I freely admit to not having the best palate in the world, possibly the result of growing up in the west of Scotland in a household over-reliant on frozen foods. I do know when my beer isn’t right however, and I’ve had more than my fair share of what I refer to as ‘tangy’ IPAs recently. When I say tangy, it’s not that the beer is sour as such. It’s not a ‘wet cardboard’ off-flavour either, it’s more offensive than that. In fact it’s downright nasty.
The first time I experienced it was from a can of Modus Hoperandi purchased at The Jolly Butchers in Stoke Newington. It turned out to be out of date, and from this I surmised that the reason for this ‘tang’ was that the beer was old, and possibly hadn’t been kept in a refrigerated environment. I also had it from a can of IPA from a UK-based brewery, and informed them privately via email. More recently, I had it in from a pint of Punk IPA at The Rose pub in London Bridge. I asked my friend, no stranger to beer himself, what he reckoned, and he agreed it didn’t taste right.
I’ve asked Twitter what this off-flavour may be caused by, whether it is indeed just old beer with decimated hops. I also wonder how prevalent this issue is, or whether it’s an issue at all. Is it just me and my inferior palate, or do we have a problem of poorly kept, nasty, tangy beers?
Image courtesy of Tambako The Jaguar under creative commons via Flickr