Great on tap, undrinkable in the bottle?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by dmnielsen, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. dmnielsen

    dmnielsen Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2011 Michigan

    I had a nice visit to Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor, MI with my family today. I ordered the Buzzsaw IPA with lunch and enjoyed it quite a bit. The bartender said that I had probably finished the keg, and they did not have another one until next week.

    After eating I inquired about a six of Buzzsaw to go, and two of the bartenders warned me against it, telling me that it was completely different than the keg version (which they called the "real" Buzzsaw) and that they do not like the six-pack version. They cited recent hop shortages and that to brew the bottled version they had to use different hops that completely changed the beer. Thankfully they had enough in the keg for a growler.

    I guess I don't go out enough to be able to compare bottle to keg of some of the things I drink regularly, but it seemed like either they had a demand to fill, they tried something that did not work, or they compromised their product and after talking so much with them (including a nice tour with my oldest son) they felt bad about passing off an inferior product. Has anyone found this at other breweries? Is this common? What do you all think?
  2. COBeerBuff

    COBeerBuff Disciple (364) Jan 4, 2009 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    Did you happen to try any of the bottles? I'm hesitant to pass judgement until a BA confirms this...
  3. dmnielsen

    dmnielsen Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2011 Michigan

    Good question and good point, and I did not. I was just going off the bartenders telling me that they love Buzzsaw but do not like this batch of bottles. They told me that they were bottling another batch this week that would be much better. I just found it odd.
  4. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,236) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    This hasn't happened to me very often but one I can think of is Dos Equis Amber. In the bottle it's very metallic but on draft it's great with Mexican food....then again that's the only time I drink it.
  5. COBeerBuff

    COBeerBuff Disciple (364) Jan 4, 2009 Kansas
    Beer Trader

    Indeed. It's possible Buzzsaw could be a lot like Hopslam. Maybe the bottles don't hold up as well because they're not quite as fresh as the keg. Who knows. Breweries have been known to cut corners, but I would be surprised to learn if they really did use a different hop varietal, or if the bottles were just a bit too old. Most brewer's don't mess with their standard beer recipes, and if they do, they normally name the beer something completely different e.g. Buzzsaw w/ Citra. If this was the case, then unfortunately, college town bartenders are often uninformed when it comes to the beers their serving (from Boulder, CO).
  6. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,043) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    When the Schlenkerla tavern is about to close, they hold off tapping any more wooden kegs and start serving bottles. The keg version is so much better that I inevitably choose to just head home instead of drinking the bottled version.

    Now, when the bottle is the only thing available...that's a different story.
  7. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,592) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I think many beers are better on draught, but downright undrinkable from the bottle? I'm hard-pressed to think of examples.

    I know Fat Tire is considerably worse from the bottle, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it undrinkable.
    dennis3951 and LambicPentameter like this.
  8. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado

    Tart Lychee was my immediate thought. I don't know if I'd go as far as undrinkable but not nearly as good.
    Kopfschuss likes this.
  9. stillbo_baggins

    stillbo_baggins Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2012 New York

    Pabst...surprisingly good on tap. Can't imagine drinking it out of a bottle.
  10. khall62

    khall62 Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2010 New Jersey

    Sam Adams Lager
    Whimpers likes this.
  11. Wtbrooks

    Wtbrooks Initiate (0) May 31, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I know it's just me but, I will only drink hopdevil from cask.
    Stigs, ALitteral and robwestcott like this.
  12. decimator

    decimator Zealot (572) Jun 1, 2009 Ontario (Canada)

    Most beers I've had are better on tap but I can't think of any that were undrinkable in comparison. Anything I've considered undrinkable from the bottle/can wasn't much better on tap.
  13. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,660) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    sculpin on tap great sculpin in the bottle (roll the dice)
  14. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (564) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Draught never sees light until it hits the glass. It makes sense that it tastes better. My opinion of a beer is usually better when I get it on tap.
    darky, Chou and Kopfschuss like this.
  15. dougfur

    dougfur Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 New York

    I wouldn't say undrinkable, but there's a HUGE difference between Lake Placid Brewery's on-tap vs. bottles. The on tap stuff is brewed in the pub in Lake Placid. The bottled stuff is brewed in the Saranac brewery in Utica. Lake Placid IPA from a bottle is meh, from the pub, it's divine. They are literally two different beers.
  16. kawilliams81

    kawilliams81 Meyvn (1,248) Feb 27, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I would say any brewery with infection issues with bottles. LA, MTH, etc
    daysinthewake likes this.
  17. Boilerfood

