The mere presence of a local beer doesn't necessarily make it authentic.
[T]he above-mentioned beers [Sakara Gold and Efes] are currently produced under the direction of a Dutch or German rather than Egyptian or Turkish Braumeister. These beers are made and sold in Egypt and Turkey; fair enough, but in a certain sense they might as well be made in Hanover or Eindhoven.This seems totally sound. Put another way, in America we actually say that Indian food (for example) is authentic if the chef is Indian and cooks in a traditional Indian style. We deduct points for authenticity if the cook is Texan or the food made in a way that caters to American tastes. So having established how authenticity travels, we turn to the question of how it emerges. Jacquette--who as we will see in a moment isn't the greatest judge of beer--offers a pretty satisfying framework:
The only way for there to be an authentic Egyptian or Turkish beer is for an Egyptian or Turkish brewer to produce a kind of beer that specifically satisfies native Egyptian or Turkish tastes.... There can only be an authentic Egyptian or Turkish beer, cross-culturally influenced by German tradition, as historically it must be, if Egyptian or Turkish brewers make beer that appeals to a distinctive trend in taste preferences among Egyptian and Turkish beer drinkers.and
Whatever we consider to be authentic assumes a level of perfection in an indigenous context that is expressive of aesthetic values as distinctive, original, or characteristic rather than imitative, derivative, or contrived.By these standards--with which I agree--pockets of authenticity have clearly developed in the US--in New England, the Midwest, and the West Coast. (Colorado, though an avid brewing state, seems to fail the standard--the beer isn't brewed by Germans, but it hews to their standard and evinces no indigenous Colorado-ness.) But Jacquette doesn't agree: "We can only hope that our children and grandchildren will someday inherit a better world of American beers that they will surely deserve."
He also offers observations that will earn him no credibility among the alenocenti:
- "I may not like Belgian kriek beers--indeed, I personally loathe them--"
- "I must admit in my own case that while I am prepared to judge [the UK's real beer movement] as authentic, I do not find it particularly pleasurable when compared with the best Dutch and German product."
- "For all its virtues, I nevertheless personally find UK real beer generally too bitter, usually excessively hopped ... and, above all, in the rightly motivated real beer commitment to serving beer at room temperature, flat and without the benefit of artificial cooling."
Well, never mind; your philosophy is good, Dale. Leave the beer to us.