Brewery Etiquette: asking for fresher product?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Sideshow_Luke_Perry, Dec 12, 2017.

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  1. Sideshow_Luke_Perry

    Sideshow_Luke_Perry Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2016 Massachusetts

    If you travel to a brewery, are you an entitled jerk / snob if you check the date at time of purchase and request more recent product? Asking for a friend...
     
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  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,373) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    No, you are not, it's a perfectly reasonable request. It would be unreasonable, and rude, for them to take offense.
     
  3. djtothemoney

    djtothemoney Initiate (151) Nov 30, 2015 Ohio

    I think it's an ok request, within reason.
     
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  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Savant (997) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    That would depend upon how "old" the one offered for sale is.
     
  5. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,012) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I agree with the rest of the posts. I don't think it is rude but it would also depend on the date in question. Say your cans/bottle is 1 week old, I probably would not ask. If it is 3-4 weeks old then I would just request a fresher item if available. I guess use good judgement, don't go asking if the item in question is 6 days old. It would help a lot if you had a guideline in question?
     
  6. Sideshow_Luke_Perry

    Sideshow_Luke_Perry Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2016 Massachusetts

    Thanks everyone! General consensus seems to be to (1) be polite and (2) use good judgment regarding style ("I demand your freshest barrel-aged stout, good sir!!")

    For context, it was a NEIPA experience... got some cans that were over 6 weeks old! I'm not an aficionado, but even I tasted a clear difference between mine and fresher cans I'd had previously.

    ps- No fault to the brewery! They were still very enjoyable as I'm sure they took great care in storage, and I neither asked about nor checked the date at the time. File this in the 'for future reference' category.
     
  7. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,012) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    That does kind of suck, 6 weeks is still ok but you do see a change from fresh. I have some cans from my local guy and about 3-4 weeks out there is a noticeable change from stuff 1-3 days old or same day. Again just my taste and I am sure others will say 90 day is just fine. Knowing it was 6 weeks I think you were well within your rights to ask.
    Cheers
     
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  8. honkey

    honkey Zealot (589) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    With how fast NEIPA’s typically sell, is it a beer worth buying if it wasn’t sold out in 6 weeks? And if they have more fresh inventory, their production schedule has got to be out of whack.
     
  9. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,012) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    That is a great point, now that you mention it any hot NEIPA is gone that day or shortly after. Makes you wonder the reason its sitting for 6 weeks.
    :sunglasses:
     
  10. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,814) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina
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  11. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,989) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    How is it not the fault of the brewery that they're selling 6 week old beer?
     
  12. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (7,163) Sep 24, 2007 Montenegro
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    It's highly like that they may not have any fresher. Ya might as well ask for a unicorn.
     
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  13. honkey

    honkey Zealot (589) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    Come to my brewery, ask for a unicorn and you shall receive. If you have to ask how much it costs though, you probably can’t afford it. :wink:
     
  14. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (451) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    There's nothing wrong with 6 week old beer, even NE IPAs. But if you're going to the source it doesn't seem at all persnickety to want it fresher than that if possible. Day old bread is great too, but that's generally not what I'm hoping to find when I make a point to go to a bakery.
     
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,053) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Exactly. Some folks only want beer bottled and/or kegged yesterday, or within 3 weeks or so. Depending on production numbers and regular depletions, and the type of beer, this can often be very tough to do. Asking is OK, but if you don't like the date, don't buy it.
     
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  16. honkey

    honkey Zealot (589) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
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    I would disagree. Even with very low packaged oxygen levels and no transfers, we find NEIPA’s to be best within 4 weeks with a significant drop off being noticeable from fresh to 5 weeks in. Our beer still gets good reviews online 2 months after the fact, but it makes me sad if I see it being drank that long after. Our cans get a canned on date and a best by date that is 28 days from the canned date.
     
