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oxidised and off Beer (BUY LOCAL IMPORTED BEERS SUCK)

Three beers in a row, all within their expiry dates but far from from their best. Oxidised, Papery, Flat in flavour and aroma.

I have bought many IMPORTED beers in the last few years and I'd have to say, unless they are bottled conditioned, or you know they are high volume, Id stay away from them.

Buy Local people, support our craft brewers.

IMPORTED beers just don't stack up.

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That is a too generalised statement to change buying habits for me I'm sorry.

Where did you buy them, what beers were they, etc etc....

I have bought LOCALLY brewed beers which have suffered the same oxidised, papery, and flat in flavour issues you have stated for IMPORTED beers, and in those cases it is less likely the brewing that was the issue but the care of the beer, or lack of it from the retailers (sun struck, warm places).

It's my opinion not to tar all imported beer with the same brush, and if I had an issue I would be naming them.
Have a tendancy to agree with both of ya. I have more often than not been very dissappointed with the freshness of most imported beers I have brought. That said I know it is the packaging and storage conditions that are at blame.

I religiously steer clear of any beer in Green or Clear bottles. NZ beers included. I can't stand scunk, which is the main reason I can't stand Heineken. Would like to try a Heineken fresh on tap in Holland one day...

My first Epic lager was purchased from Rotorua New World and well within expiry date. Was in a Green bottle at that stage if I recall correctly. It was shockingly scunked, five times worse than your average so-called "Premium" lager, probably cause it had five times the hop oils.

My preference is to alway buy fresh and local, just like buying your fresh bread from the local hot-bread shop. When I travel however, I go nuts trying every single "Foreign" beer I can get my hands on and worry about the creditcard bill when I get home.
Only the first ever batch of Epic lager came in a green bottle. It was dreadful, Luke admitted the other night at Hallertau - where we did an Epic vertical tasting including that first batch in green - that the batch was skunked before the bottles reached the labeler.

Try it again. It's been in brown ever since, and if you get a reasonably fresh batch I'm confident you won't be disappointed.
I cannot count how many times I have sworn not to buy imported beers (with some exceptions) for those exact reasons. For some reason I always get tempted to try again.... I have some general rules I follow though:

Always buy well within the expiry.
Bottle conditioned Belgians are usually good, especially the ones made and exported in large quantities, Duvel, Maredsous, the trappists, Leffe and La Trappe (dutch, I know:). Sour ales and Lambics are usually fine as well. Hoegarden is usually suprisingly well travelled for a wheat beer.
Aventitus is usually ok, as is other german wheat beers.
The american micros from the beer store has all been on great form, which was a very pleasent surprise to me.
Fullers range is usually ok, same with Youngs but not quite as trusty.
Belhavens wee heavy is ok too, havent tried the rest of their range.
Hardy's is big enough to make the trip.

But even all off those I dare say that none of them taste as good as they do in their home country.

So whats left? In my experience pretty much everything I havent mentioned above:

imported lagers and anything else in a green bottle, sadly this includes the hailed pilsner urquell
everything british, except fullers and youngs.
everything that is imported in small quantities and sits on a warm shelf for months before I spot it. The low quantities probalby also means it has had a rough and long ride over here.
John, please post the details. It's more useful than a general hating on imports. :)

Places like Regional go to great lengths, bringing in (as I understand it) refrigerated shipping containers. Most of their beers should be great. Daniel at Beerstore has gone out of his way to arrange good timely shipping from the US. No idea how he managed it, but we're all very happy he did.

Ragging on importers like this and recommending nobody buy them will just make them even harder to come by and more expensive. By all means, encourage the good ones, but you need to tell the bad ones how they can improve, not just tell people not to buy them. That fixes nothing.

That said, I agree with buying local - our brewers need all the encouragement and support they can get, but the reality of a small market means if we don't buy something, it could well go away. Foreign bottled beer is especially vulnerable. If you can't afford to travel to the other side of the world every so often for your fix, you need to support the importers too. :)
I dont like to name and shame beers, beer is subjective.

I am not anti all imported beer, bottled conditioned, Wheat beers(as somebody else said) can be very good. Everything else is very hit and miss. Great one day very awful the next. There are so many imported beers that have fallen in this catergory and it makes me cry to think of the number of have poured down the sink. Yes, there has been a couple of local beers that have had this fate, but recently esp over the last 2-3 years , I believe their has been far less incidence of this than in the past.

I would say that like corked wines most people, and I would go out on a limb here, and say 95% of people would have no idea when a beer is off, past its best. In the end it will more likely hurt craft specality beers than help build acceptence of them, and I believe we have been too accepting of imported beers that are not upto scratch for too long.

I also doubt if a good retailer can help much. It's more to do with the importers or exporters.
Imported beer crosses the equator(or leaves from it), probably sits in scorching heat on some dock in China or Singapore on its way here, see's huge tempreature differences etc etc
I doubt any smaller imports of craft beer into New Zealand are sent in refridgerted containers, probably just a token insulation of some sort


Everybody has heard " it taste so much better in .........blah blah blah" , I have never heard anybody say, "it tastes so much better here in New Zealand" or even " yep this taste just the same as I remember it from my trip...."

IMPORTED beers are hugely dissappointing, Fresh is best and you are only likely to get that buying locally made beers.
So you won't name and shame the beers or the retailer, but you'll tar all imports with the same brush? Harsh man! ;)

No worries, you're fully entitled to your opinion, I just think it would be more helpful to resolving the problem to take up your concerns with the retailer, who can then put pressure on the importer.

I've had many excellent imports, including such low ABV and non-bottle conditioned beers as Hook Norton Hooky Bitter at less than 4% ABV. Tasted very close to how I remember it fresh at the Pear Tree in Hook Norton.

I guess the biggest problem I have with your argument is you're making it into an either/or proposition. By all means, buy NZ beer. That doesn't mean you can't buy imports too, and if they're not up to snuff, only complaining to someone who can make a difference will fix that. There's no point just complaining for the sake of it - what are you trying to achieve?

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