Check the label

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Troutbeerbum, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Picked up a four pack of an IPA I've had before, but not for some time. My initial reaction was that it was way sweeter than I remembered. As I continued to drink it, I was barely able to finish it, the sweetness was so overpowering and off putting. I took a close look at the can and noticed an asterisk and small print on the back side. "Brewed with lactose".
    I'm not lactose intolerant other than I can't tolerate it in beer other than an occasional Milk Stout. Either way, I found it really off putting and otherwise would have never bought this beer had I known the brewer began putting lactose in it. Take a closer look at what you purchase other than just checking dates...
     
  2. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,039) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    So what beer was it?
     
  3. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,764) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    So, the beer you drank previously did not include lactose? The brewery decided to make a recipe change?

    Cheers!
     
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  4. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Perhaps a MilkShake IPA?
     
  5. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Yes
     
  6. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Local
     
  7. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I'm assuming so. I've never had one or wanted one for exactly the reasons above.
     
  8. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I should say I believe it never had lactose before. I haven't had it in a year and a half, I definitely would have noticed it in the past but I'll check.
     
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  9. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Champion (830) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Premium Trader

    I did this with a stout I wanted to try just from hearing about it by a local brewery who makes relatively good beer. Picked up a 4pk instead of a single. Only to read the ingredients when I got home. "Brewed with star anise" basically a medicinal herd/spice that has similar taste of black licorice. Not a fan of black licorice nor any other kind actually. Did manage to drink the 4pk tho :wink:
     
  10. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    https://vinepair.com/articles/milkshake-ipa-guide/ Curious on the beer though, I have never seen anyone release a different version of the same beer that totally changed the style up. As @dcotom requested, could you list the beer/brewery
     
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  11. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,364) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    The strange thing about the use of lactose by brewers is that the TTB's Ruling 2015-1 which updated the regulations for the labeling of "non-traditional" ingredients is that they decided it did NOT have to be stated on the label, unlike most of the other flavorings and processes listed, as noted in TTB's Ruling 2015-1 Attachment 1.
    [​IMG]
    Especially odd since so many folks are lactose-intolerant (although their regulations for labeling re: allergens is pretty loose, too).
     
  12. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Defender (645) Nov 23, 2017 California
    Trader

    Alvarado Street did the same thing to one of their beers, Halftime Treat. It WAS an IPA brewed with Valencia oranges; now it's brewed with tangerines, lactose, and vanilla beans. It went from amazing to a hard pass.
     
  13. tinoynk

    tinoynk Initiate (62) Sep 25, 2010 New York
    Trader

    I still don't get why people can be so cagey about naming specific beers/breweries on this forum.
     
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  14. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,002) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Trader

    This.

    Unless they know you by "Trout Beer Bum" at the brewery or they know you for your fondness of Steve Martin's brilliant performance in The Jerk, I don't get why you wouldn't name some names. At least it'd be brought to their attention and they can address the issue (assuming you wouldn't want to simply tell them face-to-face and save them from the inevitable public scrutiny and the inevitable, oh-so-trendy public apology)
     
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  15. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,327) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Trader

    You may want to stay clear of Other Half :slight_smile:! They must have purchased a lifetime supply of the "tose".

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/other-half-2019.600911/
     
  16. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I have PM'd those who asked. Just because I don't like lactose in beer is no reason for me to publicly imply on a beer forum that a particular beer isn't any good. Just because I don't like the changes doesn't mean some other potential customer won't. It's not the breweries fault, they labeled the can, and as @jesskidden said, they aren't required to.
    My goal was to point out to BA's that they should check labels.

    This right here.

    "Hey, do you now add lactose to beer "A"?
    "Yup"
    "Okay, then just give me beer "B" and "C" because I don't like "A" anymore."
    "Okay."
     
  17. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,747) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Premium Trader

    I don't mind pointing a finger:
    [​IMG]
    This beer is a Milk IPA, an awful, awful, awful lactose-added IPA. I love Blackwater Draw, respect those folks for their good work, and I will continue to buy and drink their beer, but not their Milk IPA. In fact, the only reason I didn't give this beer straight 1s on the review is because BWD deserves better than that from me for all the good beer they've served me the last few years.

    I don't know who started it and why, but the Milk IPA must stop.
     
  18. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Saw that the other day and did a hard pass.
     
  19. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Champion (830) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan
    Premium Trader

    Yes indeed I feel the same about a beer by Rochester Mills called Milkshake IPA. Horrible concoction of vanilla mango and lactose :nauseated_face:
    Yet gave it a fair rating because I respect the brewery although many do not. :beers:
     
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  20. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,747) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Good call. I, unfortunately and to the OP's point, did not read the label.

    Learned my lesson: Always read the label, even if the beer's from a brewery you trust.
     
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  21. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Just wanted to add,and not to get away from the point of the original post, I do reserve the right to shit on Milkshake IPAs.
    Fucking terrible idea.
     
