Finally had the Hoponius Union 'hoppy lager' from Jack's Abby last night. Doesn't taste much like a lager. In fact, short of a little bit of thinness in the mouthfeel, it could pass for a DIPA maybe. It's "intensely hopped" by its own admission.
Anyway, it's fresh, bright, and fruity -- which describes my favorite pale whatevers right now. So it's immediately a top something.
Why did they have to call it that. I mean, I know it helps with the beer fests and the beer leaderboards on the beer data websites and all that, but if they called it a pale ale I could call it an immediate top ten pale ale and y'all would know what I mean. It's a little crazy.
I know I've written about this, and short of having SRM and IBU numbers, we will have a hard time really nailing the styles here.
Does this page on craftbeer.com help? There is the option of 'style families' that groups beers together pretty well.
But I'm not sure it groups the styles big enough to really do much. "India Pale Ales" has three sub styles in it -- American IPA, English IPA, and Imperial IPA. Done. Not going to solve The Great Hoponius Union Problem.
And then there are some groupings that are not helpful. For example, session beers is in the "Specialty Beers" grouping, along with chocolate beer and barrel-aged beer. Nope. That won't help.
There's still a good start here, though. Even just distributing the "Specialty Beers" as best as we can through the rest of the style familes might give us a good start. Just need a good chunk of time with nothing to do... oh, right.
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