  17. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (451) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Trader

    Far be it from me to disagree with someone with as much knowledge as you, but I've never had a problem with beers in that style at that age myself and that's the only opinion I can offer. I live in the belly of the beast of beer in that style and if people's palates can pick up larger differences in that time frame then I can then that is their perorogative.

    Apart from that, the central point of my post was obviously to support the the notion that the OP was not out of line in wanting a beer fresher than that.
     
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  18. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,684) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    I learned the hard way that you can't assume that the beer in the cooler at a brewery will always be fresh, and shame on the brewery that doesn't monitor this.

    OP, since you are asking for a friend I assume he didn't check the date, so let this post be a reminder to everyone as well as your friend.
     
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  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,497) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Well, I am not exactly saying that this brewery in question is doing this, but...

    In a past thread a BA who works at a beer retailer mentioned that at the store where he works it was their policy to place 'old' beer in the refrigerators as a way to foster sales of those products.

    Cheers!
     
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  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    How old of a product did you receive? How old of a product would you like to receive?
     
  21. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (550) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Unlike a shop where shelf space is a constant battle. The brewery will have probably kept that beer properly for the duration it is in house. But.. The taproom isn't always the first place fresh product goes to. That would be the distributors, or to stores via self distribution. And. NO. Unless you see it running down the packaging line while you are there. They don't have anything fresher to sell you because FIFO.
     
  22. Sideshow_Luke_Perry

    Sideshow_Luke_Perry Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2016 Massachusetts

    Some NEIPAs that were a little over 6 weeks. I'm not saying that's a bad thing- I still drank and enjoyed them, but having had them very fresh I noticed a difference. There isn't a specific number I would 'like', but in this case I had a preference for fresher product and wanted to know if it would be considered rude to ask.
     
  23. Sideshow_Luke_Perry

    Sideshow_Luke_Perry Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2016 Massachusetts

    Thanks for sharing your experience! :grinning:

    ('asking for a friend' is internet-speak for 'I feel awkward bringing this up')
     
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  24. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    6 weeks old on a canned NEIPA? Yeah, I would have asked for something fresher, as well. FWIW, I wouldn't consider it to be rude, at all. Just informed purchasing.
     
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  25. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Meyvn (1,466) Dec 7, 2014 New York
    Trader

    Echoing the posts above, at 6 weeks old you are definitely well within your rights to ask. As the consumer you shouldn't hesitate to ask for anything, just be respectful of the answer you receive. Even if they don't have fresher product, you can always respectfully decline to purchase it.

    Working in retail my advice would be that it's not the question, it's how the question is being asked. If you politely ask if they have anything more fresh the worst they are going to say is no. Now if you stomp your feet and throw a tantrum about being forced to purchase 6 week old beer, that is a different story.
     
  26. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,373) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    Yes, It's been my experience that a polite question usually gets a polite response.
     
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  27. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,684) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Bottom line is that breweries should keep less product in the to-go fridge if sales turnover is not great enough to be constantly restocking with fresh stuff. Probably too many breweries don't do this by checking the dates because they don't think about it, or worse, they don't care.
     
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  28. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,539) Jul 27, 2013 California
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    Do you not have HazeBros in Mass? I'm shocked that NEIPA cans lasted 6 weeks...on the west coast people are camped out for then...don't even last 6 hours (Monkish....I'm looking at you)....

    Perhaps the weather this time a year...? Who wants to sit in a lawn chair in the snow?
     
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  29. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (634) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    It's not enough for craft beer Captain Ahabs to harpoon Moby Dick, they have to get Moby Dick within hours of his birth. :stuck_out_tongue:
     
  30. Sideshow_Luke_Perry

    Sideshow_Luke_Perry Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2016 Massachusetts


    'bout 20 degrees in the Treehouse line today, not factoring in a heft wind chill. Shoulda worn a hat :slight_frown:
     
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  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,497) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    @CanConPhilly posted a similar sentiment while waiting in line for today's Tired Hands release: "I can't feel my face though."

