I finally figured out why Bale Breaker Brewing Company has repeatedly sold me stale beer. Well, to be fair it was retailers that sold me the beer (and not Trader Joe’s, which stores beer unrefrigerated and in full sunlight, at least at their West Seattle store). These retailers have high turnover and keep their products cold, but at least three times over the past couple of years I’ve brought home Bale Breaker products that have no carbonated fizz and contain floaters. You might remember floaters from when Schlitz changed their recipe in the early 1970s by replacing some of their delicious malted barley syrup with corn sugar. They had union troubles too and all this bad blood and bad beer caused the downfall of the brand and drove the Uihlein family to sell their multigenerational empire to Stroh in 1982.