To Store Or Not To Store: There’s Really No Question by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer

Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer

There’s a bit of conversation around people laying down – otherwise: storing – beer these days. Here’s my take and reasoning

  1. Beer is best fresh. It’s a living beverage, as most beer made domestically, has not been pasteurized to kill the yeast. Yeast is one of the true marvels of beer and its flavors.
  2. Beer is made to be consumed when it’s packaged. It’ll always be best fresh.
  3. Ask a lot of brewers and they’ll tell you they’d prefer you to enjoy it now.
  4. If you store beer, you have voided the unspoken agreement between you and the beer that it’ll be delicious later, since it’s delicious now. And you have no way of knowing what it’ll taste like later when you can rest assured a pretty solid experience now.
  5. Photo: Ginger Johnson

    Photo: Ginger Johnson

    Beer is packaged when it’s ready to drink.

  6. Beer is not red wine. It’s not the same beverage, don’t treat it the same or consider it the same – other than they both have a lot of flavor to give.
  7. Beer is best fresh. Did I say that already? 

Beer brings people together. Beer is made to be drunk fresh by its very nature. Storing it is a mistake and is an ill thought-out modern tactic.

All this said, can some beers be laid down for later consumption? Well, sure, yet store-r beware! Flavors will for sure change, no matter the beer and no matter for how long. And the higher the alcohol the longer you can theoretically store them, as alcohol is a preservative. Note that the alcohol may preserve it and aging it can also mask a lot of defects and encourage off flavors.

Photo:  Ginger Johnson

Photo: Ginger Johnson

If you’re interested in flavors, enjoy beer fresh when it’s newly packaged. The industry standard is that packaging brewers recommend consumption within 120 days of having been packaged.

Buy the beer you want, drink it fresh, and it’ll repay you and your taste buds many times over.

Until the next glass ~

g

Try This: Fresh hopped beers. Right now, especially on the West Coast, beers made with uber-fresh hops picked straight from the hop yards to only hours later be actually used in the brewing process are fleetingly available. They literally are going fast. Find them, get them, and enjoy them.

Go Here: Look online for any (still to come) Fresh Hop Beer Festivals.

One thought on “To Store Or Not To Store: There’s Really No Question by Ginger Johnson

  1. I agree 100%! I have a friend that stockpiles Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Fuller’s Vintage Ale, and a few others. He then does vertical tastings to show the difference that aging can make. Personally, I always preferred the fresher beer. The flavors were brighter, and it was much easier to drink.

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