Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Beer/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4


Beer articles & US POV

It has been pointed out to me that Wikipedia already has a policy regarding Anglo-American focus.

It has also been noted by a WP admin that listing only BJCP style guide links on non-US beers is a violation of that policy. I believe that listing only US perpectives and brewing activities (in addition to the local) is a further violation of that policy. Interestingly most of the editors who seem to be insisting on both of these features (bjcp links and US perspective) are themselves US home-brewers who do not actually contribute content to the beer articles, but rather "guard" this content against removal.

In view of the policy noted above, I propose to delete both from non-US beer articles. Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Mikebe 08:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

No. I agree that neither have a place in articles on non-American beers. Giving prominence, for example, to the few Altbiers brewed in the USA on the Altbier page definitely adds an undue American focus. The same is true in other European beer style articles, where the only non-local information is about the USA. What would be siad if the few German examples of IPA were given prominence in the article on that style?Patto1ro 08:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

What specifically do you propose goes in the articles in their place, and from what articles specifically do you propose trimming the information? --Stlemur 09:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • As I said, the articles are only about non-US beers. Frankly, there are actually very few articles at this point that fall into this category, currently only two that I am aware where there are disputes: altbier and hefeweizen. As for what replaces them, in the two cases I just mentioned, the articles look perfectly OK to me in their current state (the US POV has been removed, although it is very likely one of the homebrewers I mentioned will try to revert the page(s) later). Please keep in mind that most of these articles can stand perfectly well without the US POV. As far as bjcp links, there are no European beer organisations quite like them (train judges for home-brewing competitions) and, while there is a brewers association in Germany that does have some style information, it is only in German. OTOH, the German guide is more "user friendly" than the bjcp (which contains brewing instructions). If you have any suggestins, please put them forward. Mikebe 09:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Ah, from the style pages? On the one hand, I agree if there's something more general but still informative to put in the links' place; on the other hand, it's not as though any one country "owns" a particular style (which I think was your original point) -- in the case of Altbier, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of examples and the bulk of production are in the US these days. In that case, I see no particularly compelling reason to eliminate information which highlights the diversity of the style, so long as it's made clear that it's only one perspective. More important to include a variety of viewpoints than to achieve a false equality by eliminating all we have. --Stlemur 10:32, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • First of all, just to make it clear, I am trying to establish a sort of standard here that we all can feel comfortable with, not simply discuss a specific article or two. I'm a little confused with your reference to "the link's place". Which link do you mean? Secondly, as this is, in name anyhow, an encyclopedia, we need to have some kind of clear and obvious organisation. Organising the styles by where they originated rather than by where the greatest quantity may or may not be produced today seems pretty clear to me. The problem with your final point, apart from the fact that it is based on a premise with which I absolutely do not agree, is that it is a logistical nightmare. Yes, it will be no problem getting Americans to write about the US POV on altbier. But, what about the Swiss, Austrians and god knows who else who produce this style? Where are we going to get the resources to add their POV? If you feel that strongly that the US plays such a major role in beer production, why not put that in the American beer article? Wouldn't that be where you'd expect to find it anyhow? Mikebe 11:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, I'm confused now. First of all there's no BJCP reference in the article as it is...secondly the information that you've cut is:

- In America, Alt style beer is something of a rarity, but examples of the style are produced by the premium breweries of Alaskan Brewing Company (under the label of Alaskan Amber) and Long Trail Brewing Company in Vermont.

and I sort of see why you'd want to exclude refernces to particular breweries...but I don't understand why "in America, Alt style beer is something of a rarity" has to go -- the USA has got to be one of the top producers of Alt in the world. As for Czech, Ausrian, and other such contributions, each of us can only be responsibly for his or her own work. We can translate articles from other languages' Wikipedias. But if there are no non-Anglospherians here -- which isn't even true, see the "participants" list on this project's page -- we can't make them materialize by wishing. --Stlemur 12:51, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • There is no bjcp reference because I've already removed it. Is that the "link's place" that you have refered to? You seem to be looking at the world in binary terms: there's the US and there's the rest of the world. So, if we have "In America, Alt style beer is something of a rarity..." How about: "In Chile, Alt style...", "In France, Alt style...", "In Israel, Alt style...", "In Canada, Alt style..."? Does the world consist of only two parts? Look, I don't mean to be offensive or uncivil, but you seem to: 1. ignore a perfectly reasonable suggestion I've already made (put all this in the American beer article) and 2. trying to configure a Rube Goldbergesque system for the sole purpose of keeping references to US breweries in non-US beer articles. Mikebe 13:14, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not a "non-US" article, it's a worldwide article, as you rightly point out. Therefore it should have a worldwide perspective; if there's something notable about, say, Chilean Alt (or whatever), that has a place, the same as German Alt, Czech Alt, and so on. --Stlemur 14:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • You are correct. Sorry I didn't phrase it better. However, how is "In America, Alt style beer is something of a rarity..." (which, btw, directly contradicts your statement earlier that "I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of examples and the bulk of production (of Altbier) are in the US these days") at all noteworthy (as I pointed out in my last message)? With that sentence in, the article reads like a guide book for an American audience: "here's the situation in Germany, meanwhile, back at home..." Can you see this now? Mikebe 14:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not a contradiction. If you take US beer production and total it up, it's something like 95% pisslager and 5% everything else, but that 5% is out of a production twice as big overall as Germany's. I also seem to recall reading (I don't have the source on me, unfortunately -- I am looking for it for something else) that Alt, Kölsch, and Kellerbier are, or at least were at the time, rare in Germany in the same sense, that is, not taking up a large share of beer production.

I don't see how that factual statement -- which I grant could be made more precise -- makes the article "read like a guide book". It needs to be expanded on, of course, with discussion of the American interpretation of the style, history of the style in the US, and so on. --Stlemur 15:01, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Look, we could sit here all afternoon and discuss how much beer was produced where and it wouldn't bring us any closer to a conclusion because it is not relevant to the subject under discussion. So, let me offer a new suggestion: The article stays as it is now with the addition of something like this "Altbier is also brewed in small quantities in Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands and the US." This gives the article a more international approach than it has now and it also relieves us of having to add POV from four other countries. That seems fair enough to me. Mikebe 15:49, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Pointing out that one or more countries' "definitions" of a style are not the same as in the country of origin is not POV. It is merely a statement of fact and a notable one at that. Eliding this fact means that someone in a country where a "style" is idiosyncratically "defined" will believe that what they're drinking is the same as what they would get in the country of origin. I agree that presenting these facts as if they define the style worldwide does constitute POV, but the differences can and should be mentioned to inform people that what is called "Alt" in the United States (or elsewhere perhaps) may differ from what is called "Alt" in Germany. If it is not presented as being the definition, there is no problem, as long as it doesn't overwhelm an article. It just happens that Americans are the most pervasive "offenders" of redefining other countries' styles of beer, so if there is verifiable information that this is the case with a particular style, readers should be informed. Mike Dillon 16:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why we should leave out verifiable, notable information simply because of the country it comes from. No one country "owns" a style or art or cuisine, and with the exception of controlled appelations there's no authority out there which can say, definitively, "what does not meet these criteria is not of this style" -- which brings us back to the BCJP again, because they at least provide a reference that we can use in an article. Certainly better references are welcome, but it's better to be able to point to some reference held in authority by some people somewhere, even if it's not definitive or universal, than to just make an assertion. --Stlemur 16:02, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • First of all, have you noticed that you are the only single person arguing for this inclusion? Also, your discussion seems to go around in circles a bit. As I wrote several messages ago, Altbier is German because they originated it. Nothing else. As for a "reference held in authority", I would nominate the Deutscher Brauer Bund -- you won't find any more authoritative than that. Mikebe 16:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that's a great idea. I for one think it is notable to mention objective definitions if they exist. I would tend to give preference to authorities in the country of origin, but is there really a problem with saying organization A says this ... and organization B says this ...? The reader can then get the whole story. Speaking of which, is there any chance someone is willing to translate the German language Deutscher Brauer Bund article into English so that we can link to it from within the English language pages? Alienmercy 17:19, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem with A vs. B vs. C is that it is almost never ending. If we have one authoritative source, that should be enough. I don't mind translating the article about Altbier, but the entire site is just too big. Mikebe 17:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Your insistence that a particular authority is "correct" or "factual" and that all others are "fictional" is what got us here. The way Wikipedia tends to resolve these types of disputes is with more information, not less. Explain the dispute rather than taking a side in it. That is what Alienmercy is suggesting. — goethean 17:46, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Actually, I was just hoping you could translate the German Wikipedia page on the Deutscher Brauer Bund since there is no English language Wikipedia article (what are the policies on translating the names of such organizations? Do we call it the German Brewer Federation?). I think we should be citing them as an authority on style characteristics. As such, readers should be able to find out about the organization. I tried searching for some info, but it was all in German which is of limited usefulness to me. Alienmercy 18:50, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • OK, now I understand what you mean. Sure, it's not a big page, I could do that sometime. Mikebe 19:13, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Do you want to show us where in this discussion I said anything was "fictional"? And, if you had bothered to read this entire discussion, you would see that there are several people, not including me, who pointed out that one particular source was unreliable. Try apologising when you're wrong and people might show you some respect. Mikebe 17:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • [1][2][3]. Apologize? I'm not the one who showed up on Wikipedia and started deleting things with no consensus, edit warring, and leaving troll-like edit summaries ([4]). It is you who has lowered the level of discourse here. To speak more on topic, I endorse Alienmercy's suggestion. — goethean 18:09, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • It seems pretty clear what your agenda is and it's not to help with the articles. But, thanks for your input anyway. Mikebe 18:24, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • What is my agenda? — goethean 18:27, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The assertion that Altbier originated in Germany isn't in dispute. The assertion that that fact excludes the consideration of beers made outside Germany is simply false. Stouts originated in England yet you can make meaningful, distinctive statements about English stout versus Irish stout versus American stout; Bocks originated in Germany but you can reasonably talk about German bocks versus American bocks since many US breweries sell as "bock" something radically different from German examples; Porters are originally English but what the sell as porter on the Baltic coast often isn't even an ale. If we can say "this is the style here, this is the style there", that's notable and valid. It's not valid to say "this is the style here, and what they make there is WRONG" and it's not valid to say "this is the style here" and ignore the rest of the world, just like you started out saying.

The Deutscher Brauer Bund does sound like a decent reference for beers withing Germany, though. --Stlemur 17:12, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Now that we seem to be at a consensus, I don't want to go through your entire statement. However, you misstated my original point: it was that the "world" seemed to consist of only Germany and the US. OK. I'll translate the relevant parts of the DBB article on Alt and we'll add the sentence listing the other countries that brew alt. Everyone happy? Mikebe 17:40, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
A list isn't the point. The point is that "Altbier" means different things in different countries; we're furthermore making the assertion that there is some consensus definition in Germany, which is different than the consensus definition in the US (I don't know enough about Alts outside those two countries to say where else that might apply; I've never seen anything made in Britain that anyone called an Altbier or a Dusseldorf beer or anything). --Stlemur 18:42, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Well, I'm completely lost now. I thought you had agreed that we would add something about the other countries making Alt and I would translate part of the DBB description. That's not enough work? Mikebe 18:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Sorry for the confustion. I appreciate you translating anything that will help. I was just hoping someone could create a Wikipedia page for the DBB. The BJCP has one, why not the DBB? Alienmercy 19:00, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

America produces hundreds of beers which the breweries define as an Alt. I think almost every State in America has a brewery producing a beer called an Alt. I would agree that it is appropriate that some mention is made of that in the Alt entry. The overwhelming majority of users of this encyclopedia would be Americans. It is also quite credible that the majority of readers of the Alt article would be Americans who had just had an Alt at their local brewpub and who wanted to learn a little more about the history of this particular pale ale. The BJCP link, however, is more questionable, and it is appropriate that the BJCP link is left off the article. The BJCP articles are very poorly researched and often inaccurate. They do not give the sources for their information. They are more misleading than helpful. SilkTork 15:11, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you've succinctly shown the problem with the BJCP references. They are not reliable sources because they are not always "secondary sources" that are synthesized with properly sourced attribution of "primary sources" (see WP:RS for definitions of secondary and primary sources). In some cases, the BJCP is making things up in order to classify something that's inherently difficult to classify precisely, making them a primary source (and not necessarily one that's authoritative on non-American styles). Mike Dillon 16:12, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

WP:CIVIL, please. —Wrathchild (talk) 20:10, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Removal of US examples

A related question is whether all US examples of European beer styles should be removed, as User:Mikebe apparently advocates. I would advocate adding them under a seperate heading as "foreign-brewed examples" or something. — goethean 20:08, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Examples serve a purpose as directing people to direct evidence of the beer being discussed. This becomes less and less helpful to the point of confusion and unhelpfulness when people simply add on any beer they are aware of which the brewer may think to call a Kolsch or a Baltic Porter etc. In the example you have indicated I can see why any responsible editor would remove those beers. They are not well known or highly regarded examples. It shouldn't matter at all where an example is brewed - but it should and does matter that the examples are verifiable as worthy examples. In general I think the Wiki Beer Project should be ruthless in trimming beer lists so that only verifiable worthy beers are listed. SilkTork 08:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Added to which, having sampled those beers myself, they are both strong stouts rather than Baltic Porters. They are called Baltic Porter by the brewers, but that by itself does not mean they are. SilkTork 08:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

My inclination is to go with what the brewery calls it (with the exception of beers from Texas or other localities where labeling laws are weird -- on which note, we might use a note about Texas in Beer style). I do agree that lists of examples should be short and include only the typifiers of a style; criteria for typifiers is obvious for some styles (e.g. Pilsener, steam beer, doppelbock) but might be tricky for, say, Best Bitter. --Stlemur 15:21, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
In general I think the Wiki Beer Project should be ruthless in trimming beer lists so that only verifiable worthy beers are listed.
This is a good point, and one that I agree with, because otherwise there will be more advertisements. but it is an extremely subjective and difficult task. I would appreciate hearing your answer to the more general question: should foreign-brewed examples automatically be deleted? I sense that User:Mikebe's answer would be yes. — goethean 15:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

  • So now you change your question from "US examples" to "foreign examples". Did you not read the whole discussion above? The only way to have these lists is if they are complete -- both US and others. Who is going to track down all the beers that fit in a category and further who is going to decide what is notable and what is not? Will we have to have one of these lengthy discussions again each time someone proposes a beer? Other than advertising beers I don't see what the point is. There are already examples of each style of beer, why do there have to be more?
  • As SilkTork explained, what a brewer calls his beer is not necessarily authoritative. So a brewer calls his beer, say, a stout, we list it as stout and it turns out to be something else. How does this help the reader? Mikebe 16:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I would also like to add that there is Wikipedia is not a directory policy and that much of what you want is already fully provided by Ratebeer and Beeradvocate and we are, to put it mildly, in no position to compete or even try to match them. Mikebe 18:01, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The linked policy is not relevant to this question. — goethean 18:09, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia's guidelines are developing as we go along. And in my experience for pretty much any Wiki policy you'll find another Wiki policy that states the opposite. Some debates have been conducted by one side quoting one policy, only for the opposing side to quote the opposing policy. Stick around long enough and you'll see it happen! What is interesting is that policy develops out of discussions such as we are having here - and that's the important thing. The Wiki way is that we follow the best reasoned argument, though it does unfortunately sometimes happen that sheer weight of numbers will force an unreasoned point. In the situation we have here there are no weight of numbers - we have a small group of people who are willing to discuss the issues. That is the Wiki way. This is good. We are reaching agreement that we do not want a long list of examples of beer. Noteworthy examples of a regional, historical or recipe based beer are what we are looking for. It would be simplistic to say that these examples should be or not be confined to any particular region. Sometimes a beer changes country - as with A le Coq Imperial Stout. On other occasions it is the very terrain which defines the beer - as with Lambic. There are sour wheat beers made outside the Lambic region, but they are not Lambics - despite what the brewer may say. We would need to look at each case individually. But, of course, as a general rule, I see nothing advantageous in geographical limitations being placed on all examples of beers. I also see little to be gained, and a lot to be lost in having simple lists of examples in the first place. I see more advantage in beers being discussed and explained in the article. Reasons given for a beer being considered noteworthy. I'd like to see lists discouraged as it can lead to people with little knowledge simply adding on another beer. Whereas detailed text and reasons are mainly the reserve of those who have a bit of knowledge. SilkTork 18:41, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

And always remember that whatever rock hard policy people come up with, you can always trump them with this one: The Master Trump Card SilkTork 18:48, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

SilkTork, thank you for your calm, reasoned, and civil reply. — goethean 19:34, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Introducing myself in the context of this debate

  • Hi, I'm the homebrewer that Mikebe was having the content dispute on Altbier with. I've decided to join up, since I have a decently sized library of literature on the subject that I might be able to contribute with. Just for the record, as long as there's a better source than the BJCP for a style definition (i.e. the DBB), I agree that it should come first in the article. That said, I think it is important to acknowledge all aspects of a style, both native/original forms and derivatives, so I expect that my edits will reflect that philosophy. I hope I can be of service, though I think there's a very good chance that I don't own anything someone else with better beer chops than I already does... Haikupoet 04:41, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Hi and welcome to the beer project. Please read the full discussion before making suggestions. As you will read here, the majority of us find the bjcp definitions unreliable and therefore unacceptable, so we have agreed not to use them in the non-US beer articles. Please realise that, as a homebrewer, you have different priorities than the typical reader and the typical contributor. Please bear that in mind. I would also take strong exception to your statement "it is important to acknowledge all aspects of a style". On the contrary, as a long-time beer drinker myself, the question of "style" has never come up. I realise that the bjcp judges home-brew competitions largely on the basis of style, however, we are not writing here about home-brew competitions. Let's please keep that in mind. Mikebe 10:22, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

There has been no agreement on using BJCP links, at the moment we only have discussion. However, there is a cloud over them. BJCP members often assert that the quidelines are authorative; unfortunately these members are not beer academics, and are not aware of the misleading and poor quality information. BJCP are starting to adjust their quidelines after mistakes have been pointed out to them, but there are still many errors. In discussion with BJCP members I have been informed that research was done, but no evidence has ever been provided, and some of the errors are clearly based on imagination. It is good to see that after pointing out that Scottish brewers did not use smoked malts the Scottish Ale description has at last been adjusted, though the statement that Scotish brewers used fewer hops than English hops (despite hard evidence indicating that Scottish brewers often used considerably more hops than English brewers) is still in there. The discussion on BJCP links being used for beer style articles is a related but different one to the question on US POV, and I would welcome that discussion being made explicit.

