Calling upon their legions of followers, the subscription service asked for everyone to give feedback on the beers currently provided each month. Using the data collected from 135,000 reviews (not a typo), Flavourly began a collaboration project with their brewer buddies and came up with the Crowdsourced Craft Beer project.
Feedback was collected on the most popular flavours and styles of beer on the site and taken to the breweries, who came up with new beers based on the data. Members were also asked to help name the new beers, one of which Pillow Fight, was included as part of the beer delivered to our dynamic duo. The question is: was the beer produced in this unusual way any good?
Andy: In a word, no. In more than one word, not really.
Scott: Likewise. I really don't think this bundle lived up to my expectations. Not all bad as we'll get into later but I think given the effort put into creating these 4 new beers, I think they fall short.
Andy: Agreed. I had high hopes for this one - as I'm sure you did too - given that we both like our porters n stouts, but it was ...average at best. Not bad - just really by the numbers. Despite it being as smooth as Ron Burgundy playing Jazz flute.
Scott: Yeah I think Pillow Fight, if we are starting with that one was the most disappointing for me as it was the one I was most looking forward to. It wasn't at all what I hoped it would be. I think I had a preconception of a really decadent drink like Millionaire by Wild Beer Co. Which I'm aware is a Stout rather than a Porter but that level of richness in flavour.
Andy: I was expecting something unique when I read the description of Pillow Fight. Something with a bit of character, maybe some complex flavours. I mean, who else has tried - or would try - adding marshmallow fluff to a beer? Madness! And the promise of vanilla and cacao too? In the end, I couldn't really taste a trace of any of those flavours.
Scott: No I was the same. The Chocolate Malts done the trick however I really couldn't overly distinguish the marshmallow fluff in there. There was a sweetness but that was it. I mean, if Sainsbury's can make Candy Floss Grapes surely we can get beer that does what it says on the tin.
Andy: Candy Floss Grapes? Really? What a time to be alive...
True what you say though - if you write an ingredient on the side of a can and make a big deal about it being in there, at least make sure it leaves an impression. I mean, I'm not expecting it to literally have marshmallows floating in there (although there's an idea - don't steal it you bastards, I came up with it!), but at least justify adding it. And despite it being smoother than me after a Veet bath, you can't even put that down to the marshmallow fluff; it's more likely to be the lactose that's in there too.
Scott: Yup, It is indeed a real thing and I don't know what kind of witchcraft they do to get that flavour in there but it certainly works. I think overall this was an alright run of the mill porter, albeit a bit on the thin side for me, the chocolate component worked - the fluff was just that, fluff! I'd drink it again - but that's fine now that my expectation has been appropriately adjusted.
Andy: Yeah. I think that so far anyway - and knowing about what beer might come next - this whole crowdsourced craft beer malarkey has been a bit of a damp squib. At least the glass that came with the beer was nice! Did I mention that it was as smooth as Duncan Goodhew and Matt Lucas Greek wrestling in a pool of jelly?
Scott: Since you brought it up then I'll have a gripe about the glass. Now, it is a great wee glass and unlike the Brewdog Jack Hammer glass I broke last week while running it under gently flowing water, it actually seems pretty sturdy. Was a bit miffed though when I went to pour the 1st of the cans into it and realised that it was about 30ml shy of being able to accommodate the entire can. It's just a minor detail - but if you are firing out these glasses with all the bundles of these new beers at least go the extra yard and make it useful in that sense. It's a cool addition to my collection but will likely be reduced to pretty rare outings since it has the capacity of a thimble.
Andy: But is it really small, or just far away...?
So to draw a line under it; its an average, unremarkable porter, that we'd both probably drink again, but despite the premise, doesn't actually do anything to stand out from the crowd?
Scott: Yeah I think I'm happy with that overall impression.
Join us again for the next part of our Flavourly Crowdsourced Craft Beers special very soon!