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#181812 - 01/10/14 09:15 PM Skunky Beers
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
My favorite beer went bad. frown

Boulevard Brewing Company has been brewing their Single-Wide IPA with bad, skunky/sour, hops on and off for over a year now. Towards the end of December I got two out of three 6 packs that were skunky.

I contacted them about it and after some discussion they told my that they had to assume that I "just don't care for the beer, and that's alright".

But it's not "alright". The truth is they've gotten too big, and they just sold out too, and to the "Devil" no less! (Duvel Moortgat ).

Anyway, I bought way too many skunky 6-packs from them last year, and quite a few other beers I bought were skunky too, so this got me to researching why.

What I found out is that hops like "Centennial" or "Cascade" or whatever kind will go nasty if they're dried and then become exposed to air for too long. A good brewer would toss them or sell them for livestock feed.

But there's also a big difference between hops of the same variety. Some hops can be fresh, and still be skunky. They're just low quality hops. A good brewer would never use those either, unless they were intentionally trying to screw you.

Obviously good hops would bring more money that bad ones, so what's been happening is Boulevard Brewing Company is either getting screwed when they buy hops, or they're intentionally buying crappy hops and using them. Either way, the quality of their beer has been hit or miss and they're missing way too often lately.

So, after those two out of three misses I got to thinking how many times that's happened to me, and how much money I've spent on nasty skunky beer over the years, and it's a lot. It's enough to have bought a really nice sleeping bag, or a nice new pack, or tent, or take your choice. But I would've never intentionally bought crappy beer.

But what can you do? How do you know?

This led me to thinking it'd be nice to have "An app for that", so I registered "www.SkunkyBeers.com" and I think I'm going to make one.

I think an app that would let you search to see if a beer has been called out by beer drinkers as being Skunky would be pretty handy, and it could save you some money.

Anyone got any thoughts or ideas on that?


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#181813 - 01/10/14 09:55 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: billstephenson]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I think you may be best off brewing your own. Beer brewing is fun and easy as long as you follow the recipe exactly and keep all your gear sterilized. Look up a brewing forum and make it like you like it!
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The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#181814 - 01/10/14 10:32 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Never heard of them before. I have a few vines of the most hoppy hops growing out front. I like to see things that grow fast. They had few flowers this year for some reason. I'll tip a SN Celebration to you on Saturday. smile
Duane

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#181815 - 01/10/14 11:34 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: rockchucker22]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I do brew beer every now and then, but I've got a full plate when it comes to hobbies. I really like the beer I brew though, I have to admit I'd like to brew more.

As it turned out, the week after I bought those last skunky 6-packs a local micro brewery, Springfield Brewing Company, started shipping 6-packs of bottles to local distributors, so I can now buy "Pales Pale Ale" at two of my nearby stores. That's really good beer. I'm sure it's still just local, but if you ever get the chance to taste one, do.

The thing is, I really enjoy tasting new beers, but it sucks when you buy a 6-pack of beer that's really not good at all. Fancy art and descriptions on beer labels don't impress me. Taste matters.

This isn't just an opinion or a difference of taste I'm speaking of though, it's bad beer. We can have different opinions on the balance between malts and hops but, like rancid meat, when it's bad you know it.

Some people might like the taste of cheap hops, or even bad hops. Some people like Hills Brothers coffee. I'm not offended or worried by that. I know people that grew up with it and don't like anything else. But when you sell me beer at a premium price and tell me it's hopped with premium quality Cascade and Centennial Hops, I want good hops. I paid for them and I know what they taste like.

That's the kind of problem I'm describing, but there's also a problem of inconsistency. All beers have batch numbers though, so knowing that could be really helpful too.

There are a zillion new beers out there every year. Some of them rely solely on slick looking labels to sell them and they are filled with cheap beer. Coffee is a lot like this. Cheaply made beer can be very bold tasting just like Hills Brothers coffee can be very strong, but it's just strong cheap coffee.

I don't want to imply that I'm a beer know it all. I'm not, and of course everyone's taste is different. That's why I think it'd be a good thing to have an app that can tell you if a majority of users don't like a beer and why, or that they do like a beer, and why. Maybe you could tilt the ratings you'd get by finding people with taste similar to yours and giving them more weight in your ratings.

SkunkyBeer.com may not be the best name, but it's kind of cute. What I'd like is an app that can tell me if a beer is just bad, iffy, or almost always good. One thing is for sure, I'm tired of buying bad beer and bad coffee. sick cry
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#181816 - 01/10/14 11:41 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By hikerduane
Never heard of them before. I have a few vines of the most hoppy hops growing out front. I like to see things that grow fast. They had few flowers this year for some reason. I'll tip a SN Celebration to you on Saturday. smile
Duane


I'd love to be able to grow some hops. Way too hot here for that.

And that's what I'm talking about, I'll see if I can get my hands on one of those. I do like their Pale Ale. And that's a good example of what I'm talking about too. For awhile there the SN Pale ale wasn't too good (several years ago now). It wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as when I first tasted it. Lately though it's been pretty good, really good even.

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#181818 - 01/11/14 07:04 AM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: billstephenson]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1153
Loc: Florida panhandle
I did a little homebrewing when I was in college. The main problem with homebrewing is one needs to make a big batch and then one has all this beer to drink and then one gets fat.

I believe it is Ben Franklin who is credited with saying "Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy."

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#181826 - 01/11/14 07:33 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: billstephenson]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Interesting. Although I'm not sure what skunky taste like....
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#181827 - 01/11/14 11:25 PM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: ETSU Pride]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By ETSU Pride
Interesting. Although I'm not sure what skunky taste like....


Well, generally speaking, "Skunky" is a taste traditionally associated with beer that's been exposed to light.

But there's also a very sour taste associated with hops that have been exposed to air. These two are similar.

Then, there are just bad hops. Kind of like bad corn, or bad cantaloupe. They look fine, but they don't taste good. In the case of bad hops they can be pretty skunky smelling and tasting. Hops are a very close cousin to cannabis, which can also smell skunky. The flowers even look kind of similar, and they can taste powerful skunky too.

So, a beer that taste "Skunky" taste like a skunk smells.

I'm sure some people like the taste of them. I drank a lot of them over the past year, but I don't like the taste. I just couldn't afford to throw them away.

IPA (India Pale Ale) beers are very "Hoppy" beers and can range from very bitter to very sweet. Lot's of people find all IPAs way too bitter, but in a really good beer hops add a bit of sweetness and a variety of wonderful fruity and flowery flavors that are balanced with a touch of bitterness. A brewer attempts to mix these characteristics in hops to achieve great beer.

Goose Island IPA is a great example of a very sweet and flowery IPA. It's a bit too sweet for me, I can only drink one bottle of it in a sitting, but I just love the hops in it. They're just wonderful.

Lesser quality hops will go from adding those fruity and or flowery flavors to more sour flavors, and some of them taste just like skunk spray.

There a beer called "Founder's Session IPA". Comes in a green can. That's a very skunky beer. Some of the Boulevard IPAs I'm whining about taste almost identical. Their "Pop-Up IPA" is a knock off of the Founder's Session IPA", it's very skunky. Their Single-Wide has been hit or miss, but lately it's been brewed with those skunkier hops which for me has been very disappointing.

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"You want to go where?"



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#181836 - 01/13/14 08:40 AM Re: Skunky Beers [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I can lick one of hops cones when mine dry on the vine and that bitter taste stays with me for quite a while. The ones you talk about, must be damp and start breaking down like wet straw. I'm no food critic, so stale anything tastes fine, but I'm sure I could taste what you describe.
Duane

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