Beer style is another interesting area of discussion, and one that we should have as well. For now, however, it should be accepted that the modern American approach - influenced by both Fred Eckhardt and Michael Jackson - is based on recipe, while the traditional European approach is rather more organically arranged around concepts of yeast, ingredients, location, tradition, equipment, method, etc - a much looser, less easily defined set of circumstances. Though the approaches are different, neither should be abandoned. Indeed, both need to be embraced. My feeling is that Mikebe, as with many Europeans, feels that European culture is being swamped by American culture. And that, no doubt, is the source for his frustration. However, a balanced and accurate world view is what we should all be striving for, even if that means accepting a view one is not always familiar or comfortable with. SilkTork 18:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

the statement that Scotish brewers used fewer hops than English hops (despite hard evidence indicating that Scottish brewers often used considerably more hops than English brewers) is still in there
If this is an error, it is an extremely widespread one in America, with Greg Noonan coming to mind as one repeating it. — goethean 19:12, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I've not read Noonan's book. But I'd be interested in seeing what evidence he has for this belief. Check out my own article: which explains, with direct links to available on-line sources (though much evidence is not yet on the net, and is in book form only), that Scottish brewers didn't lack for hops. It's one thing for people to say something, it's quite another to actually prove it. People might have hunches, they might make assumptions, educated quesses, etc, but when what they are saying flies in the face of actual hard evidence, and there is no evidence to support their opinions then I think it's time to say they might be mistaken. The Glasgow and Edinburgh breweries had more access to hops through the extensive shipping trade than did English brewers in non-hop growing areas such as Cornwall which had poorer trading routes. SilkTork 19:53, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Thank you, SilkTork. I am a huge fan of McEwan's IPA. Not so much of Bert Grant. — goethean 20:19, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The problem I have with the bjcp is not only that most of their style guides for European beers are wrong, the bigger problem is that the style guide is designed to be used in US home-brewing competitions. IOW, these are competition class definitions, perhaps with no intention that they be published as a "definitive" standard, yet many here see them as "authoritative". Secondly, the two home-brewers in this discussion apparently feel that the readership of the WP beer articles is primarily home-brewers like themselves and so, brewing information (via bjcp or other sources) should be included in most style articles. For example, after I removed (and Goethean reverted) a home-brewing article linked from the Altbier page, Haikupoet wrote: "Incidentally, I think the BYO article is quite relevant as it gives a description of the process involved in making alt." And, in addition to this, Goethean persists in childish behaviour with not apparent purpose other then to be annoying.
  • You are perfectly correct, SilkTork, that I see more and more the Americanisation of these articles. Just today, someone went through the main beer article changing the international spelling to American spelling. The bjcp, whether intentional or not, seems very American to me and that further adds to the Americanisation. Undoubtedly, Americans will feel more "at home" reading these articles, but for the rest of us, it is becoming less and less comfortable. OTOH, we are the ones who can read the sources in their original languages and without us, the beer articles will have to rely on only what's available in English, which, from what I've seen, is not very accurate. And, if the articles continue this Americanisation and this emphasis on home-brewing, I'll leave. It will become a place where I won't feel welcome, and I won't be the first. Mikebe 21:11, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Please refrain from personal attacks in this discussion and elsewhere. --Stlemur 21:27, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
What exactly is wrong with homebrewing information? It is a description of how a given beer is made; it is inextricably linked to the concept of beer style, and the information applies on both small and large scale. Surely there's no shortage of Rhine valley homebrewers? Then put some of their recipes up as well. You can't talk in depth about a beer and not discuss how it's produced as well. That's why all the homebrewing stuff. Haikupoet 01:56, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Incidentally, I'm sorry if you feel that way about Wikipedia. It's fine to add your own information to it, but keep in mind that there isn't always one "right" perspective. It can be asserted that there is an authentic perspective, but even that can be subject to massive argument and subjectivity. For example, yes, altbier is a German product. But you can't ignore that it's made in other countries, and you certainly can't argue that how the product is made is irrelevant. As for sourcing issues, if you don't like the source, add a better one. That's how Wikipedia works. I'm not really sure what else to tell you, except that reducing systemic bias is not a matter of getting rid of other perspectives but filling them out. (I think the operative concept is descriptive vs. prescriptive, i.e. the Oxford English Dictionary vs. the Academie Française. The point of Wikipedia is to describe "what is"; "what should be" is not irrelevant, but it's only a subset of that. Haikupoet 07:07, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Again, I appreciate your tone. The problem I see here is double: the first is the theoretical vs. the reality of how WP does or should work and the second is the sharp differences in our perspectives. To address the first: yes, Wikipedia should allow for responsible people to work together to achieve the best possible result. However, as I said yesterday in a fit of frustration, that is absolutely not how it is working here now.
  • On perspectives: You said "you can't ignore that it's made in other countries". I have never said that should be done. I have added to articles "the beer is also produced in (list of countries)", plus, where examples are given, I had added lists of other countries and the breweries and names of their beers Imperial stout. That is what has been discussed here and that also puts things into an international perspective. I mean, for example, Altbier is originally German and so, German altbiers should have the primary focus. I do not agree that German and American versions should share an equal focus. If a beer type is developed in one country, but a second or third country developes it further into something different, but equally good (that's a difficult decision), then, make a new article for the new version of the beer. So, if Americans, for example, take a traditional beer, IPA, for example, and modify to create a new and important version of it, then make a new article called American IPA and both countries can have equal attention.
  • I do not, however, agree with your comment "you certainly can't argue that how the product is made is irrelevant" I most certainly do argue with that concept. Do movie reviews explain the techniques behind how a film was made? Do wine reviews explain (technically) how the wine was made? Do music reviews explain how the music was made? Personally, I have been drinking European beers for almost 40 years and I have never once thought "I wonder how they did that". I am also not a home-brewer. Mikebe 09:05, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
This isn't a reviewing site. For that, go to BeerAdvocate or Ratebeer; it's not our role to decide if a development of a style is "good", just whether it's notable. And yes, some film reviews do talk about how the film was made -- commenting on camera work, direction, and so on -- but more important, articles about films most definitely do talk about the technical details of the production. --Stlemur 09:22, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
OK, you are correct that my examples were not very good. However, I stick with one: wine. It seems to me that the wine articles here are directly comparable to the beer articles here. Please note that nowhere among the wine articles is there any description of "how the product was made." And, I will suggest that wine lovers are perhaps even more concerned with the technical aspects of their drink than beer drinkers in general. Secondly, look at a wine/grape that is now also produced in the US, as well as other countries, for example Gewürztraminer. This is handled exactly as we have suggested here: a list of the countries where it is now also grown. But, I will return to my original point: wine-lovers are easily as technically interested as beer-lovers, yet, as a look through the wine articles here will show, there is absolutely no discussion of "how the product was made." Mikebe 10:19, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I think Mikebe is making an interesting point about the way that the Wine articles are organised. And there is something that can be taken from that, but it has also to be noted that beer is rather more complex than wine and a direct comparison cannot be made. We have in the past considered the way that the beer and breweries articles are organised. An agreement was reached that beers would be dealt with under the brewery - other than notable beers which deserved an article of their own. We then attempted to deal with the notion of notable breweries, and a rough agreement was reached that minor breweries would be dealt with on a regional basis. At that point I took a rest from Wiki. I would welcome another discussion on the best way to organise the beer articles, and a reappraisal of our current system.

There is a lot coming out of Mikebe's involvement with the WikiBeerProject, and even though feelings are running high at the moment, I think there should be some recognition that his intention is for the best, and he wants to improve the beer articles. I feel his involvement here is a breath of fresh air - and he has certainly got me interested again. I would love at this point for both Mikebe and Goethean to put the past behind them, agree that they have different viewpoints, and move forward to discussing how best to improve Wiki. It is unlikely they will reach consensus, but there are other people involved in the project who have views as well and through other people, and good reasoned argument we will make progress. SilkTork 17:02, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

SilkTork's comments disappoint me. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia. A Wikipedian needs more than knowledge and good intentions; he or she also needs to have a certain basic respect for the policies of Wikipedia and for point of views other than their own. The job of a Wikipedian is not to inform Americans that their views are irrelevant or fictitous, or that their organizations are irrelevant and that all mention of them should be deleted. I cannot say that I find Mikebe's contributions to be a breath of fresh air. I find them combative, dismissive, and contemptuous. Unfortunately, I have reacted to them with combativeness myself. SilkTork appears to encourage Mikebe's behavior. I will not do that. Instead, I will continue to abide by Wikipedia policy as best I can. — goethean 17:53, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Goethean wrote: "I will continue to abide by Wikipedia policy as best I can." Well, the main reason I have problems with Goethean is that the "best I can" means nothing at all. Take a look, for example, at his talk page -- I am far from the only person objecting to his modus operandi. In complaining about my edits, he also blatantly ignores WP:AGF and WP:RS, and the one he tramples on almost daily: Anglo-American focus. He has sharply different views than I do about some things (like the reliability of bjcp style guides for European beers), yet, instead of discussing them here, as others do, he does revert warring and personal attacks. I didn't know they were part of Wikipedia policy. Mikebe 16:19, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Stop it Mikebe! These personal attacks are achieving nothing positive. SilkTork 19:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I do not claim to be perfect. And unlike others, I do not claim that my facts are "the facts". And I am confident that an examination of my edits and yours will be very helpful in evaluating your accusations. Your seventh edit under the username Mikebe was to engage in edit warring — and not with me. Since that time, the Wikipedia community has continued in its stubborn resistance to recognize the superiority of your facts. — goethean 16:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I feel like knocking your heads together. Mistakes, arguments and friction happen on Wikipedia. Neither of you are achieving anything positive in your attempts to blame the other one. Nobody here really cares. What we care about is what you are going to do in the future. Leave aside individual and personal blame, and get on with editing the beer pages. If you think your edit might be contested, then bring the matter up here in advance and lets get it discussed. SilkTork 19:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Not quite sure why suggesting you and Mikebe should stop arguing should disappoint you. That comment concerns me. I am aware that you both have different points of view. I am aware that you both have snapped at each. I am aware that you have both engaged in revert wars. But I am suggesting that you both put that behind you and move on.

Mikebe has been putting forward some ideas - not all of which I agree with, and I have made it clear that I do not agree with all his ideas. But he has come here with a fresh eye, and a bunch of ideas, and some considerable knowledge. Let's make best use of that.

So again: From this point on, Mikebe and Goethean, forget what has happened up to this point. Let's move on. SilkTork 12:11, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

As I had hoped to make clear in my earlier post, it is not your suggestion to put the past behind us that I objected to, but your praise of Mikebe's edits and your failure to note the accompanying disruptiveness and incivility. — goethean 16:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I was responding to Mikebe's suggestions in the post above, not to his edits or his conflict with you. There are several items that have come out of his comments above that I shall be proposing to the Project shortly. I'm really hoping at this stage that both of you can put personal matters behind you and concentrate on Wikipedia. That was the gist of my post. Let's focus on the good in each other, not on the bad. Nobody is really all bad! SilkTork 19:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Barging in?

Hi people, I realised that this project was going on, only after editing a few of the Belgian Beer pages, namely Bières de Chimay, Brasserie d'Orval and Brasserie de Rochefort.

Had I known, I would have consulted you, since I am not even part of the project itself. Basically I added gustative details for the trappist beers mentioned in the above pages, and corrected a few typos (it's Chimay Bleue, damn it). I basically used the same descriptions that I used when I wrote my article about Trappist Beers at Everything2 - so I plagiarised myself.

Feel free to revert the changes if they violate any of your policies. I should have looked up this project before touching any of the existing beer articles.

That said, if you wish to let a beer-loving, Portuguese-born Belgian resident join the club, I'll be happy to pitch in from time to time. Cheers ! Antonius Maximus 17:21, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi, and welcome. You are not "barging in", you are joining in - good to have you aboard. What we need most of now in the WikiProject Beer is references to sources. What we tend to have too much of is editorial opinion. I am as guilty of that as the next man. At this point, however, we need to look very carefully at all our beer entries, and where we have descriptions of individual beers what we need is a reference to an agreed, notable source, such as Michael Jackson, Roger Protz, etc. As I note you have written an article on the beers you have edited, would you have links to the sources you used to inform your article? If you have, I'll show you how to insert those links into Wiki. Cheers. SilkTork 12:01, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks mate. I used to have those references when I wrote the original article at Everything2, but not anymore. The descriptions were originally in French and came from a small beer tasting community... I'll try to find it again. As you probably guessed, I'm more into tasting rather than technical aspects, so I think I won't tread on the above sensitive subjects which have been the lenghtiest read I've had in a while. ;-) Antonius Maximus 21:12, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

The more varied the interests of the contributors the better informed and more interesting the articles. You don't need to have technical knowledge. Your interest, enthusiasm and willingness to participate is good enough. I look forward to you finding those sources! Cheers! SilkTork 18:52, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I think this is the place where I need to add my comments. I generally just randomly jump around wikipedia adding links and comments (and most have not been removed). This, however, is an area in which most outside this field would consider me an expert (many of you would consider me an experienced amateur). I have a fair amount of knowledge on Arizona breweries and drink a lot of bottled and tap beers from US microbreweries, although less with the loss of Mill Avenue Beer Company and Timber Wolf Tavern Tempe (-130 good taps of beer). I could provide information (a lot of it just provided on the bottles themselves) but after trying to list as a particpant several times, I had nothing else. I will travel to almost any brewery in Phoenix area and can talk friends into travelling to ones outside this great city. Autkm

Hi, just a quick note here upon my joining the project. I had started two articles on small breweries, Brasserie Thiriez and Brasserie Fantome before I came across this project, though I now realize I had utilized templates and the like that originated here. I hope there is still some enthusiasm out there for what looks to be a very worthwhile venture. I am planning to start an article on Picobrouwerij Alvinne soon. I would welcome any constructive edits or expansion of these articles and look forward to finding out more and contributing on this great subject, which is near and dear to our hearts and related toxin-processing organs. Shorn again (talk) 16:54, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Began the article for Picobrouwerij Alvinne. Comments and additional information welcome. Would be great for someone to expande the wee stub that exists for De Dolle Brouwers. Also, how about an article on De Struise Brouwers (Pannepot, Aardmonnik, etc)? Also, looks like a lot of work could be done on Dutch Breweries - the list on this page has very few live links except to the mega-industrial players . . . --Shorn again 22:15, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

A few thoughts on homebrewing

As I said above, I think that with beer, the process of making a particular beer is part and parcel of the character of the beer itself. Unlike wine, the brewer has complete control over what goes into the wort, and therefore it's relevant to talk about recipes and techniques. There's really only a few beers in the world that are wholly dependant on a sense of place; water treatment and readily available cultures of exotic varieties of yeast and bacteria make it theoretically possible to emulate almost any style, almost anywhere, with a reasonable level of fidelity.

