How to Store your Beer

Posted by BeerMaven | Beer Storage | Posted on June 26th

There are many kinds of beer and equally as many rules on how to store them. Beers that have short shelf lives (3 to 6 months) will degrade and begin to go stale should they not be consumed within the “best before date” period. However, there are beers that should be left to mature and will prove to reward your taste buds after some aging. These vintage beers, according to beer blogs and beer of the month clubs are barley wines, Belgian strong ales, old ales, lambics, barley wines and Imperial stouts. Most beer should not be aged, but the ones that are fit for aging are rewarding when you finally open them up.

Starting a beer cellar requires the discipline enough to not dive right in and consume the beer you are trying to age. Having at least two bottles of the same beer could help curb your enthusiasm when it comes to giving into the lust of drinking that wonderful bottle of beer. Drink one now and keep one to savor at the “right” time.

Some like to argue about what the best way to store beer is, there is the traditional laying down method (as used to store wine), and most feel strongly that beer should at all times be stored standing upright. This keeps all of the sediment at the bottom of the bottle and out of the beer while storing a beer lying down allows the sediment to float through the beer.

Long storage of beer on its side will also create a yeast ring, commonly referred to as a water mark. By storing a beer upright, the yeast sinks to the bottom of the bottle and this will be avoided. Storing your beer up right also decreases the oxidation rate of your beer. Beer retailers and brewers alike all store their beer in an upright position, so it is definitely the best method for storing your own beer.

Beer should never come into contact with direct sunlight or heat as both will cause immense damage to your beer stash. The heat will cause the hops to stale, and nobody wants a beer that is “skunky”. I’d recommend that you store your beer in a cool (8º C to 12º C) dark area. The temperature should be consistent, as increasing or decreasing the temperature can drastically change the flavor of your beer. High temperatures shorten the lifespan of beer and temperatures below desirable levels could cause your beer to become hazy.

Protecting your beer will only expand the amount of pleasure that you take in enjoying it when it is finally the perfect time to pop the bottle.

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