Instinctively I dislike writing bad things about micro breweries. I know the care and pride in their products that most of them have. Regrettably some have a blind spot. They have an inability to recognise a bad batch and even a bad recipe, never mind obvious brewing faults. There is frankly too much beer being released from micros that should never be sent to trade.
I have though written about quality issues from small independent breweries and I came across the issue again last night from a (South West) brewery I have had trouble with before. The brewery describes the beer I unwisely purchased as "A golden coloured quenching beer with great hop character. Full fruit in the mouth with good hop balance and a long dry finish." The beer was light brown and smelt of creosote. Never a good sign. It was distinctly woody, phenolic and frankly, an undrinkable mess. Using my best Dom Jolly technique, I complained and had it replaced by the much more mundane, but drinkable Greene King IPA.
For once I am not going to name this brewery or beer, but I will give a clue at the end of this article. The general point is that micros will only ever thrive by producing quality beer that pubs will re-order. No one in their right mind would re-order this stuff.
Clue: The beer tasted woody. The brewery has obviously taken its name too literally in making this beer!
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