This is where homebrewing information comes in. A great number of Anglophone brewers (not just Americans, but Canadians and British as well) started not as apprentices but amateurs, learning the craft from books. (As a matter of fact, many American winemakers started out the same way, as Prohibition had largely wiped out the native knowledge base of wine production.) Only a few American brewers have gone to school to learn their craft, which is why there's a large body of technical and stylistic literature on the subject readily available to a consumer market. As a result, that's what we have to work with, and I think it very much enhances an article on a specific beer if there's a readily available source on how it's made (and a recipe as well, especially for beers that aren't readily available in the locale of any given reader).

Look, tasting notes are great, and I freely acknowledge that what a beer tastes like, in the grand scheme of things, is more important in terms of definitions than how it's made. But Wikipedia is not paper, and the more verifiable information on any given subject, the better. If the sources are inaccurate, well, the best solution is to substitute more accurate sources, not to delete them entirely. Nobody is saying that European beer culture doesn't matter, as most of the styles we drink are European in origin. What we are saying is that outsider beer culture matters as well, and should be acknowledged, and that technical information can be just as important as sensory information. Haikupoet 19:56, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I recognise that you are: a. a home-brewer and b. enthusiastic about home-brewing, however, you make the mistake that everyone shares your interest and opinion. Wikipedia has both articles about home-brewing as well as articles about beer from another perspective: drinking it. Drinking beer and making it are two entirely different and separate activities. Yes, I assume that home-brewers also drink beer, but drinkers do not automatically brew beer. Home-brewing information belongs in articles about home-brewing, it has absolutely no place in general articles about beer. No one is arguing that this is a paper encyclopedia and that space is rare. The issue is where you put it. I suggest you put it where it belongs: in the articles about home-brewing.
  • As far as American or other versions of European beer, I don't have a problem with using that information. The problem I have is where that information dominates over all other. Mikebe 09:52, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Home-brewing information belongs in articles about home-brewing, it has absolutely no place in general articles about beer.
This is nothing but your personal opinion. Wikipedia runs on a consensus basis. — goethean 15:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for pointing that out. I had this crazy idea it was run on facts. Mikebe 15:34, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It is not. Since not everyone agrees on any particular set of facts, that would be impossible. You probably haven't read any Wikipedia policy pages, which may explain why you are having such a hard time here. Please see: Wikipedia:List_of_policiesgoethean 15:50, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I will heartily recommend that you read Anglo-American focus, then fix this and any other violation of it and we can drop the hostility and move on. Mikebe 11:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm only having a hard time here with one person and his friend. And I repeat that home-brewing is a different subject than articles about beers. Mikebe 17:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

It seems that there is some negativity in this space directed at home brewing. Might I suggest that we all assume good faith and acknowledge that many home brewers are just trying to help by focusing some of their enthusiasm about beer on this project? I'm not sure arguing about generalities in the importance of drinking vs. making beer is helping us write better articles. I think it would help if we could look at a few specific examples that are in question. Is it just the linking to BJCP, or is there more to it? Alienmercy 18:45, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I fear that you may have misunderstood me. I have no negative feeling about home-brewing. What I am saying is that home-brewing is an entirely different subject from the beer articles we write and so it should be in a different place. That's all. Not removed, just make the beer articles clear and readable to everyone and let the home-brewers have their own place for their articles. If you were to look up bookcases, for example, you wouldn't expect to find instructions on building one. But if you looked up do-it-yourself, then you would. That's all I'm suggesting. Mikebe 22:46, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I do understand where you're coming from. I'm just hoping we can move the discussion to more specifics. Where can the improvements be made? Alienmercy 01:14, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • There are some articles about beer that are not more than stubs. Those could be expanded by people who know something about the beers. There are other articles based on incorrect information that could be corrected. I happened to look at the Belgian beer article yesterday and found a lot of misinformation, plus beer descriptions that were mostly, if not entirely, technical. I think also we need to have some standards. For example, the Belgian beer article has a section on "dubbel", but someone changed the reference of "witbier" to "white beer". When do the foreign beer examples have their names translated into English and when do they stay in their original language? I suggest that they always should be given in the local language. Mikebe 08:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I still don't really get why you see a need to separate them. I don't really see any other place for information on how a beer is made except in the article itself, and I don't see how that is irrelevant to a beer style to begin with. In the past you've compared beer to wine -- well, I don't think that comparison is apt at all, since the processes of making beer and wine are vastly different. A brewer has near-total control over every step of the process, from water treatment to grain bill to hops to yeast selection; a winemaker has some control (grape variety, terroir, sugar/acid adjustments) but not on the fine level that a brewer does. The process is part and parcel of what makes a specific beer what it is, and brewing literature (both homebrewing and commercial) is by far the best place to find that information. Yes, there are separate articles on homebrewing, true. But separate articles on brewing specific beer styles (i.e. Altbier and Brewing Altbier) would be redundant at best. (In any case, most of that would be in References and External Links, not the main body of the article -- while some is appropriate, we obviously don't need the whole damn recipe for each and every variation of the style that's out there. But I maintain that it should still be accessible from the wiki page.) Haikupoet 01:42, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • To begin with the negative: I completely disagree with your comparison of home beer and home wine production. I think they are perfectly comparable within the context of this conversation. I can see, however, if you get together with some fellow home-brewers, that you might think the opposite, however, we are not discussing that, we are discussing within the context of an encyclopedia for the general public. OK, now let's get more positive. I think we can find a compromise here. While I don't agree with you that it would be so difficult to set up a home-brewing area with links to specific styles, I do agree with you that it would be easier to link it directly from the beer articles. How about this: the beer descriptions stay non-technical (no talk of esters, IBUs or diacytl) and a new section in the links called "home-brewing" or something like that. As I hope you have read here, quite a few of us agree that the bjcp style guides for non-American beers are full of errors. So, although you didn't mention bjcp, I hope that, if you insist on giving brewing information for non-American beers that you can at least find a better source than the bjcp. How about that? Mikebe 08:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I took a look at the white beer article, and I agree that it could be made less technical. Take a look at the table at the top of the page. I'm not sure where else there are tables like this, but I'd like to discuss all of them. I suggest removing "Original Gravity", "Final Gravity", and "Attenuation". We could even add some nontechnical info on the "heaviness" of the body (e.g. light body, medium, etc.). For color, I say ditch the SRM and just describe it in words (e.g. yellow/straw/gold with orange hues). I don't think it is necessary to list the yeast type; simply say it is an ale in the body of the article. "Malt percentage" is probably also unnecessary. I generally think if a style generally uses ingredients outside the main four, then it is notable. So I suggest that we keep the descriptions about the use of orange, coriander, and wheat. On the other hand, I do think bitterness is important, and I don't think IBU is too technical. I'm not sure it could really be replaced with words like low, medium, high, etc. With styles like India Pale Ale, it's extremely high bitterness is one of the things distinguishing it from other styles, and so the article makes much use of IBUs throughout the entirety of the article (including its history). Since high amounts of hops are one reason for this, I think it is appropriate to mention that it is made with a high hop amounts. I have also proposed changing the name of the white beer article to witbier on the article's talk page. Alienmercy 15:16, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

One thing we can do with SRM/EBC information is turn it directly into a color box. ProMash has a color estimator, but one should be able to convert without fancy toys -- SRM only refers to a single frequency IIRC. --Stlemur 20:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I think I have to agree on this one. SRM/EBC are nice bits of information for commercial brewers and recipe writers, but are of little interest to beer fanciers or most homebrewers. As much as I've been advocating for inclusion of links to recipes and techniques, it's overkill actually including the numbers in the article. Leave it for the reference links. (Besides, SRM<->EBC is an easy conversion, but risking an edit war is unnecessary.) Haikupoet 20:34, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I would leave the numbers in, but give them a less prominent place in the article. Also we can source them: "According to x, this attribute for styles ranges from y to z" — goethean 20:39, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm more inclined to go with the color box as I think it will give the most useful information. Stlemur, do you think you could give us an idea of how to do this translation to show a nice wikified color box? Should we then show a range of colors? A few examples (with the caveat that they may not be totally representative)? Also, I hate to open this can of worms again, but it is probably the most important: what are you all using for references? I'd be happy to track down some books and look some of it up myself if I knew that you'd all be ok with those sources. Alienmercy 21:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Hm. We should probably start a new section on references to answer that question. Haikupoet 22:18, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Hm. There's a flipside to all this that I ought to mention as well -- color descriptions are often subjective (I've heard of an otherwise competent early 20th Century beer expert whose color descriptions were way out of whack, for example calling a Maerzen "golden" in color. SRM/EBC can be measured objectively using a properly calibrated image sensor. So in theory the numbers are more useful. That said, you've got different standards in different countries. I don't think the issue of SRM vs EBC is all that much of a problem; simply give both measurements. So, I dunno. The trick is to get as much as possible in without making it look like the shutdown menu on Windows Vista. Haikupoet 21:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I am arguing that the numbers should stay in the article, but not in the template. — goethean 21:48, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Good for you, Alienmercy! I agree completely with what you suggest. I'm not even sure what purpose the colour description serves. For some beers, they are in a range of colours -- Belgian triples and German Märzens, for example. The bitterness is a little more of a problem because some American beers tend to be so much more bitter than European beers that it makes even a scale difficult. But, OTOH, if we use IBUs, we need to define it in each article, and we need to give some kind of idea of what the numbers mean. For most people, IBU doesn't mean anything. Mikebe 20:34, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Goals/ Strategy

A little while ago I made an adjustment to the stated aims of the Project. The change was reverted back to the original. The two versions are here:


Our tactics are fairly simple:drink beer, take notes and share the information that you have collected via Wikipedia/Wikipedia:WikiProject Beer.

Our goals, as identified on our project's main page, include:

  1. Catalogue all the notable breweries: List of breweries.
  2. Organize and categorize all known styles of beer, and write decent articles on them.
  3. (Eventually) catalogue notable beers.
  4. Add other essential beer-related knowledge to Wikipedia.
    1. e.g., more detailed info on beer and nationality.
  5. Get beer to a FA status
  6. Get stewed to the brim.



  1. Agree and formulate criteria for notability of breweries.
  2. Catalogue all the notable breweries: Category:Beer and breweries by region.
  3. Organize and categorize all known styles of beer, and write decent articles on them.
  4. Agree and formulate criteria for notability of beers.
  5. (Eventually) catalogue notable beers.
  6. Add other essential beer-related knowledge to Wikipedia.
    1. e.g., more detailed info on beer and nationality.
  7. Get beer to a FA status
  8. Monitor Category:Beer and brewery stubs and develop those stubs into articles

Is there any objection to making the adjustment? SilkTork 11:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

So the change is to include the formulation of notability criteria for beers and breweries, drop the tongue-in-cheek reference to getting drunk, and add monitoring of the stub articles? Sounds like a good clarification of the Wikiproject's purpose.
If you're also talking about dropping the note about the "tactics", I'd support that as well since it encourages original research. What we need is sourced references (or at a minimum verifiable, objective content), not individual Wikipedians' opinion about different beers. Mike Dillon 16:50, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, I don't want to sound totally anal and negative about the opinion thing, so I would point out the Wikia Beer site, where these things are appropriate from what I understand. Mike Dillon 16:52, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

As there has been no objection, I've restored the Goals to the Project page. SilkTork 16:51, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


There are three articles which cover the same concept of low alcohol beer: Low alcohol beer, Small beer and Near beer. It would appear that these would be better served being brought together as one article. The merge page gives this suggestion as to when to merge: "[When] there are two or more pages on related subjects that have a large overlap. Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there does not need to be a separate entry for every concept in the universe. For example, "Flammable" and "Non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on Flammability." As there is an obvious overlap I am proposing a merge of all three articles. SilkTork 16:23, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Argyriou (talk) 17:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I've merged the three, but I haven't done any significant work on the combined article. SilkTork 01:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Another merge (Burton upon Trent brewing)

This proposal might be more controversial due to what happened at the time.

In June a new user User:Minardi created a new article Burton upon Trent brewing. I felt the article would be better served in a general article on the history and development of English beer, so redirected the article there, and informed Minardi of what I had done, congratulating him at the same time on a good piece of editing. User:Noisy reverted my redirection. I spoke Minardi who agreed that the divert to English beer was more appropriate than keeping it as a stand alone article, so I spoke to Noisy and restored the divert. At this point User:Stlemur made [this post] on the WikiProject Beer talk page, and User:goethean reverted the article again. I took on board all the comments made during the ensuing discussion, and - as you note - am being very careful to bring to people's attention any work I may do that might be open to question. I will, as above, point out some guidelines from the Wiki merge page:

There are several good reasons to merge a page:

There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject. .... If a page is very short and cannot or should not be expanded terribly much, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a broader topic. If a short article requires the background material or context from a broader article in order for readers to understand it.

At the moment the Burton information is repeated on the English beer page because I have put it back there, and I would like to do some more work on that article, as I did with the Scottish beer article. Repeating the information seems unnecessary, and not including the information on an article on English beer seems odd. Having the Burton brewing information placed in an article on the general history of brewing and beer in England puts the whole thing into context and is more helpful generally. The history of brewing in Burton actually begins in London, and then involves other places in England. Burton is to England as Edinburgh is to Scotland in terms of beer. It has an importance, but that importance is best understood in a more general article. SilkTork 17:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Your suggestion is probably a good one, mostly because the article on English beer is so short. If, in the future, the English beer article becomes excessively long, it may become necessary to split the article into sub-articles, possibly including one on Burton-upon-Trent brewing (if there is enough detail to distinguish that from brewing in other locations). That said, I look forward to the comments of others on this proposal. — goethean 17:40, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a valid point, the potential length of the English beer article. And, as you say, it would be appropriate at the right time to make an informed decision to which sections to split off, which might include Brewing in Burton. SilkTork 18:49, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I think I may want to abstain on this one, but I would like to make a comment nevertheless. There are certain cities and regions that have left a particular mark on the beer world -- Dublin, Munich, and Burton-upon-Trent would be among them -- such that a separate article on each city's brewing history would be a subject unto itself. I don't want to be dogmatic about it, but I think it's a point worth considering. Haikupoet 02:01, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying. Burton did give its name to a process of adding sulphate to water, known as Burtonisation, to a fermenting system, Burton Union, and to a beer, Burton Ale - otherwise known as India Pale Ale, and an acknowledgement needs to be made of these things. My point is that the acknowledgement is best done in context - such as a mention in the Burton upon Trent article, a mention in the English beer article, a mention in the India Pale Ale/ Burton Ale article, a mention in Burton Union, and a mention in Burtonisation. The information is where people would look for it. "Burton upon Trent brewing" is not a search that people would naturally make. SilkTork 08:29, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I think there are points to both sides of this article. The length of the english brewing article will be getting silly if we have every town and beer in there, and the Burton-On-Trent article might not be the first place to look for beer information. However, I do agree, its independant page does seem short currently. I have to say though, a fuller article is still possible, in my opinion. I just don't know enogh to add. Minardi 22:00, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Redirect now in place. All content now at English beer. SilkTork 01:11, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposed redirect of American strong ale

I'm proposing a redirect to Pale Ale, similar to the original redirect. American strong ale is a variation on pale ale, and the different variations are best initially discussed in the main article. Later, if enough information grows, we can split it off, but for now it might be best to allow it to grow in a place where attention could be concentrated, and informative comparisons can be made. SilkTork 21:48, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

American strong ale is a variation on pale ale
I would say that it is a variation on English versions of old ale, barleywine, and IPA (IPA of course being a variation on pale ale). Since we have no general strong ale article, I'm not sure where to send the redirect. — goethean 22:09, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
You're right. There should be an article on Strong Pale Ale. SilkTork 23:49, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

What references are you using?

Alienmercy asked that question, and I thought it would be a good idea to make a section where we can list our references so people can do cross-lookups.

Most of my material comes from the American homebrewing literature. As a general rule, the book people in this country start with when learning to brew is Charlie Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing, but that isn't too useful for style information. Most of the books that are available to the American market on brewing are printed by either Storey Publishing or Brewer's Publications ([5] is the umbrella organization, the Brewers Association); out of those two, Brewer's Publications has the Classic Beer Style Series. Haikupoet 22:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Charlie Papazian's books actually list some style information (like color and bitterness ranges along with a little history), but I'm not sure how reliable it is. In fact, I think Charlie had a hand in creating some of the style guidelines that are in question. But if Papazian can't be considered reliable, which publications can? What criteria does an author or book need to meet for us to be able to use them as a reference for style? I'm assuming info on specific beers, breweries, etc. isn't as big of a deal because the information is not as subjective. We shouldn't be writing poorly sourced articles, and if there exists no reliable, verifiable information on style, the articles should simply not be created (maybe info should be placed in articles on the history/culture of beer for a particular region). Right now there is a debate going on about deletion of unsourced articles, and I don't think we want our articles to be targets. Alienmercy 14:37, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Referencing is our big weakness. It's one of the things that I think we need to be targetting as a priority. I didn't reference much when I first started editing here as it wasn't such an issue at the time. Then people reviewing the main Beer article starting pointing out that referencing was one of the weak points. So I had started to work on that at that time. But then I took a Wiki Break. Referencing is really important - and the best time to do it is when you are doing the editing because you have your references in front of you. Trying to add them later is a nightmare, as you can't remember which book or website you used! Primary sources are preferable to secondary. The Beer Style books are regarded as secondary sources. But they can be useful because the better ones will give their original sources and if you are able, it's best to go back to the original source. Of course, any source is better than none, and if going to the primary source is going to be too much work, then use the secondary. SilkTork 17:11, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Beer Style Box?

