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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: mpietropaoli on March 27, 2013, 04:23:46 PM

Title: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on March 27, 2013, 04:23:46 PM
The brewer and founder of a new farm brewery/hop farm in our area came to one of my clubs meetings recently.  They have an AMAZING story, great packaging, and seemed like great guys overall.   They are doing cool festivals, do a lot for their community, and have helped with legislative matters. 

Then we tried their beer....

Every one of them (4 different beers) produced on a 7bbl system were extremely flawed.  Acetaldehyde, fusels, lots of sulfur (?)...borderline offensive beer. 

They said they would love feedback, but I didn't necessarily feel comfortable sitting back, twirling my imaginary mustache, and asking them about pitch rates and yeast viability.  However I did ask them, "What yeast do you use in this beer", to which they both replied with quizzical looks.  Mind you, there was an amber, an IPA, a bitter, and a stout.  The reply was "one of the dry ones", but I'm not even sure they were fully confident in their answer. 

Part of me was thinking of emailing them privately and suggesting they get some formal sensory analysis done (politely).  I am awaiting my BJCP written exam grade, but am currently only a Provisional judge, so I'm not sure if that means me. 

Thoughts from pro brewers?   Homebrewers?
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: euge on March 27, 2013, 04:47:04 PM
Why not ask to have a tour of their brewery? Learn some more because I have a lot of questions for them already... Maybe they hired a s***ty brewer and are just doing the PR work while being ignorant of even what we would call basic knowledge? Conversely, maybe they;re learning the process on the fly having some how conjured up a brewery after brewing a few kits! ;D

Bad beer though. Whew. Maybe you could end up with a dream job! What have you got to lose after a tour and some samples? Maybe present some better beer.
Title: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: duboman on March 27, 2013, 04:59:48 PM
As mentioned, ask for a tour and a private tasting to offer constructive criticism on how they might improve their product. After the tour you would have some insight of their process so you could provide more relevant feedback.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tschmidlin on March 27, 2013, 10:55:17 PM
Wow, that's a tough one.  I know some pro brewers who ask my opinion and really want it (and get it), others I don't know so well get a polite answer.  But none of them are making seriously flawed beer.

If the brewer didn't know what the yeast was, it is possible they are getting it from another brewery so they aren't 100% sure.  There are other possibilities of course, like the brewer is a bit clueless.

I would send them an email and thank them for coming to the meeting.  Let them know that you'd like to talk to them about their beer but didn't want to do so publicly at the meeting.  A tour is a great idea to see what their process is, if they are using temperature control, etc. 

If they're not really interested don't lose any sleep over it.  Like I said, many places say they are but they only really want positive feedback.
Title: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: majorvices on March 28, 2013, 04:09:16 AM
If they asked for feedback I say give it. Of they really want it they'll listen, if not they sink or swim on their own.

Maybe just say "your packaging and story are great but I find it challenging to enjoy the beer." If they ask for more give it to them.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: ynotbrusum on March 28, 2013, 04:33:11 AM
You could say that just like them, you are just getting started as a BJCP and that to really evaluate the beers they should seek a reasoned evaluation in the right setting, with a full blown grading system.  That way all aspects are given full consideration, rather than a quick on the fly summary, which would not be as helpful.  Suggest at least three judges that are or are seeking BJCP certification be part of the panel.  That way the feedback will be more useful.

Further a check on their QC measures requires a brewery trip.  Maybe the few beers they brought were a result of bottling issues and the beer was tainted by that?


If they really want to improve their product, they will seek that kind of analysis, if not then good luck with their marketing campaign. 
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: narvin on March 28, 2013, 06:47:31 AM
If you want to help, I'd approach them privately... doing it in front of the whole club would probably not be the best time to give them unpleasant news.  Tell them that you love their brand but think the beer has some flaws.  If they seem receptive to the unpleasant criticism you're about to give, elaborate.

Otherwise, let them fail.  There's going to be lots of cheap used equipment out there in a couple of years.   :)
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2013, 06:59:55 AM
If you want to help, I'd approach them privately... doing it in front of the whole club would probably not be the best time to give them unpleasant news.  Tell them that you love their brand but think the beer has some flaws.  If they seem receptive to the unpleasant criticism you're about to give, elaborate.

