Monday, November 12, 2012

It's All About The QC

It’s a fight between Quality Control and Being Pretentious!

Name: Racer 5
Style: India Pale Ale
Brewery: Bear Republic Brewery


I first learned about Racer 5 IPA during an after work Happy Hour. Actually, the definition of After Work is a bit fluid. Let’s just say we went out to the bar after noon, and we may or may not have been on the clock. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

I enjoyed it so much, I asked around about the brewery, and tried to find out where I could score some to enjoy at home. After a couple of misfires, I found a retailer that would meet my needs. I felt like I was blazing a new trail, discovering a new favorite, and building on the opportunity to use the condescending and dismissive tone that I already know about this new thing.

The Beer

I bought a couple of six-packs of Racer 5 IPA following my recent enjoyment. I enjoyed the freshness of the beer, the effervescence, and the light, fruity flavor. Not as hoppy as a traditional IPA, so on my highly technical Taste Scale (Trademark Pending), I would put this around a 4.

Bad picture of a bottle in my refrigerator:

The Problem

Apologies for the poor quality of today’s pictures. They are worse than normal, which is to say: they are shit! That said, you may be able to see at the bottom on the bottle a collection of what professionals call: Stuff.

I believe that it is yeast settling out, and this is my main problem with Racer 5 IPA. While it was thoroughly enjoyable on tap in the bar(s), it took me a couple of bottles at home to figure out why the finish was cloudy and bitter, and not in the good way.

I truly do understand the idea of adding yeast for fermentation in the bottle, and I’ve done this myself when I’ve made a variety of homebrews. I don’t accept that a brewery seeking national sales and recognition should be held to the same quality standard as some yahoo (read: enthusiast) brewing up a batch in his kitchen.

I also am put off by the idea that even though I purchased 12 ounces of beer, I need to waste the last 2 or 3 ounces because of the shitty taste.


While I freely admit that I enjoyed this beer on tap in my local watering hole, I can not in good conscience give a recommendation to buy this beer. I believe that the yeast collecting on the bottom of the bottle is a reflection of poor quality control, and not a ‘Brewmaster Decision’ to allow for the rustic appeal of a bitter, nasty finish to their beer. They should be punished, and rejected, until they can fix this issue.

- Enthusiast