I think it would be neat and real helpful if someone perhaps added a box at the bottom of the Beer Style page with all the different styles. We could also put the same box on all the individual pages of beer styles. It would enhance navigation and facilitate learning about different beer styles you may not be familiar with. I would be happy to do it myself but I'm totally swamped at work at the moment and I've never created a box before.Let me know what everyone thinks. Also if this does happen is there a way do put the box on all the style pages at once? It might be time consuming to do it one by one.--BrokenStoic 03:33, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I just started it as {{Beer Styles}}. I don't want to get into debating which styles belong in the template, since some of the styles end up being controversial in one way or another, so I just added Ale and Lager. Let me know if you need instructions on how to add more styles. As for adding it, it probably should be added one-by-one, especially since these templates are generally only added to articles that have links in the template itself. If we need to split it into groups later, there are base templates that allow groups of links (e.g. an ale group and a lager group). Mike Dillon 04:53, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Hey that's great looking. I will try to work on expanding it over the next few weeks. I figure there are some essential styles (IPA, Bitters, Pilsners) that everyone will be happy to see there. --BrokenStoic 07:39, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
That looks to me like an excellent navigation box. Will it feed off the articles in the Beer styles category, or will they have to be changed manually as the articles are created and/or merged? And if a change is made in the box, will that change be applied to all places where the box is located? SilkTork 17:00, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
It's all manual. — goethean 17:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
It's mostly manual, as goethean said, except that the changes will automatically be picked up by all articles that include the template. One nice thing about these templates is that if the article it is included in is linked in the template, the link will be bolded when viewing that article. This is simply a side-effect of the fact that any self-link in an article is bolded. The one caveat is that it requires that the links in the template don't point to a redirect, since self-redirects are not automatically bolded.
So, who's going to start adding this to the style articles? To be bold, I added it to Beer style itself to demonstrate. Mike Dillon 21:01, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

What do people think of the "v d e" links for viewing, discussing, and editing the template? It's a simple matter to include or remove the links, but I thought it would be a good idea since we don't seem to have a lot of people involved in this project that know how to find and edit templates. I feel that having the links will lead to the template being better maintained once it is no longer under discussion. Mike Dillon 21:09, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I also think including the links is a good policy. It's certainly made it a lot easier for me to make quick changes to box. The more people we can get involved in this project the better. --BrokenStoic 05:30, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Michael Jackson

Despite all our differences, we all like/love beer and the good people who are helping in the cause of good beer. I therefore thought that this article would be of interest to everyone. It is sad, but not hopeless. Mikebe 14:49, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing that. — goethean 15:24, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I've read on three reputable blogs that Michael Jackson (writer) is dead. We need to look for a verifiable source. —Wrathchild (talk) 16:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Malt liquor

Is there such a thing as malt liquor in the UK, Europe, or the rest of the beer drinking world? Wiki's current article on malt liquor mentions almost nothing about it, with the article being 99.9% about American beers. If this beer style is other places, can anyone put an international spin on the article? --Brownings 17:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Malt Liquor is a strong lager. Strong lagers occur in most beer brewing areas - Asia, Australia, Africa and Europe. There will be different names - Bock, Strong Lager, etc - and there will be variations from region to region and brewer to brewer in terms of adjuncts, quality, process, hop levels, etc. But what an American calls a Malt Liquor will be found in the UK and throughout Europe. Carlsberg Special Brew is probably one of the better known examples. SilkTork 20:49, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


The intention of a Portal is a quick guide or launch-pad to a subject for readers and editors. It can be a place where casual readers may be introduced to the basics of a subject. Or a more serious student may use it as a base from which to explore different aspects. It can be linked to a Project so that editors can be kept informed on the latest issues, or areas which need attention.

The Beer Portal was started by myself in February, and then given a make over by Feydey. But it never really took off. In November a template was created which links to the Beer Portal. BrokenStoic has been placing the template on various beer articles to draw people's attention to the Portal. People may wish to get involved in several ways:

  1. Editing the Beer Portal.
  2. Keeping the Beer Portal up to date.
  3. Placing the {{portal|Beer}} template on beer article pages. (It should be noted that the guideline for placing the template is that it should be "located at article ends in See also sections (or equivalents)." See: Wikipedia:Portal)
  4. Checking out other Portals to see what is good practice and feeding back to the Beer Project.

SilkTork 00:35, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Some of the other projects have a {{Portal}} link in their WikiProject banner on the talk pages as well ({{Beer}} in this project's case). I could add it if people are interested.
Also, it is possible to change the image in the portal link using {{portal|Beer|Beer mug.svg}}. I'm not sure if the beer mug is too kitschy, but I thought I'd point it out. Mike Dillon 01:15, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Brewery notability

I've now moved the discussion on brewery notability out to a wider audience: Wikipedia:Notability (breweries). As well as discussion on the associated talk page, I would encourage people to edit the proposal itself. SilkTork 22:09, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Bryncelyn Brewery DYK

I created Bryncelyn Brewery yesterday and think it's a candidate for Wikipedia:Did You Know. In the discussion, though, one person has requested the article be expanded. I'm not near my paper sources right now, though, and won't be until the 3rd of January or so. Any help -- especially a Good Beer Guide quote or two -- would be appreciated. --Stlemur 06:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

That's a good article, well referenced, and an example of how even a minor brewery can be presented in a format that can make it notable. I have visited the place and was shown the brewery in the cellar. I have some photos, which I'll dig out, but if I remember I appear grinning in all of them, so they might not be suitable! Also (ssshh) the photos reveal that cask breathers are used on all the beers. It's only a small pub in a rural community - there's not enough beer sold to clear a cask in three days. SilkTork 15:49, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Beer Style Chart

Someone has added what appears to be a very hastily thrown together chart on the Beer style page. I think it looks crude and is not very accurate or easily edited. For these reasons I plan to edit it out unless someone has a major issue with it. (Full Disclosure-I have been working on the beer style box, which pretty much covers the same info.)--BrokenStoic 07:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't like it. User:Alejo2083 placed it on the beer page, and I moved it to the style page, with a comment that it is one possible view out of many. Stlemur has taken it off the beer page following the above comment. I have put it back on the beer style page for the time being so people can see what we talking about. BrokenStoic did the right thing in raising the issue here. When there is a possible contentious issue it is best to raise the issue and then wait for a response. That way we avoid revert wars. SilkTork 08:29, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm in the act of writing up some suggestions for it on the talk page now. --Stlemur 08:32, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

There are positives and negatives about using a style chart. The positive is that many people can grasp things better though a visual representation - especially when there are complex families concerned, as with the standard views of how to represent beer styles. The negative is that the chart is fixed and not easy to edit. The current chart is one possible variation out of many. Some beer styles are simply variations on a theme and can be seen as simply different names for the same thing - Scotch Ale, Barley Wine, English Strong Ale for example are three different names for the same beer style. Variations within English Strong Ale, Barley Wine and Scotch Ale cross over each other so much that attempts to define one against the other turn on personal experience and preference rather than any globally accepted template. I am not in favour of any form of fixed box. Though I can see an argument in favour of one or two charts represented in the context of examples of how some people may want to represent beer styles.

Here is another interesting beer chart: [6]

SilkTork 15:24, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I created this chart nobody liked, but I still think it will be useful (after a discussion to improve it). We'd better keep on discussing this subject on Talk:Beer_style. See you there Alessio Damato 17:23, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia Day Awards

Hello, all. It was initially my hope to try to have this done as part of Esperanza's proposal for an appreciation week to end on Wikipedia Day, January 15. However, several people have once again proposed the entirety of Esperanza for deletion, so that might not work. It was the intention of the Appreciation Week proposal to set aside a given time when the various individuals who have made significant, valuable contributions to the encyclopedia would be recognized and honored. I believe that, with some effort, this could still be done. My proposal is to, with luck, try to organize the various WikiProjects and other entities of wikipedia to take part in a larger celebrartion of its contributors to take place in January, probably beginning January 15, 2007. I have created yet another new subpage for myself (a weakness of mine, I'm afraid) at User talk:Badbilltucker/Appreciation Week where I would greatly appreciate any indications from the members of this project as to whether and how they might be willing and/or able to assist in recognizing the contributions of our editors. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 22:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Project/Participant/Collaboration page

I've taken some initial steps to make the main project page look more attractive. I have moved the participant list to a participant page, and following Daniel11's suggestion in October, made a collaboration page. SilkTork 00:52, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to encourage using the WikiProject Beer participants category for this instead of maintaining any list. The only thing the list adds is the ability to add comments that end up being of dubious ongoing value to the project. Mike Dillon 01:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The original list is now out of date. When I've contacted people on that list in the summer, only a fraction responded. So it would be worthwhile for people to add their name to Mike's new list so we can see who is active and interested. SilkTork 01:39, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I've added my name. What I like about it is that it is discrete - there's no user box or glowing tag. SilkTork 01:43, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

For those who aren't familiar with Wikipedia:User categorisation, there are instructions on how to add yourself on the category description page itself. Also, if people did want a userbox that did this automatically, it's easy enough to create; I'm just not a fan of userboxes that add user categories and didn't choose that as the default mechanism for addition. Mike Dillon 01:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)


2006 up to the end of November has been archived. The link is at the top of the page. SilkTork 01:35, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

New category

Because some brands and breweries cover more than one region I have created a new category: Category:Beer and breweries in multi regions. Have fun! SilkTork 23:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I like the idea, I'm not crazy about the name; CAMRA calls these "International breweries" in the Good Beer Guide and lists the following eleven active in Britain as of 2007:
The criterion for inclusion seems to be ownership of at least one brewery outside the UK, or ownership by a parent company that owns breweries in multiple countries, but this isn't explicitly stated in the GBG. Even so, I propose it as the criterion for inclusion in this category. --Stlemur 07:36, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I know what you mean about the name. However I thought it would be helpful to keep the name in line with the existing names - "Beer and breweries in XXXX"; and the main cat is "Beer and breweries by region". A region may be a nation, a country, a geographical area, a continent, etc. The flexibility of "region" as opposed to "country" or "nation" is one of the reasons it was chosen for the main cat. My first thought was "Global breweries", but that is clearly not right either. SilkTork 22:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)


I've placed links on the Project page to Guideline pages in which we can formulate advise on how best to create and lay out articles on beer. I've made a start on beer brands: Wikipedia:WikiProject Beer/Beer brand article guidelines. Please jump in and help out! SilkTork 23:54, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Color box

SRM/Lovibond Example Beer color EBC
2 Pale lager, Witbier, Pilsener, Berliner Weisse 4
3 Maibock, Blonde Ale 6
4 Weissbier 8
6 American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale 12
8 Weissbier, Saison 16
10 English Bitter, ESB 20
13 Biere de Garde, Double IPA 26
17 Dark lager, Vienna lager, Marzen, Amber Ale 33
20 Brown Ale, Bock, Dunkel, Dunkelweizen 39
24 Irish Dry Stout, Doppelbock, Porter 47
29 Stout 57
35 Foreign Stout, Baltic Porter 69
40+ Imperial Stout 79

Turns out ProMash has an SRM-to-RGB table buried in it. I know nothing about WP table format, so please, please, plesae spiff this up. It's currently in Standard Reference Method; should we turn it into a template? --Stlemur 00:11, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I would favour a wikilink to the SRM article rather than have the table copied onto beer pages. So if people want to make a reference to a beer's colour and wish to use the SRM, they could say: "This beer is black, or level 40 on the Standard Reference Method." SilkTork 16:59, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we'd make heavy use of it, just in Standard Reference Method, Beer style and maybe one or two other places. I just think it might make a useful template so when we update it we don't have to update the table in every instance of its appearance. --Stlemur 19:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Created, Template:Beer color --Stlemur 20:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Henry Weinhard's

An anonymous editor changed the infobox for Henry Weinhard's to indicate the company is located in Seattle. Formerly it was Portland. Is this change correct? —EncMstr 17:09, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

BeerAdvocate says:
Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co., 506 Columbia St, Hood River, Oregon, 97031, United States
-=Stlemur 17:31, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
The official site says "Hood River, OR" as well. —Wrathchild (talk) 18:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The company was bought over by Miller, so some of the brands are brewed by Miller, and some of the brands are contract brewed by Full Sail. BeerAdvocate has Full Sail as the brewery, though it doesn't show that some brands are brewed by Miller. RateBeer divides the brands between Miller and Full Sail. Henry Weinhard's brands used to be brewed in the Tumwater brewery, Seattle but that closed in 2003. Anyway - where is the company located? Well, the brand owner is Miller, who are based in Milwaukee; some of the beers are brewed in Oregon by Full Sail; Miller presents the "Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Co" as being based in Oregon (as that is where the original brewery was based); and some brands are brewed in Milwaukee. It's a muddle. But anyway - the beers haven't been brewed in Seattle since 2003. SilkTork 23:46, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

New category

Category:Beer awards. Have fun. SilkTork 13:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

User Box

I've just changed the image on the User Box. I'm not sure about it yet. It's just that I'm a little uncertain about the cartoon image. Any preferences? Any other images we might use? SilkTork 17:41, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Mass removal of Beer Advocate links

User:Beetstra has been removing the {{BeerAdvocate-brewery}} links from brewery articles en masse. His claim is that they are on some sort of spam blacklist, which they are not. I've asked him to stop, but there's a lot of damage to be repaired. Αργυριου (talk) 22:11, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

(copy answer from my talkpage, slight refactor) Hi, thank you for your question. First of all, the brewery site is blacklisted on user:shadowbot (not on user:shadow), indeed, there is no list there, but after one of the owners of the site added the link to a large number of pages today, the site was blacklisted.
Furthermore, which information does e.g. this link give me, that should be linked, but what cannot be included? As far as I see it is an address, and a list of beers they sell, a banner, and a whole set of extra links. Furthermore, the site is not the official brewery site (who undoubtedly has the same data on its site), but is a commercial external link. I don't see how this is meaningful, relevant content.
Now we are talking about it. In which way is this site dissimilar from, I am also seeing quite a lot of these links, used in a similar manner? Hope to hear more, have a nice day! --Dirk Beetstra T C 23:10, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I see no confirmation in the history of User:Shadowbot/Blacklist requests to indicate addition of Beer Advocate to the blacklist, and it's not on, or even discussed on, the meta blacklist. Can you point to a contributions page where this alleged spamming is occurring?
The list at the Beer Advocate page you linked includes trivia like the alcohol content of the beers, street address for the brewery, and links to copyrighted reviews. The collection of the data in the table possibly falls under a compilation copyright, and thus recopying the table without links is not permissible.
There is no policy against commercial links being used in Wikipedia, so long as the content is freely accessible. (Pay sites are strongly discouraged, but the links are not for a pay site.) WP:EL suggests linking to directories like DMOZ; for beers, Beer Advocate is the best directory link available. Αργυριου (talk) 23:16, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Not all blacklisting goes through the blacklist request. When the spamming is ongoing, operators can add the link at the moment the spamming is occuring. For the person adding the links, see Special:Contributions/ Apparently the site has commercial interests enough to let one of the owners of the site trying to make sure all the pages were 'consistent' (I am trying to get a link for the unblock request, I will post that here if and when I get that).
I am sure that the official brewery site also lists the alcohol content of the beers, as well as the address. So the only information that is left is links to copyrighted reviews. If I click on one of the beers I don't get professional reviews, but maybe I don't see the copyrighted reviews. And I am not sure if they can have a compilation copyright about the list of beers they sell, that is freely available from the company website, there is no way beeradvocate can claim that as copyrighted. Moreover, WP:EL states, under links normally to be avoided: "Links to sites that primarily exist to sell products or services. For example, instead of linking to a commercial bookstore site, use the "ISBN" linking format, giving readers an opportunity to search a wide variety of free and non-free book sources." If I see the banners correctly, beeradvocate is primarily to sell the magazine, and for what it matters is similar to that, which would make that site also not appropriate. Hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 23:33, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I can't access the unblock-en-l myself, so I cannot provide you with that link. I have for now stopped with removing the link, though I believe that they should be removed, per WP:NOT/WP:EL. But I will await further discussion (but will also do some further research). (copied here from talkpage) --Dirk Beetstra T C 00:15, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm stll not seeing any reason to remove the links... --Stlemur 03:14, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, if you believe that WP:NOT#REPOSITORY (not a linkfarm) and WP:EL, links to avoid, 1 (the information is not unique), 2 (unverifyable research), 5 (objectionable amounts of advertising , the site is commercial) and maybe even 10 (the reviews are not 'official', this is more a blog where anyone can post his opinion) is not enough reason, then I will leave it for now. --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:19, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Linking to the biggest single beer community in the world which is also the biggest single database I know of isn't linkfarming; I don't see anything on WP:EL that applies, the information is not unique, 5 is at worst borderline (there aren't any popups or anything!), and while 10 applies to the reviews and forums it doesn't apply to the brewery info, style guidelines, beer articles, or I would go so far as to say the aggregate score. Furthermore, there still isn't anything I can see supporting the assertion that BeerAdvocate links are blacklisted somewhere. --Stlemur 13:45, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Requiring the information to be unique leads to a ridiculous result. Most of the information available at is probably also available at and possibly other sites. By requiring the information to be unique, you're saying that if it exists in two or three places, that Wikipedia should not link to any of those places. Understandably, it's reasonable to say that WP shouldn't link to three or possibly more sites all with the same information, but saying that it should link to none is ridiculous. The best option in such a case is to determine which source is the most comprehensive and reliable directory site, and link to it. Just because that site has advertising, or because it isn't DMOZ, is not a good reason to remove it. If the members of Wikiproject Beer think that Beer Advocate is the best comprehensive resource for beer information, then the links should stay. Αργυριου (talk) 19:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
You are right, I should have written that in a different way, WP:EL names it "1. Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a Featured article.", my mistake. I am sorry, but the link got spammed, and IMHO, it does not comply with WP:EL and WP:NOT#REPOSITORY (and yes, there are linkfarms containing a significant number of ratebeer ánd beeradvocate links on certain pages), and it got spammed to 24 pages (22 in less than 45 minutes). The case would of course be different if the site was used as a reference. And as I explained, the links that I checked did not contain information that would not be available from the official homepage of the breweries. Hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:53, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I see a similar subject arises in the subject under this one. --Dirk Beetstra T C 21:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Be Consistent Or Remove All Links

