People like Martyn Cornell and Ron Pattinson make my life difficult, what with their constant carping about how the conventional view of beer style is actually rooted in mythology and things like mild and porter are divorced from their historically accurate origins. Nonetheless, I admire them greatly for their work and try my best to help them spread the truth about beer styles.
(Really, they’re both great guys and true scholars and we should all be grateful for the exhaustive research they do.)
The latest styles to fall prey to one of their keyboards are barley wine and old ale, terms which in a recent post Martyn observes are, if not quite utterly meaningless, then damn close to it. As usual, he has extensive factual support for his position and it is all quite fascinating.
Still, there are those ardent beer types who will refuse to accept fact that flies in the face of the modern stylistic gospel, so as the title of this post suggests, let the hating begin. But at least read Martyn’s post first. And while you’re at it, buy his book, too!