Sour times

This is going to be vague, for reasons that will become apparent: I’m not going to name the pubs or the beers, or even the day when I drank them.

Beer 1 was a porter – quite a big, complex beast. I liked it well enough, but it was a bit slack and lacking condition; what was worse, partway down the glass I started to notice a sour edge to the flavour, as if the beer was starting to oxidate(?).

Oh well – occupational hazard of drinking cask, I thought, and ordered something else. This was a pale beer with a completely different flavour profile, but… damn it, there it was again: a sour edge, as of a beer that was just about to start going off.

Beers 3 and 4, elsewhere and later the same day, were both pale. Beer 3 was one I’d had a couple of times, since it had come on, but never in a pint: I suspected the flavour would develop better that way. And so it did – lots of herbs and a bit of woodsmoke. Only there was also a bit of a sour edge…

Well, it had been on for a while. For beer 4 I chickened out and ordered keg. At least, I was about to order a keg beer when I noticed that the cask version of the same beer was on. When I commented, the bartender recommended it and said that it had just gone on. I got stuck into a pint, which would have been terrific – light and mouth-dryingly bitter – if it hadn’t been for that sour edge to the flavour…

At this point I gave it up and went home. But, with that last beer in mind in particular, I’m seriously starting to wonder: is it me? Was I just tasting everything as sour that day?

Is that, as they say, a thing?

Does anyone else have experience of thinking every single beer they tasted was going off, or know someone who does?

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 31 August, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    There have certainly been days when beers I know really well don’t taste like what they ought to. It can usually be fixed by eating something salty and having a glass of water, so I’ve always assumed it’s the lingering effects of something else I’ve eaten or drunk earlier in the day.

  2. Posted 31 August, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nah, bollocks Either the brewery is sending out infected beer or the pub doesn’t clean their lines enough.

    • Phil
      Posted 31 August, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, but two different pubs and four different beers – one of which was fresh on. I’d rather assume it was me, to be honest.

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