Taste Tests…Past and Present
PAST: While members of the Mid-Michigan Chapter have a natural inclination to consume beer, they did carry it to extremes on various occasions. The infamous Mid-Michigan taste tests were instigated by the late Dave Van Hine and usually conducted at each of the chapter events. Brave and courageous members, both male and female, stepped forward and volunteered to taste and rate cereal malt beverages that perhaps have aged far beyond a normal expiration date.
The test panel received cans or bottles of beer either donated or on-loan that preferably had the magic phrase I.R.T.P. somewhere on all beer containers from mid-1935 until March 1950. The beer had been cooled and the container was very gently opened.
Each beer was rated on carbonation, aroma, clarity, taste, foam retention and presentation. The latter category includes whether or not there are chunks of what are referred to as “floaties” in the liquid. They deduct from the overall rating. The age of the beer was also considered important – two equally tasty beers, one from 1937 and one from 1949, the 1937 version will get more credit.
The rating system was based on four stars with the absolute best beer getting the coveted four star rating and theabsolute worst beer that smells horrible, tastes worse receiving no stars. Dave Van Hines personal favorite was a RAINIER CLUB cone top that had a manufacturing date of August 1937 on the bottom that tasted as fresh and looked as good as the day it come off the canning line. Thanks to the many collectors that participated in this quirky adventure.
PRESENT: We have changed our taste test procedures and found that many more people were willing to participate in the new style of taste tests. The participants were very glad to sample several ounces of each fresh beer type. The taste tests have become an educational process conducted on a random basis by expert Beer Dave Gausepohl of Florence, KY.