Brewer's Blog

If I could save time in a bottle...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the first thing that I'd like to do,
is save every beer,
till eternity passes,
then post my scathing review...

Folks, let's be honest with one another:

If you buy too much beer and never drink it all, you have a problem.  It's called "Beer Acquisition Syndrome" - and it looks an awful lot like my own problem of guitar acquisition, except guitars don't go bad (unless you don't keep them humidified).

There are very few beers in the world that age well, and IPA's are a great example of something that should be drank fresh as fresh can be.  Otherwise, you miss that in your face hoppiness and herbal blast that they are so well known for.

What got me thinking of this was a recent review over on Untappd by a fellow who opened a nearly two year old bottle of our Little Scrapper IPA and proclaimed that his local brewery does a much better job of IPA's.

No kidding!  I'd say the same thing if I sat on a bottle for two plus years and then opened a three day old IPA next to it as a comparison.  That's like having a young Muhammad Ali box an Avon rep in her late 90's.  Even with the bottle of perfume she'll most likely be wearing, there's no way to come out smelling like a rose.

So, remember all those beers you've been saving for that "special time"?  Drink em'!  They're not getting any better:
  1. You can't achieve perfect storage conditions for every beer all the time.  8 - 12 Celsius, dark, 45% humidity, mold free, vibration free - those are all good starting points.  Colder for more delicate beers, 100% oxygen free to alleviate ingress of oxygen thru the cap lining and avoid staling the beer.  Ok, so that last point I'm being facetious, but the point is, you can't stop a beer from getting old - this happens naturally, on it's own no matter how good your "beer cellar" is.
  2. By hoarding beer at home and saving it for a special occasion, you're telling the world: "I don't think I'm that special.  I don't deserve nice things, I don't work hard for my money and I would rather drink a beer that is past it's prime than give myself the joy of a rare beer in tip top condition."  Honestly, I think some of you need therapy to deal with this one.  You'd rather serve your friends, relatives, and visitors crappy outdated "rare" beers than good stuff in prime condition - where's the logic in that?
  3. While there are some beers that benefit nicely from a aging at home (our Burlywine for example) the brewers will generally go through special measures to make sure said beer will last in the bottle.  Waxing the top of the bottle is one such example.  However, in the case of an unknown beer, there's no way to know if a beer is past it's prime without opening it, so - go ahead and check one out.  It could just be the best beer you've ever had slide down your gullet.  If it's not, who cares?  Dump it down the drain and go grab another bottle from your immense cavern of beer in the basement!
  4. Stop buying more than two bottles of any one beer at any time.  This is something I've instilled in my own beer buying habits.  Wanna know why?  There is always more beer.  More new ones to try, more places to visit and bring beer home from, more people from out of town who want to trade beer with you, more breweries opening, more old breweries FINALLY figuring out that real beer has flavour, more, more, more.
The worst part is that it takes-one-to-know-one, and I've been the worst offender at times with as many as 400 rare beers at any one time spread across two houses and a business.  It's ridiculous!  I could drink a new beer every day for a full year and never exhaust my collection cause I keep adding to it - and I own a friggin' brewery for chrisakes!  Gahhh!

I think I'm gonna distribute my photo to all the beer stores out there in beer knurdom and make sure none of them will sell me beer.  Problem solved... till the next beer I just gotta have comes out ;)

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