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You Know It Is a Slow News Day When…

Doing what judges do. Photo courtesy of Edmonton Journal.

Doing what judges do. Photo courtesy of Edmonton Journal.

The Edmonton Journal runs a page 3 article in the business section on the changing BJCP style guidelines, including a monster-sized photo of yours truly.

Seriously. This past Saturday. Check out the online version here.

The back story is that a young reporter with the Journal saw my blog post a couple weeks back with my take on the recentrelease of the new BJCP Style Guidelines (which you can read here). They were sufficiently intrigued that they called me up and asked me what impact this could have on the industry as a whole. After some stammering and meandering, I finally found a coherent answer, albeit a bit of a stretch. The article took off from there. The photo was arranged a couple days later. The Brewsters location was selected because I had just been meeting with Gunther about his Kolsch in preparation for my CBC column last week.

The article is fine, although I am convinced 95% of people reading it still have no clue what has changed. Plus I think the paired quotes between me and Greg Zeschuk are set up to be a bit more in disagreement that I think we actually are.

My argument, to make it more complete, was simple. The BJCP is respected by craft brewers, even though the BJCP’s mission is aimed at homebrewers. If the BJCP gives its nod to a style name and regional tradition, more homebrewers start trying to make it. More beer drinkers have a good familiarity with what that beer tastes like. Which, I contend, creates space for commercial craft brewers to more openly brew that style. I argue it was, in part, the profile provided in the BJCP guidelines to rare styles like Saison, Bier de Garde, Kolsch and so forth that have led both the recent proliferation of these beer, and the direct naming of those styles.

The more consumers understand beer styles, the more they will demand brewers use style names accurately, and the less they will put up with Alexander Keith’s IPA and its mis-named ilk. This is good all the way around. I look forward to seeing in a few years labels proclaiming the latest Leichtbier or Abbey Single, or such other.

Anyway, slow news week aside, not a bad moment in the sun for the hardworking people at the BJCP.


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