Some of the most passionate beer drinkers cellar some of their prized possessions.
Cellaring your beers is a great way to appreciate their development over time and to discover the emergence of flavours hidden in freshly brewed ones. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering a beer cellar. This helps to round out the flavours and taste of your beer.
Here are a few things to consider when cellaring beer:
NOT ALL BEERS CAN BE CELLARED
It is important to remember that not all beers can be cellared. Generally, higher alcohol, less hoppy beers (most bottle conditioned beers, Imperial Stouts, barleywine, and lambics tend to cellar well, IPAs do not). Understanding which beers will cellar well and which ones will not cellar well is an important consideration.
GOOD CELLAR CONDITIONS ARE SPECIFIC
The next thing to consider is where you are going to have your cellar. Cellar conditions must meet very specific conditions which include a consistent temperature of between 10 to 15 degrees celcius (50 to 60 fahrenheit) consistently throughout the year and that is dark and dry to prevent damage from light and water. This can be as simple as a box in closet to a fully furnished cellar, as long as it meets the specific conditions to correctly store your beer.
YOU CAN ACCUMULATE BEER QUICKLY (AND MUST BE ABLE TO DRINK THEM WHEN READY TO DRINK)
Since some of the beers good for cellaring are extremely affordable, it is possible to start a beer cellar affordably and to accumulate a huge collection quickly. Managing your cellar inventory is an important task you will need to perform on a regular basis to make sure you continue to store your beer under the right conditions.
Related to this is being able to drink through the ones that are ready to be consumed once the cellaring period ends. This seems easy (and really, it probably is going to be easy) BUT…as your beer finishes its cellaring period, you will need to drink them. This means that if you buy more to cellar than you can or want to drink at once, or time multiple brews to be finished their cellaring period at the same time, you may find yourself drinking the same beers continuously as you work your way through a cellaring that was too ambitious.