Look, bad batches happen. Even the best quality assurance programs will miss some things here and there. When such a situation arises at your brewery, the best course of action is to own up to the problem and alert your customers. Clown Shoes Beer found itself in such a tough spot after an unintentionally sour beer hit the shelves recently. The Massachusetts-based craft brewery posted the details of what happened on its blog, and then made the most of the situation by putting in place a refund program.
From the Clown Shoes blog:
Should we have known the Leprechauns would become irked because we created a flotilla out of ten of the tiny green clad troublemakers?
Barrel aging has been a large part of the focus at Clown Shoes for a number of years. Our team has been vigilant and fortunate regarding quality control, experiencing almost nothing in the way of contaminated product. Until now.
Despite testing the blended liquid in tank, with no positive results for any contaminants, a small amount of lactobacillus found its way into an unknown portion of the bottled product. We have now analyzed and seen varying degrees of souring of the product, ranging from slightly tart to medium sour. Fortunately, lactobacillus is the most common bug used to intentionally sour beers. While not what we intended, many people are enjoying Archdruid for what it has become.
The quality control processes we employ have worked to date, but we are aggressively looking into even more sophisticated ways to minimize issues in the future. It would be beyond fantastic if there was a failsafe to prevent contamination of barrel aged products. But there isn’t.
We think it’s pretty Clown Shoes to have been asked for years to make a sour beer, then to do it accidentally, most likely because we pissed off mischievous magical creatures. Hey, at least they only changed the beer into something unique and unexpected, rather than completely destroying the concept.
Anyone that has a poor experience with Archdruid, please mail a receipt or the label (which peels off easily) to:
Clown Shoes Beer
PO Box 1033
Burlington, MA 01803
Thank you for the understanding and support.
As a final thought, we recommend that you make double sure you treat the Leprechauns in your life with dignity.
Gregg Berman and The Clown Shoes Team