I don't care what it is - I care what it tastes like.
At least once a year someone comes at me with some kind of declaration about how it's not "right" or "acceptable" to call a beer something that it isn't. Not a month ago someone threw this one at me on a social media discussion thread:
"Just because it tastes like a lager doesn't mean it is."
Statements like that make me shake my head in disbelief. I'm doing it right now, just as a result of looking it up again to make sure I got the phrasing just right.
Now, this #alehole might be technically correct: if I didn't use a lager yeast, and/or if I didn't cold-condition the beer for several weeks, I suppose in a legalistic, anal-retentive, wrapped-too-tight-for-homebrewing sense it "isn't a lager." Fine. And that hamburger you're eating isn't one either because it wasn't made in the traditional Hamburg-comes-to-America method of smashing the ball of beef on the grill into a round shape.
If it tastes like a lager, and I call it a lager, does it matter that I cheated a little bit in the process?
If it's a Berliner Weisse and a panel of judges pick it as Best of Show, does it matter that I spiked it with lactic acid instead of developing all of the acidity in the mash or the kettle or in fermentation?
If it's a Blackberry Pale Ale but I follow fellow Stoney Creek Homebrewer Mike Todd's recipe and hammer it with Bramling Cross hops, does it matter that I didn't use any actual fruit?
My answer to these and all other such questions is, "No, absolutely not."
I care what it tastes like.
Here endeth the (brief) lesson. I don't want to hold you (or me) up on this holiday weekend. Enjoy your Memorial Day, and take a few minutes to remember a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who didn't get to have a beer with friends and family today.
Keep it simple.
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