Do you ever wonder which beers are the best examples of a particular style?  What are the “standard of measure” when it comes to a stout, a lager, a porter?  Are there such things?  We think that there are beers that have come to define a classic style of beer.  These are not necessarily the “best” in category, but they do represent what most closely defines the style in the historical sense of the word.  For instance, Budweiser is the truest and best version of a classic German Lager.  Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, let’s actually look into those beers that would best define particular styles.  Here are the definitions of the styles.

This is easier said than done.  For every example you’ll get one or more detractors who argue that beer X or Y actually predates, trumps, etc., the beer that you’ve named (I bet Scott might remember a certain stout review on his site as raising someone’s ire).  Therefore, let me be clear that some of these are preferences in the style, others are first, and some are new enough styles that I’m making a declaration in new territory.

Feel free to detract, add, or suggest.  Just remember that being too absolute about this stuff is simply a bit silly at times.  I imagine this could end up being a somewhat lengthy post, so I may have to spread the wealth between a couple of them.  Honestly, I hope that people are very much interested and that we hear a lot from you about which beers you consider the classic/classics of a given style.

For my part, I’m going to try to do a bit of research on the topic (i.e., determining the first stout, porter, trappist, etc.).  Again, this won’t mean that I won’t name Guinness as the classic example of an Irish/dry Irish stout, even if something else predates it.  We are not trying to get you to go to a small Czech village to try “the classic,” we are attempting to give you an accessible example to try.  More than likely, these posts will be just as helpful for giving people an intro into the world of particular styles.  The point it raising beer awareness and IQ.  Won’t you join us in that pursuit?