Ken B wrote: I said I was done here, but I can't help point out that in a thread referenced here, the owner of a certain independent brewing establishment took me to task for bringing bittering units into the conversation. And note that you mentioned that the Sing Ha was not an IPA, etc. etc., which was (more or less) what we have been talking about. Drink what you like when you eat what you like. Oh yeah, one other note, I will say that most Asian cuisines work with bitter as a taste axis far more than Western cuisines, so sure, it does make sense. Just not to me ...okay, I'm really done now. (I think)
I went back and viewed the thread in question, and it bears noting that the reason I raised a question about the use of IBUs as a standard was because Ken B brought it up in the first place, and kept coming back to bitterness as the very pillar of his orthodoxy. Among other factors, focusing on IBUs tells us nothing about flavor and aroma hops, which expand pairing choices in a way that bitterness cannot quantify.
What's being said here, as with what was said a year ago there, goes something like this: Maybe one's orthodoxy periodically needs examining. There's nothing on a stone tablet saying that IPAs must preclude other styles, or that Asian cuisines might actually be enhanced by beer styles that are not native to certain countries of origin.
A last thought: I actually agree that beer selections can be skewed toward extreme styles, but I don't think this always can be attributed to the bar manager's personal favorite. Rather, it owes more to fans of extreme styles (probably a minority, overall) being far more outspoken and vocal about what they like. It also has something to do with a truly bewildering plethora of choice at this moment in time. I know a fair amount about beer, and I cannot keep up. The bar manager who listens to the hardcore geeks, then Googles the (always) geek-weighted on-line ratings, might be forgiven for thinking that Imperial IPAs are the ticket. In my view, a balanced lineup on a daily basis is better in the end for the establishments interested in converting newcomers (or the wavering).
Roger A. Baylor
New Albanian Brewing Company &
NABC Bank Street Brewhouse
New Albany, Indiana