Otherwise, let them fail.  There's going to be lots of cheap used equipment out there in a couple of years.   :)
+1
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: jeffy on March 28, 2013, 07:08:34 AM
Otherwise, let them fail.  There's going to be lots of cheap used equipment out there in a couple of years.   :)

That's exactly what I thought when I started reading this thread.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: gsandel on March 28, 2013, 08:08:17 AM
Quote
to which they both replied with quizzical looks.

This is disturbing.

Should we even be trying to encourage the marketeers?  They are the reason the industry collapsed (and took a few decent breweries with them) last time.

Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: joe_feist on March 28, 2013, 09:13:15 AM
These guys are going to get their feedback - one way or another. Might as well be with some one they can have a conversation with versus an empty bar room when customers stop showing up. I'd agree that off to the side is probably more polite and tactful than in front of a group. Starting up a new brewery -  Man, it's a ton of cash and risk. I'd like to think they'd be interested in all the feedback they can get; and they'll have to be tough skinned anyway to survive in a consumer driven market with so much competition.
Title: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: majorvices on March 28, 2013, 09:51:50 AM
It's amazing how many people will drink bad beer and think that's just the way craft beer is supposed to taste like.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: joe_feist on March 28, 2013, 03:26:26 PM
You may be right about people drinking bad beer. I hope you're wrong, but time will tell. I think, based on absolutely nothing quantifiable, that we'll "thin the heard" and eventually the bubble will burst. Hopefully, the best will manage to hang in there.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: snowtiger87 on March 28, 2013, 03:27:36 PM
I have kind of the same problem with a local brewery. It was started by an award winning homebrewer and a great professional brewer. They have a great location and their place is always packed, but their beer sucks. They haven't asked for feedback but I want to give it anyway.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: donsmitty on March 28, 2013, 03:41:04 PM
If you want to help, I'd approach them privately... doing it in front of the whole club would probably not be the best time to give them unpleasant news.  Tell them that you love their brand but think the beer has some flaws.  If they seem receptive to the unpleasant criticism you're about to give, elaborate.

Otherwise, let them fail.  There's going to be lots of cheap used equipment out there in a couple of years.   :)

Absolutely the right approach. 
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: a10t2 on March 28, 2013, 03:41:38 PM
It's amazing how many people will drink bad beer and think that's just the way craft beer is supposed to taste like.

Hey now, no fair stealing my business model!
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: gmac on March 28, 2013, 03:46:37 PM
It's amazing how many people will drink bad beer and think that's just the way craft beer is supposed to taste like.

It's not?
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: jklinck on March 29, 2013, 02:20:16 AM
The brewer and founder of a new farm brewery/hop farm in our area came to one of my clubs meetings recently.  They have an AMAZING story, great packaging, and seemed like great guys overall.   They are doing cool festivals, do a lot for their community, and have helped with legislative matters. 

Then we tried their beer....

Every one of them (4 different beers) produced on a 7bbl system were extremely flawed.  Acetaldehyde, fusels, lots of sulfur (?)...borderline offensive beer. 

They said they would love feedback, but I didn't necessarily feel comfortable sitting back, twirling my imaginary mustache, and asking them about pitch rates and yeast viability.  However I did ask them, "What yeast do you use in this beer", to which they both replied with quizzical looks.  Mind you, there was an amber, an IPA, a bitter, and a stout.  The reply was "one of the dry ones", but I'm not even sure they were fully confident in their answer. 

Part of me was thinking of emailing them privately and suggesting they get some formal sensory analysis done (politely).  I am awaiting my BJCP written exam grade, but am currently only a Provisional judge, so I'm not sure if that means me. 

Thoughts from pro brewers?   Homebrewers?

