Thursday, 15 May 2008

When is a Dortmunder Imperial?

I've been asking myself this question a lot of late. When is a Dortmunder Imperial? Logic would say that it would need to be brewed in an Empire.

Problem is, there aren't many empires left. The Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, British and Austo-hungarian Empires are long gone. As are the Chinese, Indian and Turkish. Even the Central African Empire has become a republic. Where is there left to brew a genuine Imperial beer?

Whether or not the United States was ever an empire is a contentious issue. Politics are beyond my remit, so don't expect an opinion from me. Just an observation. Where are most beers labelled Imperial brewed? Why are brewers in a republic so keen on the word?

. . . . . .

Because this is Mild Month, here's an extra bonus: some new Mild styles:
  • Mild Extra Super Special (MESS)
  • Cascade-Hopped American Super Mild (CHASM)
  • Triple Russian Imperial Mild (TRIM)
  • Republican American Mild (RAM)
  • Democratic American Mild (DAM)


Stan Hieronymus said...

So is this question based on Great Lakes beer of said name?

Or did you just sense there was something so strange afoot?

Ron Pattinson said...

Stan, what an incredible coincidence. Synchronicity or what.

I really have to check that Zoigl thing, I haven't forgotten.

Rob said...

I was always under the impression that the "imperial" designation arose from Russian imperial stout being delivered *to* an empire (ie the Empress of Russia), not *from* one (ie the British Empire). So if a brewer in Dortmund wants to ship a beer to the empire of my belly, it's pretty fair nomenclature, right? Wrong?

Anonymous said...

the Evil Empire perhaps?

Evil Empire Imperial Mild

Ron Pattinson said...

Rob, I think you're right in the case of Russian Stout, but there were also beers that appeared around the time of the Coronation in 1952 with Imperial in the name. I'm pretty sure they were referring to the British Empire.

Rob said...

Aha! Makes sense, sorry for jumping to conclusions. Out here there seem to be new "imperial" this and that appearing every day, all under the guise of "bigger, stronger, etc." Imperial kölsch, anyone?