Lying Lagers and the Lagerers Who Lager Them (and other Lying Beers)

beer-932994_1280.jpg

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.

Relax.

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.

JJW

Please help support BEER SIMPLE by visiting the Support page and saving the links there as your bookmarks, especially this Amazon link!  Every dollar you spend will help keep BS coming your way, and more often (which is at least as much a threat as a promise).