Why would a brewery release a bad beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by raynmoon, Feb 16, 2013.

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  1. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I just don't get it. It seems our taste buds are all similar enough to come to honest consensuses about what tastes good and bad. So it just makes me wonder why breweries would release something that just isn't good. Was it their intention for it to be that poor of quality. Are they hoping their is a market for that product?

    How does Dogfish Head and Rogue get away with this stuff? :stuck_out_tongue:

    When I make beer, if it is not how i'd imagined or not up to my standards, then nobody else gets to try it.

    After having said all of this, it's not easy to make a good beer.
  2. kawilliams81

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

    What beers are you talking about from these breweries? I know Rogue is pretty much all of them but...
    1424IpA, ABisonEgo and YogiBeer like this.
  3. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    faithfull ale, midas touch. And anything else they have put together that nobody seemed to like. Black & Red.
    Smurf2055 likes this.
  4. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    As a home brewer who pretty regularly brews beers that blow away a lot of what is out there on the market, I often wonder this myself. It's not just the breweries that release "bad" beer, it's the breweries that release mediocre beer. I've only been brewing for 2 years. I know it's not that I'm super talented. And I agree. If I don't think a beer I brew is near the best of the best out on the market, I'm ashamed of it. What gives?
  5. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

  6. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (970) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Lol Black&Red is pretty terrible. But one man's trash is another man's treasure. Obviously he's a very lonely man.
    Hopsiam14 likes this.
  7. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    No I get it, I enjoy the nice cereal medley in it when had a room temperature and that it is based on an old recipe and that it is cool. But mostly it tastes like cough syrup and alcohol. Doesn't make it good.
  8. adamant1912

    adamant1912 Disciple (371) Jan 10, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Money...trickery...and money- no one likes throwing beer down the drain and taking a finicial hit. Also, I think throwing an appealing name or throwing a fancy label on a beer might make it appealing. I like a lot of Dark Horse beers, however, given some of the beers they release I wonder what they were thinking (e.g., many bottles at the last release party). To each his own.
    MichiBrew and hopfenunmaltz like this.
  9. fritts211

    fritts211 Aspirant (210) Feb 19, 2011 Tennessee
    Beer Trader

    i like Midas Touch, fwiw. Even brewers have different perspectives on taste. There is no monopoly on what does or doesn't taste good. Even "subpar" beers are better than a lot of other major BMC beers.
  10. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    If a beer truly is "bad" and not just something that a minute part of the craft community doesn't like, then it wouldn't sell, and if a product doesn't sell it doesn't continue to be made.
  11. Flight0011

    Flight0011 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 Washington

    The only thing I can think of is that they invest so much time and money into a batch, so if it turns bad but remains drinkable they sell it in hopes that someone will buy it and not know any better. But that is a big risk. Here is an example from an experience. I went to the Pike place brewery one day. Out of 9 beer samples 7 of them tasted ether like frootloops or buttery popcorn. Because of that experience I will never give them my business again. However the people I was with didn't know a good beer from a bad one so the ordered another while I opted for water.
  12. Bluecane

    Bluecane Initiate (0) Dec 30, 2011 New York

    It's possible that scaling beer production is difficult.
  13. TheBeerTruck

    TheBeerTruck Aspirant (210) Feb 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    What in the world makes you think "our taste buds are all similar enough"? The fact the we all have soooo many different preferences for so many different reasons is part of the reason there are so many successful craft breweries today. E.G. Blue Moon is the number one selling "craft" beer (yes, I know what that shit really is) in the state of Michigan, yet it's just as far away from the top 100 beers in the world as I am to digging a hole to China straight through the third rock.

    "Led Zeppelin didn't write tunes everyone liked. They left that to the Bee Gees."

    Dogfish Head doesn't make beer everyone likes...

