Featured Contributor: Bryan Alkire @
I know this is blasphemy. I know that my beer fan credentials may be revoked. I also know this may make my first post here my last but I have to be honest I don’t have a beer cellar. I don’t store beer in a closet, and I don’t save any for a special occasion. I buy it, I drink it, and I move on.
First let me clear up one thing. I love good beer. I have stood in line more then once to get a special release. I have bought VIP tickets to events just be sure to try a special pour, and it isn’t uncommon for me be out at a brewery early on a weekday to be sure I get to try something new. I like good beer.
But I don’t keep it. I buy a few bottles and then I drink them. It isn’t a space issue. It is about the beer. I believe in the seasonal nature of beer. Nothing is better in the cold of a Michigan winter then a good heavy imperial stout, preferably something that has been sitting in a good quality beer barrel for a while. Come spring I move to my IPA’s before I go even lighter. In the heat of the summer I enjoying my session beers, and the occasional pilsner or lager. Come fall I move into my porters and browns, a personal favorite.
This is the problem with keeping a beer. I don’t want to go into the vault and pull out a style that doesn’t suit the weather. Or it sits waiting for the “right time” to crack that special bottle. Well that “right time” never comes. Even if it is in season again after saving it for a year it feels wrong to drink it just because. There needs to be a reason or event to open that bottle you have saved for a year or more. Even in the case of the right season, and a special event often I have something new. Which brings me to my second problem. There is always something new.
I am lucky. I am alive not only during the huge craft beer boom that is currently sweeping America, but I live in an area surrounded by breweries. Plus another great brewery is never far away here in Michigan. This means there is always a new special release, a new beer to try, another reason not to open that old one in the basement.
I am not saying no one should store beer. If you live in an area that doesn’t grant you the access I have, by all means stock up. I have participated in more then a few “Generation tasting” where a release is compared to itself from previous years. They are fun and I am glad someone is saving these beers. I am just saying, I am not going to do it. Now if you will excuse me, I have something new to open.
Bryan is a Stay at Home Dad and writer who is surrounded by great beer in his home town of Kalamazoo, MI.
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