I'm just rebooting this topic as the old thread had got a bit cluttered, and in any case was started before the release of Bronzed Brews by Peter Symons and of course the current availability of Whitelabs WLP059 Melbourne Ale.
So this year, 2017, is the first year that a genuine attempt at an Australian Bitter Ale can be entered into the comps this season. And here's the problem:
Australian Bitter Ale was included in the BJCP guide a few years ago and was greeted (including by myself) with a certain degree of derision. I don't know if Korev had any input in those days, however in light of his research and book, a lot of the history and style characteristics set out in the BJCP guide are pretty accurate, but some of them are now looking a bit dodgy. So there is a bit of a conflict in some areas and I'd guess that a fair few of the "Bronzed Brew" beers entered as an Australian Bitter Ale could well be marked as "not to style".
Definitive Australian style, evolved
directly from colonial era Pale Ale/Sparkling Ale as
crystal malt was introduced during early 20th
century. [Symons has found that not much crystal was used] Originated independently of English Bitter,
and remained a bottled style exclusively. [dead wrong, much of the beer over the bar especially NSW was draught, and it was lagers that tended to be bottled as a lot of the ales didn't do too well bottled]
Developed as a narrow style, typified by a handful of State-
based brands, using a high proportion of cane
sugar, high-alpha domestic hops, and standard
Australian ale yeast (originally isolated 1888 at
Victoria Brewery in Melbourne) .
Dominant bottled style by mid-century, with major brands exported.
Converted to lager yeast during late 20th century,
as megabrewers standardized production with draught
lagers. Modern Bitter remains by far Australia’s
biggest selling packaged beer style, and following
draught release in 1992, market leader Victoria
Bitter now accounts for one quarter of total
Australian beer sales.
The BJCP guide also basically mandates the use of Pride of Ringwood, whereas I believe that most Lion brews (and their predecessors, and even some CUB predecessors such as Reschs and Tooths) wouldn't have had access to this hop that was bred by CUB. For example XXXX still uses Cluster and in Beer the Beautiful truth site, most Lion brands seem to use Superpride developed by HPA.
Varieties of Tasmanian golden cluster and EKG style hops seemed to be fairly common pre-Prides.
A bit late this year, but how exactly does one provide input to the BJCP to update a style description and does anyone know whether Australian Bitter Ale is up for a revamp?