Beer styles are a perennial topic for discussion among beer geeks - sorry, I mean 'aficionados'! I was in just such a debate last week, discussing whether a particular brew should be classed as Bitter, Pale Ale or Golden Ale.
Over on sites such as Ratebeer and Untappd, and among the BCJP beer judges, it's even worse - does this particular Amber/Red Ale meet the specs for Irish Red or would it be better listed as American Amber? Is this Pale Ale - English, Pale Ale - American or Pale Ale - International? And how do we differentiate between Lager - Strong and Bock - Helles?
The name's unchanged of course, and the griffin is always there, but just look at how the description changes!
* Distinctive Best Bitter
* Special Pale Ale
* Outstanding Premium Ale (superlative overload...)
* Original Ale, and now...
* Outstanding Amber Ale
So one beer has at various times in its history been Best Bitter, Pale Ale, Premium Ale, whatever that is, and today it's Amber Ale. OK, so now tell me what you reckon the difference is between Bitter and Pale Ale? 🤔
Let me say it again then:
Amber Ale is just Bitter under a new name.
Dark Ale is just Mild under a new name.
Oh, and historically at least, Bitter was synonymous with Pale Ale - and by the look of it, for many brewers it still is. Or am I wrong??
*Well, I say 'refreshed', they say 'unveiled a striking new brand identity' 😉