Rumors are a real pain. It’s one thing to start them, it’s another thing to continue to perpetuate them. Over the past couple of months a few people on the popular beer websites have started putting out the idea that Side Project Brewing‘s initial release The Origin was “infected.”
Rather than just shoot off at the mouth, Side Project owner Cory King decided to have the beer tested to verify what he thought he knew all along, that this beer wasn’t infected. Cory posted on the STL Hops forums the results of that testing.
I want to first start by saying,
THE ORIGIN IS NOT INFECTED.
Most of you know me personally and know that I am usually pretty quick to post on here to clear up any confusion, answer any questions, or to stop any rumors before they grow out of control. With that said you might wonder why it has taken me a while to respond to this post…
At Side Project, I try to make sure that I am brewing the best beers that I possibly can. Not only that, I love to age the beers as long as they need, release them when they are ready to drink and to make sure that I am 100% proud and approve of what I am selling to you. A lot of you have spent many hours and your hard earned money acquiring Side Project beers, and I cannot thank you enough for your support and in return I want to always supply you with the info that you want and the quality that you expect.
The first person to send me a message about The Origin did so about a month ago, asking if it was possible that The Origin was infected. I replied that anything is possible, as it is, and that I would work to make them happy because I hadn’t any hard proof whether it was or was not. I just assumed that this was an isolated incident and moved on. Until someone on BA reviewed it as infected. (actually several people gave it low ratings, but they were all on the same day, from the same state, so I assumed the same tasting group and the power of suggestion had taken over all of their palates).
This though did affect me and my heart sank. I was really worried and concerned that I had misrepresented Side Project and released something that was not of the high standards that I hold myself. Even though I don’t have a lab, I trust my palate and knew that that beer coming from the barrel was 100% and ready to sell. I thought that something had happened during bottle conditioning, so I immediately started trying to figure out how to address this.
I started looking into labs and reached out to some friends at Schlafly to see if they could lend a hand. I want to thank Schlafly for offering their services to me, I cannot thank them enough for the news that they gave me today ;). I never believed that it was infected, but I needed the proof to be content.
The Origin is not infected.
Even though its not infected, it sucks that all it takes is one person to post it online and now people are questioning it. I can defend myself and my beers on here, but I cannot reply to people reviewing The Origin as infected, and all it takes is one palate to prematurely cry infection to cause a whole stir among the beer community of the other forums. The damage is done and I cannot fix that… I just wanted to let you know that I wanted to wait until I knew based on hard facts whether or not anything was going on in the beer before I replied to concerns addressed here and I hope that you understand.
So, what is going on? The Origin does taste different now then the draft version during the release. The bottle also taste different than the bottle I opened the day before the release. The Origin is a blend of 3 beers that are now over 2 years old. All of my beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle conditioned. They are living and will change with age. I released the beer ready to drink fresh and it is your choice to hold it, age it and let it change if you wish. How will it age? I have no idea. What should it taste like now? I have no idea. Am I still happy with it? ABSOLUTELY.
I had expected the blend to taste more like it does now then what it tasted like during the release, but either way, I love both how it tasted then and how it tastes now. I stressed the fact that this was a blended beer by adding the neck tag to every bottle, but I unfortunately believe that because the label says “imperial stout” that too many people are having a preconceived notion of what they want it to taste like before they taste it, and thus the age and flavors are confusing some.
Being that there are only 186 bottles, all from one barrel, all bottled within a few hours of each, all through 1 beer line and 1 beer gun, the likelihood of an isolated “infected” bottle is zero to none. This beer, as well as most of my beers, will need to be consumed with an open mind, an openness to styles and more of an approach of “do I like this, the balance and the complexities” as opposed to “does this fit a certain style”
Sorry for the very long response, but I didn’t want to stop until I felt like I had adequately defended not only the integrity of Side Project, but also mine as a brewer and business owner…
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time at my email: Cory@SideProjectBrewing.com. Thank you everyone for the support that you have shown me and I hope that you have loved my beers as much as I have loved brewing and sharing them.
THE ORIGIN IS NOT INFECTED…
The problem we have here is groupthink. My guess is that you have a few people who are unfamiliar with aged beer (and the flavors associated with it) and the sherry/oxidized flavors that come from it and automatically assume that the beer is infected. This is going to remain a problem as craft beer becomes more and more popular and you then have more new people learning about beer.
The important thing is that bottle of Origin you may have in your basement is fine and feel free to drink away (or save it for a rainy day.)