The President needs to create a new position called the Brewing Czar. Along with your TTB license you have to pass an oral interview with The Brewing Czar and they will evaluate your beer, brewing knowldege and tell you EXACTLY what they think. If your beer sucks and you don't know crap, then no license for you. They'll be told things like "don't re-apply until pitching rates and temperature control are no longer foreign ideas to you".
Title: Re: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: klickitat jim on March 29, 2013, 10:46:31 AM
The brewer and founder of a new farm brewery/hop farm in our area came to one of my clubs meetings recently.  They have an AMAZING story, great packaging, and seemed like great guys overall.   They are doing cool festivals, do a lot for their community, and have helped with legislative matters. 

Then we tried their beer....

Every one of them (4 different beers) produced on a 7bbl system were extremely flawed.  Acetaldehyde, fusels, lots of sulfur (?)...borderline offensive beer. 

They said they would love feedback, but I didn't necessarily feel comfortable sitting back, twirling my imaginary mustache, and asking them about pitch rates and yeast viability.  However I did ask them, "What yeast do you use in this beer", to which they both replied with quizzical looks.  Mind you, there was an amber, an IPA, a bitter, and a stout.  The reply was "one of the dry ones", but I'm not even sure they were fully confident in their answer. 

Part of me was thinking of emailing them privately and suggesting they get some formal sensory analysis done (politely).  I am awaiting my BJCP written exam grade, but am currently only a Provisional judge, so I'm not sure if that means me. 

Thoughts from pro brewers?   Homebrewers?

The President needs to create a new position called the Brewing Czar. Along with your TTB license you have to pass an oral interview with The Brewing Czar and they will evaluate your beer, brewing knowldege and tell you EXACTLY what they think. If your beer sucks and you don't know crap, then no license for you. They'll be told things like "don't re-apply until pitching rates and temperature control are no longer foreign ideas to you".

Politics in beer is the worst infection you can get!

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: gsandel on March 29, 2013, 11:20:18 AM
Quote
I have kind of the same problem with a local brewery.

I have just recently had the same experience, and was thinking it was just me being overly critical or came at a bad moment in time.  I wonder if it is the same place.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 29, 2013, 11:37:56 AM
Quote
I have kind of the same problem with a local brewery.

I have just recently had the same experience, and was thinking it was just me being overly critical or came at a bad moment in time.  I wonder if it is the same place.
  +1.  There is a fairly new brewpub around here that has really good guest taps (ie.,Stone, Founders, 3Floyds,etc.), but also serves their own beers.  They make beer that is incredibly flawed - I'm not a BJCP and it's easy to find fermentation temp issues, infection issues, mash temp/recipe formulation errors, all on top of beers that are bland, underhopped, some undrinkable.  A perfect storm of s#*t. The guy says his parents "helped" him start the place. A few more (or hundreds of) homebrew batches might have helped.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: goschman on March 29, 2013, 01:44:20 PM
It's amazing how many people will drink bad beer and think that's just the way craft beer is supposed to taste like.

I second this. In my opinion there are a lot of breweries opening around Denver, CO that just aren't that good. Instead of focusing on making solid beer, it seems that a lot are focusing on making hybrid/unique beers. I am amazed to see some of these places packed for average at best beer a lot of the time...
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: ynotbrusum on March 30, 2013, 04:42:52 PM
It's amazing how many people will drink bad beer and think that's just the way craft beer is supposed to taste like.

I second this. In my opinion there are a lot of breweries opening around Denver, CO that just aren't that good. Instead of focusing on making solid beer, it seems that a lot are focusing on making hybrid/unique beers. I am amazed to see some of these places packed for average at best beer a lot of the time...

True.  But "underhopped" or similar comments show a bias toward highly hopped beers - which is a flaw as to some styles.  I agree however; if a BJCP qualified judge is saying that the beers are cr$p, then the brewer needs to know.  Sink or swim is one thing, but a little constructive criticism would delay the "sink".... Which is fair.  The whole concept of hybrid beers intrigues me, but I always say I judge a brewery by how well they brew to style on those styles I prefer.  I'm no hophead, so I don't care how well they make a DIPA.  How well do they make a cream ale, a Belgian Saison, a pilsner, an oatmeal stout, a porter, and a Belgian Dubbel?  That tells me more about them than their "creativity".
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 01, 2013, 04:54:18 PM
This is what I ended up sending:

Henry-

We met a few weeks back when you came to the meeting at Cross Street Irregulars homebrew club.  I really enjoyed meeting you and your son and wanted to tell you I am really impressed with your brewery's story.  Further, I think you guys have a great brand and from what is sounds like, a really special brewery and farm. 

