Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

When unintentional infections turn out for the better

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by n2185, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (685) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Verified

    It's always a bummer to open a beer only to have it gush and/or taste of sour, tart fruits. I usually try to drink at least some of the beers anyway to see how they turned out, though they're usually either bad or create clashing flavors (I get this especially with stouts/porters). I remember the well the horrors of 09AbyssGate.

    Twice in the past month, though, I've come across infected beers that were at least as good as the original, if not better. The first was an older bottle of Olde Hickory Daniel Boone, which is a bbal brown ale. Fresh it was pretty boring and not much going on. A friend and I cracked a year-old bottle, though, and were greeted by a fairly strong sourness which blended with the bourbon and brown ale aspects very well. Kind of like a bourbon Flanders oud bruin, and far better than the original product.

    The other was Hardywood Park's Bourbon Grand Cru (a quad). I had it on tap when fresh and it was a solid bbal quad--not too boozy or heavy. The bottle I had the other night shot its cork out once the cage was free, though thankfully didn't gush. What was once a smooth and bourbony quad had become a much lighter, tart, and citrusy quad (like a mellower Bolt Cutter). I don't know if I'd say it was better than the original, but it was at least on par.

    So are there any other positive infection experiences out there?
  2. lurchingbeast

    lurchingbeast Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 19, 2009

    I know Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter always has a tart thing going for it. However, the '09 was sour.as.fuck and delicious.
  3. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Advocate (715) Illinois Oct 15, 2008

    The first (?) batch of Cigar City Guava Grove had a fantome-esque infection going on that was glorious, but apparently it got out of control on subsequent batches and they switched to a super clean saison strain.

    The infected batches of Goose Island Sofie and Matilda were pleasant for a time, but now they are bordering on undrinkable.

  4. CharlieWine from Mammoth Brewing...upside down label. And at 10% to boot!
  5. Ranger Creek Small Batch 1. The bottles are infected with some delicious brett. (And the wax on the bottle is infected with ass fungus, though that is fading with time.)
  6. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (685) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Verified

    I've not had Sofie post-ABI takeover, but I've definitely had a couple of gushing bottles that were extremely delicious. Definitely the best beer I've had from GI. I also remember trying Guava Grove a long time ago before I had much else from CCB and really enjoying the sourness. I had it again last year at a tasting and it wasn't the same beer at all or nearly as good.
    Gonzoillini likes this.
  7. Best beer I have ever had was an infected Chimay blue.
  8. wesbray

    wesbray Advocate (515) Alberta (Canada) Feb 29, 2012 Verified

    I've heard the notorious 2007 batch of Pannepot was not too dissimilar to the rare and expensive Pannepot Wild.
  9. bump8628

    bump8628 Advocate (520) Oklahoma Feb 21, 2008

    Yeah that wax is weird smelling...
  10. Bruery Autumn Maple that has a souring thing going on. Pretty amazing actually.
  11. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Advocate (715) Illinois Oct 15, 2008

    The infected Sofie was an unintentional infection that caused it to greatly sour from lactobacillus (as opposed to the funk it develops from its time in wine barrels that are inoculated with Brett). It was very good fresh, but I had a bottle of the same batch (http://www.chicagonow.com/the-beeronaut/2011/06/goose-island-sofie-beer-recalled/) not long ago that was undrinkable.

    The An-Inbev buyout of Goose has had 0 impact on the actual beers themselves in my opinion.

  12. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,440) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    Infected Guava Grove was awesome. They should intentionally make a soured version.
    vonnegut21 likes this.
  13. Infected boulevard chocolate ale I had at the ba abraxas release was pretty good
  14. Jips

    Jips Savant (390) Kansas Nov 29, 2007 Verified

  15. dwoolley1

    dwoolley1 Advocate (555) New York Dec 16, 2009 Verified

    I had an infected Isabel that was not bad for a wild ale. Moreover when brought to the attention of the brerwery they made good.
  16. Do you guys have standards at all? Infected beers are disgusting and you shouldn't drink them, because they are terrible...
  17. litheum94

    litheum94 Advocate (665) California Dec 29, 2008

    I really enjoyed the infected Mirror Mirror. That's the only infected beer that I've enjoyed though. I tried to enjoy BA Token, but just couldn't do it.
  18. nesarebad

    nesarebad Advocate (600) Pennsylvania Feb 4, 2012 Verified

    Hmm...it has come to my attention that there is a small minority of beer drinkers that like these type of things. Wacko's...the whole lot of em!
  19. I think this infection stuff is becoming something of unintentional acquired taste among BA's.

    Kinda how skunkiness in Heineken and Corona is a high quality "import" flavor to macro drinkers.
    MusicaleMike likes this.
  20. Exactly!
  21. These are quality beers made by quality breweries. <sarcasm>
  22. fortsambo

    fortsambo Savant (305) Colorado Feb 14, 2011 Verified

    Damn, just got a bottle of infected Matilda. Time to drink up I suppose.
  23. davey101

    davey101 Champion (820) Connecticut Apr 14, 2009

    It was drinkable but nothing amazing. Then again I've heard the same thing about wild. Non infected is way better.
  24. atoulouk

    atoulouk Savant (435) Indiana Apr 25, 2011 Verified

    I had an infected Matilda recently and thought it was fantastic! Never knew that there was infected Sofie...

    Does anyone know what the bottle dates on infected Sofie were? I always look for infected Matilda when I see old bottles around, but would like to find some infected Sofie.
  25. Gotti311

    Gotti311 Advocate (695) Wisconsin Mar 22, 2009 Verified

    Interestingly enough, that is the whole premise for O'So's newest release Wee on the Lam. It was a Wee Heavy that ended up infected and apparently tasted good enough to bottle. Sounds like the only bottled some of the barrels and not all.

    A buddy and I both scored a bottle so I think I might crack mine soon and then make a determination on how long to age his bottle.
  26. Gonzoillini

    Gonzoillini Advocate (715) Illinois Oct 15, 2008

    Its in the article I linked above.


  27. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (735) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Verified

    It was intentionally soured. The first batch had no bacteria then they started using a culture from St. Somewhere for the next two or so then switched back. I liked the sour version but the first batch was outstanding and much better IMO.
  28. atoulouk

    atoulouk Savant (435) Indiana Apr 25, 2011 Verified