When it comes to drink, and making beer, most people prefer to enjoy their beer sooner rather than later. Most forget about the delicious qualities and flavors that come when you age a good beer. Whether you like fresh or aged beer, well that’s a matter of preference. If you’re feeling adventurous, and patient, try throwing a few bottle of your favorite beer into a cool dark place for a year or more.
Here’s 5 things that Dogfish Head thinks everyone should know about aging beer:
- Experimentation goes a long way
Different types of beer and different flavor in beer are going to age different. The only way to know what will age well, and which aged beers you’ll like it to give it a shot. Next time you buy a 6 pack, throw 1-2 bottles in the basement and try them 6 months to a year late.
- Don’t underestimate freshness
When you age beer, you’ll notice some flavor will fade over time, and some will become more pronounced, due to oxygen coming in contact with the beer. Hops flavors such as bitterness, floral notes, and citrus flavors will fade with time. Most seasonal beers, especially those including fruit, a best when they’re fresh.
- Higher alcohol beers age better
In general, but not always, beers containing higher alcohol contents (10%+ ABV) tend to age better.
- Storage matters
Proper storage of your beer is VERY important. Store your beer bottles vertically, in a cool 50-55 degree location that gets little to no light. Light and heat are the mortal enemies of beer as they speed up oxidation. “If you’ve been storing beers on their side,” says Rebecca Newman, Dogfish Head’s Quality Control Manager. “Roll them, agitate them, and chill them upright for a few hours. You want to get that sediment down into the bottom of the bottle.”
- Beer won’t spoil
Beer won’t go bad! YAY! You may not enjoy some of the qualities that come from aging a beer for years, but you never have to worry about the beer itself going bad. Drinking it will not make you sick, so don’t be afraid to try it!