Getting a Few Things Off My Chest

I awoke grumpy this morning. Blame the great night I had out cocktailing last night – save for the roof bar at Toronto’s Thompson Hotel, which so desperately needs a cocktail revamp – although I’ve no swollen head or puffy eyes to show for my sins. Or maybe it was the vapidity of the morning news on the radio as I awoke, the main story of which was the death yesterday of the actor who played Uncle Leo on Seinfeld. (I’m sorry for the man’s family and friends, but really, that’s your lead?!) Or perhaps it’s the daunting workload I have staring me in the face yet again this a.m.

But for whatever reason, I’m grumpy. So here are a few grumpy-ish things I need to get off my chest.

1) Stan asks how you compare a pils to an imperial stout? I answer simply, you don’t. I mean, why bother? What is this obsession we have with quantifying one thing over another, saying that this beer, which bears practically no relation to that beer, other than ingredient lists which include barley malt, hops, water and yeast, is nonetheless somehow better than it. I enjoy a good sirloin steak and I savor a fine rack of barbecue ribs, yet I feel no need to say that one is quantifiably superior to the other, even though both are cooked pieces of animal flesh. And as for how they compare on the basis of style guidelines, well, I’ll leave that grumpy answer to Ron.

2) For a publication that will remain nameless, I just reviewed a beer which will also remain nameless, save for bearing the descriptor “Belgian Tripel.” Except that it’s not Belgian at all. It’s Canadian. So stop usurping a nation’s identity already.

3) On the subject of beer styles, the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that the so-called “double,” “triple” and – for crying out loud! – “quadruple” IPA styles need to be binned. They are stronger, hoppier versions of simple IPAs, period. Sub-class them if you will – “IPAs over 6% alcohol,” “IPAs over 8.5% alcohol” and so on – but enough with the meaningless adjectives. (And less face it, in the context of these IPAs, “double” and “triple” really are meaningless.)

4) And finally, on a decidedly non-grumpy note, Malt Advocate publisher John Hansell is previewing the magazine’s annual Whisky Awards over at his blog. If you enjoy a drop of amber liquid sunshine as much as I do, you should check them out.

4 Replies to “Getting a Few Things Off My Chest”

  1. >the more convinced I become that the so-called
    >“double,” “triple” and – for crying out loud! –
    >“quadruple” IPA styles need to be banned. They
    >are stronger, hoppier versions of simple IPAs, period.

    I can almost see this reasoning… but then I’ll taste a Russian River IPA next to the Pliny The Younger. Yes, they are in the same familial style… but the differences are such that saying they one is “just” an amped-up version of the other just makes no sense. You might as well say a stout and a porter are the same 🙂 Or a “Cascadian” ale is just another IPS-style ale too 😉

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