Last week I had to fly into the SF Bay area to do some work, and met up with an old high school friend and his wife for dinner. They love BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, so I agreed to go there with them.
I'm late due to work, but when I show up the waitress asks if I'd like a beer after greetings and hugs go all around.
"God yes, I need a beer like a drowning man needs air" I said, and after a moment's hesitation, ordered their porter. A nice big glass of it comes and
cheers all around and I start to drink. Then I taste it... fusel alcohol...
So on the way out I stop and chat with the manager for a few minutes. Ask him if the porter fermented a little warm. He looked at me like I sprouted a second head and asked me why. I said that I could taste the alcohol-ishness of the porter that probably shouldn't be there. He nods and confirms that this batch did ferment hot. I mentally palmface and remind myself of what I just did.
My thing is that I would think a setup like that was pretty ironclad at proper temperature control. Then again, there have been several times when I have visited various BJ breweries and tasted their brew and it has been just god-awful. It just surprised me, both that it happened, and that my palate has gotten to the point where I can start to identify off flavors not just in my beer, but in other beers.