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 thoughts on “Change of mind but Google never forgets”

  1. Pret­ty sim­i­lar to what hap­pens when you google “Euston Tap blog”. Kind of irri­tat­ing.

  2. Oh, yeah, there is also that one… but then we’ve nev­er been back to reassess.

  3. 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).

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

  4. 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.

    1. 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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