Imports and Freshness

Why don’t you carry X beer?

While product availability and shelf space play important roles in which beers we bring in, how fresh we can receive a beer, and how well its flavour lasts over time is often a deciding factor on which beers (especially imports) make it onto our shelves.

When we look at new product to bring in, there are some important questions we need to ask first, to make sure we’re getting the best quality beers for you!

  1. Shipping:

While the idea of beer being shipped in cool, refrigerated freights is the best possible outcome, this almost never happens. Often imported beers spend weeks on unrefrigerated ships, then sit in unrefrigerated customs before it ever makes it to our door. Unpasteurized beer needs to be drunk within 45-60 days, and kept cool. Say we import an excellent unpasteurized Greek Pilsner; it’ll be bad by the time it touched down in the country. Even with a shelf stable beer, how would you feel about drinking a four month old fresh hop? This leads us to our next point…


  1. Freshness:

Some styles should be consumed within four months of canning, like a pilsner, which is a beer style that only becomes stale, while others gain more complexity, or lose harsher tastes with time in the cellar. No one ages a pilsner, but a Russian imperial stout arguably can gain positive attributes time in the cellar. You’ll notice in store we carry Icelandic stouts, but no Icelandic lagers.


Staling vs. Aging

Staling is a chemical reaction which produces undesirable flavours, aromas, etc. due to improper aging, light damage or poor refrigeration. This means the beer has diverged from the initial flavour intended by the brewery.  Aging is the act of keeping a style-suitable beer in a dark, cool space to do a slow, controlled oxidation to develop new flavour as old ones diminish. Aging is something a brewery has in mind, staling is not!


  1. Local Alternatives:

So we don’t carry the beer you’re looking for, what are your options? Well, luckily we have some great local alternatives for beer styles that don’t make it out to us. Consider Fahr Brewing, an Albertan craft brewery that makes traditional German style beers following the purity laws. Or Dageraad for Belgian style brews. Luckily, many Canadian and American Breweries know people are looking for these styles, and do a great job of brewing them. Ask one of our beer experts for a recommendation!


Finally, if you do ever buy product from Brewery Creek and notice it is stale, please return for a refund or exchange. Sometimes our distributors will send an old product that goes unnoticed by staff. But we always want to make sure you receive the best possible product. Cheers!