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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > quality control issues in commercial beer
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:45 AM   #1
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Default quality control issues in commercial beer

I'm only 23, so I don't have a huge dearth of experience, but I've drank a decent number of beers and one thing I've really come to notice is that a lot of breweries seem to have some pretty major quality control issues. Maybe it's not on their end, perhaps it's the distributor or retailer, but I've noticed that many pale ales or IPAs really taste like garbage sometimes. Repeat offenders are sierra nevada, hazed and infused, and loose cannon. Sometimes they taste great. Other times, though, they taste like cardboard. I tend to stick to buying maltier beers now because the taste is way more consistent.

What's the deal? I know freshness is an issue but I've checked the dates sometimes, and they should be fine. Other times, they have been past due though. There's nothing worse than buying a six pack of bad beer. Once my pipeline is reestablished I can forget about the issue for the time being, but it's inevitable that I will have to turn to a supermarket for beer eventually.

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Old 01-08-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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I find that my pallet is usually to blame. Yes, I have noticed changes over the years in some beers but rarely case to case. Think of it like this.... A wheat beer taste awesome on a hot summer day but on a cold January night it'll taste like crap to me. Also depends on what I've been eating etc.... There very well may be some issues with the distribution process, who knows? Sierra Nevada has never been a favorite of mine, but I've never had a bad Clipper City from the bottle. Of course from the tap....they have no control over that.

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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+1 on Sierra Nevada. I've always found their pale ale and IPAs to be hit or miss. But they're maltier Tumbler is always right on the money!

If I get a bad six pack, I'll take it back. Most liquor stores will swap it for something else. Although, one time I returned a pack of beer after opening one and found the beer was cooked (probably stored at too high a temp for too long). When I went back to the same liquor store a week later, there were the remaining 5 that I returned, back on the shelf!

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Old 01-11-2011, 01:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernst-Haeckel View Post
+1 on Sierra Nevada. I've always found their pale ale and IPAs to be hit or miss. But they're maltier Tumbler is always right on the money!

If I get a bad six pack, I'll take it back. Most liquor stores will swap it for something else. Although, one time I returned a pack of beer after opening one and found the beer was cooked (probably stored at too high a temp for too long). When I went back to the same liquor store a week later, there were the remaining 5 that I returned, back on the shelf!
Ha that's unfortunate. Kwik-E-Mart policy right there.

I don't think it's my palate. Anyone would notice this taste difference. I'm not a snob and this is too hard to miss. I'm going to start returning bad cases from now on.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:32 AM   #5
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I don't think its so much bad quality control at the brewery as it is bad storage/location in the liquor stores. I've been in stores that have beer sitting in direct sunlight...

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IffyG View Post
I don't think its so much bad quality control at the brewery as it is bad storage/location in the liquor stores. I've been in stores that have beer sitting in direct sunlight...
+1 on this. I have friend that ones a brew pub. A couple years ago he contracted with a wholesaler. This summer he told me some stories about the ignorance out there on how to handle beer. There were stores that would stack the beer in front of the storefront window essentially cooking the beer, other places that would leave it in the back by the furnace and others that never rotated stock.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:12 AM   #7
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I've had the same issues with Sierra Nevada's PA, it really seems to be hit or miss for me lately. I also had a six pack of Mirror Pond from Deschutes that tasted off, not enough bitterness and something else that was just...off. I blame my pallet for the Deschutes but I've had problems with the SNPA too many times, though I certainly don't blame the brewery.

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Old 01-11-2011, 04:58 AM   #8
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It could also be the store. I used to work at a beer store that had a fairly large selection of quality beers and there were some beers that were there before I started working there and were still there when I left 3 years later. And these are sitting out on the shelves in the light and they didn't control the temperature in that store all that well. Who knows how long some of those beers have been sitting in the store.

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Old 01-11-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
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that's why i only drink bud...always the same

(j/k)

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #10
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I would second "it's the store".

There's one here in town that has Lakefront IPA. I love that beer, but won't buy from them. They're notorious for putting the beer in the cooler, then moving it to the shelf, then putting it back in the cooler, rinse and repeat.

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