Saturday, September 12, 2009

That beer's so last month.

Brewers usually put a best before date on containers as they go out of the place. It's pretty usual to only consider requests for returns (ullage and that) for stuff before the best before date. It's also usual for retailers to require a sensible amount of time in which to get around to selling the beer - 22 days would be a typical request. Wholesalers might want a month.

In effect the brewers are warranting that the beer is going to be OK up to the date, but anything might happen after that (explode, go sour, taste of goats, etc) for which they won't be held responsible. Some beers will keep for ages: Strong beers, dark beers, and particularly strong dark beers. All live beer will change as it ages, and for some beers this will be a good thing, for others a bad thing. We condition our weaker beers for at least a week before they go out, so they'll be fit to drink as soon as they're vented and drop bright. We'd normally suggest that they're drunk within a couple of weeks after they get to the pub - these are beers meant to be enjoyed while they're fresh. As they become aged the lower alcohol pale beers can tend to dull a bit, still good - but not as good.

The bad news for the day is that the recirculating pump on the big chiller has packed up and that we don't have a spare. Let's see if we can get a new one by tuesday, otherwise we'll have trouble cooling down the fermenter full of Golden.

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