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Can't drink beer anymore?

So I loved beer all throughout my 20's and would drink everything from lite beer in cans to every kind of craft beer. I could pound the cases with the frat boys or sip snob beer in the gastro-pubs.

31 years of age now, and in the past year or so I find that I don't like beer anymore. Everything tastes stale or has off-flavors or too much hops or is too filling.

I used to love every kind of beer, from hopped-out to malty, light to dark. Now there's only a couple of pilsners, when very fresh, that I like.

Also beer seems like it's getting more expensive.

Beer brought me happiness and brought me together with some great people. I want to like it again, but so much of it tastes "off" now. Say it ain't so...

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  1. this is the saddest post i have ever seen on this board. lets hope you can find something to fill that void.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TroyTempest

      hahaha thanks... you had me laughing for about 3 minutes on that one

    2. I heartily agree, beer is just not as good as when I was in my 20s. And it seems like I get stale beer more and more often. And I just flat out avoid drafts now because I don't trust most places to clean their taps and lines thoroughly. Not to mention I feel totally bloated after the first couple of sips.

      But there are some beers in bottles out there that I can quaff easily, one is labatt, the other is negra modelo. I live in Michigan, so Bell's beer is always an option too for me. And if I feel like really going all out, Fin du Monde is one of those festive occasion beers. Try negra modelo though, especially in Mexican restaurants where the supply is almost guaranteed to be fresh. It's pretty great. I also like Sapporo in the 22 oz can in Thai or Japanese restaurants.

      2 Replies
      1. re: charlesbois

        Thanks for the suggestions. And I had a feeling I wasn't the only one. I don't know if beer is getting staler, or if it's just the palate getting more refined or whatever as you go along. I know I can instantly pick up "staleness" in beer whereas 5 or 10 years ago I might not have noticed (or cared) as much.

        1. re: Budget Palate

          It really depends on where you go. Some places are just not aggressive enough about cleaning their tap lines. There's a relatively new tavern in town that serves one of my favorite local beers, a light version of a Belgian strong ale. I've had this beer at many locations, but it's never tasted better to me than it has at this tavern, or the brewery where it's made. I've had some truly horrible glasses of it, depending on where I've gotten it.

          Bottles are probably going to be your best bet, I think.

      2. Have you gotten any at a local brewpub right off the teat? I mean you can't get any fresher than that.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          True. The last truly good beer I had was a porter from a local brewpub.

          1. re: Budget Palate

            Then you're all set! Welcome back man!!!

        2. This is Draconian, but it might work. For the month of March force yourself to drink only mass marketed mass produced lite beer in can every day. Then April 1st, no foolin', switch back to one of your favor brews and by comparison it should taste great! Sometimes in life one must simply bite the (silver) bullet.
          Good luck!

          1. You don't have to make yourself like something. Maybe you'll find a nice cider you like, or some other beverage. I heard about a sparkling mead a while back ...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              Probably Heidrun. They make mead using methode champenoise, and it's outstanding stuff. No sweetness at all, very dry, with a great honey nose.

              1. re: Josh

                I thought it was Redstone, but I see no evidence that they make such a product. This supposedly came in a six-pack, and I've never seen it, only heard of it.

                1. re: Jim Dorsch

                  Yeah, my understanding is that Redstone is more traditional in their offerings. I recently had a Dutch mead that was really good - 30 proof, and flavored with caraway seed. Can't recall the name offhand.

                  This is the producer I was thinking of:

            2. The more beer I drink and the more I brew, the more I realize that the majority of craft beer sitting on beer store shelves is stale. Its a dirty little secret in the craft beer world and one that the majority of the industry would rather ignore and try to bury than come up with some real plans to get fresh beer in the hands of consumers. I put most of the blame on distributors who don't want to mess with their cash cow models of buying in bulk in order to get discounts. So many times the beer sits in a wharehouse oxydizing away before it is even delivered to a retailer. But there is plenty of blame to go around the three tier system for sure.

              Also, most craft brews contain a bit more hops than your usual industrial lagers, therefore are more prone to oxydation - not to mention alot of craft brewers are working with outdated bottling lines that do them no favors.

              And draft beer is only as good as the publican's policies on keeping clean draft lines and stock rotation.

              Their is one saviour for me though - homebrewing.

              4 Replies
              1. re: LStaff

                I don't think most craft beer is particularly old, but even if it's only six weeks in the bottle, it's been carted around from place to place, likely stored at ambient temperature, jostled, etc.

                I have similar thoughts about lager beers. The beer in Germany always tastes great, but I believe it tires quickly during transport to the US.