At the risk of giving an unsolicited opinion, I wanted to give some feedback on the beer itself, and didn't think the brew club meeting was the best venue.  I didn't take specific notes, but was picking up some pretty significant off-flavors, most of which seemed to be from either yeast pitch rate, yeast health, or fermentation temperature. 

Not having the beer to taste, I cannot specifically recall what compounds are present, nor what processes in the brewhouse might have caused them, but I seem to recall diacetyl and potentially some acetaldehyde.  However, you might want to consider putting a small tasting panel together and doing a blind triangle tasting (one sample with your beer, the other two with another commercially-made example of the same beer style, such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale next to your Tavern Pale Ale, assuming the latter is an American-style Pale Ale).  After the tasting notes are complete and compared, you may be able to trace it back to a process. 

You could probably solicit some local homebrew clubs to see if they have any judges available who would be willing to assist.  I do have my BJCP certification, but am awaiting my final score on my written exam to see if I achieved a score high enough for 'National' level.  Further, I am moving out of the area in about 6 weeks for work, so will likely be quite busy! 

In any event, I debated whether to send this email and give you guys feedback, but thought I would offer my opinion.  Worst-case, you can completely ignore me and hopefully be no worse off.  Maybe you are already doing quality control or are aware of the problem.  Maybe you just don't want any feedback, which, again, is understandable. 

Best of luck to you all-
Mike
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: euge on April 01, 2013, 04:59:33 PM
Very diplomatic! Awesome!

I look forward to their response(s) or lack thereof. ;D
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 01, 2013, 05:27:51 PM
aaaand the response.

I won't be visiting their brewery and frolf course.  The flavors they have are not from water or fresh hops.  What those customers are in love with is the experience of being at a farm brewery.  I tried. 

Mike ,
Thank You for your input. Our ales do have a distinct flavor since we use unconditioned well water and our own hops.
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.
Thank you again for the input.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Herminator on April 01, 2013, 07:09:41 PM
Wow...just wow.

At least you tried.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: bluesman on April 01, 2013, 07:29:08 PM
If you want to help, I'd approach them privately... doing it in front of the whole club would probably not be the best time to give them unpleasant news.  Tell them that you love their brand but think the beer has some flaws.  If they seem receptive to the unpleasant criticism you're about to give, elaborate.

Otherwise, let them fail.  There's going to be lots of cheap used equipment out there in a couple of years.   :)
+1

I agree as well.

If you really want to help them I would let them know on the down low.

Nice effort though.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tschmidlin on April 01, 2013, 09:14:20 PM
I'm not really surprised that they are ignoring you.  They ask for feedback, but they don't really want it.

Although for the record, a triangle tasting would be totally inappropriate for picking out flaws if you are using someone else's beer.  You could do a triangle with SNPA and FWP31 and pick out the one that is different every single time, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with either beer.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: jklinck on April 02, 2013, 03:22:55 AM
aaaand the response.

I won't be visiting their brewery and frolf course.  The flavors they have are not from water or fresh hops.  What those customers are in love with is the experience of being at a farm brewery.  I tried. 

Mike ,
Thank You for your input. Our ales do have a distinct flavor since we use unconditioned well water and our own hops.
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.
Thank you again for the input.

It doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about and has little brewing experience, knowledge and/or a dead palate. What does unconditioned well water have to do with diacetyl or acetaldehyde? Plus those customers that fall in love the "off flavors" with may just be converting from BMC, which would make their opinion pretty much useless. Or maybe they're just being nice and will never return because the beer sucks.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 02, 2013, 04:50:11 AM
They will sink eventually.  Everyone has tried a beer for its label, advertising or just on a whim, but flawed beer will not bring anyone back.  And if it does, well, the brewery is damn lucky.  You wrote a nice tactful letter that gave them a suggestion - a lifeline - but they weren't looking to take it.  Pretty sad.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Mark G on April 02, 2013, 05:29:40 AM
Why get into the business if you don't care about your beer quality? Pisses me off.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 02, 2013, 05:33:33 AM
I'm not really surprised that they are ignoring you.  They ask for feedback, but they don't really want it.

Although for the record, a triangle tasting would be totally inappropriate for picking out flaws if you are using someone else's beer.  You could do a triangle with SNPA and FWP31 and pick out the one that is different every single time, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with either beer.

I thought of that, but wouldn't the taster have a predisposition to look for flaws in the beer?  My thought was you have 1 flAwed beer (theirs) and one flawless beer (snpa), and it would be a bit more 'blind'.  How would you construct the tasting?
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2013, 05:36:32 AM
Why get into the business if you don't care about your beer quality? Pisses me off.
As the number of breweries explodes, there is more and more of this.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Jimmy K on April 02, 2013, 05:48:45 AM
I thought of that, but wouldn't the taster have a predisposition to look for flaws in the beer?  My thought was you have 1 flAwed beer (theirs) and one flawless beer (snpa), and it would be a bit more 'blind'.  How would you construct the tasting?
What they really need is sensory analysis training to learn what the flaws taste like. It's true that many people will like some flaws - the raisiny/sherry flavor of oxidation, nice buttery diacetyl, appley acetylaldehyde - these are not all bad flavors, they just don't belong in beer. Most people don't recognize that.
 
Being self-critical is a rare and useful skill. I'm not too shocked at their response, but they were lucky to have someone bring it too them. Most future reviews will be on BeerAdvocate, Yelp, etc. Unfortunately, they can probably survive on uninformed customers - but they won't thrive.
Title: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2013, 06:51:30 AM
The brewer and founder of a new farm brewery/hop farm in our area came to one of my clubs meetings recently.  They have an AMAZING story, great packaging, and seemed like great guys overall.   They are doing cool festivals, do a lot for their community, and have helped with legislative matters. 

Then we tried their beer....

Every one of them (4 different beers) produced on a 7bbl system were extremely flawed.  Acetaldehyde, fusels, lots of sulfur (?)...borderline offensive beer. 

They said they would love feedback, but I didn't necessarily feel comfortable sitting back, twirling my imaginary mustache, and asking them about pitch rates and yeast viability.  However I did ask them, "What yeast do you use in this beer", to which they both replied with quizzical looks.  Mind you, there was an amber, an IPA, a bitter, and a stout.  The reply was "one of the dry ones", but I'm not even sure they were fully confident in their answer. 

Part of me was thinking of emailing them privately and suggesting they get some formal sensory analysis done (politely).  I am awaiting my BJCP written exam grade, but am currently only a Provisional judge, so I'm not sure if that means me. 

Thoughts from pro brewers?   Homebrewers?

The President needs to create a new position called the Brewing Czar. Along with your TTB license you have to pass an oral interview with The Brewing Czar and they will evaluate your beer, brewing knowldege and tell you EXACTLY what they think. If your beer sucks and you don't know crap, then no license for you. They'll be told things like "don't re-apply until pitching rates and temperature control are no longer foreign ideas to you".

Oh God no! I hope you are joking! TTB already has way too much power as is! As long as the said brewery in question is not making anyone sick they should have the right to live or die on the virtues of their product.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tschmidlin on April 02, 2013, 08:22:48 AM
I thought of that, but wouldn't the taster have a predisposition to look for flaws in the beer?  My thought was you have 1 flAwed beer (theirs) and one flawless beer (snpa), and it would be a bit more 'blind'.  How would you construct the tasting?
What they really need is sensory analysis training to learn what the flaws taste like. It's true that many people will like some flaws - the raisiny/sherry flavor of oxidation, nice buttery diacetyl, appley acetylaldehyde - these are not all bad flavors, they just don't belong in beer. Most people don't recognize that.
Exactly - the best way is through a doctored beer, take some SNPA and add acetaldehyde to it so they can pick out the off flavor.  Then explain that it is an OFF FLAVOR. :)
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: a10t2 on April 02, 2013, 08:34:45 AM
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.

