Announcing The Session #129 - Missing Local Beer Styles

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The Session, a.k.a. Beer Blogging Friday, is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic. Each month, a different beer blogger hosts the Session, chooses a topic and creates a round-up listing all of the participants, along with a short pithy critique of each entry. The series was created and is organised by the duo of Stan Hieronymus and Jay R. Brooks, and more information can be found on the latter’s site.

The Session 129 - Missing Local Beer Styles

Brussels Beer City is hosting The Session #129 – Beer Blogging Friday – for November 2017. And the theme of this month is "Missing Local Beer Styles". In 2017 it might seem odd to think that there are beer styles missing from our local markets. We seem to be living in an era of almost ubiquitous choice - where almost every style of beer is available to us either in bars or online, and where new styles quickly break out from their local markets to be brewed by craft or independent breweries around the world. Often though, this choice feels like one between an IPA, a session IPA, a double IPA, a NEIPA, a black IPA (although, really?), West Coast IPA, fruited IPA, etc.

You get the picture.

Local means local

And outside of large metropolitan areas, areas with a large craft beer culture, or regions without recourse to online shopping the spread of different or new styles can remain limited. That's not even to mention the local or regional styles that disappeared in the last 50 years. And that's why the theme of this month is styles missing from your local brewing scene's canon. And you can take local as a relative concept, depending on your context - your town or municipality, county, region, even country if you really are isolated. And local also means brewed locally, not just available locally. Essentially: what beer style would you like to see being brewed in your local market that is not yet being brewed? Simple enough question. 

Here are some themes you could consider:

  • The "Dodo" - a local or regional style that has died out and not yet experienced the same revival of the likes of London Porter or Göse.
  • The "One-hit Wonder" - that one one-off or limited-run style from a local brewery that was never made again, to your eternal dissatisfaction
  • The "I used to be cool once" - a style that burst through in the first flushes of the "craft beer" revolution, but which has since died a death, albeit one now much-lamented
  • The "Phoenix" - narrowing your focus from the style to a specific exemplar of said style, that is no longer in production, from a particular brewery – think of the birth-death-rebirth cycle of a Thomas Hardy’s Ale for example.
  • The "Contrarian" - you could always take the contrarian approach, and call out a style being produced locally that you’d really rather not see again. Ever.

Round up

I’ll be posting my entry here on November 3, and you can post a link to your entry for this month’s session in the comments below, on that blog, or share it on Twitter via #thesessions or @BruBeerCity. I will post a round up of all of your articles shortly afterwards. looking forward to seeing what styles come up for discussion!