Just wanted to point out that all brewery and beer pages here should have a link to and or all of the links form both sites should be removed. There are members of that have it our for so Wikipedia needs to work something out.

There have been many edits to the beer ratings page here with false postings. I'd love to see someone here that is not a part of either site edit all beer related pages here.

FYI, our external link was removed from this page:

You should either put it back or remove all others.

You guys seem bit jaded and see everything as black and white without balance and no gray area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jalstromer (talkcontribs)

Are you Jason Alström from BeerAdvocate? Mike Dillon 02:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I am Jason Alström from BeerAdvocate. FYI, take a look at this ...
Please advise us on what will or won't happen.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jalstromer (talkcontribs)
Probably oughta pull the general links. The wikipedia is not DMOZ, and the external links page on beer is still excessively long even without. Went ahead and removed all but the dmoz and about links. MrZaiustalk 03:08, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I think these two sites shouldn't be linked from Wikipedia at all. Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 18:11, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I think things are just too inconsistent here, one person goes one way and the next goes the opposite way. Wishy-washy all the way. Are there not any black and white rules or is wiki just one big gray area?Jason Alstrom 23:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the links should stay. They're not primary sources but they're verifiable and they contain information which enhances the articles. Wikiprojects working in much more obscure and crufty areas (e.g. Star Wars) regularly link to other wikis or encyclopediae, and those links don't raise any objections as far as I know. --Stlemur 18:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The links are appropriate to the topic, helpful to readers, and should stay. — goethean 15:27, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

We have an external links policy. Shouldn't we follow that? Whether or not other areas of Wikipedia fail to follow policy doesn't matter. Any editor who comes in here and looks at these articles is going to see spam and advertising everywhere. We really need to stick to the facts as documented by reliable sources, and avoid linking out to a few of our favorite websites. I certainly agree that we shouldn't play favorites with links. The best bet is to put the information into the article and then cite reliable sources. Then there is no need for external links. Also, in an article about a brewery, you would just link to the brewery's site. There's no need for any other external links at all. Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 01:56, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Of course we should follow Wikipedia policy! Anyone who understands what "reliable source" means would reject ratebeer and beeradvocate for the simple reason that virtually all of the articles linked here are unsigned and contain no citations. Both sites are very popular, does that make them right or accurate? NO! Does the issue of what an ale is require multiple points of view? Of course not! Let's follow the policy and not a bunch of sycophants. Mikebe 17:22, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen

Page has been tagged for deletion, I could care less. Are separate pages going to be created for each site on that page? If it is about the wrong of linking to commercial sites then all brewery pages would have to be taken down as well as any links to them. Any one want to step up and be consistent for once here? Jason Alstrom 23:00, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Um...whoa, that speedy shouldn't have happened. It looks like the BeerAdvocate article just and redirected, as did RateBeer, so they're both still there in the history... --Stlemur 07:58, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The reason given for the speedy was CSD G11: Blatant advertising. Pages which exclusively promote a company, product, group, service, or person and which would need to be fundamentally rewritten in order to become encyclopedic. Note that simply having a company, product, group, service, or person as its subject does not qualify an article for this criterion; an article that is blatant advertising should have inappropriate content as well. If a page has previously gone through a deletion process and was not deleted, it should not be speedily deleted under this criterion. If the article bore a resemblance to what was in the history, this shouldn't have happened. Thoughts, everyone? --Stlemur 08:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
So BeerAdvocate as a consumer driven and industry supporting website does not get listed on wiki? It should have never been redirected to the beer ratings page in the first place. If any one wants to take a look we are partnering with other consumer and industry organizations, we are not just about selling a magazine or t-shirts. ie Jason Alstrom 15:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I think everyone here agrees with that...the deletion was done by someone unfamilar with the topic and there doesn't seem to have been any discussion on moving the pages in the first place. I'm inclined to think the article should be re-created; something that would really help us do that is if you could get together some sources (newspaper articles, trade journals) which independently verify BeerAdvocate's notability for us to cite in the article; it looks a lot better if we're not just taking quotes from the "about us" page. Just three or four should be more than plenty. Meanwhile if someone does try to bring it up for deletion again, this time a number of Wikipedians will be watching the page. --Stlemur 15:18, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Gentlemen. I notice that Jason Alstrom, representative of BeerAdvocate is here, and that you are adding large amounts of links to Wikipedia that point to his site. This looks a bit suspicious to me, probably because I am not so familiar with the topic. What can you say to address this concern? Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 22:41, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Then take them all down, I'd rather not see any links to our site here rather than spotty inconsistent external links to us from some obscure brewery page. But make sure all other links to other beer pages are deleted as well. Does anyone have the balls here to draw a line or is it all gray area here? I see rules posted but few actually stick them. I may as well rip my link off of this site right now to make a point. Jason Alstrom 05:50, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
With all due respect, please don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. --Stlemur 07:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
I would not recreate a deleted article. You've done that a few times already, Stlemur, and that can be viewed as disruption. There seems to be a problem in this project that people have create their own set of rules that conflict with established Wikipedia policies and guidelines. This is a bad thing, because it leads to spamming, edit warring, and general wasting of time. We are here to build an encyclopedia. If you disagree with the rules, feel free to debate and even edit them! But don't ignore them or take unilateral actions. Don't be offended when a new editor wanders in here and starts deleting promotional articles and links. If you really dislike the situation here, then feel free to download MediaWiki software and set up your own beer wiki with whatever rules you like. Jehochman (Talk/Contrib) 02:03, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
When have i done that? --Stlemur 07:24, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Three external link templates nominated for deletion. The discussion is at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion/Log/2007 April 4#Beer external link templates. Create a subpage somewhere, start a draft for the article, and then you should be able to recreate BeerAdvocate once it meets Wikipedia standards. Articles that appear to assert notability for BeerAdvocate:

I'm sure you could find lots more citations than that. However, the issue here is NOT notability; the issue is reliability, which both beeradvocate and ratebeer fail using even low standards. So long as they continue existing as they have done since they started, they will never meet Wikipedia standards for reliability simply because that is a non-issue for them. Mikebe 06:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It depends what you're looking at. I don't think anyone here is using BeerAdvocate's or RateBeer's reviews, even the ones by the site's operators, as sources; I, at least, am only interested in them by and large as directories or product listings. Indeed, nobody's using the beeradvocate-beer template, only the beeradvocate-brewery template. As I've argued elsewhere, the links provide unique information often more complete and current than official brewery publications, and while I can't address RateBeer I know that directory info on BeerAdvocate is managed by local guides acting as site administrators. I've used BeerAdvocate and QuaffAle both as sources for contact information and I've never had a problem other than the occasional outdated URL. --Stlemur 06:54, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
It does NOT depend on what you look at -- it is ALL unsourced, unsigned "information" from anonymous contributors. Sure, there are articles by people like Joris Pattyn or Josh Oakes who probably do know what they are talking about, but those articles are not linked here. You want an example: go to the Belgian beer page and look at the history. The article originally said there are 155 breweries in Belgium and referred ratebeer as the source. Ratebeer had a list of breweries with nothing more than a name. Beeradvocate has more information than ratebeer, but they list 131 breweries. So, which is it - 155 or 131? Neither site, btw, gives any source for this information, which is not surprising since anyone can go here: and enter any nonsense they would like. Now, let's go to Zythos, the Belgian beer consumers organisation. Oh, my goodness, they list 123 breweries (plus three geuze blenders). If you'd like more, just let me know. There is a reason the two commercial sites don't list sources: they can't, it ALL comes from anonymous contributors. Now that's reliability! Mikebe 10:44, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Certainly people can submit whatever they want. On BeerAdvocate, as I said, it has to be approved, with that being done either by the site owners or appointed regional experts selected by the site owners. Again, I don't know RateBeer well enough to address it. --Stlemur 11:01, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Say whatever you like, but until you can show that the information comes from reliable sources (and I don't mean your concept of how it works), we can only assume that it is NOT reliable. I have given examples clearly demonstrating their information is unreliable. Your only response is that anonymously submitted information is "approved" by a second set of anonymous people? If you can't do any better than that, then case closed. They (both of them) are gone. Mikebe 11:51, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
External links do not need to adhere to the reliable sources policy; they only need to adhere to the external links policy. Beeradvocate and RateBeer do adhere to WP:EL and thus should remain. — goethean 14:23, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, really? I guess you must have missed this part then: "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research." Oh, and BTW, why don't you tell us all which articles you have written for the beer portal? Or, are you the guy who only contributes to this talk page? Mikebe 14:47, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
This is turning a little uncivil...I'm going to be taking a break until Monday. Happy Easter everyone, have a beer. --Stlemur 15:58, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
This is turning a little uncivil
As per usual when User:Mikebe is involved... — goethean 16:38, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Just taking a look at your talk page and seeing all the disputes you are involved in (aside from here) reveals who

the problem is. Secondly, if you American homebrewers would understand beer and the world outside the US, we wouldn't repeatedly find ourselves in exactly the same situation: 1. Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia, it is a resource for homebrewers, 2. the US leads the world in making and innovating beers and therefore American beer resources are always justified, regardless of reliability, 3. there is no item of information, particularly if it involves American beer, that is too unimportant to be in Wikipedia and 4. don't write articles, don't improve articles, just come to the project talk page and see that Wikipedia:Beer remains the fact-free portal it is. Have a nice Easter and please find another hobby when you come back. Mikebe 17:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

When you have something other than personal attacks and blatant incivility to offer, please drop me a line. — goethean 17:58, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the lovely offer, but I'll pass. Mikebe 18:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

A sysop blows the referee whistle. It doesn't help the situation to personalize a dispute. Please refactor, minus the sarcasm. DurovaCharge! 02:43, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Some changes

I've downgraded the guidelines at this project to suggestions since they haven't been approved by the community as site guidelines. I've also nominated three external link templates for deletion per WP:SPAM. DurovaCharge! 02:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Beer fan site links

As Wikipedia presents itself as an encyclopedia which is fact-based, and in consideration of the dialog above where it is established that the beer fan sites (i.e., ratebeer and beeradvocate) are not fact-based, I will be removing links to them in the beer portal. If anyone would like to help out, please do. If there are links to other beer fan sites as unreliable as the two mentioned, please post below. Thanks. Mikebe 08:04, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I happen to know that Open Directory Project [7] would love to know about any sites that it doesn't already know about, so feel free to bring them to my attention. —Wrathchild (talk) 19:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

As further evidence (as if any more were needed) of the lack of fact-based information at these fan sites, I encourage S&G (and anyone else) to look at the article for Quadrupel. The original article, which seemed to be based on the beeradvocate article, is almost complete fiction. I humbly suggest that an encyclopedia is not a place to publish fiction pretending to be fact. I trust this will end the matter. Thank you. Mikebe 18:31, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Looks as if most of the links to BeerAdvocate & Ratebeer have been pulled. I deleted the links from articles I mainly write for, and I've seen almost every brewery page I watch have the links deleted the past couple of days. Personally, I'm glad to see them go. I love both sites for looking up information, but just never thought they belonged in an encyclopedia. --Brownings 18:52, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

All of this fact-based talk is a bunch of BS, I removed the links to ... I'd rather not be associated with a site that can't get their shit together.Jason Alstrom 13:11, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Category:Microbreweries, Category:Drinking establishments, Category:Beer and breweries by region

Hi, I've been looking over these pages after coming across Pizza Port on a random article. A quick review of random pages in these categories (and others) shows me a lot of pages I consider of dubious notability, being only local pubs and breweries with no real importance. Now I'm sure there are important places like Bull & Finch Pub, but is there any concerted effort to establish some kind of standard for these pages, or prune out the entries for ones that are simply not that important? FrozenPurpleCube 18:23, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think you are being rather kind - "dubious notability" is putting it mildly! To put that another way: yes, of course you are quite correct, however, try nominating some of these articles for deletion. Nothing logical is done easily here. My advice: nominate the least worthy for deletion, then summon all your friends and relatives to vote for deletion.
OTOH, maybe you and I are the only two in the room. Why don't you suggest some standards, I'll agree and we can try to clean the place up! (In case it's not obvious, I am NOT joking.) Mikebe 19:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
What you propose would be canvassing. --Stlemur 20:50, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
I probably will start going through the categories looking for obvious candidates to prod/AfD, but yes, I do concur some sort of standard or benchmark would be nice. However, I don't know enough about the industry to even begin to guess what's notable or not. FrozenPurpleCube 19:40, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
As a beginning, I would suggest that no brewpub is worthy unless they invented the beer equivalent of the first airplane. As for breweries, that is more difficult because there are few standards of notability even in the industry. In the UK, there is a beer festival where breweries are named for quality. There is nothing equivalent in Europe I can think of. In the US, there is a beer festival where a significant number of breweries get awards. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that breweries that sponsor the festival are awarded prizes. I would suggest that breweries should be cut back significantly. I can't imagine that there are so many that are notable. I must say it is nice to have someone here who has a reasonable view of these articles. Mikebe 20:27, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I recently prod'd a few articles, and I left off any that either asserted winning an award or were the first in their region (first in a city is a bit of a stretch). I don't feel that most awards are truly notable, but that can be saved for another time. FrozenPurpleCube 20:59, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Christianity and alcohol

Just wondering if Christianity and alcohol belongs here (it's already part of the Wine project, though the article's topic is a bit more general). If so, feel free to add it. --Flex (talk|contribs) 23:59, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

