Talk to Kurt and Rob Widmer about consistency. In the days when their brewing operation was tiny, they worked overtime to attain consistency across multiple batches. It wasn't easy. Batches that didn't measure up were tossed...no questions asked. Because they refused to damage their fledgling brand with rotten beer.
|One of my labels from back in the infected day|
Consistency and quality are less of an issue today. Brewers have figured out how to make consistent, quality beers. Large regional breweries that have plants in several locations around the country manage to produce beers that are essentially the same.
If you ask the Widmer boys about that, they like to bring up the macro brewers. The big boys, they say, have quality control dialed in to the point where different batches of Bud, for example, look and taste the same regardless of where they are brewed. Don't laugh. Differences in very light beers are more easily detected than similar differences in darker, fuller craft beers.
|Yeah, that's infected|
Look, I realize brewers sometimes get pushed into a corner due to changing market conditions or altered ingredients. Or maybe a brewer decides a beer needs to change...the way Boneyard decided to dial down the ABV in RPM and Hop Venom over the last year. That change was totally above board. Tony Lawrence outlined what he was going to do and did it.
But what are we supposed to make of a situation where a beer with a great reputation suddenly undergoes a fairly dramatic change (according to numerous fans) and the brewer denies using different ingredients or doing anything different in the brewing process?
Listen, I honestly don't think there's a good explanation. Because it doesn't make sense. I'm mostly at a loss. What the hell do you think is going on?