Beer Styles, Slight Return
Because cranks like company, I direct your attention to Tom Cizauskas, whose rant about proliferating beer styles was much to the same tune as mine.
Styles, historically, were not necessarily legal codifications but measures of provenance. Of course there were purity laws, and tax laws, and monopolistic grants. But it was what the local water, what the local economy, what the land, and what exigency would bear and allow to flourish that determined 'style'.Amen, brother. Do tell.
A beer is what the brewer says it is, as tempered by the success the brewer has in sharing that 'belief' with a drinker. But is it a style?
Styles, now, at least in the US, seem to be determined by formalistic minutiae, and, once in place, fiercely defended by the killer phrase "not to style."