Yesterday was my birthday. Naturally, I figured I deserved a beer. But not just any old beer, after all, it’s not every day that you turn 25. So, I dug around for a fancy cellared beer, and this is what I settled on.
It was a great complex, high alcohol, tart, oaky, sour beer. The best Swiss beer I ever had.
This also got me thinking about craft beer and birthdays, or maybe more generally, days worth celebrating. I’ve been stockpiling good beers that I come across and telling myself that they’re for special occasions. But is this a good idea? Should one ‘just drink them already’?
I guess it all depends on the beer. Each beer style certainly has a shelf life, and even beers within the same style may vary in shelf life by as much as years. Some beers, like some wines, improve with age. The simplest rule of thumb, I would say, would be to look at the abv% – if the beer is over, let’s say, 7%, I would say it’s okay with more than a year of age, while a beer with anything lower should probably be enjoyed within 12 months (preferably 6). Of course, it also depends on the beer, and generally hops will lose their green-ness over time, so I would still say to drink that hoppy high abv beer within 2-3 months of the bottled date, but you be the judge.
Starting in May, I’m going to to start bringing you guys all the basics on craft beer in my posts: Different styles, glassware, beer deconstructed, flavours, colours… anything I can think of that might help give craft beer a better definition.
Until then, I’d like to hear what beers you turn to for celebrations. Let me know in the comments below!