American sources

Lately it seems that nearly every major American organization, publication, or website related to beer and brewing has come under heavy fire as a reliable source for citing in Wikipedia articles, and some have been systematically removed from most beer-related articles. I don't doubt that some of these are not credible sources, but given some of the trends in recent weeks one could get the impression that none of them are. I find it hard to believe that there are no good American resources on beer and brewing, especially given my own personal experience with some of them (some of which have been targeted in these activities). As such, it makes sense to ask the question, "What are the best American resources on beer and brewing?", and once we have at least a modicum of consenses on what some of those are, start (or resume, as the case may be) using them and citing them more in beer-related articles. Even if these resources have their flaws, so do all resources to a certain degree and that doesn't change the fact that they have some good information in them. --Mwalimu59 19:05, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Some further commentary that might shed some additional light on the above comment, and which I hope will help make more sense out of this. One of the more frequently cited reasons for removing some of the references referred to above is that they are related to homebrewing.
To someone with a Euro-centric viewpoint, that might seem perfectly reasonable, since beer and brewing have been part of the culture with little interruption for generations, especially in the communities and the regions that produce these beers. In that environment, one could say plenty about beer and brewing and its history with little or no reference to homebrewing.
Now compare that to the situation in the United States. A number of events throughout the early-to-mid 20th century, not least of which was that 14-year experiment, resulted in what serious beer lovers would consider a barren landscape by the mid 1970s, where less than 100 breweries put out a bland mass-produced product and homebrewing was illegal. People started making beer, and got better at it. Some took the plunge and went commercial. State and local laws were changed to make this easier. It took until the late 1980s before most average consumers started to notice of the craft brewing industry.
This is how the craft brewing industry grew out of virtually nothing all within the past 30 years. Many of the key players who were around when it started are still alive and still sharing their love of beer. You don't have breweries that have been passed down in families for generations, or that have been part of their communities for centuries. What you have is a lot of brewers who started out as homebrewers. And that is reflected in virtually every major organization or publication related to beer. The U.S. is just now reaching the point where we have a new generation of beer drinkers who don't remember what it was like when the only choices were Bud, Miller and Coors. Another fifty years down the road things might be different, but for the time being, it's virtually impossible to ignore the influcence and the pervasiveness of homebrewing as a part of American craft brewing. --Mwalimu59 20:57, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you start by explaining how the articles are any worse or any less reliable by not having American sources. Mikebe 21:19, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The way I see it, this is a project about beer. Not just commercial breweries, beer -- all aspects. The assertion that's been made sometimes that things like hop varieties, brewing methods (as opposed to how-to's) and such are "homebrewing topics" and therefore should be deleted is simply erroneous.
Furthermore, homebrewing is notable not only in and of itself but in that it has led to the emergence of so many breweries both within and outside the US; I can think of two commercial breweries in Britain that started out with homebrewing, and I'm sure there are plenty of others --Stlemur 21:38, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the point that you make about the long tradition of home brewing in the UK (it has an uninterrupted history back to Saxon times) is a good one. I also believe that it is something that is worthy of being discussed in far greater detail in the wikipedia. As are the equally ancient home brewing customs in Finland and Norway. The modern homebrewing boom in the US deserves mention, too. The best place to do this, I believe, is a separate article, where there is room to fully explore the history of homebrewing across time and geography. Should anyone wish to write such an article, I would only be too happy to provide all the material I have on the subject. (For example, I have statistics on the number of private brewers in the UK.) Homebrewing is not irrelevant or unimportant. Just something separate from commercial brewing. Look, I've been a homebrewer myself and - given the necessary time and space - still would be.Patto1ro 17:29, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
So your contention is that homebrewing has had no effect on commercial beer? — goethean 17:44, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
In the case of the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, France, Ireland and the UK - yes. That doesn't mean that that homebrewing is unimportant. It's just a separate tradition that should be discussed separately. Personally, I think it's a much neglected topic. But - giving as an example a subject I know a little about - homebrewing has had zero impact on the commercial brewing of Bitter, Lager, Brown Ale or Mild in the UK. Or on the brewing of lager in Holland or Denmark, Kölsch in Cologne or Alt in Düsseldorf.
Homebrewing has had an effect on commercial brewing in North America. On the some of 3% of beer that is craft brewed (statistic courstesy of the Brewers Association). In Scandinavia there may have been some influence, but I think that the microbrewed beers of Denmark, for example, are more inspired by American craft beer in general and so only indirectly by homebrewing (not all US craft beer draws from homebrewing).
I think when discussing beer in the US and Scandinavia (possibly) it's right to mention homebrewing. There has been an influence. For other European countries, it's misleading.
Goethean, Stlemur - why don't you enter my homebrew challenge? I have two contenders already but more are always welcome. Patto1ro 18:14, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
The articles on beer styles are not specifically on commercial beer. If they were, they would specify this. For example, there is an article on Stout. Not Commercial stout, but stout in general. I don't see any reason why any mention of homebrewed beer be prohibited from that article. — goethean 18:21, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
In Britain we call that moving the goalposts. You didn't say if you wanted to take part in my homebrew challenge.
In Britain we call that moving the goalposts
I will take that to indicate that you have no response.
You didn't say if you wanted to take part in my homebrew challenge.
I don't know what you are talking about and don't particularly care to know. — goethean 20:02, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
My homebrew challenge is simple. You just have to brew two beers.
Not any two beers, obviously. One Porter and one Stout. Brewed to specs for the 19th century beers (that I can provide) of:
* Griffin
* Barclay Perkins
* Meux
One Porter and one Stout from the same brewery and from the same year. For example, Griffin Brewery Rg Porter and SSS Stout from 1867. Or Barclay Perkins TT Porter and Brown Stout (BSt) from 1812.
I think it's an interesting challenge for homebrewers and something that will help foster understanding of the historical development of beer styles. Patto1ro 20:16, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
It's interesting, although I can see some practical difficulties straight off. This might not be the best venue for it; say more on my talk page. --Stlemur 20:45, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh and, what influence do you think homebrewing has had on commercial brewing outside the USA?Patto1ro 18:28, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
All very interesting, however this fails to answer my question.Mikebe 22:00, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Without American sources, the articles would inherently reflect a Euro-centric bias. There have certainly been plenty of complaints on Wikipedia in the other direction about articles reflecting an American bias; well, it is a concern that cuts both ways. If one of the objectives of Beer Wikipedia is to give the total picture and to reflect all points of view fairly, then removing references to the best American references, labeling them 'crap', 'nonsense', etc., is working against that objective. The results will be better if we acknowledge that not everyone is always going to agree on what the best sources are --Mwalimu59 23:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem for me is not only the sources, but inappropriate use of sources. Having an American home-brew club describe (with great inaccuracy, I might add) a European beer type is not acceptable. And, I agree that having a European home-brew club describing an American beer type would also be a problem, if anyone had done that, but no one has. Secondly, giving factual information about beer cannot be compared to interpreting an abstract painting, for example, where multiple points of view might be useful. An encyclopedia is fact-based, and most of the information here is not a matter of interpretation or POV, but a matter of fact. One of the great benefits of Wikipedia is that it attracts people from different nationalities and cultures. You are suggesting that your nationality/culture should also have a voice in describing my culture. Why? I know my culture better than you, I speak the language, etc. Do I ask why I can't have a voice in describing your culture? No. It may be hard, but try looking at this from the opposite perspective. Mikebe 05:53, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Home brewing, homebrewers and beer

I think it is clear to everyone here that we have a problem. There are two different groups of people here: the homebrewers and everyone else. Unfortunately, everyone else see the articles one way, while the homebrewers seem them differently. And while most of the homebrewers can be civil enough, there are others who cannot. As a result of all this, the beer project is more or less dead. New articles are not written and old articles are rarely updated.

While I can understand the enthusiasm of the homebrewers, I cannot understand why they cannot understand the rest of us. So, in the hope of reaching a peace and getting the beer project under progress again, I would like to offer a suggestion.

The lack of understanding between the groups finds itself mainly in homebrewing information in beer articles. As one homebrewer pointed out: home-brewing is a part of beer. OK, fair enough. However, Wikipedia has already made provision for home-brewing. Did you know that? Yes, right here: is practically a portal to the world of home-brewing. There are even links there to the BJCP! (Surprised?)

My proposal is quite simple: home-brewers write/edit home-brewing articles and the rest of us will do the other articles. When people come to the beer portal, if they are interested in home-brewing, there is a link to brewing and a link to home-brewing, so what's the problem? If they are not interested in home-brewing, they can just go to the articles without having to read their way through brewing information and style guides. It seems simple enough and people can focus on those things that they know best and enjoy doing. And, the best part is we'll need fewer of this silly discussions. Mikebe 11:10, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think the alleged problem clear at all, and I think you are being hysterical. Please provide some examples of the supposedly pernicious influence of homebrewers. Thetrick 16:15, 19 April 2007 (UTC)
What you're saying comes across to me like "Go play in your own sandbox. Quit messing around in ours." That might even be a viable proposition if the other group were free to create a whole parallel set of articles covering the same subjects from their perspective. However that's not an option on Wikipedia. The idea here is that we are all supposed to work together to produce one set of articles that represents a consensus of all contributors.
I don't see a clear-cut distinction between homebrewers and the "rest of us". I'm a homebrewer (or was in the past; I've done very little of it the past several years), but I'm a beer enthusiast first and foremost. Although I've drawn on that experience and background, I have never intentionally put a homebrewing slant on any update I've made to a beer-related article on Wikipedia, and have attempted to make contributions in a way that I believe is likely to be of general interest to readers. I am first and foremost a beer enthusiast, and the same is probably true of most of the others you are referring to as homebrewers.
It doesn't help WikiProject Beer any when beer enthusiasts who come along and make good-faith attempts to improve articles find that their efforts are being stomped on by one or two participants with particularly strong opinions about beer and what should be included in the articles, and who feel like they have to fight a battle to get anything added to or changed in an article. --Mwalimu59 17:26, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
First of all, thanks for being a lot more civil than the guy who posted before you. In case I did not make it clear, let me say that my point is not about content, but about organisation. I have nothing against home-brewing and agree that for home-brewers, it would be useful to have content for them here too. The only point I am making is about where that content should be.
As a beer drinker, if I want to know more about a type of beer I might never have tasted or have just tasted for the first time, I don't want to read about esters or diacytel, which mean absolutely nothing to me, I want to read about tastes. If there are links for more information in the article, I don't want to be sent to a home-brewing site with a recipe for making the beer.
I hope you can also be honest enough to recognise that while home-brewers here on the beer project talk page represent a majority POV, in the US, from the best figures I can find (American Homebrewers Association), home-brewers represent probably between 0.5 and 0.3 percent of the population. That's quite a difference, isn't it? So, why should we assume that even a significant minority of visitors here are interested in home-brewing information?
You and I haven't had problems. We've discussed our differences and worked out a solution that we could both accept. That, sadly, is the exception here rather than the rule. Lack of civility, and sometimes, uncivility are too often the tone here.
I don't agree with your sandbox analogy. This is more an issue of recognising there there are different audiences for different information and the articles should reflect that, rather than the view of a vocal and sometime belligerent group. If you disagree that home-brewing is a hobby shared by an extremely small number of people, I invite you to show me alternative sources that can demonstrate otherwise. I don't have a monopoly on information and I do have an open mind about this. Mikebe 11:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Please let me know where the week point is in this analogy. Recently in the US there was am E.coli problem with spinach. A person decides to visit wikipedia to learn about this bacteria. When they visit the page, only a small part of the article is about the effects on the gastrointestinal system. There's stuff on it's role in anibiotics, molecular biology, vaccines, etc. So this article is diverse, not just focused on the subtopic that the average wikipedia browser might be interrested in reading about.
Likewise, a beer style description should explain the source of flavors. I wouldn't expect the lambic article to explain how to cultivate wild yeast, but is should certainly mention some of the organisms responsible for the complex flavors. Beakerboy 13:39, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I concur with Beakerboy. If I were reading an article on Bread, for instance, assuming it is supposed to be a reasonably thorough article, I would expect to see some discussion about how it's made, and possibly about what ingredients or steps in the process might result in different types or what would produce better results or might be the cause of defects. Even if I never plan to make bread myself, I would find the coverage of it interesting and would the article to be incomplete if it didn't discuss these things, perhaps in some detail. Not that much detail, necessarily - I wouldn't expect it to give me enough information to use it to make bread (although I would expect it to include references to where I could find that if I were interested), but certainly some information. --Mwalimu59 20:39, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the numbers of homebrewers, the figures given here strike me as being pretty low - one poster even gave a number of .01%. The 0.3-0.5 range sound more plausible but still seems pretty low. If I were to ask around how many people have tried homebrewing, the result would probably be more than ten times that amount and may even be over 10%.
But maybe that's not the real issue. Maybe the question we should be asking is, "How many of the people who come to WikiPedia looking for information on beer are interested in homebrewing?" There are hundreds of thousands of articles on WikiPedia I'll never look at on subjects I'm not interested in. If 0.1% if the population are homebrewers, that may mean that 99.9% are not, but consider that probably 90-95% of them will never look at any Wikipedia article on beer. Only 5-10% of them, possibly less, ever will, so that 0.1% homebrewers may not be such a small percentage after all.
That's true of Wikipedia in general - whether your talking about beer (and homebrewing), history of Japan in the middle ages, or some television show from the sixties, it doesn't matter what percentage of the general population would be interested in something. What does matter is what percentage of readers who come looking on Wikipedia for information on a particular subject would be interested. --Mwalimu59 21:51, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
What's at issue here is that a great amount of the differences in beer style are due to techniques and ingredients, and the easiest way to get that information across is to talk about how the product is made and what results from that process. That information is most readily found in brewing literature, of which most of what is available to the average person being homebrewing and craftbrewing literature (there's rather a lot of overlap between the two). If you exclude technical information, you've got a lot of "what" and no "why". Wikipedia is not paper, and it would seem wise to include as much of the "why" as possible. If the sources aren't accurate, replace them with sources that are, don't say you didn't need the information after all. Haikupoet 03:23, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Prescriptive vs. Descriptive

After looking over the recent trends in WikiProject Beer, one pattern I'm seeing is that many of the conflicts are of a Prescriptive vs. Descriptive nature. It's an age-old conflict that been a source of debate for dictionary editors for as long as there have been dictionaries. A "prescriptivist" would say that a dictionary should define correct, proper usage of words, and should resist and not easily be swayed by actual usage of words, regardless of how widespread any other usage becomes. A "descriptivist" would say that dictionaries should define words as they are actually used and should reflect trends and changes in how people use the language.

As it applies to beer, let us look at stout, for instance. We know that stouts originated in Great Britain and Ireland, and a handful of breweries in those regions produce what are generally considered the defining examples of the style. Yet there are hundreds of breweries throughout the world that brew what they call a stout, which vary considerably in terms of how closely they emulate the style. A "prescriptive" approach would dictate that an article on stouts should be largely limited to describing the style based on its origins and traditions, drawing most of its material from sources that stick pretty close to that, and should largely downplay or even ignore entirely what all of the other brewers and style guides call a stout. A "descriptive" approach would dictate that if enough brewers and other beer-related publications/organizations represent a stout in a certain way, then it's what a sizable number of people would expect an article on stout to cover and therefore it should be covered in the article.

For another example, I would invite readers to compare and contrast two recent versions of the article on Quadrupel:

  • This version would probably qualify is a good (though brief) "descriptive" article; it was replaced by
  • This version, which would be a much more "prescriptive" article.

I hope I've explained this without taking sides. Thus I would like to invite commentary on whether this is the right approach, or what might represent a better balance between Prescriptive and Descriptive. (And for the sake of this discussion I would ask that you not get sidetracked into discussing stouts or quadrupels specifically except insofar as we are using them as examples in a discussion that could apply to any number of other styles or beer-related articles.) --Mwalimu59 21:23, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • As a general rule I think a properly exhaustive reference work should do both. Consider the OED's annual list of added words and the worldwide snickering over the addition of "bootylicious" -- while it sounds like a superficial and silly thing to add to what is considered the de facto official dictionary of the English language, the point of adding it is that at some point, fifty years from now, someone is going to want to look that word up after reading it in some old magazine article. I don't really have any problem with providing both prescriptivist and descriptivist angles in such a work, except to say that I believe that prescriptivist thinking should be framed as either "this is what is considered proper" or "this would be a really good idea" rather than "this is how it must be done". Haikupoet 05:45, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

A little diplomacy

One final thing that I think bears mentioning. A few people have said things here in a way that has gotten others defensive and upset, and may have even provoked others to inappropriate acts. I won't mention any names here because it really applies to several people. If you think I'm talking about you, you're probably right - I'm not without guilt.

When expressing opinions about things, please try to follow a couple of guidelines:

  1. Disagree without being disagreeable. Saying that "Joe's Beer Guide is crap," is being disagreeable. Saying "Joe's Beer Guide is inaccurate and sometimes flat out wrong," is much better.
  2. Take ownership of your viewpoints. Try not to make a subjective statement as if it were an objective fact. Instead of saying "Joe's Beer Guide is inaccurate," say "I think Joe's Beer Guide is inaccurate."

