Friends of Marsh Island Brewing, I would like to be completely up front with you about some changes being made to two of our mainstay beers. On cans and kegs dated 3/23/17 and subsequent dates of Downrigger IPA and 20 Gauge IPA, you will notice a difference from the beers we have released under those names up to this date. We have removed the Caramel malts from these two beers. I want to share the thought process and reasoning for this change with you to avoid the whole "inconsistency argument". The basis for this change was the result of some quality control we have been doing in the brewery. We have set aside and stored bottles and cans from previous batches in different conditions(ie warm on shelf, cold in cooler, back and forth between the two to mimic a normal beer's journey from brewery to warehouse to store to you). It is fairly common knowledge that Caramel malts do not bode well for hops in the long run, drastically reducing hop flavors within a short period of time. As a brewery that distributes packaged product, much of our beer is out of our control as soon as it goes into market. I can't say for sure if it will be placed in a cooler at 38F or sit on a shelf at 70F+. I also can't control if it gets purchased the first day it shows up or sits for two months before it ultimately ends up with the consumer. Of course we would prefer all of our beer to be drank cold within days of release but that is just not a reality for the majority of our beer. So we took control where we could, right at the baseline on brew day, figuring a better start will ensure a better finish. Anyway.. Hence the change. The only things we changed in the beers was the removal of the caramel malts and slight water chemistry adjustments to accompany the lighter malt bill. The obvious difference you will notice is the color of the beer in the glass. Both Downrigger and 20 Gauge have gone from a light amber hue to a lighter golden color. The taste was the primary reason for change because at the end of the day it really doesn't matter what the beer looks like if it doesn't taste great. With these small changes to the malt bill of the brew, the beers have a much "brighter" hop flavor and will stay that way longer into shelf life. Our goal is to get the beer to you tasting the same way we intended it to taste when we brewed it, to within a reasonable amount of time in a cooler or on a shelf. The changes did not have such a flavor change that we felt beer-name changes are appropriate. They both still taste the same, just brighter/fresher/newer. I feel that the same people that liked the beers before still will and the people that didn't care for them probably still won't. But times change. These recipes were created several years ago when caramel malts were used regularly in ipas. They no longer are. The bottom line is this. I will always try to make the best beer that I can. With all the breweries in the industry today the bar is set high for standards(which is great because it keeps us brewers on our game). I felt Downrigger and 20 Gauge were good beers but had room for improvement. So I did it. No sense putting out beer that isn't the best that it can be! Try it if you see it and I think you'll agree that the changes were an improvement. We appreciate you as our friends and customers and will continue to brew the best beer we can because you deserve it. Cheers!!!
Clay Randall - Head Brewer Marsh Island Brewing
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