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How do you tactfully tell someone that their IPA is old?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky, Feb 26, 2014.

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  1. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,528) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    For me 30 days = old (for both) and I won't consider one that is 60 days old.
    dedbeer likes this.
  2. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Just send him a link to this thread!
    BeerKangaroo likes this.
  3. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm at the same place.

    < 30 days = thumbs up
    > 30 days = depends on my experience with the beer. Most I'll avoid. If I've never had it before I'll definitely avoid letting that be my first experience with it.

    I'll give cans a little more leeway.
    russpowell likes this.
  4. charlzm

    charlzm Poo-Bah (2,215) Sep 3, 2007 California
    Beer Trader

    I'll let it go to 90 days if I know the beer has been kept refrigerated... or if there's no better choice under the circumstances.
  5. RyFikes

    RyFikes Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New York

    Anyone who has ever tasted the difference between a fresh IPA and one that is 6 months old would not flinch at your assessment. Your friend is a little ignorant and that's why you need to be there to snob it up!
  6. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I totally agree. I wouldn't want to be at a tasting of the latter type. I'm just surprised they would be offended unless you decided to browbeat them for bringing an older IPA. It's like them telling to you to go fuck yourself because you thought a stout was too sweet.

    I can't find a tasting group that doesn't just seem to only pine over the super rare and out of distro stuff, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. It just seemed off on their part to me.
    #46 Rekrule, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  7. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    "Oh wow this is a malty IPA. Ah OK, it's 6 months old. The hops have really mellowed."
    mythaeus likes this.
  8. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Aspirant (239) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    depends on if they're in the know or not.
    if they are...
    I would smack the dude on the head with a newspaper, like a dog that knows better but keeps sleeping on the sofa.
    mythaeus likes this.
  9. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    ..or rub their nose in it and say "Look what you did".
    TheGator321 and mythaeus like this.
  10. AMW

    AMW Initiate (170) Jan 13, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    "... so what's the date of this Enjoy By again?"
  11. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Zealot (548) Mar 29, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Maybe next time you taste with these friends, try and find an IPA that's six months old and one that's fresh. That way, you can show that your opinion, in practice, was correct there. And then they can educate themselves going forward. Nothing snobbish about it. You were in the right. I received a six months-dated Hop Devil in a trade the other day and it was not all that enjoyable. Still figuring how to (if I should) go about telling my trade partner it was old (keeping in mind it was just a throw-in to even out the trade and not the centerpiece of the trade).
  12. RacerX5k

    RacerX5k Disciple (340) Feb 11, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    By drinking it. Some ipas still fantastic at 6 months, Northern Hemisphere (is that really an ipa?), Celebration just two examples. Lagunitas Sucks I like now, couldn't stand it when it first hit the stores this year.
  13. TooGood

    TooGood Defender (665) Jan 28, 2014 Minnesota

    Thanks, this is maybe why I've never like DIPA. I didn't realize how quick they faded until I got a six pack of Hopslam that was 8 days old. The first one tasted awesome and then I had one each week for the next 5 weeks. Needless to say I liked them less every week. If my first Hopslam I tried was 6 weeks old I would say it's horrible....looks like I better reevaluate my DIPA ratings as both Abrasive and Hoptimum currently occupy my worst ratings for the style.
  14. ChicagoNick

    ChicagoNick Disciple (322) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Bearded Guy A: "I... don't know how to tell you this.... you should probably sit down."
    Bearded Guy B: "what is it?.. this seems really serious..."
    Bearded Guy A: "(sigh) here goes nothin... your I.P.A....its...its....I just can't."
    (runs away in a fit of tears and slams a door in the distance)

    This is how I would do it.
  15. marquis

    marquis Crusader (739) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Yes, the ones that got to India were pretty good too.
  16. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Devotee (496) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    And of course the tasting in Guy B's mom's basement.
    jimmy666 likes this.
  17. michman

    michman Initiate (0) Oct 14, 2005 Illinois

    my friends would pour it on the carpet while staring me in the face asking how on earth i would dare serve them such an old beer! no but really. just point out how one is much older than the rest of the bunch.
  18. loafinaround

    loafinaround Aspirant (296) Jul 16, 2011 New York

    I think this varies with the particular beer. for whatever reason, resin seems to have more tolerance to age than sucks, for example. Dunno if it's can vs glass, the hop varietals, or something else.
    I think it takes a hophead to really know which shop to buy IPAs at. I have several very reputable shops I frequent, but only one that I trust with super freshness.
    (I'm too lazy/tired to spend my free time squinting at date codes for the most part. I DO always check sucks, though. I think sucks begins to fade at 3 weeks if it isn't refrigerated! so fragile....)
  19. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    You're not buying it--this is at a tasting. You have every expectation of sharing your opinion at a tasting of course, but do so in an ambivalent way. Not your job to teach anybody, and everybody's taste is different. I'd bet some there thought this particular beer was pretty damn good. Casting a pall on it because you noticed that it is 6 months old is a good way to crap on somebody's contribution to the event. If you think that you're starting to say something that will do that, say it in a different way or keep your mouth shut.
    If you see this beer in a store, also keep your mouth shut and just don't buy it.

