Beer Cellaring or Beer Hoarding
As craft beer enthusiasts we know that, like wine, some beers become better with age; mostly beer with higher ABV counts. Some of us have simple means of cellaring that entail extra space in a China cabinet while others have elaborate climate controlled spaces for their rare beers. No matter which of these spaces you have, aging your beer is a great way to study how beer changes characteristics over time. What happens when it comes time to drink these bottles of aged goodness, but you just can't bring yourself to let them go? You, like myself, have crossed that thin line between cellaring and hoarding.
The first time I decided I wanted to cellar a beer was in 2014 when that year's Bourbon County Brand Stout was released by Goose Island. This was also the first year it was available in Georgia thanks/no-thanks to AB-InBev. I bought a four pack and drank all but one and decided I wanted to save it for later. About two weeks later I was back at my usual bottle shop and, to my shock, they still had BCBS! I bought two more four packs and was determined to let one of the packs age for about a year. That was three years ago and I still have three of those bottles left.
That same year I picked up a 10 Commandments and Judgement Day from The Lost Abbey and decided to let those age for about a year as well. Yes, those are still sitting in the tiny space in my China Cabinet (I can't get them here in South Florida). I figured I shouldn't save anything else from that year since I wasn't sure how much space I'd have available. Little did I know, I was just beginning my path down Beer Hoarder Lane.
The next year we went to Asheville, NC for a family vacation and I finally got to visit Bruisin' Ales after following them on Twitter for many years prior. That day I purchased a few beers that I knew I couldn't get in south Georgia including DU Claw's Sweet Baby Jesus, Dark Horse's Smells Like Safety Meeting, and a few others. Some of those have been consumed, but the rest are still with me. It seems now that when we travel I have to get beer that isn't available and hold on to it; not because I want to age it, but because I don't want to part with it.
I think that is where the line is drawn between aging beer and hoarding beer. It's that moment when you tell yourself, "I want to drink this, but I may never get it again so, I'll just put it back." I've tried before to put my foot down and drink those beers to get rid of them. I was going to do a whole series on my YouTube channel called From the Cellar where I reviewed each of the beers I've been holding on to; I talked my self out of it. Now, I think it's finally time I start making some room in my tiny "beer cellar" and review those beers for this blog. It's going to be a challenge but I'm ready to face my fears and conquer those beers! Now it's time for me to ask you, do you cellar your beer, or are you just hoarding it? Leave me a comment down below and lets talk about it.