Does the BJCP System Stifle Innovation?

Reads 4589 • Replies 54 • Started Monday, February 1, 2016 4:34:19 PM CT

The forums you're viewing are the static, archived version. You won't be able to post or reply here.
Our new, modern forums are here:
RateBeer Forums

Thread Frozen
 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 16:34 Mon 2/1/2016

We’re discussing this in one of my homebrew clubs. I’m hearing a fairly persuasive argument that it does.

 
FooFaa
beers 1 º places 29 º 16:49 Mon 2/1/2016

BJCP styles are designed to create baselines for comparing beers at competition. To that end, I see BJCP styles more as general guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. That leaves plenty of room for innovation. Although I could see how judges who do not hold that belief could result in a great beers losing out on recognition in competitions. That’s certainly a downside, however, I think it could be argued that competition creates a platform brewers to share their ideas with others; which, itself leads to innovation.

 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 16:50 Mon 2/1/2016
 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 16:52 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by FooFaa
BJCP styles are designed to create baselines for comparing beers at competition. To that end, I see BJCP styles more as general guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. That leaves plenty of room for innovation. Although I could see how judges who do not hold that belief could result in a great beers losing out on recognition in competitions. That’s certainly a downside, however, I think it could be argued that competition creates a platform brewers to share their ideas with others; which, itself leads to innovation.

I can guarantee you that great beers that are not "to style" lose out to mediocre beers that meet the style guidelines.

 
FooFaa
beers 1 º places 29 º 17:09 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by bitbucket
I can guarantee you that great beers that are not "to style" lose out to mediocre beers that meet the style guidelines.


Undoubtedly. I’ve seen it happen. It’s because of the judges who are ardent adherents to style descriptions (who I think are in the wrong) that brewers will sometimes enter the same beer in different categories at competitions -- the beer may score better being judged under different criteria. The question is whether or not this stifles innovation. I’m not entirely certain it does. The fact that great beers that do not adhere to BJCP guidelines are getting made is evidence that innovation is not being stifled.

 
SHIG
beers 8169 º places 389 º 18:04 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by bitbucket
Originally posted by FooFaa
BJCP styles are designed to create baselines for comparing beers at competition. To that end, I see BJCP styles more as general guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. That leaves plenty of room for innovation. Although I could see how judges who do not hold that belief could result in a great beers losing out on recognition in competitions. That’s certainly a downside, however, I think it could be argued that competition creates a platform brewers to share their ideas with others; which, itself leads to innovation.

I can guarantee you that great beers that are not "to style" lose out to mediocre beers that meet the style guidelines.


Seen this several times in competition in Anchorage. Plus lots of time there is enough certified judges so randoms stick stronger to the guidelines. This is one of the reasons some of the homebrews have asked that I start judging because they really question some of credibility of judging practices.

Personally I think they made a lot of changes to styles and additional to improve the process, but it’s a work in progress to get new and old on board. JMO!

 
FooFaa
beers 1 º places 29 º 18:08 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by SHIG
Personally I think they made a lot of changes to styles and additional to improve the process, but it’s a work in progress to get new and old on board. JMO!


Totally agree. Styles will lag behind change. That doesn’t mean innovation is not happening. In fact, it’s evidence that innovation is not being stifled.

 
bitbucket
beers 2166 º places 63 º 18:25 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by FooFaa
Styles will lag behind change.

This. Current styles represent the evolution of beer brewing over centuries.

Adam Arndt has a lot of time on his hands.

I’m of the old school opinion that you need to learn the rules before you break them, so I think that the BJCP can be good in that sense. Many so-called "experimental brewers" could do themselves a service by learning to brew some beers "to style" before abstracting from all the traditions they don’t care enough to know in the first place.

 
FooFaa
beers 1 º places 29 º 19:18 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by ContemplateBeer
Adam Arndt has a lot of time on his hands.

I’m of the old school opinion that you need to learn the rules before you break them, so I think that the BJCP can be good in that sense. Many so-called "experimental brewers" could do themselves a service by learning to brew some beers "to style" before abstracting from all the traditions they don’t care enough to know in the first place.


I think it is an erroneous statement to call beer styles "rules." Further, I think you’re making an assumption that "experimental brewers" don’t care about brewing traditions, which may not be true.

 
FooFaa
beers 1 º places 29 º 19:45 Mon 2/1/2016

Originally posted by bitbucket
Originally posted by FooFaa
Styles will lag behind change.

This. Current styles represent the evolution of beer brewing over centuries.


Just to clarify, I mean "styles" within the context of this discussion: BJCP styles. "Beer style" as the term relates to how a brewer classifies a beer is entirely different.

Homebrew Shops - A collection of homebrew shops and supply houses submitted by RateBeer readers

Homebrewing Articles - RateBeer Magazine's homebrewing department

Homebrew Recipes - Experiment, share and post your own homebrew recipes

Until we can make beer come out of your monitor...

Beer2Buds
Send Beer Over The Net

Free signup now. Even out a trade, keep good vibes alive, say hi with a beer