Monday, 31 October 2016

Why brew crap foreign beer styles?

Earlier this month I was surprised to see on a British beer blog an in depth article about the controversy surrounding pumpkin beers. I've always believed they're very much an American thing, brought in to go with their seasonal tradition of eating pumpkin pie. But it seems some British brewers have started brewing these beers.

I think I've had a grand total of half a bottle of pumpkin beer myself, something my favourite brother in law had bought out of interest and was kind enough to share with me. At the risk of sounding misogynistic* I have to say we weren't impressed.

Pumpkin doesn't have much flavour so in pumpkin pie most of the flavour comes from the spices added, and it's the same for pumpkin beer. Beer that's sweet, spicy, seasonal and best avoided is not something alien to these shores though. We have our own tradition of sweet and spicy beers that are best avoided coming out every Christmas.

So why are British brewers apparently brewing a crap foreign beer style when they could be brewing our own indigenous crap beer style? Or even better brewing beer that tastes like beer.























* It's OK, I checked my privilege first and found that I still have far less than I want.

11 comments:

  1. Might be worth noting that Claire, who wrote the article, is very much American and it's an idea she pitched to me months ago. So that might clear things up a bit.

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    1. Thanks, that makes more sense.

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  2. The few pumpkin beers I have tried have been pretty grim. The nadir I think was Timmerman's Pumpkin Lambic ( http://anthonymartin.be/en/our-beers/timmermans/timmermans-pumpkin-lambicus/-3-64/

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  3. This ones obvious, no? It was discussed on Boak and Bailey's blog. In order to flog their wares, breweries have the strategic choice between product differentiation or price competition - and they're sticking determinedly to product differentiation as it makes for better margins.

    Unfortunately, having covered everything from DIPA, BIPAs, SIPAs and WIPAs there are now no more IPAs to differentiate into, so they are left reproducing gak like pumpkin beers and goses and hoping nobody notices how shite it tastes.

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    1. Apparently the traffic is not one way as sales of Christmas pudding ales growing rapidly in the States.

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    2. But chrimbo pud is nice, while pumpkin pie is horrible. Plus 'round our way it was turnip lanterns. Oh, wait, I've had a terrible idea.

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    3. Yes, I remember turnips being used too. I find xmas pud too dense myself though.

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  4. The thing that I find weird about pumpkin-spiced everything is that while it at least makes sense in the US as an attempt to cash in on peoples' association of Autumn with mom's pumpkin pie or whatever, in the UK we're expected to pretend to be nostalgic about something that we've never had in order to help people flog us stuff.

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    1. also, I'm so bored with the U.S.A. But what can I do?

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    2. For the first time ever I spotted a pumpkin beer in a supermarket. It was by Brewdog.

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