Australian craft beer standards

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neal32

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Hi,

My name is Neal and I enjoy beer. I often go out of my way to source craft beers. All my experiences with beers imported from the US have been top notch in terms of stability, flavour and expectations (minus the obvious freshness). Also I have never had a 'faulty' NZ/Belgian/German beer. However when I branched out and bought a beer from Moon Dog, it was infected. Emailed Moon Dog and got a response basically questioning my diagnosis of an infected beer. Swore to stick to the US/NZ/Belgian/German craft beers. Saw Murray's 2IPA there today and remember hearing good things about it, so I thought f*&k it, Australian craft beer deserves another go. Cracked, poured gently. Gusher. :( Won't even bother with an email this time.

/rant

Has anyone else experienced these things and if so why is the Australian breweries lagging in hygiene/quality control? I want to support the fledgling industry but that's 2/2 bad experiences. Why bother again when for the same price I can go a Rogue/Bridgeport/Stone/Bear Republic/Mikeller/SN which are always excellent?
 

Helles

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Me to
2 flat beers i think it was Hargraves Hill and Red Hill
Also had a flat beer poured off tap at Buffalo brewery many years ago walked straight out of there
 

bullsneck

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Less micros = smaller range of ingredients for homebrewers.

You got two bad ones, yes. Don't let that taint your opinions of Aussie Craft Beer. I'm sure those who went to Ballarat Beer Fest would back me up. Good beers there.
 

pk.sax

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^ you pointed out the problem with selling beer in Australia up the in the first two posts.

Some of the beers I like tend to be overcarbed by the breweries for the bottles. No worries, let it out. Pour into a glass. No problem with flavour.
What you call flat up there about Hargreaves hill and red hill is to me just right. Personal preference. Don't bash these good breweries man, it's very subjective. Highly carbed craft beer tends to taste pretty average if drunk just like that outta the bottle.

Op: Try prickly Moses red ale. Lovely beer.
 

fletcher

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it honestly might have been really shitty luck and coincidence with the ones you got. to jump on their defense, give them a second chance, and i bet you'll have better luck with the newly bought beers. give them another crack i reckon. i've had some fantastic murray's beers.
 

Helles

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I still do buy Aussie craft beers sometimes
But the Hargraves Hill and Red Hill where totally flat
Just wont buy these ones ever again
 

Fish13

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enjoying eagle bay beers today. the pale ale was very nice and the kolsch aint to bad
 

bum

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Where'd you buy them, neal32?
 

Wolfy

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I think that trying a limited number of samples/beers/breweries and then labeling all Australian Craft Beer as having poor 'standards', 'hygiene/quality control' or anything else (good or bad) is short-sighted, based on inadequate and incomplete data and reading too much into such a small sample. You're doing yourself and the ************************ industry a disservice.
One email response from one brewery is also a far too small sample to make any qualitative judgments or life-long decisions.

I've tried some locally brewed craft beer and found I didn't like it, sometimes I suspect it's related to quality-control type issues, other times the beer/style/brewery/carbonation/something is simply not to my liking. I've also tried imported craft beer and mass produced beer and had the same conclusions.
On the other hand I've had some locally brewed craft beer that has been great, heard stories about local craft brewers being very receptive to feedback (good and bad) about their beer, and know that some local craft breweries have very high standards of quality and control.

Fair enough that you had a beer from a specific brewery that you didn't like, that's a fair reason not to buy the beer or even stuff from that brewery again. But there is such a variety of craft breweries both here and overseas that you simply can't judge one by the other.
Judging a brewery like Feral - and not ever buying their beer - based on a sample of beer you tried from from Moondog (as two example Australian craft breweries), simply because they both brew in the same country just isn't logical, those two breweries differ in almost every other way - the fact they make beer in Australia is likely one of the few things they actually have in common, size, scale, philosophy, process, equipment and the beers they produce are all radically different - you simply can't judge one from trying beer from the other.

If you were to visit the USA or NZ (as examples of the craft brewed beer that you do drink) you might even find that you have the same hit-and-miss situation that you're finding with local beer. The difference being that the stuff that gets imported here from overseas is tried, tested and proven (an importer is not likely to bring over beer they don't think is high quality, tested and proven) rather than what could be a representative sample of the quality and range generally found in that country.
 

yum beer

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I've had some rotten beers from some really well regarded local breweries (mountain goat, grand ridge, murrays), I've also had some bloody good beers as well.
Keep trying you will find some you like, its just not possible to get perfect beer all the time, no matter where its from,
had a Zwiec a while back that was bloody disgusting, as an example.
 

GalBrew

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helles said:
I still do buy Aussie craft beers sometimes
But the Hargraves Hill and Red Hill where totally flat
Just wont buy these ones ever again
Then you are missing out, as these guys do know how to brew. Never had a bad beer from either and I have had way more than 2.
 

lukiferj

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There was a thread a few months back about supporting Aussie micro breweries. There was a suggestion to pick up a single local beer every time you go to a bottle shop. I have been doing this and have tasted some amazing beers. I have also tasted some average and very average beers (undrinkable), but the good has far outweighed the bad. I wouldn't let a couple of bad experiences ruin the opportunity to taste some great beers.
 

