Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Clarity from SIBA

Last week was the SIBA AGM, in a week that was already very busy, we managed to squeeze in a day a Stratford to attend.

Moor Beer Company put forward a motion regarding unfined beer. I was keen to support Justin.


1. That SIBA recognises that historic beer styles and modern beer drinkers do not ALL require clarity in beer.
2. That SIBA removes clarity as a requirement for beer competitions.
3. That SIBA proactively markets to and educates the trade and consumers on the potential benefits of hazy beer including:
  • Improved flavour
  • Improved aroma
  • Improved mouth feel
  • Vegan acceptance (where Isinglass is not used)
  • Reduced settling time
  • Reduced wastage / ullage
  • Increased demand from consumers for more natural products
I generally supported this motion, but could see an issue with removing clarity altogether from competitions and suspected that at the very least debate would ensure and could have possibly caused the motion to fail.

Luckily someone realised this and an amendment was tabled at the last minute. Justin agreed to the amendment.

Amendment:
Delete sections 2 and 3
InsertThis meeting asks the Secretariat to consider how best to recognise this in SIBA Beer Competitions and to consider how best to educate the trade and consumers about the increased variety of styles this brings to British Brewing
I'll be honest, I was looking forward to a debate. In the event no one spoke against the motion and no one voted against the amended motion.

All in all a success for a democratic process.

The amended motion reads thus;

1 That SIBA recognises that historic beer styles and modern beer drinkers do not ALL require clarity in beer. 
2 This meeting asks the Secretariat to consider how best to recognise this in SIBA Beer Competitions and to consider how best to educate the trade and consumers about the increased variety of styles this brings to British Brewing
Personally, I think it is a shame that the points as to why supporting beer that is not pin-bright have now been deleted from the motion, but I'm pleased that a preconception about beer has been eroded.

Of course the original motion and the amendment are all on record, and so my reservations are further diminished.

10 comments:

Tandleman said...

A discussion would have added a bit of clarity. Ahem.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, so long as you make it clear at the point of sale that some beers are intentionally cloudy so people can, if they wish, avoid them.

And cloudiness in beer that is meant to be clear is still a significant fault.

Cooking Lager said...

Nobody "supports" beer.

People consume beer. They choose the beer they like.

It's a product not a movement.

Velky Al said...

I remember talking with Jeff down at Lovibonds about this and the urge for clarity from the majority of consumers is very, very strong and one of the reasons his lovely Henley Gold is a kristalweizen rather than hefeweizen.

While I don't mind a bit of haze, having a pint that looks like muddy water really isn't all that appealing, regardless of the, probably minimal, benefits of it being unfined.

Oh, and Cookie, I'd get shot in the pub if I admitted to agreeing with you there. The only movement involved in beer is the morning after when you've drunk too much of the stuff. However, we all need something to believe in, and as far as I am aware no-one has yet gone to war for the sake of decoction mashing.

idreamofbrewery said...

its a shame that being able to read the paper through a pint ever made it to the list, I mean its nice to have a clear beer, and they say something about people drinking first with their eyes but the colour and the head is whats attractive about a beer not being able to see throug it. Good work on the amendment

Dave Bailey said...

Indeed Tandy, indeed.....

Mudgie, broadly, I can't disagree with you there.

Cookie, you are in a cantankerous mood at the moment. While I would agree most people are just consumers, I think you're being a bit rude to all the CAMRA activists and all the enthusiastic brewers at the SIBA AGM by saying nobody supports beer.

Al, indeed, most people like clear beer. No one expects to change the majority view. Equally, there are limits, even in the eyes of the hardcore haze fan, as to what would be considered acceptable.

However, there are cases where cloudy can be good, appropriate and deliberate. I like diversity in beer, and as idream states, it is a shame when a beer is judged by appearance before it is even tasted.

RedNev said...

I have found at beer festivals and elsewhere that most drinkers will accept a cloudy pint if it's explained that's how it's meant to be, and let's face it's beer sales, not competition victories, that brewers need most - yes, I know awards can help sales, etc, but my general point still stands. Most drinkers don't know what SIBA is, let alone be familiar with the texts of motions, amended or otherwise, and much the same applies to CAMRA motions.

DemonBrew said...

I brewed a special beer for the last Camra Scottish Real Ale festival.

I left it hazy, put in spices, some lemon and ginger and thought no more about it.

It was called Summer Storm and had the words naturally hazy on the pump clip! Clue in the name anyone?
Well guess what. They thought it wasn't ready! Lucky I went to the trade day and pointed out the folly otherwise it would never have been sold.

It was the third to sell out on one of the bars none the less and have peeps asking for it again!

Just goes to show that hazy can be good and that NO BUGGER reads the fuckin pump clips :-)

Curmudgeon said...

I recall too many occasions from the 1980s when I was served a pint of soup and, on complaining, told "it's real ale, it's meant to be like that".

Cloudiness was perceived as a major potential downside of cask beer, but it's a problem that now seems to have been pretty much solved.

By all means produce and promote beers that are intentionally cloudy, and let people judge for themselves, but be careful you don't throw away all that good work.

Eddie86 said...

Demon, I think that says more about some camra cellarmen then the general public. We've sold some cracking wheatbeers over the bar and happily not had a problem with them.

The best thing about beer is Its diversity