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How long would you say an IPA is good for?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by SerialTicker, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poobah (1,015) Michigan Jun 18, 2012 Verified

    I Googled it and got no answer. I've always thought it's about 3 months, but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I just picked up Celebration Ale that was apparently bottled October 2nd... definitely not the freshest, but it should be alright. Right?
  2. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    People have had Celebration even older than that and it doesn't fall off much.
    Schmittymack, BlastBeats and Mgm54 like this.
  3. One whole day.
  4. bs870621345

    bs870621345 Savant (410) New Jersey Oct 29, 2009

    Was it refrigerated? If so, yes. If not, yes.
    May not be the same beer that was intended, but it will be fine
  5. tectactoe

    tectactoe Champion (870) Michigan Mar 20, 2012 Verified

    There is no real answer, as an IPA's lifespan depends largely on the type and amount of hops as well as malt, which is vastly different for nearly every single beer.

    However Celebration handles time well. I've had a year old Celebration that was still damn good. 4-5 months is nothing.
  6. stealth

    stealth Champion (765) Minnesota Dec 16, 2011 Beer Trader

    I've had Furious that was damn near a year old and it was still excellent. Refrigerated the entire time it was stored.
    hardy008, Roger85 and Thickfreakness like this.
  7. antilite

    antilite Savant (255) Florida Jan 1, 2012 Verified

    I buy a bunch of Celebration each fall and keep it in the back of a closet covered with towels. It never sees the light of day. I pick away at it almost until the new batch comes out. And love it. The 2012 stuff I have was bottled Oct 17.
    slim2043 likes this.
  8. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Savant (400) New York Aug 1, 2012 Verified

    I'd say so. 3 months would be my max
    skinsfan likes this.
  9. I refuse to let people make me paranoid about this very question. Being a total hop head, I have noticed Artic Panzer Wolf lose a bit of flavor after 4 months. I say within 3 months, you should be 100% on the money, beyond that for a hoppy beer, just have plans to drink it!!!! I don't think in terms of when it looses flavor, but timing when I think I can drink it. I just a some Uinta Hop Notch that was over 4 months old, it was 90% on the money. That is a win for me!!!!
    SalukiAlum, BeerSingh and ESeab like this.
  10. Hoptimus-Prime

    Hoptimus-Prime Advocate (575) North Carolina Dec 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    Firestone walker doesn't reccomend buying any IPAs older than 120 days, but I've purchased Sculpin with a "Best by" Date 5 months later than the date I was drinking it. Just because it is older it won't make you sick, but the hops begin to be over powered by the malts in the taste , so it may not be as enjoyable past the recommended timeframe.
  11. Kinsman

    Kinsman Advocate (660) California Aug 26, 2009 Verified

    Currently drinking a Stone IPA that is just beyond it's "enjoy before" date so it's about 3 months old and it still taste damn good. Don't let these forums get you all paranoid about your IPAs. 3 months is fine for most and even longer if it's been in the fridge.
  12. I just started my two year old IPA/IIPA experiment tonight.
    Two years ago I cellered a six-pack of brews that I reviewed fresh, threw one of each in a six-pack holder, and put them into the darkest, furthest part of one of my cellar cabinets. The brews are:
    DFH 90min - 2/3/11
    DFH Burton Baton - 11/22/10
    Southern Tier 2XIPA - No bottle dating with this release but it was early '11 for sure!
    Ithaca Flower Power - best by 05/11
    Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA - best by 5/15/11
    Troegs Nugget Nectar - 2/3/11

    I had two tonight. I'll be posting the results on the cellering forum when the new reviews are completed. Two years in the making... what a long, strange trip it's been.
  13. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poobah (1,035) New Jersey Jun 3, 2004 Beer Trader

    I'm really curious about the Burton Baton- maybe post a heads-up here when the post is up on the cellaring board if you can. Hope it was all worthwhile- Cheers!
  14. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    Its funny, didn't the Englishmen who developed the whole concept of IPAs do so to keep it preserved and tasty for when it made the voyage to India? Given that the voyage to India could take the better part of 3-6 months or so, you'd think it would be good for a bit longer than that.

    And yeah, Burton Baton should be a bit more interesting, particularly the Old Ale portion of it
    sandiego67, BeerKangaroo and ESeab like this.
  15. I will for sure. I've already done 90min and Leviathan. It was $10 and two years of waiting (the hardest part). NBD if it's all a fail! It's gonna be interesting to say the least. I figured two years was a good starting point to age an IPA.
  16. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    You didn't find an answer because how long an IPA is good for depends in part on the bottling line in use at the brewery. Some bottling lines give an IPA a shelf life of about 3 months, some give it a shelf life of about 5-6 months.
    raffels and organicbrewer like this.
  17. jmw

    jmw Savant (450) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Probably not. Don't risk it.
  18. herrburgess

    herrburgess Poobah (1,035) South Carolina Nov 4, 2009 Beer Trader

    IPAs are "good" for as long as 99% of beers are good. Beer is like bread, not like wine: it is best when consumed as fresh as possible. Why so many BAs labor under the impression that only IPAs suffer with age I'll never understand.
  19. drtth

