Coast IPL!”
Instead of fretting about the historical definition of a style vs. its practical usage today, we can just look at the beer in our hand and ask (in a manner of speaking), “Is this an upper, or a downer?”
We’d probably be quite happy in a pub which aimed to offer:
- a juicy banger™
- a hearty warmer
- a background beer and
- a spicy weirdo.
The purpose of this post is mostly to flag Chris Hall’s piece, so probably best to comment on juicy bangers™ over there, but do feel free to suggest some categories of your own below.