"We thought about building something with better fuel economy, but customers keep buying the cars anyway." - GM ca. 1975
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: denny on April 02, 2013, 08:36:23 AM
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.

"We thought about building something with better fuel economy, but customers keep buying the cars anyway." - GM ca. 1975

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
    H. L. Mencken
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: guido on April 02, 2013, 08:42:25 AM


Oh God no! I hope you are joking! TTB already has way too much power as is! As long as the said brewery in question is not making anyone sick they should have the right to live or die on the virtues of their product.
Agree absolutely.  The LAST thing you want are the government clowns (I don't care what party's in power) in charge.  The government is a metaphor for FUBAR.  We'd just have more expensive beer due to more regulations.  It's in that brewery's best interest (profit) to make good beer.  That and competition from good breweries will force them to make good beer--or else.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tschmidlin on April 02, 2013, 08:42:37 AM
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.

"We thought about building something with better fuel economy, but customers keep buying the cars anyway." - GM ca. 1975

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
    H. L. Mencken
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Slowbrew on April 02, 2013, 08:52:38 AM
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.

"We thought about building something with better fuel economy, but customers keep buying the cars anyway." - GM ca. 1975

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
    H. L. Mencken
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Said another way.  "A person is smart, people are stupid".  8^)
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: snowtiger87 on April 02, 2013, 09:11:31 AM
Quote
unconditioned well water

That could be a huge problem right there. Have they had an analysis done on it? Do they filter it? Put gypsum in the mash at least?
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2013, 09:16:38 AM
The industry will have more situations like this very soon. A friend works part time for a supplier located in Ypsilanti MI. He goes to the CBC every year as one of the people at the booth in the trade show. He said it was huge this year in DC, and that they had high traffic at the booth, with many potential buyers looking to start a brewey. The thing that had him shaking his head was that half had never brewed beer and had no knowledge of the process.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: a10t2 on April 02, 2013, 09:23:12 AM
The thing that had him shaking his head was that half had never brewed beer and had no knowledge of the process.

As a brewer, that's the best kind of owner to work for. Former brewers are second best. I will never work for another person who only knows a little about brewing.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: bluesman on April 02, 2013, 09:34:55 AM
The industry will have more situations like this very soon. A friend works part time for a supplier located in Ypsilanti MI. He goes to the CBC every year as one of the people at the booth in the trade show. He said it was huge this year in DC, and that they had high traffic at the booth, with many potential buyers looking to start a brewey. The thing that had him shaking his head was that half had never brewed beer and had no knowledge of the process.

This only leads me to believe that there will be some breweries in it to make money as their first priority, which is good and bad. I think this is a business where quality comes first then the money will follow. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe in quality over quantity.

Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tschmidlin on April 02, 2013, 09:49:15 AM
I will never work for another personwho only knows a little about brewing.
Hopefully I fixed that for you :)

With the explosion of nanos here it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out in a few years.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: jeffy on April 02, 2013, 10:09:18 AM
There are times when our crew taste the different ales and feel that there might be a problem with some of our brew and then a few customers come in and fall in love with it.

"We thought about building something with better fuel economy, but customers keep buying the cars anyway." - GM ca. 1975

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
    H. L. Mencken
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

MEETINGS - None of us is as dumb as all of us.

Despair, Inc.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: denny on April 02, 2013, 10:10:58 AM
The industry will have more situations like this very soon. A friend works part time for a supplier located in Ypsilanti MI. He goes to the CBC every year as one of the people at the booth in the trade show. He said it was huge this year in DC, and that they had high traffic at the booth, with many potential buyers looking to start a brewey. The thing that had him shaking his head was that half had never brewed beer and had no knowledge of the process.

