The Bruery Recalls Bottles of Ebony & Oak W/ Comments August 13, 2013 By Dan 1 Comment Just as I was picking up my Reserve Society stuff today at The Bruery tasting room, a staff member told me they would be holding back the Ebony & Oak order, and refunding anyone who had already taken their bottles home. Here was the full explanation on the recall of Ebony & Oak. After their letter, read our comments on the matter. EBONY & OAK SALES & DELIVERIES ON HOLD To our Society members, As you know, we at The Bruery take our beer making seriously. After tasting and testing many bottles of Ebony & Oak, and taking note of a few comments from our Society members, we regret to inform you that we have decided to put a hold on sales and deliveries of this beer. Unfortunately, the released beer does not represent the expression of a barrel aged stout that we intended to produce. Through our lab analysis, we have discovered that Ebony & Oak contains higher than expected amounts of bacteria and wild yeast, which is a frequent byproduct of aging in oak barrels. One of these strains, lactobacillus, imparts an acidic quality, which we frequently and intentionally introduce to make many of our sour beers. We tested Ebony & Oak prior to release and determined that their viability was low, thus their presence would not impact the desired flavor profile. However, it appears that after bottling, the lactobacillus has prospered, imparting an unintended tartness to the beer and possibly resulting in a light ‘gushing’ when opened. Basically, instead of a barrel aged stout, the beer is developing into a sour barrel aged stout, reminiscent of a less sour version of Tart of Darkness. Many people will like the tartness added to this beer. However, it is not what we intended and it is not what we described. We care about the experience you have when you drink a beer from The Bruery and right now we don’t know how this beer will continue to develop. For those Reserve and Hoarders Society members who’ve purchased the beer, but not yet picked it up or had it shipped, we will be refunding your purchase in the next week. Preservation Society members who have not yet picked up their packages will receive Mrs. Stoutfire as a replacement beer. For those of you who have already received your beers, we will be offering you a coupon to try another Bruery beer. (See below for terms and conditions). Yes, we recognize that some folks get the beer and a coupon and others get a different beer, while still others get their money back. We also recognize that some of you may have eagerly wanted to try this beer, regardless of what we thought of it. We apologize for any inconvenience, and that we can’t accommodate everyone or treat everyone similarly. But we hope that we’ve at least made everyone whole and preserved the integrity of our beer and brand. We want to be sure that you get a product that we are proud of. We specialize in experimental beer and this is one of the unfortunate occasional outcomes. Refunds will be processed within the next 10 days to the credit card used to make the original purchase. If you are eligible for an electronic coupon, they will be sent on or about Friday, August, 16th to the account email on record. Preservation Society packages with Mrs. Stoutfire are scheduled to be available for pick up beginning Friday, August 16th. Again, we regret any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call. Cheers, The Bruery -Terms and Conditions Coupons expire 12/31/13. Recipient will receive a coupon of $15 for each bottle of Ebony & Oak purchased from The Bruery. Valid only for on-line purchases of beer or merchandise. Purchase (including tax) must be greater than the value of the coupon. Not valid at The Bruery Tasting Room. May not be combined with any other discount or promotion. No cash value. Only one coupon per transaction. Coupon is valid only for the emailed recipient and is not transferable. This is a great show of customer service and customer loyalty. I know first hand The Bruery takes their barrel program and QC seriously and acted very quickly. Even though second use barrels always leave the door open a crack for unexpected bugs, you rarely see it caught this quick and acted upon. The idea, which was touched upon in The Bruery’s note, is the uncertain future of this bottle run. The beer might blossom into deliciousness, or it may turn out to be rank. If you are sad you didn’t get to try the beer, The Bruery tasting room still has it on draft and with no signs of tartness.