Goldenchild

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<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="neal32" data-cid="991966" data-time="1358681198"><p>
Hi,<br />
<br />
My name is Neal and I enjoy beer. I often go out of my way to source craft beers. All my experiences with beers imported from the US have been top notch in terms of stability, flavour and expectations (minus the obvious freshness). Also I have never had a 'faulty' NZ/Belgian/German beer. However when I branched out and bought a beer from Moon Dog, it was infected. Emailed Moon Dog and got a response basically questioning my diagnosis of an infected beer. Swore to stick to the US/NZ/Belgian/German craft beers. Saw Murray's 2IPA there today and remember hearing good things about it, so I thought f*&k it, Australian craft beer deserves another go. Cracked, poured gently. Gusher. :( Won't even bother with an email this time.<br />
<br />
/rant<br />
<br />
Has anyone else experienced these things and if so why is the Australian breweries lagging in hygiene/quality control? I want to support the fledgling industry but that's 2/2 bad experiences. Why bother again when for the same price I can go a Rogue/Bridgeport/Stone/Bear Republic/Mikeller/SN which are always excellent?</p></blockquote>

What moon dog beer was it? Are you sure it wasn't one of there many beers intentially infected with bugs? Hence there questioning your diagnoses of it being infected.

If you weren't a fan dont buy that beer it is that easy. There is no need to generalize all aussy craft beer as bad from 2 bad experiences both which could be as much mishandling as anything else.

Also where are you buying your beer from?
If your local beers are costing the same as your imports from stone, mikkeller,rogue and bear republic like you claim then your either getting ripped off or scoring a great deal on your imports.
 

Thirsty Boy

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He's got a point.. My wife and I are both avid beer fans, we deliberately and frequently seek out new beer, generally craft beer.

Over the years we have learned a few things - one is that Australian micros cant bottle for shit. They're getting better in the last few years but really, the point from where they started was so abysmally low that better still isn't all that good. I try to taste a beer three times in three different settings before I pronounce it "bad" or even decide that I just dont like it - bottled micro brew beer is so horribly inconsistant in my experience, that if a bad taste of a beer happens to be a bottled version.... I dont even count it in the three because I more or less expect it. The second thing we learned is, even sitting in the brewery at brewers we know and like, never order a pint first and never order two of the same beer first - taste them. One pot, share it, see if its any damn good, then if it is.... maybe order a pint. That goes double for a beer we've never tried before or for one off seasonal type offerings...

And I'm not talking about beers simply not being to my taste - I'm talking about beers with obvious and sometimes serious brewing faults.

Its fine to support craft brewing and brewers - but we're not doing anyone any favours if we continue to be unwilling to critisise bad brewing and bad beers. It tkaes away from the achievements of those brewers who get it right.
 

bum

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Thirsty Boy said:
He's got a point..
No, you've got a point. He's had TWO beers. One of which was most likely deliberately bizzare.

Thirsty Boy said:
Its fine to support craft brewing and brewers - but we're not doing anyone any favours if we continue to be unwilling to critisise bad brewing and bad beers.
Yep. I can tell you from experience, however, that criticisng beer in just about any capacity is fairly unpopular around these parts. The PMs one receives!
 

twizt1d

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i had a homebrew once and it was shit, never again.
 

bruce86

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I have found it was the bigger mobs like gage roads (not meaning offence) that had let me down with their beers. I generally pick up craft beers (also from woolies) and have never had an infected or over carbed beer. The gage roads ones tend to be a bit hit a miss but that is more to do with flavour. I had one of their London best at it was great had it another time and it tasted like slightly bitter water. Same goes for the sleeping giant.

Do yourself a favor Neal go find some of ferals brews im sure you have been to the brewery so get it from a bottle shop. The hop hog holds up well looses a little hop edge but my guess that is because the turn over rate at those shops would be a little less than the other beers. If you source beer like you said u do and you havent been to the brewerys in the swan than your not looking hard enough! :icon_cheers:
 

Nick JD

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I complained once about 4 Pines and they sent me a six pack.

Since then I've complained to every single Oz Micro - even the ones I've never tried.

Now I have 347 bottles of delicious craft beer stacked up in a spare room. I've stopped even opening the packets, so it's like Beer Christmas in there. :ph34r: :lol: :p

Joking, of course ... but when they send out replacements it's pretty obvious they realise there's an issue.
 

neal32

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Maybe I could've been more clear in my initial post, these were my first experiences with either brewery. I often drink Feral, Little Creature's, Stone&Wood beers and they are all good, bottled or on tap. Feral Hop Hog is probably my favourite Australian beer. Stone & Wood however is often overcarbed, although not infected. My main point is that if I pay $8 for a stubby it should always be drinkable, well made and subject to good quality control. This point was echoed by Sam Calagione of Dogfishhead. He said, in either his book or show, I forget which one that when he first started bottling he would get emails from dissapointed customers about labels falling off and the general unprofessional presentation of which he initially dismissed as 'Showing it had been made by hand' or 'Handcrafted'. He soon came to realise that if the consumer was paying top dollar for a beer, he deserved professionlism for the whole product, package and all. So when I pay top dollar for a beer, infection just doesn't cut it and when there are so many excellent beers out there, unfortunately Murray's and Moondog will not get another look in. Also they were purchased from seperate Bottle shops around Perth, neither of which I will name because they both do an excellent job and they should only be mentioned in a positive light.
 

bum

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Nick JD said:
but when they send out replacements it's pretty obvious they realise there's an issue.
Not necessarily. There are some breweries who are pretty pro-active in trying to keep customers happy. I emailed one Victorian brewery to ask if something that I thought was a bit shit about one of their smaller batch beers was deliberate or not and they sent me a couple bottles of the newest batch of it (hadn't even hit retail yet) - plus a few of the rest of their range - so I could re-evaluate the beer. Didn't change my mind about the beer but it did about the brewery.
 

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