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How long would you say an IPA is good for?

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

  1. lotsaswigs

    lotsaswigs Member

    Location:
    Indiana
    Varies by beer, storage, and by taste...I've had nearly year old ones that have been fine and month+ old bottles I know are already heading downhill. Heck some might even need a couple weeks in the bottle to peak, so there's certainly no definitive answer to the question.

    So as a side question, if I beer truly does become a shadow of it's former glory after a measly month, if not weeks (as many on here proclaim and I can agree with for some beers to an extent), are they good or well made beers to begin with?
  2. semaj

    semaj Member

    Location:
    Florida
    I got a six pack of two hearted tonight that was bottled on 02/11. I have been drinking this batch since it was a week or so fresh, and it feels like the bitter hop taste at the end has faded, but maybe I am just convincing myself of that. The week old Jai Alai tastes pretty similar to me than the one I had that is over two months old.
  3. YieldToNothing

    YieldToNothing Member

    Location:
    New York
    i had some year old double trouble a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by how good it was
  4. 1up

    1up Member

    I had a 2+ years old Hop 15 from Port and it was excellent
    kojevergas likes this.
  5. dar482

    dar482 Member

    Location:
    New York
    To have some kind of metric, Stone has their IPAs out for 90 days. So I would use that as a maximum based on how snobby I get on freshness of IPAs.

    Then again, their Enjoy By is only out for 45 days or so, therefore, aiming for that is even better.

    As explained before, it depends on the beer as well. The more important the hop forwardness is, the more important you drink it fresh.

    (Another tip: Not all barleywines should be aged, depending on their hop forwardness. Something like Bigfoot is extremely hop forward, so be wary that if you age, you're oxidizing the beer and getting rid of its hoppiness.)
  6. williamjbauer

    williamjbauer Member

    Location:
    West Virginia
    This IPA will self destruct at the end of this message...
  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Member

    Location:
    Virginia
    As others have said it depends on the beer, but my max is six months for anything hoppy.
    EdH, creepinjeeper and brureview like this.
  8. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Member

    Location:
    Quebec (Canada)

    Hahah I enjoyed this little example. It's so true.
    Doppelbockulus likes this.
  9. BleepBloopBlap

    BleepBloopBlap Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    My rule of thumb is usually 2 months from bottle on date. If it's older, you can always find something in the store that's fresher. There are so many good IPA's out there, I dont see any point in settling.
    mcrago, Kumicho, Dools9 and 1 other person like this.
  10. kodt

    kodt Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I had a sucks about 2 months after I bought it. I could tell it had declined from fresh but it was still enjoyable.
  11. brureview

    brureview Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The fresher the better. I got an email reply from the owner of a brewery which brews an excellent DIPA: drink IPAs as fresh as possible. Lot of other beer drinkers agree.

    IPA freshness is also a top priority for the Russian River brewery. There is a video online where they talk about this concerning Pliny the Elder/Younger.

    Personal experience. My almost expired bottle of Sculpin was just okay. It was the only bottle I could find. A bottle of January '13 Maharaja poured in early Feb was incredible. Even a bottle of 3 month old Smuttynose IPA was excellent.
    A recent bottle of Hopwired IPA was just okay- no bottle date. The hoppiness was dull.

    Drink IPAs as fresh as possible.
    closisinthehouse likes this.
  12. brureview

    brureview Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I had the same experience.
  13. closisinthehouse

    closisinthehouse Member

    Location:
    Florida
    I personally think that it depends. I had a 4 month hopslam a week ago and it was delicious. I've also had a 3 month old hopslam and I didn't enjoy it.
    I agree with brureview to "Drink IPAs as fresh as possible"
  14. jimmy666

    jimmy666 Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    drinking an IPA after 7 hours of it leaving the tank is a crime against hops.
  15. jbertsch

    jbertsch Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    wow. Last year, I bought a 6-month old Double Trouble by accident and it was complete rubbish...I mean, really bad. Couldn't stomach a 2nd gulp. And it's normally one of my favorite DIPAs. It wasn't refrigerated at the store which probably had something to do with it.
    LoulaBrewing likes this.
  16. DinoFight

    DinoFight Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    To me seems to vary by each bottle. I usually drink IPA's and Pale Ale's as fresh as I can. But I just had my last two Hopslam bottles that had escaped out of sight in my beer fridge this past weekend, bottled at the begining of January. The first bottle, while still tasty I absolutely noticed the hop drop off. But the next one I opened up a few hours later tasted fresh, like the first ones I had back in January/February. Thought that was pretty wierd.
  17. Geuzedad

    Geuzedad Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    If you drink IPA's for the hop experience (bitter, hop forward) then fresher is better IMO. My two experiences drinking "older" IPA's was a four month old Troegs Hop Nugget and a five month old Honkers Ale. Both had lost almost all of their hop quality and were very malty. Both were drain pours. I also agree with herrburrgess in that IPA's are not the only beers to fall off with age. Unless it is a sour or Belgian I try to consume it within the 30 to 90 day mark from its bottling date. Know what you are drinking and why you are drinking it then make your choices. Experiment a bit. Cheers!
  18. Imacopyouidiot