    Opinions shared as opinions are all good, but not when shared as if factual.
    tzolandz, NABS, Relik and 7 others like this.
  14. DaKur

    DaKur Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2012 Rhode Island

  15. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    There's actually wide disagreement about most beers when it comes to "good". Lots of beers people here would rate as mediocre or less than mediocre are thoroughly enjoyed by many. What you dislike, many love. Even among beers people think are the be all, end all of craft beer is disliked or at least less liked by others. You don't like Rogue? Ok, well LOTS of people do. Substitute Rogue with virtually any other brewery and you get the same results. I think DFH makes crappy beers and is marketing over product but lots of people disagree.

    With OP's question you might as well ask why every brewery doesn't swing for the fences to make the most exotic beer with every beer. At which point you might as well ask why every restaurant isn't fine dining, every car isn't a hand built masterpiece, etc. There's a market for the product and it's profitable to fill that market.

    There's a big difference between a beer that is flawed and sold -- which I think is offensive to customers -- and a beer you dislike but they think is a quality product. Even then, you find massive love for brewers that push out defective products. Jester King is a good example. They are worshiped by many in Austin but almost all bottles are improperly bottled gushers. People completely overlook the flaws because they really like the beers. (Disclaimer, I do like several JK beers myself in spite of the bottling issues, have been to the brewery a couple times and plan on returning in a couple weeks.)
    NABS and rab53 like this.
  16. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You're also not: scaling up production, producing on a consistent schedule, having to brew for profit, having to purchase materials based on contracts, having to think about other people's willingness to buy the beer, seeing that beer sit in questionable conditions for weeks before it reaches the consumer, etc. You're making beer to your preferences, so it isn't a surprise you really like it. I bet you could find lots of people who think it is not great beer. (Lots of people would likely think my homebrew is not that great, either.)
    darknova306, YogiBeer, NABS and 3 others like this.
  17. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Actually, I believe the reason there are so many craft breweries today is because people are making awesome beer and every city in the world wants more, no matter what our taste buds say.

    I was just putting it out there, that if someone is controlling operations at a brewery, and they respected the job they had, then why on earth would be they release a crummy beer to the public. Perhaps they thought it was good? maybe they never taste checked it? I dunno. Just puttin' it out there.
  18. DovaliHops

    DovaliHops Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Dogfish Head may not make top class beers every time...but they try. They reach out and strive to be experimental. I respect them for that. Their last collaboration with Birra del Borgo was very tasty and the another weird one I had from them recently was pretty damn good. Why Indian Wells ever became a brewery... that just beats me.
  19. DovaliHops

    DovaliHops Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Laugh. I thought Fort was pretty awful, but there's people that swear by that shit.
  20. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    Either because beer can be subjective or because the brewery doesn't have a clue. Or maybe you don't.
  21. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Out of those, Ive only had Midas Touch, and while its not my favorite, it is nice to throw in the mix every once in the while.
    Blueribbon666 likes this.
  22. harrymel

    harrymel Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2010 Washington

    I don't like Maudite. If I had brewed that beer, and didn't think it was "good" and didn't sell it, I might not be in business.

    Point being - it's a business. They are interested in selling beers. Every beer you cite sells, so you have your answer. Same business model Wal-Mart uses to determine what goes on the shelf. Pretty simple if you ask me.
  23. superspak

    superspak Poo-Bah (16,508) May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Personally, I don't care what the hell anyone's opinion is regarding Dogfish Head's ancient beers. I have a very adventurous palate, and I can absolutely tell that they have made a great effort of what they were going for with every single one of those styles. Honestly, the Sahti they made was the absolute best in the style I have had, and I have tried every available offering in that style which is very few.

    Off centered beers is the motto, and if you don't like it then don't buy it; but it will be the next thing in my cellar collection to taste whenever they create a new one for distribution.