In general, try to view others here with an eye toward cooperation rather than an adversarial relationship. --Mwalimu59 22:08, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I'd like to go a bit further and comment that it seems to me that Mikebe's deletions of homebrew material are bordering on bad faith, seeing as how they go in violation of what I had thought was a rather painstakingly hammered out compromise on the issue of homebrewing links. The fact is that a few editors involved in WikiProject Beer have supported a defiantly Eurocentric POV regarding references, and of those editors, Mikebe has been the one least willing to compromise on the issue. Rather than attempt to have a reasonable discussion of the matter of using American and homebrewing sources on Wikipedia (which, btw, amounts to a good half of the information available to the American brewer), Mikebe has taken a hardline stance on the issue, despite the fact that a great deal of the information available on beers to American readers is through homebrew and craftbrew technical and instruction material. Rather than evaluating the available information, Mikebe has chosen to exclude it completely, and has done so even after an apparent consensus was agreed upon (or at least left unmolested) several months ago. Haikupoet 03:18, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I avoided mentioning any names and will repeat my stance that there is more than one guilty party here. Rather than trying to point fingers of blame at anyone would it not be better to work toward getting back to a state where we can all cooperate with one another on WikiProject Beer and work toward a reasonable consensus from all of the participants.
I am inclined to agree with you that we have a situation where a couple of the most persistent, strong-willed individuals have more or less taken over, and my previous post about "prescriptive vs. descriptive" was my attempt to identify what may be the real core issue and to get some discussion going that will bring us back to working on this as a cooperative venture. --Mwalimu59 04:03, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I am not quite sure where to begin. First of all, I note that all of the people who have responded to my original note are home-brewers (active or not) and it is no surprise that you are not in favour of my proposal. Secondly, I would also note that while I provided a source for my estimate on the number of home-brewers (the American Homebrewers Association), disagreements with the figures were based on guesses. But, I think it is fair to say that while discussions here on the beer project are generally overwhelmingly home-brewers (more than 80 percent), in the general population home-brewers are an extremely small and insignificant number. (I don't mean "insignificant" as a value judgement of you or your hobby, but in the statistical sense.)
As Mwalimu59 has correctly pointed out, there has been bad behaviour here and not limited to one person. Since I came here, I have been insulted on a personal level several times (by a certain home-brewer) and I have, coincidentally or not, seen the discussion on the project go from a fairly even discussion (home-brewers and non-home-brewers) to only home-brewers.
This past Sunday, I went on the Toer de Geuze ( with a German friend of mine. He met on the tour an American forum (ratebeer) acquaintance (not a home-brewer) and the American gave my friend a pile of American beer magazines. My friend then gave me a few to read on the way home. I got Celebrator, All About Beer and Beer Advocate (except for Beer Advocate, the magazines were about one year old).
Both All About Beer and Beer Advocate have home-brewing articles (one in each magazine) and I could not find one in Celebrator (is that a trade magazine?). All three magazines have articles about specific beers or breweries. I would like to bring to your attention the fact that outside of the home-brew articles, NOT ONE of the beer articles include home-brewing information or "how it's made" or the "source of the flavours" or anything else that you home-brewers are advocating for here. Here, from All About Beer, is a description written by Fred Eckhardt (I picked it only because it is the shortest and I don't want to type in a longer one): "Talk about Noire, this beer is a neat shade of ebony! And the head actually sings, while the aromatics demand satisfaction for the dark side of Canada's finest -- and deliver! I'll have another, please, but let me listen to the head's lovely song first." The beer was Unibroue Chambly Noire.
I don't understand what "Prescriptive vs. Descriptive" means, but, how about this: accuracy? The old version of the quadrupel article was fiction made up by Beer Advocate or the BJCP or some other organisation. Isn't this an encyclopedia where people are supposed to get facts? Just because an amateur organisation says that something exists, do we quote it here as if it were reality?
The original article said: "Quadrupel, also known as quadruple ale or simply quad, is a style of Belgian beer." That is absolutely not true! I know Belgian beer quite well and I can assure you that if you went into a pub in Belgium and asked for a quadrupel, even if you asked them in Dutch, they wouldn't understand what you were talking about (other than the Dutch beer by that name, of course).
It is for this reason and others that I made my suggestion. The quadrupel is only one example, there are still a few others left that contain fictitious information taken from unreliable sources. It is also that there are some (very few) of us here who can read other languages than English and so, can get information from original sources.
My goal is to improve the beer articles, not to argue with people or prove people wrong or anything else. If you would ask me to write or improve an article on an American beer, I would decline because I don't know enough about it. Why can't we (the Dutch and German speakers/readers) get the same courtesy? Mikebe 09:41, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
That review of Chambly Noire is good. I wish I were as poetic with my beer reviews. As far as flavor description goes, I see it more like this: If I read a review of a Thai or Indian restaurant I'd expect the style of writing you just shared. However, on an encyclopedia, I'd expect more information and less subjectivity. For example, the Curry article lists typical spices and herbs you would expect to find in the various regional curries. I think the following quote is interresting "The term is now used more broadly, especially in the Western world, to refer to almost any spiced, sauce-based dishes cooked in various south and southeast Asian styles". I could see this in the Quadruple article like this: "The term is now used more broadly, especially in the America, to refer to many high alcohol, dark beers with significant phenolic yeast character, a typical trait of Trappist Beer." Beakerboy 14:16, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
You ignore the point that this is not a food section, and even then the food articles don't contain words like diacytel or ester, do they? Those are chemical words, not food or beer words! Furthermore, your suggestion of "The term is now used more broadly, especially in the America, to refer to many high alcohol, dark beers with significant phenolic yeast character, a typical trait of Trappist Beer" is 1. still not correct (ONLY in America might be correct) and 2. the description is very nice in a home-brewing article. As I beer drinker of many years, I am familiar with many tastes, however I have never heard of a phenol, don't know what it is and haven't any idea what it should taste like. If you would say something like cherry or grape, then I would understand. Yours is yet another example of why home-brewers need to write articles for other home-brewers are not for the general public. Mikebe 14:35, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I ment ester, not phenol. I'm a fermentation scientist at a flavorings/fragrances company and was looking up some phenol information earlier and typed in the wrong word. If you do not think any statement similar to that above is acceptable in any beer article and I feel that it does in fact add to the quality than I guess we are at an impass that will never be resolved. I'm sick of this and will continue to refrain from contributing to wikipedia beer articles as my edits seem to get reverted. Beakerboy 15:05, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
No need to apologise. Whether you write ester or phenol, it will only mean something to home-brewers and chemists. For the people who just want to know a bit more about a beer, it will mean nothing. I also think if you bring up food, a more relevant comparison in this conversation would be cooking vs. brewing. I'm sure you would agree that almost everyone cooks, however, according to the undisputed figures I found, less than 0.03 percent (in case I did the math bad: AMA: 11,700 members rounded up to 100,000 and divided into 300,000,000) of American homebrew. That is quite a difference and, I hope, demonstrates why I don't believe home-brewing belongs in the general beer articles. Mikebe 15:45, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Plenty of food articles include chemical information:
Clove: "The compound responsible for the cloves' aroma is eugenol. It is the main component in the essential oil extracted from cloves, comprising 72-90%. Eugenol has pronounced antiseptic and anaesthetic properties."
Vanilla: "Though there are many compounds present in the extracts of vanilla, the compound vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) is primarily responsible for the characteristic flavor and smell of vanilla. Another minor component of vanilla essential oil is piperonal (heliotropin). Piperonal and other substances affect the odor of natural vanilla."
Beet: "Numerous cultivars have been selected and bred for several different characteristics. For example, the "earthy" taste of some beet cultivars comes from the presence of the chemical compound geosmin. Researchers have not yet answered whether beets produce geosmin themselves, or whether it is produced by symbiotic soil microbes living in the plant."
Cork taint: "The chief cause of cork taint is the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) in the wine. Corked wine containing TCA has a characteristic odor, variously described as resembling a moldy newspaper, wet dog, or damp basement." --Stlemur 15:09, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I looked up more conventional food (carrots and potatoes) and didn't find any chemical descriptions. I don't argue with you that these do pop up very rarely in other articles where they may also be a little over the top. However, I would also point out that while these chemical descriptions, when they can be found in other areas, are near the bottom of the articles (at least in the examples you gave). Yet, in the Flanders red ale (BTW, why isn't that Flemish red? the correct name), for example the first sentence includes this: "the Flanders red ale has evolved along a different track: the beer is often fermented with organisms other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus being common to produce a sour character attributable to lactic acid"
The real problem here is that some beer articles the home-brewing/chemical data is woven into the article as if it were quite normal in a beer article. While home-brewers dominate the edit conversations here, what proof is there that the visitors here are looking in the main beer articles for home-brewing information? Mikebe 15:45, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

A few very quick points. First of all, thanks to Mwalimu and others who have pressed to have a more civil debate, that is always helpful and is more likely to produce a result that differing parties can agree to. Second, I hope that the strong disagreements don't lead too many people to get fed up with this and leave, as some have no doubt done already and others are verging on doing. In almost all these cases the individuals specifically mention the acrimony, not the different viewpoints themselves -- so I really think that everyone would be better off debating these questions politely, even if it takes a lot longer, than making rash edits to articles or getting upset at each other. I hope that those of you who are (justifiably) getting frustrated will choose to remain, and that we can at the least all hold off on making mass edits where there's still ongoing disagreement.

Finally, I'll throw in my view on just one of the pieces of this debate -- I don't think it's possible to follow and respond to each subtle twist and turn. This is just a personal opinion, nothing more: because it's an encyclopedia, and especially because WP isn't subject to any limitations of paper and ink, etc., I believe it would be appropriate to include information that pertains to multiple overlapping audiences, and that not every reader has to find each paragraph worthwhile. Thus, I'm fine with including information on the chemistry and other properties of beer, I don't think it has to be limited for any reason to what somebody with one particular viewpoint expects to find. I'm not a homebrewer (or a chemist), but I think it's useful, interesting and informative to include that sort of content, and I don't really see any downside.

And just to reiterate, I'm not mentioning names or singling anyone out, and I'm not taking sides in the meta-debate -- I think everyone, including those with whom I disagree on the specifics here, should be welcome to contribute and to argue their points. --Daniel11 09:08, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree completely that Mwalimu59 should be thanked for bringing this discussion back to a civil level. He deserves the credit for this.
Secondly, I also agree with you that quite a few contributors have already left. I think the fact that, aside from the two of us, the only people to have spoken up here are home-brewers tells you who has left.
And finally, I will repeat what I have said before: this discussion is not about content or inclusion/exclusion of information, this discussion is about organisation and presentation. As a non-home-brewer, I don't want to have to read a long explanation of chemical considerations before getting to the taste descriptions (the one or two we have here) or the history. I have nothing against home-brewing other than not wanting to be forced to read about it. I would have no problem at all, for example, putting a home-brewing link in every article the home-brewers would like to have one and have that link to an article with as much technical information as they like in the home-brewing portal. Mikebe 11:18, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Mikebe, This sounds like a compromise to me! :) So you're willing to allow technical information in beer articles as long as it doesn't overshadow the history and non-technical flavor descriptions. I think everyone here would agree to that. Personally I never thought of ester and phenol being too technical, but that's because I'm a scientict. I'm perfectly fine using ripe fruit, figs, prune, and cloves instead.
We should maybe hash out the details here what we'd like to see on each beer style's page (I know some cringe at the word) what major sections each article should have and in what order, and what types of information should be in each section. As a suggestion, if a user happens to add info that is too technical, please work one-on-one with the person, suggesting changes instead of flat out reverting the edit. Diplomacy and discussion is more advantagious than edit wars. Beakerboy 11:45, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
As I've always said, this is not about content, this is about organisation and presenting the content in an organised mannner. As I said above, what I think should work for everyone is a "clean" article about a beer with a "home-brew" or "style" or whatever you want to call it link. This link could go to one article in the home-brew portal with each beer or style listed however you agreed among yourselves was best. Since I am not a home-brewer, I would not interfere or suggest anything for your articles. This way, everyone could have what they want. Mikebe 13:49, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Nobody "owns" articles. I don't see that there's any practical or meaningful way to say that this fact is for one article about, say, stout and this fact is for another article about stout. I feel like the proposal as made here is asking for content forking, which is a false solution. --Stlemur 14:20, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
The problem I have with descriptions like "clove" standing on their own is that they're subjective; you can point to a Society of Brewing Chemists (note: not a homebrewing organization) paper and say that there are so many parts per billion phenol, diacetyl, or whatever. --Stlemur 12:35, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
The Wine article has a section labeled Tasting. In this section there is a good description of some of the flavor components and the chemicals responsible for those flavors. We should do something similar in the Beer page. In each style, describe the flavors qualitatively and direct the user to the Beer article for more details. Similarly, there should be more in the Malt article about different types of malt; kilned, roasted, specialty, caramel, without listing every brand and variation. The style articles should list a malt if it is characteristic of the style, ie dark roast malt for stouts, exclusively pilsner malt for a pilsner. Special B shouldn't be ever listed for a Belgian beer as it's a brand name malt. Finally, I think that we should avoid info boxes in the style listing things like OG, FG, and attenuation. They could go in their own section, properly labeled, but not in an info box. Info boxes are good for chemicals where the molecular weight is a fact, undisputable, but what if a brewer makes an Imperial Stout with an OG of 1.121, is it no longer an Imperial Stout? These values are meaningless to the average person looking at an article, and disputable at best as a defining trait of a specific style of beer. Beakerboy 14:25, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
One other thing I'd like to bring up: beer styles. As you home-brewers know, ale and lager are not really beer styles, yet they are listed there. I'd like to propose that the name be changed to "beer types" or something similar. In both Dutch and German, this is what they are called. Also, since Wikipedia is international, and not only American, I would also like to suggest that the "beer types" or whatever it is called, do NOT include American-only beer types taken from non-American beers, such as Belgian quadrupel, which is a beer "style" in the US, but not in Belgium. Mikebe 15:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
What you seem to be saying is that because there are no examples of the style made in Belgium, it's not a legitimate beer style. That's absurd. A beer style is how people classify beers. It doesn't matter if the term is used in the US, Belgium, or Zimbabwe. Please stop trying to impose on Wikipedia your personal psycho-drama regarding American influence. — goethean 15:36, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Well, there goes the diplomacy. And you wonder why people get upset with you? Mikebe 16:38, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

In my original post I sais "If you think I'm talking about you, you're probably right." I should probably amend that by adding "...If you think I'm NOT talking about you, you're probably wrong." From what I've observed over the last couple of days, whenever goethean has said anything that might be characterized as undiplomatic it's because he was provoked. How one handles being provoked is a part of being diplomatic. But not provoking others (or at least exercising restraint and being judicious about when to do it) is also part of being diplomatic, arguably a much greater part. --Mwalimu59 20:07, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree in principle that "ale" and "lager" are not properly styles. I'm not certain what else to call them, though. One potential problem, though, is that a number of breweries in the UK (Cains, Plassey, and Harviestoun come to mind first off), for the past several years, have made a Pilsener-malt-based lager beer around 4.5% and marketed it simply as "lager", leading to an ambiguity; Cains in fact now sells a "lager" and a "doublebock" side-by-side, and Pilsener malt in the UK is sold simply as "lager malt". I seem to recall Schloss Eggenberg used to do something similar. --Stlemur 16:10, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
As I said, in both Dutch and German they are called "beer types". I don't see how renaming this would have any negative affect on the home-brewing interest. Also, this is not so much about specific beers, rather, a beer type article with examples could include a few notable examples (and, please, not the long lists some articles now have) and that should take care of it. Mikebe 16:38, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Mash ingredients has a description of malt for OG I agree that they're not hard and fast delimiters of style, but that and ABV are what breweries report; furthermore, in the case of a beer like [[Rochefort[[ or Westvleteren, the "10" or "12" in the name is there to denote the original gravity. As for an article on tasting, I think the idea is sound; the first source that comes to mind is the BJCP flashcards. --Stlemur 15:09, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

New template for beers of the world

I've just created a navigation box template for beers and brewery by region, in order to help out while browsing around international beer stuff. The template is located at:

Template:Beers of the world

I've added it to Beers of the world, and it could go on the various beer-nationality pages like Canadian beer, among other places (I'll start adding it to further pages tomorrow, but feel free to add it anywhere you want).

As I mentioned on the template's talk page, the lists are still incomplete, and there may be a better way of grouping them, which I hope someone can suggest. I think it works for now, but there's lots of room for improvement.