  22. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    To be fair (if there is such a thing) to Milkshake IPA's, I have had a few that aren't bad, but they were highly restrained. One that is pretty highly available is Cloud Catcher by Odell. It wasn't over the top and thought they did a good job of it for a mass produced beer. The sweetness was in check, the vanilla wasn't over the top and there was a hint of orange/peach going on.
     
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  23. LarryV

    LarryV Meyvn (1,070) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts
    Premium

    I thought this was a decent article ...

    https://beerandbrewing.com/got-milk-examining-hazy-ipa/

    I liked this line:

    Unless this is an elaborate prank, no brewery does that without seeing some kind of black ink at the end of it.

    BTW, I'm not a fan of lactose or the concept of milk shake IPAS.
     
    #23 LarryV, Jan 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  24. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    Good read. Pretty much sums up the content of this thread.
     
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,764) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Lactose is indeed a sugar but it is not as sweet as sugars like sucrose.

    From a quick web search:

    “Lactose (milk sugar) is a disaccharide, similar to Sucrose (ordinary sugar).

    It is made up of two simple sugars - Glucose and Galactose bound together by a glycosidic linkage. Sucrose is similar but has Fructose instead of Galactose in the mix. It is only 15% as sweet as ordinary sugar.”

    Brewers have been using lactose for quite some time in brewing (e.g., Milk Stouts) but they are adding the lactose more so to add body to the beer vs. sweetness.

    Needless to say lactose is indeed a sweet additive but not really all that sweet as you can read above.

    Cheers!
     
  26. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    To me, lagers are sweet because my palate is accustomed to bitter west coast IPAs.
    I have a sweet tooth when it comes to food, pretty much just chocolate and hard candies. For example, I can eat a piece of Hershey bar or a peanut butter cup, but things like a 3 Musketeers or Mountain Dew are disgustingly sugary to me.

    So to my palate, if a lager is on the sweet side, an IPA with lactose and some obviously additional (maybe fake) orange adjuncts, come across as overpowering especially when I have a set idea of what an IPA should taste like.
    I don't notice the lactose in some of the few Milk Stouts I enjoy, perhaps because they are well done or not overdone? Can the same principle apply to IPAs?
    This doesn't change my mind that I don't believe lactose has any place in an IPA however, other than marketing.
     
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  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,764) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    As with any beer style it is a combination of things. How much of ingredient x is used and how it is used. How does ingredients x 'work; with ingredients y? Will x + y = extra stuff?

    The best I can tell you is that lactose is not a sweet sugar like sucrose is a sweet sugar. Maybe you dislike the beer in question (which you choose to not name) because of the variety of ingredients used? Maybe you just have a bias against lactose as regards the IPA beer style? Maybe...

    Who really knows here? Do you really know here?

    Cheers!
     
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  28. Troutbeerbum

    Troutbeerbum Initiate (106) Dec 5, 2016 Maine

    I can say with certainty that I thought it was too sweet before I discovered that it was brewed with lactose. Whether that is what made it too sweet is obviously questionable. I've never had a lactose IPA until that one, and unknowingly at that.
    I'm not splitting hairs here, I'm genuinely interested in what you are presenting.
    What, if any, effect does lactose have on other adjuncts that might be in the recipe?
    Since lactose does not ferment, does that contribute to a "heavier" mouthfeel?
    What does it add to the beer?
     
  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,764) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    If you are willing to share with me what beer you are discussing here I may be able to provide more feedback.

    Cheers!
     
  30. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,622) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Generally it will add sweetness, body and calories. In a stout it will offset the harsh roasty character and give it a smoother milder finish, sometimes causing other flavors that were hammered by the acrid bitterness of some malts to shine thru like chocolate and coffee. You can also use it to correct mistakes to some level. If you screwed up and made your beer too bitter, it is possible you could dose it with lactose to add some residual sweetness, body to offset the bitterness. This is not optimum, but for a homebrewer it could save your batch if it was undrinkable in its current state. I think the use in the Milkshake IPA is to add a little more residual sweetness to go with the vanilla and whatever fruit was jammed in there along with some additional body to the beer. Most fruit when added to a beer will ferment out the sugars leaving you with only one dimension of the fruit, the lactose stands up that sugar that was fermented out. The exploding cans phenom is due to some brewers adding fruit after fermentation and telling you to keep those cans cold (so the sugars in the fruits won't ferment out). Most will tell you that won't work, it can still happen, and thus we see exploding cans.
     
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  31. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (108) Feb 25, 2013 California

    like anything, it's the skill of the brewer and making a balanced product. I've had lactose IPA's I've liked quite a bit - Track 7 made a blueberry lactose haze bro that was delicious, Revision makes a couple that are highly regarded. I can see if wayyyyyyyy too much lactose was added, that would ruin it.

    As for naming beers, I'm all for it. When someone is cagey, it can induce a Streisand effect - by keeping things under wraps, it can actually make things worse. Also, if 99 people say it's wonderful, and one person hates it, it may have been a bad can or some other eventuality which vindicates the brewery. Similarly, if nearly everyone says it's horribad, then I'll consider myself warned should I come across this.