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The Beer Circle » Cellaring, Dogfish Head, IPA, Porter, Saison, Saison, Stout, Strong Dark Ale, The Bruery, Tripel, Triple Bock » Cellaring Beer

Cellaring Beer

Previously I posted about my beer label collection and my quest to try beers from all over the world. That quest put a cramp on my desire to start cellaring beer for later years.  However, last year I decided to make the effort because I want to experience first hand how individual beers change over time. Some  changes will be good, but I know that some will be bad.

But where to start? What are the best styles of beer to cellar? Best breweries? Any hidden gems out there worth saving to see how they develop?

Where to start?

Simply enough ask yourself “What do I like to drink.” For me that wasn’t as easy as it seems. I like to drink pretty much all styles of beer so that wasn’t much help. I needed to look a bit more at the different styles and see which age better than others.

Best Styles to Cellar

Off the top I’d say that the darker, maltier beers and those higher ABVs on average cellar better–Barley Wines, Porters, and Stouts. The sugars and alcohol tend to soften over time creating a mellower beer which can open whole new flavor & aroma profiles for the beer.

According to Imbibe Magazine’s cellaring article other good beer styles to cellar include Lambics, Tripels, and, even, Saisons. This gives me some faith that my decision to cellar some of the beers that I’ve gotten from The Bruery’s Reserve Society will be a good choice.

Sadly, being an IPA fan, the general recommendation is that heavily hopped IPAs tend not to age well since the hops tend to fade over time. Jeff Kupko wrote about his own test of Bell’s Hopslam and Troegs’ Nugget Nectar and reached the same conclusion. While I tend to agree I do want to age a number of years of Dogfish Head‘s 120min IPA to see how the beer changes. 120min is one amazing beer that approaches a cognac in flavor, look, and mouth feel so it should age well.

My Cellar and where to go from here

My cellar is still developing but I am making good progress. I didn’t happen to win the lottery so I can’t everything under the sun (Although, to my wife, it may seem like I do.). However, I would like to find some hidden gems and expand my cellar with styles & breweries that one wouldn’t normally come to mind.

Storage and Space

Simply put, the beers need to be kept cool and away from direct sunlight. I store all of my beer, cellared or not, in my basement where the temperature is always between 50 – 60 in the summer. Beer should be stored standing up to ensure that any sediment stays in the bottom of the bottle. However, if you store it horizontally just stand it up before you drink it to allow the sediment to settle.


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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

Filed under: Cellaring, Dogfish Head, IPA, Porter, Saison, Saison, Stout, Strong Dark Ale, The Bruery, Tripel, Triple Bock · Tags: , , ,