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"Shelf Life"

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by tx_beer_man, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Savant (260) Texas Jan 22, 2013

    Fellow BAs, quick Q. How long does beer last on the shelf? My local stores will let good, ageable brews sit on their shelves until purchased. Always cool and no sun invasion. Of course fresh beers avoided (just saw a 2011 and 2012 Stone Collab both stating enjoy fresh). But countless DFH 120s and RIS and others being released this month but bottled early 2012. Couldn't find a thread on point while community/threads/will-a-store-get-rid-of-stale-beer-or-let-it-sit.51848/page-2#post-676539 was nice. Thoughts?
  2. Short answer is 'depends on the beer'- but I have bought certain Belgian strong ales and imperial stouts that I knew were a few years old and found them all the better because of it.

    Just recently I took the plunge on a lone GI Matilda that I saw sitting there since last Feb/Mar- and it was insanely good. Same thing with a year-old Bitter Monk. But both of those beers have brettanomyces in them which takes time to really start to dominate.

    If you aren't sure, you can always post what you are considering buying on the Cellaring forum and get specific answers.
  3. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (505) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    The store I work at gets rid of out of date beer. About 2-4 times a year we go around and check all the bottling/enjoy by dates and pack up everything that is well out of date. One/two weeks doesn't hurt but a year definatly does. Right now we have about 5-6 cases of out dated beer ready to be picked up by our distributer. It is actually more difficult of a task than it seems, although it does help explain to customers why we don't carry many beers that aren't so popular. Freshness is important and breweries try their best to put their beers on the shelves as quickly as possible, it just doesn't always seem to work out that way. With all that said, some beer sits on the shelf more than a year sometimes :(
  4. jbeezification

    jbeezification Savant (405) Texas Jun 6, 2012

    It depends on the beer as much as it depends on the shelf. If it is a shelf in a store with no sunlight and very little fluctuations in temperature then the beer will be fine, as long as it is an ageable beer.
  5. lookrider

    lookrider Savant (390) Pennsylvania Apr 22, 2007

    I was at a bottle shop that had a 750 of Unibroue's Don de Dieu and since I had never had it before, I snapped it up. When I got home (which was about 50 miles away), I saw the the Best by date was over 2 years past and since Unibroue puts their best by dates a couple of years after bottling anyway, the beer was at least 4 years old. I chilled it and drank it and it far exceeded my expectations so, depending on the style, I'd take a chance on an out of date bottle again.
  6. My thoughts: I'd like to visit your store.
    TongoRad likes this.
  7. My local store still has stuff sitting on the shelf that was bottled in 2011.
  8. Rohkey

    Rohkey Savant (350) Michigan Jan 13, 2013

    I recently purchased a Westmalle Dubbel that I didn't notice had been bottled in 2008/expired in 2010 (yikes) and instantly realized something was horribly wrong from the first sip. However, some beers can last 5+ years depending on several factors (what factors I'm not experienced enough to know).
  9. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Savant (260) Texas Jan 22, 2013

    Thanks everyone for the responses. It came in handy when I was traveling back from Austin to Houston and dropped by the new/moved Bastrop Spec's Liquor Store. FYI the county (two Spec's) still have 72 Abyss 12's and sale chepaer by the case.
  10. Westmalle Dubbel is definitely one of those beers that can last 5+ years.
  11. Abio

    Abio Aficionado (120) Belgium Apr 26, 2010

    Normally it seems good to hold them that long, but I already got to throw away 24 bottles, and kept in the same conditions as my other beers...
  12. djrn2

    djrn2 Champion (780) New Jersey Nov 4, 2009

    It should also be away from the florescent light. I've gotten a beer right up front in the light and it was awful. Went back and dug one out from the back and it was great.
  13. Rohkey

    Rohkey Savant (350) Michigan Jan 13, 2013

    Maybe I had one that wasn't properly stored, or something along those lines, then...
  14. Picked up a couple 4 packs of 2010 Samichlaus Helles. Sitting on concrete floor of shop. Who knows where they'd been or how long but the ones I drank were great. Cellared the rest to test
    tx_beer_man likes this.

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