Heh, maybe this will even help broaden the scope of the articles we concentrate on, and alleviate any excessive region-centricity! --Daniel11 09:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


The Heineken article is nominated at the Wikipedia:Article Creation and Improvement Drive. If you want to contribute to the article, please vote now. – Ilse@ 13:54, 28 April 2007 (UTC)


Buckler (beer) was in the Did you know section of the Main Page on April 30, 2007. – Ilse@ 19:07, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

New Cat

Category:Types of beer

This can pull in all the tricky stuff that doesn't fall under accepted beer styles. It can include articles on craft beer, Ibwatu and real ale as well as ale and lager, which aren't styles in themselves, but which break down into styles such as pilsner, etc. SilkTork 00:12, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Cool stuff. I've already tried it out, although I'm not sure if I categorized everything correctly. For example, is spruce beer a type of beer? I think so, at least for one of the meanings/modes of preparation. --Daniel11 10:43, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


We've been doing a bit of work on the WikiProject Beer collaboration infrastructure lately. If you're interested, whether in helping out with setting everything up or in collaborating on articles, you can see everything at Wikipedia:WikiProject Beer/WikiProject Beer collaboration, which is also linked from the main project page. Please try to improve it if you can, there's a fairly large set of things that need to be added/tidied up/changed/etc. Thanks! --Daniel11 10:47, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Oakhill Brewery article nominated for deletion

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Oakhill Brewery I have put the article forward as it is a closed local brewery. This seems to push the limits of brewery notability. I am not at this stage putting forward any arguments for keeping or deleting the article - I'm unsure myself and I'd like to know what others think. SilkTork 19:14, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Without touching on the specifics of the case, I think that the notability guidelines should be more strictly enforced for closed microbreweries. Certainly there are currently open microbreweries that deserve to be mentioned if/when they close but that is not a big group. And to some degree the fact that a microbrewery closed is evidence that it wasn't all that notable to begin with. Thetrick 23:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Change of category

I've amended the old "Beer vessel" category to Category:Beer vessels and serving, which is more inclusive, and ties in with the Beer#Serving section on the main Beer article. SilkTork 22:19, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Good move! Thetrick 23:43, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Speaking of categories, would anyone object to or approve renaming every category from Category:Breweries in the United States by state down to the typical 'Beer and breweries in ....' format? Obviously its a pile of tedious work but I'll pursue it. Thetrick 00:19, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Put it up in CfD and then when the category gets renamed a bot should handle the actual renaming. --Stlemur 07:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)


Page on Kräusening created and is awaiting cleanup and inclusion to the beer project. Velcroman98 03:18, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

New project banner

WikiProject on Beer This article is part of Wikiproject Beer, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to beers and breweries on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this notice, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
WikiProject on Beer This article is part of WikiProject Beer, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to beers and breweries on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks.

So, what do you think? Figured I'd give it a tweak and see how everyone likes it. Nothing major, other than increasing the mug picture, adding a few Wiki links, and adding a link to the Beer Portal. The top one is of course mine and the bottom one is the current version. Figured I'd add the current one for a side-by-side comparison. For the life of me though, I can't get the last link to the project talk page to work, it only bolds the word "discussion" but doesn't add a link. Anyone have any ideas? --Brownings 00:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Nice one. I think it's a good idea to put more links in. Is it possible to put in a picture of a real beer? I think it would be more appealing than the cartoon one. It would also make us look more serious. SilkTork 21:59, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject on Beer This article is part of Wikiproject Beer, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to beers and breweries on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this notice, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to discussions.

I link links go bold on the page to which they are linked. So on another page it would go live. SilkTork 22:06, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I like the real beer photo you added. It does look more serious than the cartoon version. Man, wish I'd have thought of that. Anyway, I vote we go with your version. Any idea though on how to get the word "discussion" to link to this talk page? --Brownings 22:10, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
I like the new design(s) a lot, they're really great. I'm not sure which I prefer between the drawing and the photo of a beer mug, but so far it seems like the photo is more popular. However, I like them both, so I'm fine either way on that question. As for the link to the talk page, which is a good idea to include, SilkTork beat me to it: it won't show up as a link no matter what you do because it's on the page it links to (i.e. this one), and the Wikipedia software automatically translates any link from a page to itself into a bold, unlinked word. Don't worry, it will show up fine on any other page that uses the template, it will just never show up on this page itself (the WikiProject Beer talk page). Does that explain it clearly enough? Let me know if you want more, and again, I think the new design looks really awesome. --Daniel11 22:57, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Duh, I'm an idiot. No clue why I didn't think of that, or catch it the first time Silk said it. Guess I've had one to many this evening. Doh! Thanks Daniel11 and SilkTork. --Brownings 23:22, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Finally got around to updating the project banner. Honestly, I had forgot all about this till trolling through this talk page tonight. Oops. --Brownings 03:32, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Is this legit?

Ara bier? Orphaned, uncategorized and unsourced. I wanted to check people who would know before dropping a ProD or CSD on it. 17:40, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

It exists but the article does nothing to establish notability; at the very least merge into De Dolle Brouwers. --Stlemur 18:42, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Quadrupel - it's official...

While discussing the Quadrupel article, I found through research that neither the BJCP nor the Brewers Association list it as a recognised beer style any more. As most of you know, there is no style authority in Belgium or the Netherlands, so that makes it official: quadrupel is not a beer style.

I would like to redirect Quadrupel to the article about La Trappe's beer, which is where the name likely comes from. If no one objects, I'll do that.

As long as I'm here, I'd like to make another suggestion: the style info box is now called Beer Styles, however it also included ales and lagers, which are not beer styles. I'd like to retitle the box Types of Beer, which would include both the ales and lagers as well as all the other types of beers in the box. Does anyone have a reason why this shouldn't be done? Mikebe 17:42, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

If you would like to have the Quadrupel article deleted or redirected, please go through the articles for deletion procedure. — goethean 18:29, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

James Squire (Australia's first brewer)

I have created a page on James Squire, who is reputed to be Australia's first brewer. I have added a Wikiproject Beer link on the discussion page, but really can't see a specific category that this article would fit in. I would sort of fit in to beer history, but would need a more specific title. What is everyones thoughts on my article and where it would fit in the scheme of things? Macr237 07:26, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Category:Beer and breweries in Australia would seem to be the place. I added it. That article, by the way, is quite good and if it gets the wikifying it needs would go great on WP:DYK --Stlemur 13:12, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Stlemur, it has taken me approximately a year of research and still there is more information to be had if I get a chance to get down to the State Records of New South Wales and the Mitchell Library. Hopefully within the next month I will be able to visit these places and Kissing point to photograph the plaques which located his brewery.

Chau Tien -- third opinion

May I get a 3rd opinion on the inclusion of Chau Tien Pale Ale in Pale Ale#Examples of pale ales? have been going back and forth on it; I suspect he's the brewer. --Stlemur 23:09, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed deletions (WP:PROD)

  • 26 September 2007 - expires 1 October
Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. (via WP:PROD)
There is a place for these on the main page for this project as well, as there is now for almost all of the projects under the food and drink categories. Otherwise they will get lost if you keep updating a section of discussion that will end up dating back months.--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC 16:26, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


This brewery's been around for over a decade, and it's won awards at GBBF. Surely there has to be some evidence of notability. Is the problem that no one has presented it in documentation, etc? (Sorry, I'm new to PROD.) Dunkelweizen 13:28, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Beer/religion T-shirt

A T-shirt I saw this weekend listed 10 reasons why beer is better than religion. #8 on the list was "No one ever fought a war over beer." My reaction: Whoever wrote that hasn't seen some of the drama in Wikipedia over some of the beer articles. --Mwalimu59 03:57, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh yeah? Do you want to step outside and settle this for good, Cowboy?
Seriously though, I guess it won't surprise you much that I don't entirely agree with you. I think we all like beer and agree on that. The drama here has been strictly about content, not about beer. I am sure all of us were affected more or less the same by the death of Michael Jackson, for example. In the end, it's really all about beer, isn't it? Prosit! Mikebe 09:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Quadrupel article merge proposal

It has been proposed that the Quadrupel article be merged with Brouwerij de Koningshoeven. Please give your thoughts here. — goethean 16:06, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Should pubs be part of this project?

Should this project cover outlets for beer (pubs and bars)? Apart from the general definitions of public house, free house, pub chain etc., there are many Wikipedia entries for individual pubs, which are not at all standardised in the information they contain. I am guessing that the same people would be interested, or maybe there should be a separate pub project? What do others think? Rodparkes 03:18, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Hm, that's a tough one. I can think of a weak reason why it should not belong to WikiProject Beer, but on the whole I tend to think it should be here. I'd like to hear what others have to say, though. --Daniel11 13:01, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
WP:NOT#DIR Mikebe 11:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Precedents#Cities_and_shops. "Bars, pubs, cafes and hotels should be listed on WikiTravel, unless multiple sources have written about them in detail." There is a temptation to write about them, though! If a pub has some good sources (ie, not simply listed on a directory like B.I.T.E.), then it can be mentioned in an article on a location, such as a town or village. But simply listing all the pubs in a village would be treating Wiki like a directory, which - as Mikebe has just indicated with WP:NOT#DIR - is not appreciated! SilkTork *SilkyTalk 19:29, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Number of Examples in Articles

I thought I remember a discussion once about limiting the number of beer examples in each beer style article to prevent lists which were longer than the article. I remember a consensus of 4 for the country of origin and up to 3 foreign examples, not 3 for each foreign country, but 3 foreign examples. The thought was 7 would be a good representitive number and the focus would be on the traditional examples from where the style was born. I can't seem to find this discussion anywhere so maybe it happened in the talk page for some specific style. I'm worried that some style articles will be getting out of control and I think adding an invisible comment of a policy might be a useful thing to add to each style article. Since I don't see the discussion here, what's your opinion?Beakerboy 12:31, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree. I would further suggest that all examples should be notable. However, there is a problem that either brewers themselves or their fans come here and enter the brewery. I don't know any way to stop that. Mikebe 11:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree that lists should be kept short and limited to notable examples. I propose that any example given should be:
  • well-established -- ideally, produced for as long as the style has existed
  • available -- should be in general production today
  • recognized -- by major awards and citeable beer journalists (e.g. Roger Protz, Michael Jackson)
  • typical -- should represent the style in itself, not an unusual or novel intepretation
  • notable in itself -- perhaps redundant, but if a beer is worth pointing to and saying "this is what a pale ale ought to be" then we should be able to say something in particular about the beer. --Stlemur 13:59, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
To the original question on number of examples, it seems you would need fewer for a narrowly defined style, e.g. Czech Pilsner, than you would for a more broadly defined one, e.g. fruit beer. Stlemur's suggested guidelines make plenty of sense, but it means we'd all have to more or less agree on which brands are well-established, recognized, typical, and generally notable. And unfortunately over the past year or so there has been a tendency for some people to feel quite strongly that a particular source or award is accurate and reliable while others feel quite strongly that it is anything but, and disagreements of this sort have too often erupted into edit wars, bad feelings, and so forth (which is also why I've all but given up trying to contribute to Wikiproject Beer). --Mwalimu59 18:35, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Me too. This project has too much controversy for my taste. I suggest each example be accompanied by an explanation of its notability with citations. Regardless of how many "lists" appear on Wikipedia, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. Lists just invite people to add new examples. I don't think it is necessarily the brewers themselves adding all the examples; people think they're helping by increasing the size of the list. As a result, every beer anyone has ever heard of ends up on it. By requiring the criteria to be right on the page, it raises the bar for what an editor has to do to put up something new. I doubt that this system would end up with too-many examples per article, but if it did, the evidence in favor of which to keep are already available. Those with the highest notability credentials can stay. I suggested this once before on the talk page of a specific article, but it wasn't very popular with the handful of editors who were guarding that page. Alienmercy 19:29, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree that use of examples needs looking at. Though I don't agree with simply listing. I feel examples should be discussed within the text, as here: Stout#Oatmeal_stout. The reasons for using examples may vary, and the first examples of a notable style may no longer be available, the current most notable examples may have been produced only recently, etc, so the main criteria should be the same as for all notability issues: that of independent and reliable sources, such as those Stlemur mentions: recognised beer writers. We should be wary of purely sourcing from places like RateBeer and BA as these websites can deal with temporary fashions. 7 examples sounds like a reasonable number, though if you note, there are more than 7 examples used in Stout#Oatmeal_stout so using a fixed number can be problematic. If we did draw up a guideline we would need to word it to be flexible enough to accommodate good examples, but to discourage simply listing (and to allow us to remove such lists). There is already a movement against the tendency to simply list: Wikipedia:WikiProject Laundromat. SilkTork *SilkyTalk 19:47, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Beer welcome template

I'm rather pleased with myself. I've just made my first template from scratch: {{BeerWelcome}}. The idea is to put it on the pages of newbies who are editing beer pages. What do you think? It can be edited of course. SilkTork *SilkyTalk 19:56, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Love the concept and the layout. You're right that it can still be tinkered with, but I think it's a cool idea. Thanks for doing it. Cheers! --Daniel11 06:05, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Proposed deletion: Bierleichen

Bierleichen (via WP:PROD on 8 October 2007) Deleted

--User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 01:31, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I do realize that I misplaced this and will correct in future notifications.
updated --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 00:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Jim Koch

I noticed this bio Jim Koch, the Sam Adams founder, has been deleted a couple of times as non notable. I would say otherwise given their success. There doesn't seem to be a "requested articles" on the mainpage here, is anyone game? Chris 03:08, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

You could start with some information in a section in Boston Beer Company. If the section grows large enough it will be broken out in summary style into its own standalone article. SilkTork *SilkyTalk 22:51, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
♠ That still doesn't explain the erasure. I think the man deserves an explanation from whomever erased it.--THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 01:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Assessment capabilities

This project's banner has been modified to make assessments of articles. The assessments will show up on the projects main page in the graph after a day or two once the bot has found all of the tags. Here is the link to advize those of you who would be doing the assessements Assessment log and Guide to Assessment.--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC 17:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Awesome work! It's been one of those things I've been meaning to look into doing for some time, but just never got around to it. You ROCK! On a side note though, should we add an importance scale as well? Seems like every other project banner has both, but I'm just wondering if we need it. --Brownings 18:35, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
There is an importance scale, check it out here Wikipedia:WikiProject Beer/Assessment#Importance scale. You can add it by tagging {{Beer|class=???|importance=???}}. The banner itself doesn't list the importance, but it tags the page itself.

--Chef Christopher Allen Tanner, CCC 05:48, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, we need to get assessing. As of the last daily update, there are 540 beer articles that haven't been assessed for class or importance yet. As we go through assessing, we'll be able to see just where the importance levels should be, as that's been the tricky area in other assessment drives I've been involved with. Gentgeen 04:18, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

CfR - Breweries in the United States by state

I've nominated Category:Breweries in the United States by state to be renamed to Category:Beer and breweries in the United States by state, along with 38 of 40 state categories. The discussion can be found here: [8] --Thetrick 16:48, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

American Light beer

I'm sure this is a topic that may provoke some disdain from many of the regular contributors to this project, but I find it strange that there is essentially no page dedicated to the most popular single style of beer in the U.S. "Light beer" currently redirects to a subheading on the page Low alcohol beer, which is a concept unrelated to american-style light beer. I'd propose either a disambig page "light beer" directing to two pages "Light beer (U.S.)" and "Low alcohol beer", or simply using "light beer" alone to represent low-calorie U.S. beers. -RustavoTalk/Contribs 01:31, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

On a similar note, at the moment Lager just points to Pale lager which is entirely not right -- among just German lagers there's Hell, Bock, Oktoberfest, Dunkel... --Stlemur 01:36, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
On further examination, someone merged and redirected Lager to Light lager without discussion or sanity. --Stlemur 01:41, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


...just when I thought it was safe to get back into WikiProject Beer... --Mwalimu59 (talk) 23:08, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

♠ ? --THE FOUNDERS INTENT TALK 00:04, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

New category

A new beer category has been created: Category:Beer and breweries by country. The intention is to exchange this cat with the existing system of Category:Beer and breweries by region. My own view is that the discussions which took place here and here in which the current system was shaped by a wide number of people, still stands and still makes a lot of sense. Sorting by region allows greater flexibility than sorting simply by country. And I'm uncomfortable with the notion of running two systems side by side (region supercat, continents maincats, countries subcats - alongside countries supercats, countries subcats) as that creates an overcategorisation. However, the cat is there for discussion. SilkTork *SilkyTalk 16:21, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

  • The problem from a category point of view is that most categories roll up under country based categories. Clearly building and companies are in a country. Beverages on the other had don't respect country boundaries. So mixing these in one category is confusing from a categorization prospective. Yes, an item can belong in multiple categories, but combining items so that you need to create a category to cover three different items is counterintuitive. One problem with the old structure is that tends to bury historic structures in an article that has little to do with the structure. Even if there is a structure category included, it is often difficult to find the structure in an article heavily focused on a beverage or a company. Also placing an article like Anheuser-Busch in to a structure category is confusing since that is a company and not a structure. Twelve categories for that article, after dropping the clean up ones, seems to be overkill and erroneous in some cases. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:28, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Restoring Brewing category name

Category:Brewing has been changed to Category:Brewing (beer) to disambiguate it from Brewing (tea). As there is no category Brewing (tea), I am suggesting it be returned to Brewing. Discussion here SilkTork *SilkyTalk 02:16, 19 December 2007 (UTC)