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Jason Notte
I enjoyed ' story on American misconceptions about British beer. However, there's no mystery as to why we generally nod politely at UK craft offerings:
There’s a belief among some American beer enthusiasts that British beer can be separated into two distinct parts. In one circle of this unholy Venn diagram sits cask ale—not any specific style like...
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
I feel as if this portion of the story is the answer that Curtis is looking for. Americans may try a NEIPA or West Coast IPA abroad to see how another country does it, but having an American IPA runs counter to the U.S. notion of craft beer.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
U.S. craft beer is forging ahead with the notion that beer should be of a place: That the terroir of that beer's surroundings should be in the beer itself.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
The West Coast IPA flourished on the back of hops grown regionally. NEIPA thrived because of techniques honed by New England brewers. Americans who go to the UK and try IPA there taste variations on that style: They don't taste original English IPA or a yet-to-surface UKIPA.
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Zach Moller📊📉 Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
i dont think UKIPA will be a functional acronym. too close to UKIP
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
But should they? U.S. craft brewers measure themselves against the world's best and their signature styles and come back here to make laudable Kolsch, open-fermented beers, Berliner Weisse, etc.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
But that isn't what U.S. craft hangs its hat on. It doesn't export itself based on its facsimiles of other similar styles. It exports the flavor of its homegrown hops, its tweaks to IPA, Pale Ale and Russian Imperial Stout.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
It does so because its global beer reputation was steeped for so long in a pale replica of German and Bohemian lagers. It's interesting to see craft growth in the Netherlands and Denmark based on similar pushback on native pale lager.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
However, the UK, Ireland, and the continent have rich and varied brewing histories that gave beer its broad array of flavors to begin with. Consolidation hurt, sure, but traditional styles enduring in traditional environs -- pubs and, yes, casks -- are in short supply in the U.S.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @econwonk
Fair, but you see what I'm saying. If this brewing wave is going to leave a lasting impression, it has to be with more than "U.S. craft beer styles that we can get to the continent more quickly than they can."
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
Within the last few years, I've been in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium tasting beers. Each is making its own version of U.S. IPA: Each is making versions of their traditional beers that U.S. brewers would envy.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
My most enlightening beer conversation came in Dublin. I met a couple who were born Dubliners but lived abroad during Ireland's economic boom. One ordered a Guinness, the other a Budweiser. I asked about the Bud.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
It was noted that, during the Tiger economy, lagers like Bud, Heineken, and Carlsberg were a sign of affluence. They were seen as cosmopolitan status symbols for people enjoying their newfound wealth.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
When I asked about the Guinness, it was noted that after the global economic crisis, the focus shifted to local beers. Even Ireland's thriving craft breweries had begun tinkering with traditional Irish styles rather than pinning their hopes on Pale Ale and IPA.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
When only 42 percent of Americans have a passport, those of us who get abroad tend to either A) Look for experiences we wouldn't have back home or B) Cling to every slice of Americana until our uncomfortable trip is over. Not all of us bypass those downtown Burger Kings.
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Christopher Barnes Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
And it makes sense. Even the food on menus is labeled "Irish..." If a lot of your economy is based on Tourism, making things tourists want to pay for is a good idea. Doesn't mean tourists won't also drink your saison, but first they want to try your Red with an Irish Stew
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
I understand why brewers in the UK and elsewhere would want to impress the Americans with their take on U.S. styles, but many of us don't fall into that scared traveler territory. They want to explore and they want place-specific experiences.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @ithinkaboutbeer
Exactly this. I eventually tried IPA in Bruges, Amsterdam, and Dublin, but not without having lambic, biere de garde, or stout.
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Matthew Curtis Jun 26
Replying to @Notteham
In fact my one of my very favourite West Coast style UK IPAs tastes to me very much like it was brewed in Yorkshire, because it is! I'd be sad if a US visitor dismissed that beer as a mere "copy" of an American beer, because like so many, it's much more than that.
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Jason Notte Jun 26
Replying to @totalcurtis
At some point, the brewers are going to hit on a transcendent take on a style that will define this era of brewing in the UK. But the fact that you have to call it a "West Coast style UK IPA" is going to make many Americans dismissive.
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