A foray into flat beer

A few weeks ago a friend handed me a few beers he had sitting around his house. His wife had brought them back to North Carolina from Virginia and as far as I could remember, I’d never had any of them. So I was excited to sample.

Only problem was – they had gone beyond their suggested “drink by” date. This made things a bit more interesting. (For the good or bad?) Can beer go bad? Certainly.

Here were results from my foray into flat beer:

Rockfish Wheat
84 on Beer Advocate

Oddly enough, the state of the beer made it taste similar to Olde Hickory Eiraphiotes, but in a bad way. Odd, since that beer is an imperial pilsner aged in chardonnay barrels. The Rockfish Wheat had lots of grape in its smell and taste.

The “drink by” date on this was December 2011. Even if I caught it prior to that, I’m not sure how crazy I would’ve been about it. This beer is a Bavarian style “Kristall Weizen,” so it’s perfect for the warmer spring and summer months.  I found it odd that this beer is bottle conditioned with yeast left over. Something that you rarely see from a beer sold in a commercial six-pack. Not only that, but the bottle specifically tells drinkers to pour half the bottle, swirl the remaining beer around to wash up the yeast, and then pour the rest out into your glass.

While I know there are others out there who love adding yeast into their beer, it is not my thing – especially the addition of flavors that adding yeast to the beer creates. Still, given the pretty bland/lousy flavor of the beer given its age and condition, I suppose this might have actually been a boon to the taste.

St. George Summer Ale
83 on Beer Advocate

The summer ale was actually a year past its “drink by” date, but I ventured into the beer for two sips which made me sad. I almost spit it out. For what it’s worth, the St. George website says this is a “highly-drinkable, thirst-quenching beer.”


Starr Hill Double Platinum imperial IPA
88 on Beer Advocate

The amount of hopiness in this beer certainly helped it out. While there was no discernible “drink by” date printed on the label, it poured just as flat and bland as the other two. However, the use of simcoe hops is definitely what allowed the beer to keep some of its original smell and taste. There was barely any body to the beer, but I don’t mind drinking something like this so long as its got some hop profile.

I’d love to have a non-flat bottle of this – I think it’d be a fine double IPA.

1 thought on “A foray into flat beer

  1. Excellent stuff, I love that you were adventurous enough to still drink the flat beer, so to speak. How can I contact you? My email address is davidgonos [at] gmail [dot] com — shoot me a note when you get a chance. Would love to promote your blog, maybe do a guest blogging thing on my site.

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