Friday, 16 November 2007


Left to myself, I wouldn't have written yesterday's post. Not that I don't like giving the BJCP regular kicks. I prefer doing it a different way.

It's fortunate that I didn't publish (in my pathetic internet way) more stuff earlier. The last two years have provided enough for several feasts of my own text. We all like to think of ourselves as rational. At least I hope we do. I wouldn't want to live in a world full of consciously irrational beings. Sounds like hell. Or Swindon, as it's more popularly known. Honest self-crticism is the embodiment of rationality.

You may spot which of my posts have been helped by a beer. Or one and a half. One and eleven sixteenths, top. Crap jokes didn't score that highly in my poll, I recall. Time to be pedantically literal.

Laughs aren't always easy to get. I have a couple of guaranteed ways, here in the Netherlands. This one never fails around these parts. Colleague: "Why don't you cycle to work?" Ronald: "I can't ride a bike." I then explain that no, I wasn't crippled in childhood and that my parents didn't belong to some weird anti-cycling sect.

Dutch bikes, especially junkie bikes, can be primitive. Stadsfiets, omafiets - that's what they call them. They cost - when purchased from a genuine, certified junkie - (coincidentally) exactly the same as a bag of smack. (I had worried about including any d**gs words in this family blog. Then I realised that the CBI, or whoever else might be tracking my communications, couldn't possibly pick it up. Try searching for "smack" in a not-really-allowed-state-altering context and see how much you find that's relevant.)

Primitive Dutch bikes don't have hand-operated brakes. You have to backpedal. But I don't. I can't.

Let's try less literal. I'm big enough to admit when I've been wrong. Not really. I'm big enough to fill a whole chest freezer. If filleted.

"Was", "I", "wrong". They sound best in a certain order. And it isn't when the first two words are flipped.

Crap jokes. I remember. My memory isn't what it was. You want me to spend more time in the pub with my kids. Who am I to argue with the great ..... (substitute the country of your birth) people?

Stumbling, but not quite yet prone in the gutter, I approach the conclusion of this post. I promised Alexei that I would have time for him at exactly 16:44. By the highly-inaccurate clock over my right shoulder that's the time . . . right . . . . now

Dolores is bribing the kids with money. I have another 43 seconds (they cost 10 euro cents per 12 seconds). I hope that I've been honest enough to admit that I've been wr


Alan said...

I am fambooozled. What was wrong with the styles post or discussion?

Ron Pattinson said...

Nothing at all. It's just not something I would have done unprompted. But that's the fun of the list.

Alan said...

Good becuase it has triggered about 17 new thoughts for me. And that is good on a Friday when I have yet to have a beer.

Stephen Lacey said...

Having actually been the one to suggest that list item, I'm sorry not to have chipped in earlier. Been busy doing things other than drinking beer, more's the pity.

But what I would add is that I see the BJCP, in addition to its primarily home brewing function, as having a parallel with the biological binomial classification system rather than an attempt to say that this is how a style must be. If a new sub-species is discovered, biologists don't say, oh stupid animal, it should have stripes, not spots. And so the BJCP might re-cast its style descriptions in future if a style is found to have greater phenotype plasticity out there than they previously thought. As beer evolves, so too (should) follow the guidelines.

The question of how styles have changed over time is interesting. Should BJCP include things like "late 18th century London porter"? Or whatever...the problem with beers is that they don't often leave very good fossils.

By way of explanation, I suggested the title because it was clear from past posts that Ron is not a big fan of the BJCP guidelines, yet I think they are an honest attempt at a task that is akin to catching eels with your bare hands, herding monkeys...that kind of task. So I thought I'd see if I could prod to see if he saw any merits in them at all.

I do agree with his objection to people reverse applying them to commercial beers. I would say I've even been guilty of that myself in the past, but have learned the error of my ways.

All in the name of knowledge.

Spargealot said...

Please continue to blast away at the BJCP. I am a judge in the US and find plenty of flaws in the guidelines which no one seems willing to take the time to change despite constant badgering from some like myself. The problem is US judges now think ESBs should taste like hoppy brown ales and milds shoudl taste like roasty brown porters - here's a post about Milds, which probably lacks some of your insight, but I tried to point out the BJCP style guidlein flawas and examples which are way beyond their own parameters -

Ron Pattinson said...

Spargealot, Mild is a complex subject. There isn't one easy all-encompassing definition.