Sounds like the 80s and early 90s.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2013, 11:09:51 AM
Yes it does!
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: alcaponejunior on April 02, 2013, 12:44:45 PM

I'll offer a slightly different opinion.  If they're really good guys, charitable, nice, community oriented, then it would be cool to see them succeed. 

Which they won't if someone doesn't decide to be dead honest with them about their beer.  If there's something as simple as stuff that most of us already know (yeast pitching rates, cleanliness, fermentation temperatures) then they are doomed to fail if someone doesn't set them straight, now.  A failure of a brewery might let someone else get cheep equipment down the line but I don't think it really helps the craft beer cause very much.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Jimmy K on April 02, 2013, 01:36:33 PM
I agree - and the opinions will be out there whether they pay attention or not. Any viable business these days needs to deal with that.  But they were sent a nicely written critique and the brushed it off. Actually, they sort of said that they may have detected some of the same things but their customers liked the beer. Not sure what you can do beyond that.
 
I also think there can be danger in listening to feedback. A few loud, supportive voices could convince you that "everybody" likes your beer when most customers are just quiet and vote with their money.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tonyp on April 02, 2013, 02:05:46 PM
This only leads me to believe that there will be some breweries in it to make money as their first priority, which is good and bad. I think this is a business where quality comes first then the money will follow. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe in quality over quantity.

I've always loved this quote, I try to remember it whenever I have a business decision to make and will be using it as our motto if I ever open a brewery:

“Virtue does not come from wealth, but...wealth, and every other good thing which men have...comes from virtue.”
-Socrates

Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 02, 2013, 07:00:23 PM

I've always loved this quote, I try to remember it whenever I have a business decision to make and will be using it as our motto if I ever open a brewery:

“Virtue does not come from wealth, but...wealth, and every other good thing which men have...comes from virtue.”
-Socrates



Good quote - do you believe it?  I want to!
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 03, 2013, 04:50:47 PM
Quote
unconditioned well water

That could be a huge problem right there. Have they had an analysis done on it? Do they filter it? Put gypsum in the mash at least?

Ummm....I'm guessing.  No.  No they don't to any of the above.  Until they can find out what "US-05" means, I am not entirely sure they know they need water for brewing. 
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on April 03, 2013, 06:46:57 PM
I will never work for another personwho only knows a little about brewing.
Hopefully I fixed that for you :)
Let me translate this to the brewing industry.
"I will only voulenteer for myself 40+ hours a week."
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: ptownbrewer on April 03, 2013, 08:54:43 PM
I myself would appreciate all the input I could receive on how to make a beer better. I have been homebrewing for two years now, and have recently switched to all grain brewing. I believe I am producing some decent beers now, not quite great but getting there. My plan is someday (probably 10 years from now) is to open a brewery with a tasting room. Before I do I am planning to go to Oregon State University and study fermentation science. After that I hope to work for a brewery and gain as much knowledge as possible about the brewing industry. If I was making beer and asked for someones opinion from the brewing community, I would want to listen to all input possible. Too bad this brewery won't listen, but someone should always give constructive criticism if asked their opinion.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: euge on April 03, 2013, 09:10:14 PM
You will find a lot of good info and guidance here.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: cornershot on April 04, 2013, 05:48:31 AM
I'd like to offer a metaphor, if I may.
So you're out frolfing and you run into that girl from biology class whom you find so attractive. You say,"hey! You're in my biology class. I didn't know you frolfed!" Next thing you know you hit it off. She laughs at your bad jokes and touches your arm. You find out that you have a lot in common. She smiles and tosses her hair. It's as if you're the only 2 people on the frolf course. Then her friend clears her throat. Uh oh! Time to play frolf. Time to get her digits. Suddenly you begin to sweat. You're nervous.  Uncomfortable. You think, "I don't want her to think I'm that guy who picks up women on a frolf course! " So you let her go with,"nice to meet you" and you go home and write a letter professing your love for her and slip it in her locker.  What happens next? Happily ever after? Or really uncomfortable biology class and she ends up marrying some controlling, abusive jerk who doesn't even frolf?
As a future bjcp judge you can make the beer world a better and more delicious place. But you must dough-in while the water is hot.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: dak0415 on April 04, 2013, 06:18:06 AM
LMAO!
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 04, 2013, 06:25:20 AM
+1.  Well done.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: klickitat jim on April 04, 2013, 06:26:44 AM
So, what happened to the frolfing guy?

