Team Dave’s gives you some tips to starting your beer cellar.
With Winter now fully set in. Now is the time that we start to lean towards the bigger, richer, darker styles of beers. Those stouts, porters and barleywines that you bought throughout the year and haven’t found the right time to crack start to look pretty enticing. These styles of beers are big and complex and really lend well to ageing. Cellaring these beers can help to develop and mature those big flavours and calm down the booziness in higher alcohol beers.
If you have a few beers already and you want know if they ready to crack or if you want to start to hold onto some beers for next winter here are a few tips to help to start your beer cellar.
Choose the right style
Not all beers are suited to ageing. In fact most beers are best consumed as close to production as possible. Higher alcohol, malt driven beers are your best place to start. Look for Imperial stouts or Porters, Barleywines or big Belgian styles as a starting point.
Not the best for your wallet but what’s the point of spending time to age a beer if you don’t know how it has changed? When possible buy two bottles and try one young then hold onto the next one and try it 6 months to a year later.
Where to cellar?
Finding the right place to store your beers is vital. Some spend a heap on temperature controlled wine cabinets. Others just use a cupboard. The most important things are to keep your beers out of direct sunlight and somewhere that is cool and keeps at a relatively stable temperature.
When to crack?
The hardest part about holding onto your beers is finding out when is the right time to drink them. Generally 6 months to a year will start to show some big changes, 2 years would be the longest. There is no set rule and it all depends on the individual beer. Lastly remember that beer is meant to be drunk not to be held for eternity.