                1. re: LStaff

                  Yeah, it's strange how the craft brewing industry has evolved. When it began, just as the old local and regional breweries were dead or dying, a lot of folks thought it would be the rebirth of "local beer". Instead, so many of the bigger names have turned into "shipping breweries", shipping their beers well outside of what would have been the regional area breweries of similar size once would have served. It's as if they're all trying to compete for the same 5% of the market, all over the country.

                  Boston Beer Company ships a lot of it's beer from that little brewery in Cincinnati (granted, they've increased capacity) that Schoenling used to serve a small mid-West market. Since the closing of the last macro brewery in Washington (the Oly facility last owned by Miller IIRC), ALL the Sam Adams in the western half of the country is being shipped long distances. Sierra Nevada (and, even Anchor) ship to the entire country from the West Coast. Now, for all the progress and high tech improvements in industry, trucking and warehousing is still trucking and warehouseing (even if routing and inventory'control is a bit more efficient).

                  As a result, it does seem as if one can count on the new beer from "latest" brewery to hit an area to possibly being fresh, but after it's been in the market for 6 months or so, it appears to just sit around, the mass of the beer geeks having moved on to the next latest "hot" beer. On top of it all, rather than gradually enter a market with one or two "unique" or better known beers, some of the craft brewers seem to initially flood a new market with 4-6 labels at a time.

                  I'm sure if I went out today to a store with a "good" beer selection, most of the Sam Adams, Brooklyn, Flying Fish, River Horse (the latter 3 "local" beers) labels would be out of date or darn close to it. OTOH, the newly arrived California beers from Bear Republic flew off the shelves. A year from now, it'll be Bell's flying and the Bear Republic getting as old and stale as some of those Rogue bottles that I swear have sat in some stores since they opened a few years ago...

                  For all the knocking of the macro brewers for their beers, you gotta say they are nowhere as, let's say, "generous" with their dating and their shelf lives. All 3 are around 2-3 months for bottles and cans, even less from draught. OTOH, most crafts seem to give a LOT more time for both. And imports routinely give their bottled beers 1 year shelf life Used to be a rule of thumb that, once tapped, a keg should be emptied within a week or so. Obviously, some of these multi-tap bars are keeping kegs on for months at a time.

                  1. re: JessKidden

                    Ironically, the Brewers Assn has been promoting exports for a number of years.

                  2. re: LStaff

                    I'm in total agreement with you pal...you want good, fresh beer then make it yourself. Although the 75th Street Brewery in Kansas City sells great beer, they don't bottle it they only sell it on tap and fill up growlers.
                    BudgetPalate, have you considered researching and brewing your own favorite beers? Once you get the initial cost of equipment out of the way it's a good deal. If you decide this route, I highly recommend a getting a grain mill, that way you can buy grain in bulk and save money and mill what you need when you need it.
                    BTW - I've got an experimental chocolate coffee stout fermenting right now, I think it'll be really good...

                  3. Some random thoughts... Thanks for the suggestions on mead and cider, although I already liked beer alot, it's just that lately it hasn't tasted right. A note on cider: every fall I buy unpasteurized apple cider from the farmer's market, put the yeast in, and let 'em rip. The results are great. People think I've done something special. I did very little.

                    As far as homebrew, yeah, I agree it's the best. Beer is fermented bread. Like bread, the fresher the better, and homemade is best.

                    All the detailed information in this thread about beer distribution was real interesting. I wonder if it's true that craft beer is often stale. I think ALL beer should have a "born on" date, required by law. As I write this I am sipping on a Yeungling which tastes fresh as can be. It tastes better than a 6-pack I bought recently at twice the cost.... I wonder if I am losing my taste for "craft" beer and aquiring a taste for cheap...

                    Someone mentioned Germany. I think the German model, and more generally the European model, is to have a brewery in every city providing the folks their fresh daily brew. They generally just drink their local brew and don't worry about it. Here in American we are having this great resurgence of local breweries. Yet perhaps the problem for me is that these local breweries are trying too hard to produce "extreme" styles and need to just put out a simple, fresh, daily-drinkin' brew.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Budget Palate

                      Yuengling is a good example of a beer that sells quite briskly, and therefore should be pretty darn fresh just about all the time. If you stay with popular beers you should be in pretty good shape regarding freshness.

                      I don't endorse a legally-mandated born-on date because it's a freshness issue, not something life-threatening.

                      Certainly, extreme styles are popular at the moment. IPA is a popular style, and while not 'extreme' by today's definition, it still is an aggressive style.

                      If there is interest in spirited (or not so spirited) argument about the above topics, we can start a new thread.