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: lewisb13 on April 04, 2013, 07:25:58 AM
Hahahhaha
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: mpietropaoli on April 04, 2013, 11:11:14 AM
I'd like to offer a metaphor, if I may.
So you're out frolfing and you run into that girl from biology class whom you find so attractive. You say,"hey! You're in my biology class. I didn't know you frolfed!" Next thing you know you hit it off. She laughs at your bad jokes and touches your arm. You find out that you have a lot in common. She smiles and tosses her hair. It's as if you're the only 2 people on the frolf course. Then her friend clears her throat. Uh oh! Time to play frolf. Time to get her digits. Suddenly you begin to sweat. You're nervous.  Uncomfortable. You think, "I don't want her to think I'm that guy who picks up women on a frolf course! " So you let her go with,"nice to meet you" and you go home and write a letter professing your love for her and slip it in her locker.  What happens next? Happily ever after? Or really uncomfortable biology class and she ends up marrying some controlling, abusive jerk who doesn't even frolf?
As a future bjcp judge you can make the beer world a better and more delicious place. But you must dough-in while the water is hot.

Gold.  Simply gold.  Though I read through each sentence with baited breath, I'm not sure I can make the metaphoric connection to the topic. 

Must have been something I drank.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 04, 2013, 11:33:23 AM
I'd like to offer a metaphor, if I may.
So you're out frolfing and you run into that girl from biology class whom you find so attractive. You say,"hey! You're in my biology class. I didn't know you frolfed!" Next thing you know you hit it off. She laughs at your bad jokes and touches your arm. You find out that you have a lot in common. She smiles and tosses her hair. It's as if you're the only 2 people on the frolf course. Then her friend clears her throat. Uh oh! Time to play frolf. Time to get her digits. Suddenly you begin to sweat. You're nervous.  Uncomfortable. You think, "I don't want her to think I'm that guy who picks up women on a frolf course! " So you let her go with,"nice to meet you" and you go home and write a letter professing your love for her and slip it in her locker.  What happens next? Happily ever after? Or really uncomfortable biology class and she ends up marrying some controlling, abusive jerk who doesn't even frolf?
As a future bjcp judge you can make the beer world a better and more delicious place. But you must dough-in while the water is hot.

Gold.  Simply gold.  Though I read through each sentence with baited breath, I'm not sure I can make the metaphoric connection to the topic. 

Must have been something I drank.
  +1.  What it lacks in metaphoric connection it makes up for by being funny as hell !
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: cornershot on April 04, 2013, 12:36:01 PM
Maybe it was something I drank...coffee!
The connection I intended was not making a move when the person is most receptive to you and instead write a letter which comes off as not confident which ain't sexy to neither a woman nor a businessman. I'm no beer judge and I don't aspire to be. I can't imagine it would be easy. They must spend a lot of time and energy and drink a lot of crappy beer just to endure a lot of crap from brewers who disagree with the score/evaluation you gave them. I know I have a hard time telling a wide-eyed newbie, let alone a seasoned veteran, that their masterpiece is flawed.
I'd suggest in a couple months or more to have a couple beers at the farm and see how it's going. Maybe she'll be receptive again. Then maybe get the tour (per euge). In the meantime, best of luck with the bjcp! We're all counting on you to use your influence and passion to help bring better beer to this world! Thanks.
Title: Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
Post by: tomsawyer on April 08, 2013, 09:29:58 AM
I used to frolf until I hurt my frack.

On the flip side to this, brewing good beer in a brewpub scale is no simple task.  Even more challenging is brewing a particular beer consistently.  I have a favorite local microbrewery and they are a touch inconsistent but produce good beer in general.  I forgive them this minor indiscretion, partly because they are the only microbrewery in the area and partly because I understand that there are multiple variables that you have to try and control each time you embark on that wonderful endeavor of breiwng 300+gal.