Have been following a conversation about the proposition that beers from certain areas have a style which results from the soil the grains are raised in, the part of the world or country and the climate in which they are brewed, that beers are subject to the same terrior effect that wines are.
In the discussion one party claims that a German or Belgian beer brewed elsewhere, cannot be authentic to style because of the terrior factor. Another party says that brewers can brew to style in any country if they brew using the same grains even if, climate, country and soil are not the same.
In other words A Belgian brewer can brew an American IPA that will be exactly the same as one from the US and an American brewer can do the same with an Belgian abbey style.
I tend to believe that the terrior argument is closer to the truth because to my taste, a Belgian hopped ale, and there are some being produced which are labeled as IPA's, fall far from the style of those brewed here.
By the same token the American Begian brewed ales, though close, don't match up against those from Belgium.