    This is absolutely fucking stupid.
    markdrinksbeer likes this.
  20. Icarus

    Icarus Initiate (175) Oct 6, 2012 Minnesota

    This may work - "You're worthless and weak now drop down and give me 20!"

    Or just say that this IPA tastes old, but smile as you say it. :slight_smile:
  21. kylelenk

    kylelenk Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2012 Michigan

    This is a good barley wine.
  22. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (631) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Why not go all the way: "You stupid S.O.B. Don't you even bother to look at what you're buying? This shit is 6 months old".
    YoudownwithABV and JohnCassillo like this.
  23. RobM77

    RobM77 Initiate (153) Feb 14, 2013 Illinois

    "Dude... Ovaltine tastes less malty than the beer you just gave me. Please, try again."
    utopiajane likes this.
  24. mj81

    mj81 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2013 New Jersey

    Yo dawg, if you think this ipa is fresh then you be trippin'
  25. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,174) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Supporter Subscriber

    That's a great idea. Obviously, we don't know how this all went down because we weren't really there. But in the context of a tasting, I would expect that part of the discussion would be critical. Therefore, no snobbery involved and if anyone as offended, maybe some thicker skin is required. Doing what is suggested here would provide the educational opportunity. If these are friends with whom you taste beers often, then you are sort of obliged to educate them.
  26. Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

    Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky Aspirant (275) Feb 13, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    In defense of my friends, there are lots of IPAs out there that aren't hop bombs. With all the dry-hopping that goes on these days you get used to a healthy dose of hops, but there other hop profiles that brewers are trying to achieve. We actually had a couple that were malt forward and fresh, so without knowing the age it's possible to think it was just the style for that particular beer. And as we've all noted, everyone has a different palette and likes different things.
  27. Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

    Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky Aspirant (275) Feb 13, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    *crumples jmw's invitation to next tasting and throws in trash while single tear rolls down cheek*
  28. Five_Four_Plus

    Five_Four_Plus Initiate (167) Feb 17, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    Invite him to your next Barleywine tasting and tell him to bring another of those delicious IPAs.
  29. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    you'll be alright
  30. CerealKillerKP

    CerealKillerKP Initiate (0) May 24, 2009 Kentucky

    Spit it out all over the place and loudly exclaim that the hops have faded
    KS1297 likes this.
  31. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    I think you forgot to close the thread.
  32. mudbug

    mudbug Zealot (599) Mar 27, 2009 Oregon

    " So how do you do this tactfully? Or is it not worth it and I should just bite my tongue next time?[/quote]

    Hmnn. Must be a Minnesota thing, overpoliteiosus.
    I've never had a problem anything like this, mainly because in almost every situation I am the Alpha Beer Geek. Friends differ to my judgement first, If I decree an IPA past it's prime all within earshot pour it out. Maybe instead of worrying about the hurt feelings of the minions, you need to work on your leadership skills. Get a Grip man! you are a BA!!!!! You have the right, no, sacred duty to educate the masses. Stand up raise your tulip and pour it down your thoat then declare in a very commanding voice " My God! that was a 3.4 rated beer if ever I had one!"
    alucard6679 likes this.
  33. Norica

    Norica Aspirant (233) Feb 2, 2006 Massachusetts

    "This beer tastes nothing like a Miller High Life I had in Portland the other day..."
    JohnCassillo likes this.
  34. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (501) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Maybe your friend knew full well that he was purchasing old beer.
  35. WallyHop

    WallyHop Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2013 Kentucky

    "Hey man I think this IPA is old."

    Then educate them about dates. There is no snobbery in wanting your beer to taste how the brewer intended.
  36. dougfur

    dougfur Initiate (0) Jan 24, 2011 New York

    I did the same thing the other day in a store. Walked out with nothing and when the woman asked me if I hadn't been able to find anything I liked, I said, "actually, you've got some great beers here, they're just all too old for me." I felt like a stupid snob, but they need to hear it. Everyone in the industry needs to hear, constantly, that we're not interested in hoppy ales that aren't fresh.
  37. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (724) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Exactly. Maybe he was checking to see if anyone/everyone knew about freshness of IPAs, and wanted to see a group response. Sounds to me like a great comic skit set-up.
  38. meb3476

    meb3476 Aspirant (292) Apr 1, 2013 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I'm a firm believer that people need to told when they screw up. That's how we learn...
  39. glass_house

    glass_house Defender (600) Jan 10, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I'm with most people here--especially in a tasting atmosphere, it's almost an obligation to point out that an IPA is well beyond it's practical shelf life.

    However, I have been wondering about the appropriate action in a place of business. How do you tell a retailer that their IPA probably shouldn't be on the shelf anymore? Part of me thinks informing them is the right thing to do. But I don't want to come across as a pompous asshole who is telling them how to run their business.
    #79 glass_house, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  40. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,384) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    If you are lucky enough to have a bottle shop in your neighborhood then it's up tot you to tell that fellow why you are buying and why you are not buying. BOTH. That fellow doesn't have to know a thing about beer to try his hand at being a local business man. You can only do him a favor by pointing out old beer and saying I am not buying this because it's old.
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