Further to Erik’s great post on cellaring beer and his creation of The Cellar page, I thought I should post about my philosophy on the beer cellar and what beers I am currently aging. Until very recently, my philosophy on cellaring has been to not cellar anything. I’ve realized recently that I was flawed in my thinking because aging can definitely enhance the flavors and take the edge off of a strong beer. What really helped me realize the greatness of aging beer was the Thor’s Hammer Barley Wine we recently enjoyed at Central City Brewing, which was fantastic. I had the opportunity to compare this barley wine, aged 18 months, to other younger barley wines, where the aged beer far surpassed the young beer in smoothness and in flavor.
I’ve learned the hard way that strong beer should be aged, having impatiently consumed a Fullers 2008 Vintage Ale, a Philips Burley Barley Wine, and a Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron far too early. In fact, I’ve noticed the pattern that I always immediatly drink a strong beer worthy of aging, only to have Erik realize my folly and buy the same beer for his cellar. This works out well for both of us, Erik gets to taste the young beer I hasten to enjoy, and then I get to taste Erik’s aged bottle a year or so later. Look forward to some great reviews of aged beer in the coming year, complete with first hand insight on how the beer has matured with age.
As for my cellar, it is humbly located in a dark, tucked away corner of my garage where the temperature ranges from 10-20 degrees Celsius throughout the year. I may have to make other arrangements in the summer during heat waves. My cellar consists of very few beers at this point in time, but my stockpile will grow. The meager number of bottles in my cellar has to do with my lack of patience and the knowledge that Erik will probably share his aged goods with me.
My cellar currently contains:
The stock in my cellar will surely grow this year. That being said, old habits die hard. I have a Driftwood Old Cellar Dweller Barley Wine in the fridge right now, ready to be warmed up and consumed at a moments notice. When will I learn?
We’ll be updating our Cellar Page with new acquisitions as they arrive. Please check back with us for reviews of aged brews as we consume them. Also, we’d love to hear of other worthy candidates for our cellar if anybody has any recommendations.