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To Cellar or not to Cellar, That is the Question

Belgian Ale

Belgian Ale (Photo credit: Accidental Hedonist)

Beer in any form, bottled, canned, or kegged, does have a definite shelf life. However, some beers can survive, and even thrive for an extended period of time. Just like wine, beer can be cellared, it just depends on the beer and the conditions in which you keep them.

First, all beers are not created the same: Budweiser, Coors, and the like will not age well. They are meant to be drank immediately and only last 2-3 months. That is why the big brewers have made such a big deal about things like “Born on Date.” The beers that do age well are big IPAs, Barleywines, Strong Belgian Ales, Imperials Stouts, Lambics, and Old Ales. These brews tend to mature and gain complexity as they age. The tannins and hop bite mellows and the malt character takes on a rich caramel character in IPAs and Imperial brews, while Belgian Ales tend to get thicker and more robust. Lambics are a special category all their own, most are not even released for consumption until they have aged for three or more years.

Beer in any form, bottled, canned, or kegged, does have a definite shelf life. However, some beers can survive, and even thrive for an extended period of time. Just like wine, beer can be cellared, it just depends on the beer and the conditions in which you keep them.

First, all beers are not created the same: Budweiser, Coors, and the like will not age well. They are meant to be drank immediately and only last 2-3 months. That is why the big brewers have made such a big deal about things like “Born on Date.” The beers that do age well are big IPAs, Barleywines, Strong Belgian Ales, Imperials Stouts, Lambics, and Old Ales. These brews tend to mature and gain complexity as they age. The tannins and hop bite mellows and the malt character takes on a rich caramel character in IPAs and Imperial brews, while Belgian Ales tend to get thicker and more robust. Lambics are a special category all their own, most are not even released for consumption until they have aged for three or more years.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Beer, Beer Education

 

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