    Boilerfood Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 Indiana

    A surpising number of FFF. Gumballhead, Behemoth, Pride & Joy all jump to mind immediately.
  18. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2010 California

    Angel's Share.
  19. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Meyvn (1,126) Mar 1, 2009 California

    Pretty much all things Port Brewing / LA
  20. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Honestly I have had Sierra Nevada Pale ale in the bottle on draft and in the can
    The can is hands down the BEST tasting SNPA imho
  21. daysinthewake

    daysinthewake Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2010 California

    Yup. Guaranteed carbonation and no infections.
  22. Shagator

    Shagator Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    I liked Zombie Dust better in the bottle than I did on tap. However, i had it in a tulip glass out of the bottle, but we had a pitcher of the draft and regular glasses.
  23. bilboTbaggins

    bilboTbaggins Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    I would say more often i enjoy the bottle better than the tap. Today i had an old stock on tap and i swear it has more flavor from the bottle.
  24. atomic

    atomic Disciple (332) Sep 22, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Its not often you see Duvel on tap, but I had some once and LOVED it. Had it from the bottle and I really was not impressed. Wouldn't call it undrinkable, but I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as when I had it on tap.
  25. josefiak

    josefiak Initiate (149) Jun 9, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    The most recent release of Highland Cold Mountain tasted substantially better from the bottle compared to on tap.
  26. beerme411

    beerme411 Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2010 California

    Hell or High Watermelon. Tastes great at the brew pub on draft, but the cans are gross I would never buy a 6 pack. This is because the contract brewer uses a different recipe then the brew pub which is unfortunate.
  27. Lutter

    Lutter Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    Pliny the Younger *swoosh*
  28. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,370) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    While there can be differences keg to bottle, what you describe involves differences from batch to batch using different hops in each batch. They should taste different even if both come a keg because they are two different beers.

    This is not normal and would be a greater difference than anything you'd find in the difference between the same beer with identical ingredients in two different containers.

    That said, yes there can be a noticeable difference between the same beer depending on keg vs bottle, just not so large, and no it is not common that a brewery will release two different recipes and call them by the same name.
  29. Whimpers

    Whimpers Disciple (392) Dec 17, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Good to know because every lake placid bottle i have had suuucks
  30. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (425) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Herb, 1484 posts and they all mention Schlenkerla. It's like Joe Dimaggio's hit streak , it will never be broken.
    frazbri likes this.
  31. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (2,333) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I don't know anything about the brewery from your post, so I'm not sure if this is a relevant or not.

    Its been awhile since I've had anything from them, but there used to be a big difference between the bottled and kegged versions of Lancaster Brewing's beers. It turns out that the bottles were contract brewed. I'm not sure if they still are, but there was a noticeable drop off in the quality of their bottled beer.
  32. 19etz55

    19etz55 Disciple (325) Aug 12, 2007 New Jersey

    I generally find it the opposite. I'll try a beer on tap that I've had in a bottle and usually the the tap brew isn't as good as the bottled version. Pretty disappointing when you think the draft beer would be better.
    mdvatab likes this.
  33. BilbosNuts

    BilbosNuts Disciple (374) Feb 22, 2011 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Also came here to mention Hell or High Watermelon. MUCH better on tap. The cans are downright repulsive.
  34. waltmink88

    waltmink88 Initiate (0) Feb 17, 2013

    Agree 100%
  35. Vonstein15

    Vonstein15 Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2010 Ohio

  36. mindfuldave

    mindfuldave Devotee (491) Mar 22, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I wouldn't call it undrinkable in the bottle, but 60 Minute is WAY better on draft then it is in the bottle. Almost doesn't even seem like the same beer to me.
    stafford2 likes this.
  37. wiscokid920

    wiscokid920 Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2011 Wisconsin

    Pearl Street Brewery Dankenstein. Don't get me wrong...I love Pearl's the brewery that got me into drinking craft beer, but I have never experienced such a dramatic taste difference between something on tap vs bottled. As soon as they started bottling Dank, I picked up a 4 pack and was severely underwhelmed. The bottled version literally tasted how lacquer smells! I thought perhaps it was just that batch so I tried another bottle from a fresh batch months later and still the same.
    nickapalooza86 likes this.
  38. szmnnl99

    szmnnl99 Crusader (726) Apr 3, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout is awesome on tap and just meh in a bottle IMO. Anyone else agree or disagree?
  39. raczkowski

    raczkowski Disciple (324) May 16, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Blue point sour cherry stout is atrocious in bottle. Had a draught last night and it was a complete 180 from the bottle.
  40. ALitteral

    ALitteral Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2012 Pennsylvania


    I don't buy Port bottles anymore but love when I find it on tap.
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
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