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The post preceding this and some comments on Boak and Bailey's blog have mentioned stale keg beers. It got me wondering. Now I know a little about why this should occur, but very little about how often it occurs, or even, if and when it does occur, whether anyone actually notices it.

It must be difficult, even with the best will in the world, to transport kegs of beer from the farthest corners of, say, the USA, without the beer suffering some deterioration in the process. Nor am I sure if such exports are in the main pasteurised or not. Given the number of stale or staling beers I've had in the US, I suspect most are not. There is also I believe, a wide spread belief that keg beer is somewhat immune to deterioration and I wonder whether that, combined with unfamiliarity with the same product drunk fresh, allows or even encourages palates to be fooled.

I drink almost no keg imports here, so am not really qualified to do other than speculate. What do people that do think?

The little diagram is interesting and informative, though hardly conclusive. It should keep some folks (guess who) happy for a bit. Click on it to read properly.