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Bottled Beer - How Long?

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Slow Puffs

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Last summer, the local Costco brought in a limited supply of beer from the Whistler Brewing Company (cottage brewery in Whistler, BC. One of the clerks I knew, raved about it and encouraged me to try it. The 12 pack contains 4 export lager, 4 pale ale and 4 weissier (wheat). I enjoyed them, but it's specialty beer, IMHO, for special occasions.

A week later they had 2 flats left, so I snapped them up, thinking about the Christmas season... gone & past, they are still there as it was so cold, I wasn't in the mood.

Now, I'm thinking of summer... I gotta thinking.... how well does beer keep in the bottle before it goes bad?
 

Doc Manhattan

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Three months is general guideline for bottled beer kept in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerated, you'll get a little more lifetime without it going "skunky," but the flavors are still decaying. Most beer is meant to be enjoyed as fresh as possible from the bottling.

(The exceptions are very high-proof beers, e.g. barleywines, which will keep or even develop character aging.)
 
A

Anonymous

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It's a mortal sin to allow beer to get skunky. :lol!:
Party it up Puffs. :drunken:
 

Slow Puffs

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EJinVA":t51oywxw said:
It's a mortal sin to allow beer to get skunky. :lol!:
Party it up Puffs. :drunken:
:shock: :shock: :shock:

:drunken: :drunken: :drunken:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I'll wait for a third opinion :)
 

JJPHOTO

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Doc Manhattan":5q2c20rs said:
but the flavors are still decaying
Very true. We went on vacation a few weeks ago and there was a store that's a tasting room for beers and wines of the world - mostly beers. The guy knew his stuff and let me try samples of a lot of things before he recommended Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.

I bought one and my wife got a glass of cab and we went on a nice leisurely stroll down the street (Fredericksburg, TX is a drinking town where you can wander around drinking openly - damn cool). Anyway, it was the very best beer I'd ever had in my life.

Fast forward to this weekend when I found some in the beer store about an hour away from where we live. I was extremely excited until we got home and I cracked it open. It was horrible - nothing like what I had on vacation. Then I got to thinking - we live in the boonies where everyone drinks Natural Light and Keystone Light like it's the best thing ever. No telling how long that Samuel Smith has been sitting there.
 

bronxbill

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Personally, I've never had beer long enough for it to get "skunky" :drunken: :drunken: :drunken:
 

mark

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I've always used three months as the cutoff point,,,easy if the brewer prints the date it was bottled,,,,Homebrew six months tops
 

Slow Puffs

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Well, I'm working on my second (bottle), and haven't detected anything unusual... I'll update in a few hours.
 

Justpipes

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Some brews get better with more age just like tobacco. Samichlaus for instance is best after 3-5 years age. My father was a master brewer and he made an outstanding stout, the more age the better.
 

free_byrd15

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There are a few factors in a beers shelf life. Alcohol content, how it was filtered/conditioned, and storage temps. High alcohol beers, such as doubles, triples, quads, barley wines, russian imperial stouts, etc can age for years. These beers are almost always bottle conditioned, which means the yeast is left in the bottle and it continues to ferment and age. If you are going to age beer though, you must store it upright, and in a cool, dark place, preferably right around 50 degrees. I've had some double bocks that were a few years old that were outstanding. right now, i'm aging a case of a russian imperial stout. I've also got some belgium triples, and a few double IPA's that are doing quite well. Bottom line when aging, try the beer every 4 months or so, and when you find a spot that it just divine, drink up, because you don't want to overage it and end up not liking it!
 
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