Cellaring and Aging Beer

Aging beer, what’s all this about?

2013-05-11 16.38.39Some beers are barrel-aged by the brewer. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the bottle-conditioned beers that are meant to either be enjoyed now, or stored away for later.

Just like wine, the flavors in beer will change over time. Hops lose their intensity, malts gain a richness, and yeast does all sorts of things in the bottle. In short, you age a beer to see what happens.

Years ago I was invited to my first bottle share event and brought with me the freshest double IPA I could find at the local store. Most of the other folks brought Belgian ales, imperial stouts, saisons, and barley wines. Some of the beers were a few years old and tasted almost like sherry. My hop bomb was a good palette cleanser between the other brews, but didn’t get nearly as much praise as the bottles with some age on them. I got to taste some fantastic beer that day and wanted to have something impressive for the next bottle share. That’s when I started cellaring beer.

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Beer and Cigars

Years ago I was really into cigars. It was around the time I started playing golf with some friends from work. We played 9 holes of golf after work on Wednesdays, and a full round of 18 on weekends. Golf led to cigars on the course, and cigars led to whisky at the 19th hole. That’s three fairly expensive hobbies all at once. I look back now and miss those days.

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I don’t golf as regularly anymore, and don’t smoke cigars nearly as often either. I still have a fairly decent collection of Single Malt Whisky, mostly Islay Malts, but haven’t poured myself a dram in a while. Why? The Craft Beer Revolution, that’s why!

Ever since I started exploring craft beer, I’ve put my other hobbies on the shelf. Slowly I’ve been integrating them back into my routine. For example, I play beer soaked golf now and then with the guys thanks to canned craft beer. And I’ve popped the cork on some Single Malt Scotch after enjoying a really bold IPA or a barrel-aged stout. What’s next? Cigars! So when I heard about the Gray Cloud event I was intrigued. Beer and Cigars? At a local golf course? Really!?! Yes, really.

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Russian River Week at Tustin Brewing

TustinBrewing (taplist)Tustin Brewing Company is one of our favorite local watering holes. Not only do they have a host of their own brews on tap, but they constantly rotate a bunch of taps bringing in guest kegs of amazing beer from other brewers as well.

This week is Russian River Week, a favorite week of ours because we love everything that Russian River Brewing Company makes. They are well-known for their IPAs and their sours and for good reason, they make some of the best beers in those styles.

Beer Soaked Scott and I took some time off work to wait in line for a ticket to taste Pliny the Younger. This is our true story… Continue reading