Don’t Age These Beers!
As with wine, there are styles of Craft Beer to age or “cellar” and there are beers that you should definitely not keep for any length of time. Cellaring is rapidly growing in popularity and can turn a great beer into an outstanding one with very different qualities and flavor notes. We always have a few at the Wolf Creek Brewery to try on your next visit. On the other hand there are many beers that should be consumed fresh, and aging them will be detrimental to the flavor quality.
Any Craft Beer that is hop-forward should be consumed as fresh as possible.These include India Pale Ales, Double IPAs and many Pale Ales. These beers are putting the hop flavors first and highlighting the amazing aspects of the hops used in creating the beer. The bitterness, aroma, and taste that you get from the hops will fade as it ages and the intended flavor profile will change quite a bit. As the bitterness in these hoppy beers fades the beer will taste sweeter and lack balance.
Some other popular styles of beer that should not be cellared are beers that have a big fruity quality to their aroma and taste. This fruitiness is created during fermentation and comes from chemical compounds called esters. Styles of beer such as our Wolf Creek Howlin’ Hefe’ Hefeweizen and many of the Belgian beers should be consumed fresh as these fruit flavors such as banana (Hefeweizen) will change and fade away. Unfiltered wheat beers, again using Hefeweizen or Belgian Wit as an example, have a full mouth-feel that comes from the wheat proteins in the beer. Over time these proteins will settle and the beer will lose its fullness.
Enjoy and Cheers!