    It takes a hardy soul to purchase Cloudy IPAs in today's beer scene!?!:thinking_face:

    Cheers!
     
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  32. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Savant (936) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    There is one here (Galaxy - Andromeda IPA) that noticeably changes after about 3 weeks, and is almost undrinkable after 5 weeks. It all depends on the beer in question. Fortunately, they started dating cans in October. Before that it was a total crapshoot, if not at the brewery.
     
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,946) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    EQ put in four heat lamps around the tasting table. Used to take a hearty soul to do the long wait in frigid beer lines. Now it takes a pampered soul to wait in the warmth around the tasting table sampling the world's great beers, eating fresh grilled breakfast sandwiches, and almost no wait in line.

    Tell the kids how it used to be, they won't believe it.
     
  34. i_run_far

    i_run_far Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2016 District of Columbia

    Nothing wrong with asking for fresher product, you might come across as a snob depending on your attitude and/or how old the beer is but the employee you ask should still give a polite response.
     
  35. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,152) Mar 21, 2010 New York
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    Craft beer 2017 is a full contact sport!
     
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  36. MrJellybean

    MrJellybean Initiate (43) Jun 18, 2016 New Jersey

    I often find myself asking servers at restaurants and bartenders at breweries how long certain kegs have been tapped unless of course it's an obvious beer from two seasons ago.
     
  37. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,946) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Haha y'all need to learn how to do it down in the big city. Only full contact up here is full contact of tasting glass to lips while we wait for the signal that beer is ready to be sold in a fast, orderly way that briefly distracts from the bottle share.
     
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  38. followerofmen

    followerofmen Initiate (94) Sep 9, 2012 Massachusetts

    Is this really a precedent we want to set, that people should only buy "hot" product? Here in New England, where OP is from, damn near every brewery has 1 or more NEIPAs available. It's not reasonable to expect that with all of those options, all of those beers would be selling out within only a few weeks. Sometimes stock builds up- maybe that means two weeks old, maybe that means two months. Should the breweries be making smaller batches to have faster turnover? Maybe. But I don't think that beer still being available after 6 weeks should qualify as some indictment on the quality of the product itself.
     
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  39. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,073) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
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    I would apply the "Don't go into a McDonalds and request a 'fresh' burger unless you really want a 'loogie burger'" codicil in the example you've provided.

    For your friend.
     
  40. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,936) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    Some Q&A from Bub (not that I'm very qualified, just having some forum fun):

    Question from followerofmen:
    "Is this really a precedent we want to set, that people should only buy "hot" product?"

    Bub's Answer: No one wants to set a precedent. A segment of people just want great beer.

    "Here in New England, where OP is from, damn near every brewery has 1 or more NEIPAs available. It's not reasonable to expect that with all of those options, all of those beers would be selling out within only a few weeks. Sometimes stock builds up- maybe that means two weeks old, maybe that means two months. Should the breweries be making smaller batches to have faster turnover?"

    Bub's Answer: Just because nearly every brewer is making 1+ NEIPAs doesn't mean all of them are nearly the same quality just like any other style. So Yes, if brewers aren't selling out their NEIPAs within a few weeks, they'd be better to make smaller batches of this style. The shelf live of NEIPAs in general is shorter than any other beer style to have the product at its best.

    "I don't think that beer still being available after 6 weeks should qualify as some indictment on the quality of the product itself"

    Bub's Answer: It most likely is a lower quality product, but sometimes great beers are made by breweries that don't quite market themselves (or hype themselves) as well as others in the area. Its a mixed bag answer. Most of the time, from my findings, the NEIPA brewers that generate the line-standing are truly the best though in an area. Sometimes a new brewery comes on the scene and makes great product and there is a small window of time when you can get the beer without the masses of hot beer chasers coming after them. If you live nearby, enjoy that window. Who knows what the future may hold in NEIPA beermaking and the supply/demand of the consumers.
     
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