Thursday, September 1, 2011

Down the drain

The beer in that glass of Iniquitous looks pretty great.  Unfortunately that was poured from a keg, not a bottle.

We planned on releasing Iniquitous as our Provisions Series beer for the month of June.  As can happen with bottle conditioned ales, it wasn't quite carbonated enough for our liking so we pushed it to July.  Then August.  Then September.

We had hope that this beer would magically turn a corner and go from the not-so-good bottled version to the great tasting draft version (that is force carbonated).  We tried a few tricks that brewers have to help the yeast get to work and eat up the extra sugars in the bottle.  We agitated the bottles, flipped the cases to get the yeast back into suspension, wrapped the pallets in black and put them out in the hot Orange County heat.  We honestly did anything we could think of to make this beer live up to it's potential but maintain it's integrity.  

We tasted Iniquitous once a week for 3 months.  Always hopeful.  But always let down.  Uncarbonated and just not tasting right. 

Tyler did some testings on a few bottles of Iniquitous, doing yeast cell counts to figure out what the true chance of it turning a corner was; it wasn't good.  

So, the time came when we had to face the facts and admit that this beer just wasn't going to make the cut.  

It's a very hard decision to trash a beer.  A lot of money goes into every batch of beer that we make.  We use a lot of quality ingredients, not to mention, these beers have already been bottled and labeled as well.  But it isn't just hard financially; it's an emotional decision.  We put a lot of care into every beer that we brew here at The Bruery and to come to terms with making something that didn't turn out as we envisioned it is tough.  Tougher still would be to lie to our customers, tell them it tastes great and try to sell something that we don't believe in.

Therefore, we are holding these bottles indefinitely, most likely never to see the store shelf.  We might use some for a food recipe that would work well with it at a future party or slowly take it home for our personal marinade use, but it's doubtful these beers will ever be drunk as intended.

Perhaps it's only fitting that Iniquitous translates to being "characterized by a gross injustice".  There is no justice for a beer that goes down the drain.


JH3 said...

Wow - hats off to you for making such a difficult decision. I commend you for being honest to your dedicated customers. Have you considered blending the contents of the bottles with another batch?

The Bruery said...

JH3 - thank you for the support.

unfortunately, now that the beer has already been bottled, there isn't much we can do with it as far as blending is concerned. We can do that with beer in a fermenter or a barrel, but once it's packaged, that's pretty much the end of the story.

Hayden McCall said...

It'd be awesome if you could repurpose it. I'd love to use some of that for marinade or BBQ sauce. I appreciate your making a tough call in the face of financial loss. So many others do not. However, it'd be cool if some forward thinking could be used to "recycle" stuff that goes awry. I've had many things that failed at their original purpose, and excelled and their newfound intent. Plenty of places make good use of their "seconds". :)

SJS said...

When life gives you a lemon of a beer batch, could you then compile recipes to make a lemonade of a cookbook for failed brews?

Baked goods, marinades, sauces, soups; maybe pickles and chutneys, etc.

the guru said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the guru said...

'Waste not want not' Admirable of for throwing it away, a use will sure to show up. In advertising, this would be great time to use this product in a not so conventional way to gain more awareness...:)

Corey McCart said...

What about a limited edition distilled version. You can transfer the liquid to a distiller, and they can distill it for you and you can work off of their license(maybe). Was an option I looked into last brewery I worked for. Paper work on that will be a bugger, but might open up new avenues for interesting products in the future.

Eve@IronFist said...

SO very sorry for you...we know first hand how hard it is to pour a batch down the drain. Our Dark Days had the same fate and after waiting so long it about kills you...we will cry in our beer for you.
Eve from Iron Fist Brewing