    Craft Beer is all about experimentation, and if you can't appreciate that; then I am very sorry for your palate. If it wasn't about breaking new ground in beer styles, then every Craft brewer would just solely be making IPAs and other styles everyone likes all the time. Sounds a lot like the motto of any macro brewery making shit beer for a century only for sales purposes. You have to test the waters of unique beer styles, and as homebrewer it is something I do all the time.
  24. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,455) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I don't think you will get a universal consensus on what is bad or good. I never liked sour beers for many years, now I can't get enough. That said, what Smuttynose was thinking with releasing Zinneke is beyond me.
  25. flayedandskinned

    flayedandskinned Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I love Maudite. Its a great Biere De Garde. I just wish it was maltier.
  26. Daemose

    Daemose Devotee (426) Oct 3, 2011 Texas
    Beer Trader

    What bottles are you getting? Ones that were rolled down a hill after falling off the back of the truck? I've never had a jester king gush on me ever.
  27. RblWthACoz

    RblWthACoz Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Many times people have gushed and raved over beer I thought was complete garbage; or just pedestrian, at best. Lots of different palates out there. There are still plenty of craft beer drinkers that don't quite know the difference yet also.
    The_Birdman likes this.
  28. Nectar

    Nectar Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    Get off the hate train people..... You either like their stuff or you dont, it doesnt make it bad beer. They arent trying to brew strictly within a style, so comparing to other beers within the style isnt sensible. DFH doesnt screw beer up and just release it. A few years back they drainpoured an entire batch of 120 minute. Just because YOU don't like it doesnt mean they shouldnt make it.
  29. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,382) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I agree with you point on DFH. In the show they were tasting the beer and testing the beer in the lab, IIRC. It did not pass the QC standards so it went down the drain.

    There are breweries out there that either do not taste or test the beer and put it on the market, or taste it and put it on the market anyway even though it is bad technically.
  30. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,538) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    because one person's definition of what is "good" is not the same as one persons definition of what is "bad"...

    getting it now?
  31. TheBeerTruck

    TheBeerTruck Aspirant (210) Feb 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    You missed my point. You say it's a crummy beer as if that's a fact. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean its a crummy beer! WTF? Should every brewery have you taste their beer for your stamp or approval before bottling it or just Dogfish Head?
  32. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,019) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Beer Trader

    Taste is subjective ... you are equating that with quality which is wrong. You also assume the beer you make is good as well, your bad batches you don't share with anyone could be good ... how are you to know if you are the only one drinking them? :wink:
    JrGtr, Steve212, imbibehour and 8 others like this.
  33. dcloeren

    dcloeren Defender (634) Sep 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    You might be the only one... However, ever since I read on here that they suggest to refrigerate their beers for 24 hours before opening I haven't had a problem.
  34. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Aspirant (244) Sep 21, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Read the JK thread.
  35. tjensen3618

    tjensen3618 Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2008 California

    The Rogue hate is getting ridiculous, it makes no sense to me. They make a bunch of solid beers, and had 3 beers in the top 100 on this site a few years ago.
    It's like the cool thing to do on the internet I guess , kinda like throwing out yet another Nickleback joke.
  36. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    As a general point (not DFH or Rogue)...

    Because "they're local" and there's a lot of locals out there who want to buy local, support their local, and also may not be aware of the better alternatives on retail shelves.
    barleywinefiend likes this.
  37. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    just had chocolate heat last night. what the hell were they thinking with that beer? Sounds so much more promising than it is
  38. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (747) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    every brewery, yeah.
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  39. StubFaceJoe

    StubFaceJoe Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2011 Colorado

    I think the actual topic here should be; Why do companies make beers where BA isn't the target demographic?

    I really don't like that DFH is constantly called out here. They've broken boundaries, not only in the creation of beer, but how beer is seen to the world. 120 and WWS are often studied and written about in terms of aging a beer. The marketing of beer with class but can still be fun and experimental is a great concept which has affected all of beer making.

    It's really odd to me that in the beer world we don't respect those that got things going, when in music and sports it is all you hear about.
  40. mikecharley

    mikecharley Devotee (406) Nov 6, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Short term cash flow

    Edit. This is in response to a brewery releasing an off quality product not a subjectively bad beer.
    carteravebrew and TheFunGuy like this.
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