Author Topic: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed  (Read 6558 times)

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1000
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #30 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.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Mark G

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 894
  • Huntley, IL
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #31 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.
Mark Gres

Offline mpietropaoli

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 186
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #32 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?
Primary: Common Cider; Xmas FauxCAP
Kegged: Pliny Clone; Rodney's Weizenbock; RIS
Bottled: Putain Biere de Garde; 51 RIS; Glutang Clan Roggenbier
Cellaring: Biere de Mars; Flanders
Planned: Schwarz

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4524
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #33 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.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Online mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2876
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #34 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.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6301
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #35 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.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 06:53:42 AM by majorvices »
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #36 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. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3155
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #37 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
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #38 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
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline guido

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #39 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.
Well...I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer

     -"Roadhouse Blues,"  Jim Morrison

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #40 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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1654
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #41 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^)
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline snowtiger87

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #42 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?
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

Fermenting: McChouffe clone, Samiclaus clone
Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
On tap: CAP, Dortmunder Export, IIPA, Dubbel Chocolate Stout, Wee Heavy, Whiskey barrel aged Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter
Newly Bottled:

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4524
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #43 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.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3155
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: How to tell a craft brewer his beer is seriously flawed
« Reply #44 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.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/