Featured Contributor Matt @SportsNCraftBeer
You stand there among the multitude of beer choices in your favorite grocery store or liquor store. It is like being a kid and going to a place that sells puppies — you want to take them all home. Admit it, a small part of you feels guilty for selecting one brew over another. “I’m sorry Mr. Stout, but I already have one of you. I need an IPA for my home.” I’ll bet they cry at night if they don’t get picked.
You’ve been there. I’ve been there. It’s overwhelming. You love them all. What do you buy? West Coast or East Coast — or something from the heartland? IPA, DIPA, or maybe an IPL? Session or Seasonal? Stout or Porter? Black lager? Is it on sale or not? Is it rated high or not? 4 pack or 6 pack or maybe a bomber?
You think, “maybe I should buy a few six packs.” But then, you think, “maybe I should get the 12-pack variety pack from [pick your favorite brewer]?”
You stand there. It’s like you can’t move. You came in for beer and you are now puzzled, stressed. It’s a tough decision. This decision will make or break your evenings for the next week or two or three. My God the pressure!
Sometimes you go into a craft beer section of a liquor store and you can tell the beer geeks — they look like meerkats with their heads poking out above the shelves, looking around and not sure of what to do.
And then you see it. The “craft your own six pack.” The moment you see it, the chorus of singers serenade you as the light shines upon this magical wonderment that allows you to pick whatever you want. It seems cheap and the variety is amazing — different brands and types galore!
But then, like a thirsty man traversing the Sahara with hopes of finding the magical oasis, you discoverer that what you thought it was, in fact, was not. You have been duped! A look at the date on the bottle and you realize the beer has either passed it’s “best buy” date or very close to it. It’s not fresh. This is no puppy you’ve discovered, it’s a old dog with bad hips that can’t see. Poor guy.
You often find this same story at places like Walgreen’s or non-traditional locations for buying craft beer. I recently came across a six-pack, while waiting for a prescription, that was six months past its “freshness” date.
Many brands make finding the date of bottling impossible to find, or it is non-existent. I avoid these. The simple fact is, many “create your owns,” “mix and matches,” and “craft your own six packs,” are old beers that have been removed from the main aisle and sold individually as a way of moving merchandise.
Always check the bottling dates, no matter where you are shopping or what part of the store your beer resides. If you want to experience great beer, experience it when the beer is still great. Better yet, go to your local brewery and order a flight — that’s the way to “mix and match.”
The decision is never easy. You can only buy and store so many beers. You’ll just have to deal with the fact that some of the beers will have to wait for someone else to provide them with a good home. And, sadly, some beers get old and never find a good owner, so they get put down — the drain.
Interested in becoming a SommBeer Contributor? Join the Team!
Writer, beer lover, and sports aficionado.
Twitter Bio @
#craftbeer #beer #sommbeer
Subscribe to Sommbeer.com !
This MailChimp shortcode is now deprecated. Please insert the new shortcode to display this form.