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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 Aficionado (230) Indiana Jan 24, 2006

    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 Savant (260) Florida Jan 18, 2013

    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. i had some year old double trouble a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by how good it was
     
  4. I had a 2+ years old Hop 15 from Port and it was excellent
     
    kojevergas likes this.
  5. dar482

    dar482 Advocate (680) New York Mar 9, 2007

    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. This IPA will self destruct at the end of this message...
     
  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    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. Hahah I enjoyed this little example. It's so true.
     
    Doppelbockulus likes this.
  9. 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 Advocate (525) Illinois Mar 6, 2013

    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. 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. I had the same experience.
     
  13. 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 Aficionado (230) Maryland Jun 20, 2010

    drinking an IPA after 7 hours of it leaving the tank is a crime against hops.
     
  15. 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 Aficionado (235) Arizona Jan 23, 2013

    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 Savant (475) Arizona Nov 14, 2010

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

    grynder33 Savant (380) Wisconsin Jul 31, 2003

    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. 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 Advocate (500) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    An authentic IPA needs 18 months maturation in temprature climes or a couple of months on a boat to the tropics.
     
  22. This.
     
    BleepBloopBlap likes this.
  23. 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 Savant (285) California Feb 14, 2011

    6 months. Except for Pliny, which is 50 minutes.
     
    DmouthCaliBrewz likes this.
  25. 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 Savant (345) New York Jan 24, 2011

    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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Savant (450) Indiana Oct 19, 2006

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

    DinoFight Aficionado (235) Arizona Jan 23, 2013

    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. Exactly why I still have a case of Celebration in the fridge...
     
    DinoFight likes this.
  34. 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. Just had a 3-month old Pliny.. Still delicious.
     
  36. semaj

    semaj Savant (260) Florida Jan 18, 2013

    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-- Savant (355) Missouri Dec 22, 2012

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

    ECalebrews449 Savant (355) Nebraska Dec 23, 2012

    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. 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 Savant (490) Kentucky Apr 20, 2004

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