Panhead Custon Ales has withdrawn a number of batches of its award-winning beer, including the much-loved Super Charger after a cross-contamination issue.

Some customers have been complaining about “off” beers from Panhead in the past couple of weeks, including a noticeable sour tang.

I had a Supercharger recently that fitted that bill. Not super sour, just a bit sherbety on the palate and with a mouth-puckering dryness that blasted away any hop character.

Others noticed similar problems.

… which drew the following response:

But Panhead soon realised the problem was deeper than that and contacted retailers to “withdraw” a number of batches of Port Road Pilsner, Super Charger APA and Quick Change XPA.

In an email with the subject line “Panhead flavour issue” the Upper Hutt brewery, which was purchased by Lion last year in a multi-million dollar deal said they had a identified a problem that resulted in an “acetic/citrus” off-flavour in the beer.

Further investigation by the brewery revealed the culprit was lactobacillus, a bacteria commonly used to make kettle-soured beers, although Panhead has yet to identify how the bacteria got into places it shouldn’t have .

There is no health risk in drinking these beers; they are just sour.

Panhead founder Mike Neilson told Beer Nation the issue had been “upsetting” for staff at the brewery but he was now confident the problem was sorted.

“We work extremely hard to maintain quality. We’ve initiated the withdrawal because we want our drinkers to have confidence in the quality of the beer they’re buying.”

New stock should be hitting the shelves in the next few days.

 

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