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Change of mind but Google never forgets

Google result for a beer-related search.

This weekend, we decided to give Cornish brewery St Austell’s Korev lager (“with soul“) another go having written it off last year. As we’d hoped might be the case, knowing that the head brewer is a meticulous perfectionist, it has improved enormously. It seemed lighter, cleaner, drier and snappily bitter. It’s still not the world’s most exciting lager but it’s certainly not nasty — a Bitburger, perhaps, rather than a Foster’s.

Unfortunately, our previous review, with the dismissive ‘blech!’ in the title, looms high in the Google results for ‘Korev lager’. It was an accurate summary of our feelings at the time and, having praised St Austell’s others beers fairly consistently, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to give some honest public criticism of this one.

On the flipside, we had an incredibly exciting couple of bottles of the IPA Marston’s brew for Sainsbury’s — it blew our minds — only to find it bland on every subsequent occasion. Our gushing comments based on that first experience, however, are there for all the world to see and, again, appear on the first page of results from Google when we search ‘Marston’s sainsbury’s IPA’.

We think we’re always clear that any reviews are our impression of the product as we experienced it; and every post is dated. Everyone knows that beers change over time, from pub to pub, bottle to bottle; and we acknowledge that our palates change, too. But what if people only read as far as ‘Korev lager — blech!”?

We don’t want people not to buy Korev because we didn’t like it a year ago, or to feel cheated buying Marston’s IPA because we had a couple of good bottles once. It’s fortunate, then, that so few people Google brands before deciding what to buy at point of sale and that even fewer would base their decision on the word of one poxy blog.

7 replies on “Change of mind but Google never forgets”

I’m not sure that all casual drinkers do know or expect that, “beers change over time, from pub to pub, bottle to bottle”. However I think any brewer needs to be aware that they will be judged not only on their best beer in perfect nick, but also their worst beer.

They have less control over cask ale in the pub, as you say, but when it comes to bottles there’s usually no-one else to blame. (And I’ve been doing a lot of quiet blaming recently).

You might be right, actually, especially as absolute consistency is expected of and (almost) guaranteed by the biggest mass-produced brands.

I really believe we have a supply chain problem in beer distribution in this country, and that’s one reason why bottled beers vary so much. I won’t buy beer from Majestic because I’ve had whole cases of reputable brewers’ beers that were undrinkable, with the most likely explanation being Majestic’s handling.

Ditto. We once bought an entire case of a normally reliable bottle-conditioned golden ale at Majestic only to find it had ‘turned’. Blergh.

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