    Imacopyouidiot Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Do you ever get that not so fresh feeling?
  19. grynder33

    grynder33 Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    If you want all the aroma of the dry hopping, and the citrusy hops to be way up front,you dont have long at all.I say 30 days max,and then only if the bottles were refrigerated. Cans a little longer. Brewers and retailers tell me 60 days,I dont believe it. Kegged IPA's survive the best The bittering hops of course last much longer. I make it a point if I'm near a brewery to buy some IPA's then and there,thats usually the freshest. One nationally known brewer from a famous Illinois brewery told me he considers the shelf life of a bottled IPA to be 7-10 days,at which point its no longer the beer he had in mind
    Kumicho and LoulaBrewing like this.
  20. SirBottlecap

    SirBottlecap Member

    Location:
    California
    In my house, it's about 15 minutes for a 12 oz., 25 minutes for a 22 oz., etc. Cut those times in half for Fridays.
    beerindaglass and JohnQVD like this.
  21. patto1ro

    patto1ro Member

    Location:
    Netherlands
    An authentic IPA needs 18 months maturation in temprature climes or a couple of months on a boat to the tropics.
  22. Dools9

    Dools9 Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    This.
    BleepBloopBlap likes this.
  23. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    It all boils down to this:

    Fact: hops will fade with age.
    Not fact: the beer will taste worse, the same, or better

    It will completely depend on your palate. If you want the full impact of the hops on the flavor, then drink it probably within a couple weeks of the bottled date.
  24. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Member

    Location:
    California
    6 months. Except for Pliny, which is 50 minutes.
    DmouthCaliBrewz likes this.
  25. DJMonroe

    DJMonroe Member

    Location:
    Washington
    I don't like to have my drinking tastes dictated by assumptions about what is "best". Best is too subjective. I sometimes hang onto hoppy ales for a year or more because I want to see what happens with that beer's flavor profile after doing something "wrong". I kept a Deschutes "Hop Trip" for four YEARS and Larry Sidor just about had a coronary when he found out I was going to drink it. It tasted very different but not at all vile or even silghtly disgusting. It wasn't even cardboardy. I've held onto most of the IPAs I like to experiment this way and in maybe 35 - 40% of the cases, I liked the beer better after that aging. But then I think "freshness" is over-rated. The simple fact is that if you wanted it realy fresh, you'd have to be at the brewery the day it's released and get it on tap. If it travels any distance, it's no longer "fresh".
  26. dougfur

    dougfur Member

    Location:
    New York
    I've been wondering about this same question. I recently got some Hopslam, some Zombie Dust and some Dreadnaught in a trade. I found all 3 (and especially the HS and Dread) pretty disappointing. With all the lovers of these beers out there, I was wondering if they were just old? The only other explanation is that people in the midwest like weak IPA's, but the folks at Surly (and others) have shown me that this cannot be true!
  27. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    I've had Hopslam as recently as last weekend, and it still tasted amazing to me. Perhaps you just don't like that one.
  28. ChickenSandwichCarl

    ChickenSandwichCarl Member

    Location:
    Maine
    3-4 weeks. They won't make you blind after that, but what's the point. I did a blind taste test on 3/15 of a 2/6 and a 2/18 Sucks and they were night and day. One still had a lot of aroma and the other had nothing. I was amazed by the difference. I thought they'd both be kind of meh, but the 2/18 was much, much better. That being said, i drank 2/6'er to end my night Sunday. Good choice when you're a little too buzzed and don't want to waste a really good beer.
    dar482 likes this.
  29. Dools9

    Dools9 Member

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    A while back a buddy and I cracked a 1.5 year old bottle of Breckenridge small batch 471 IPA that somehow managed to be kept hidden in his fridge for most of that time. Absolutely awful. Sugary, dirty, stale malt, hops were non exsistant, just nasty stuff.
  30. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Member

    Location:
    California
    Anything Sierra Nevada holds up 2+ months better than all others. Maybe it's the whole cone hops...who knows.
    DinoFight likes this.
  31. bozodogbreath

    bozodogbreath Member

    Location:
    Indiana
    What's the point of even bottling IPA's? The flavor falls of so fast. ;)
  32. DinoFight

    DinoFight Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    Never thought about it. But I did have a 2012 Celebration Ale tonight and it tasted pretty fresh. Noticed some hop drop off but not enough to change the expected taste very much.
  33. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Member

    Location:
    California
    Exactly why I still have a case of Celebration in the fridge...
    DinoFight likes this.
  34. LoulaBrewing

    LoulaBrewing Member

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I usually give them three months, however, I don't buy if it's over two months and I don't buy if I can't find a date. But I'll drink them if free all day long. It's your preference in the end. They're not a bad beer after three months, just nothing close to what the brewer intended them to be.
  35. dwagner003

    dwagner003 Member

    Location:
    California
    Just had a 3-month old Pliny.. Still delicious.
  36. semaj

    semaj Member

    Location:
    Florida
    I can only comment on the Hopslam, but I found that it dropped off dramatically from my first to last--two weeks from bottle date to around two months. I would give it another chance next year.

    I also realize that there are so many great IPA's to choose from that I will probably never buy another that is more than a 4 or 5 weeks old.
  37. --Dom--

    --Dom-- Member

    Location:
    Missouri
    I drank a brew dog hardcore ipa that was over a year old and it was amazing......
  38. ECalebrews449

    ECalebrews449 Member

    Location:
    Nebraska
    Celebration has a good shelf life, so I think it should be ok. I love being a hop head but I wish they got better with age like stouts and porters, especially barrel aged beers!

    Cheers!
  39. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Member

    Location:
    New York
    Depending on the abv, anywhere from 15 min. to 30 min. for a 12 oz. bottle and it's finished. For bombers, it's more like 30 - 45 min.
  40. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Member

    Location:
    Kentucky

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