    drtth Poobah (1,205) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

  20. Personal taste.

    I aim to drink as fresh as possible, and almost never buy an IPA that is older than 30 days. I really think 90 days is just far too long on an IPA - it's still a drinkable beer at that point, but it has fallen off considerably from how it tastes fresh.
    There are exceptions - Celebration is a great example of one that holds up well for much longer than average.
    5thOhio likes this.
  21. diesel59

    diesel59 Savant (410) New York Jan 3, 2012

    til its gone..................
    EConnOG likes this.
  22. I think bottling is more important in this than is usually considered. I read something from Sierra Nevada once about how thorough (to the point of paranoia) they were in keeping oxygen out of their bottles, and that extra care might have something to do with how people claim good experiences with Celebration, etc. I had the last bottle I could find of a one-off IPA I really liked from a good local brewery six months after bottling (kept cold throughout) and the problem wasn't hop fall-off so much as oxidation (evidenced by a cardboardy taste).
  23. raffels

    raffels Savant (310) West Virginia Dec 12, 2009

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but some IPA's balance out with a bit of age. Two month old Loose Cannon can meld into a dangerously drinkable smoothness.
  24. OTB

    OTB Savant (440) California Sep 2, 2011 Verified

    I think your pretty spot on. Up to 90 days and your still in the freshness window. After that I think things begin to fall off pretty quick, however that does not mean the beer is over the hill, it just takes on a different flavor profile. Like you I am a IPA/DIPA drinker, this drain pour bull shit if anything is a month out is total trolling crap.

    raffels likes this.
  25. Bnoise11

    Bnoise11 Savant (370) California Dec 25, 2012

    i can't wait to hear your results. should be interesting.
  26. Phacoman

    Phacoman Savant (265) Pennsylvania Jun 26, 2011

    Totally depends on the beer. I've had 90 min, burton, double trouble, devil dancer several months old and still pretty good.
    I recently got a sixtel of flower power kegged in October and it has fallen way off.

    I'm sure bottles age differently then kegs also.
  27. acevenom

    acevenom Advocate (555) Louisiana Oct 7, 2011

    As a general rule of thumb, if the brewery saw fit to release it, it's ready to drink. Aging beer is a fun experiment, but that's all it is. I enjoy an older barleywine or an older imperial stout sometimes, but I also enjoy consuming said styles fresh to get the sort of intent the brewer had when brewing and releasing the beer.
  28. 510a

    510a Savant (460) Washington Jan 12, 2013 Beer Trader

    Drinking a one off Ipa now . Almost 5months old. Alpine lips collab , still excel Lent, but fresh was better, I think if itd good it will always be good, but even better fresh.
  29. People wont buy an IPA because its 6+ weeks old, but wont hesitate to purchase Hefs or Brown ales that are pushing a year old, silly.
    jimmy666 and BeerKangaroo like this.
  30. As someone said to me, today's IPAs are so loaded with hops that they can still taste good long after the freshness date. I bought some Harpoon Rye IPA that had an expired date and it was still tasty.

    Ideally an IPA should be consumed ASAP, but I really don't worry about the age any more because they still taste pretty damn good. Worrying about the bottling or freshness date is beer geekdom/snobbery IMO.
  31. robboyd

    robboyd Savant (305) Indiana Aug 7, 2011

    Only if that day was before the bottle date. Hour 23 is 23 hours too long.
    davey101 and FosterJM like this.
  32. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (890) California Nov 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    For my taste.. 1 month. About it.

    Fluteswell and RobertColianni like this.
  33. FosterJM

    FosterJM Champion (890) California Nov 16, 2009 Beer Trader

    I am so confused by this....:p

  34. Thirstygoat

    Thirstygoat Advocate (720) Illinois Nov 22, 2012 Beer Trader

    Double Crooked Tree needs a year, 120 probably longer
    KhakCane likes this.
  35. dry hopping reduces the lifespan of a beer significantly- dry hop character tends to oxidize and degrade within 2-3 months, becoming first reminiscent of tropical fruit and then arriving at a tea-like quality that sucks. (paraphrase of Oxford guide). I've had some old IPAs that were all lightly sweetened musty tea. Awful. Besides that, I couldn't bring myself to rush through my stash of Heady and the last 4 pack was not the same beer. Though still good
    TheMonkfish likes this.
  36. I agree. I like Ruination with 6-8 weeks on it. I usually won't buy an ipa older than 3 months unless I know I'm drinking it that week. After 3 months its just not the beer the brewers intended it to be , not that it can't be consumed and enjoyed.
  37. Schmuck82

    Schmuck82 Initiate (0) Texas Nov 13, 2008

    I prefer to suck on raw hop buds.
  38. kingofhop

    kingofhop Advocate (565) Oklahoma May 9, 2010

    Two days after it's bottled. After that, throw the shit out. Right? C'mon man, I've drank year old IPAs and they wuz still alright. The stuff was originally brewed to survive a long boat's journey to India.
    VitoFerrante likes this.
  39. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Advocate (645) Wisconsin Apr 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    Hops oxidize rapidly; so I've found that the more hops, the quicker it falls off. So with that logic not having the best stomach, I find DIPAs fall of the fastest within a week or 2, AIPA, within 2 or 3 and English IPA 3 or 4.
  40. Ish1

    Ish1 Savant (435) Minnesota Feb 25, 2010 Beer Trader

    Gone in 60 seconds
    Hopportunistic likes this.