Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where does outdated beer end up?

I was wondering if there's a place where old beers are taken when they become outdated. Is there a remand tank somewhere that gets filled and periodically the distributor (or used oil recycler) comes by and unceremoniously empties it and takes it back to the brewery to be recycled? Does the brewer have to pay back the distributor for unsold and outdated beer--sort of like funeral expenses? Or do these beers die an ignominious death poured down a sewer drain somewhere in the dead of night? Or do they all eventually find homes where they live out their last days in peace?

Many beers don't even have a date on them. Who watches over and cares for these guys to make sure that they're taken care of when they reach senility? I imagine some care, but others? I don't know about you but I've seen the dusty, neglected, case or ten lurking in the dark corners...

Now, not all beer would be subject to this sort of forced retirement. For example, a really great beer like a Chimay or a Blithering Idiot may stay on the shelf for years, much like a tenured university professor can stay as long as he can make it to a faculty meeting. But other ales, lagers and such, the more plebeian varieties if you will, what happens to them? You know, the ones that like human beings, start the long, slow, and sometimes painful process of death the day they're born.

I can't ever remember seeing a display of marked-down beer that was approaching the end of it's useful life. Or perhaps I have but the disty hasn't drawn attention to it.

I suspect that, to some, beer is always useful no matter how old it is--like a father who can always be counted out to dole out sage advice to his children who drink it all in. And some times spit it back out.

And imagine if people were marked-down upon reaching that certain age... Actually, in a way, this happens already: in the software development game, after about 45, except in rare cases, the voluminous pay raises give way to not-quite-the-rate-of-inflation humiliating kicks in the crotch...

What am I trying to say here? Well in one oft-quoted phrase: Respect Beer! Buy and try new beers, adopt them if you have to, but don't let'em go unappreciated and end up in the Chesapeake!

5 comments:

Leandra said...

or doling out money

John P. said...

Rate of inflation pay raises? I wish. I'm further behind now than I was 10 years ago. By Far.

tazio said...

I would ask myself why is that? It's well known, I think, that many people are worse off today than they were 10 years ago...ie household wages are lower now than then. Ask yourself what has changed. It's fairly obvious to me that workers are being hit on all sides by illegal immigration, outsourcing, union-busting, etc. I think my point is that it's now reached very skilled workers, who so far have been immune. I don't know what the answer is but something has to change or there will be only well-to-do and poor people ending up like beer floating down the sewers.

John P. said...

I also think the dot-com bubble did a lot of bad things to wages and inflation. There's was a lot of money floating around over complete nonsense speculation. There was good happening too of course, but overall, it was a case of going too fast and disregarding the consequences in the future.

That pretty much sums up the entire crisis facing us now. This has been brewing for 50 years really. Just wait when this social security ponzy scheme catches up with us.

Chrispy said...

Gee, I have not had anything more than a rate of inflation raise in probably 8-10 years but I worked for a non-profit.