Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Icky-Icky Pooh Part 2

So, if you read my last post, you know I had a problem with a brew. Infection. Ick. 

I contacted the brewer and had a response the following morning!  I had a few questions and we went back and forth a bit.  I was prepared to throw the whole email conversation up here for you to read but what is the point in that? 

Here is the gist of it - the seller should have pulled the pack because it was at least 6 months past prime.  Sorry.  Come to the brewery and I'll buy you a beer. 

Okay, cool......

....I think.

Can beer go bad? Yes.   Beers that are lower in alcohol  can go "flat" as the months tick past. That would be flat as in "loss or character", not carbonation.  The higher the alcohol level, the less likely it becomes.  High alcohol beers, like Belgian Dubbels or Imperial Stouts, for example, actually age like wine. 

Okay, fine. But the beer was not "flat", it was infected.  No mention of that issue at all. 

So, following the lead of Bob Woodward, I placed a flower pot on my balcony with a red flag in it.  My newspaper arrived this morning with a clock face scribbled on one page. Within minutes, I was having a conversation with my contact,  Deep Throat,  at the parking structure. 

He said that they (Tri-City Brewing) had, unfortunately, been dealing with infection issues since "day one".  While he  and friends have had a good beer or two there, Tri-City currently seems to be plagued with quality control trouble. His official suggestion was to avoid their products until they can get things under control, especially knowing that other great beers from other brewers are to be had.

Sound harsh? I can see how you might think that.  Truthfully, while Deep Throat and I are always good to chat beers and birds, he, more importantly, is a wise man amongst fools when it comes to beer.  If buying a six-pack from a brewer is such a crapshoot, I would just assume throw my money at another sample from another brewer who is simply not having trouble. I don't like raining on the parade of a craft brewer, but I don't want to dump money down the drain either. It is one thing to by a beer that does not taste as good as another, but it is certainly not acceptable to buy a bad beer.  

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