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Starting a Cellar (noob) How do you keep track?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by EvoJoe, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Hey guys,

    I am new to the craft brew world and have just started to "Cellar" beers. I say "Cellar" because im not yet at the point of storing for aging purposes, right now its mostly an inventory of beers I want to taste and share. So my question is, what do you guys do to keep track of what you have? I have maybe 30 bottles in my inventory right now and have already double bought because i didnt remember buying it. Ive read around and have seen a lot of excel sheets on google docs. That seems to be the most common. I also found this thread which has a few apps but mostly for droid, ive got an iphone.


    What do you guys use to keep your inventory straight but most importantly, what do you guys keep track of in there? Obvious is the Beer Name, Brewery, Style and Quantity. Do you keep track of Purchase Date, Batch Date, Enjoy By Date, Price? Do you rate your beers in there also? Im curious as to what everyone does.

    Heres what I have so far in my Inventory:

    Foothills Sexual Chocolate X3
    Lagunitas Sucks X3
    Hopslam X8
    GD Oak Aged Yeti
    GD Espresso Aged Yeti
    GD Chocolate Aged Yeti
    Avery The Beast Grand Cru (2011) X4
    Ommegang Rare Vos
    Still Water Artisanal Folklore - The Tale of Van Winkle
    Olde Hickory OA Daniel Boone x2
    BFM bfm abbaye de saint bon-chien 2011
    BFM bfm abbaye de saint bon-chien 2006
    Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale
    Fullers Vintage Ale 2011 x3
    Hoppin Frog BA Oatmeal Imperial Stout

    Theres more but i cant remember them!

  2. je1129

    je1129 Aficionado (245) Iowa Feb 22, 2011

  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Google Drive spreadsheet.
  4. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Yeah i saw that. Very simplistic and basic information which is what i could easily build in an excel sheet. There is definitely more to cellaring then just the basics though. Im sure you would need to track purchase date, drink date, location (if you have a big cellar) What other information is useful in the long run though?
  5. je1129

    je1129 Aficionado (245) Iowa Feb 22, 2011

    You can add all that info on the notes section of the beer you enter in cellarhq. I like it because it autocorrects you the brewery and beer after typing a couple letters and has drop down menus for dates and sizes. Very quick and easy.
    joshodonn likes this.
  6. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Cool thanks! My only concern with having that in the notes section is that it wont be filterable. So if i have beers that will be ready in the next month id like to find it since ive probably forgot about it lol.

    What other information besides the Brewery, Beer Name, Style, Size, Quantity, Bottled Date, would be good to keep track of?
  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (965) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I just have this on my sheet

    Brewery Name
    Beer Name
    Bottle Date

    Once a beer is drank it has its picture taken and is logged here as a had (or review it is that is your thing) and then is removed from the sheet.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  8. marshmeli

    marshmeli Savant (460) New York Feb 14, 2012

    Well there is cellaring and then there is tracking... I use a Google Drive file for my cellar list (what I have not drank, abv, size, brewery, name, year, bottled date, notes, box location, etc).

    for tracking what I drink I use BA and untappd
  9. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    I use Untappd for what i drink too. Find me on there EvoJoeRacing :)

    Thats what i am looking for :) Ill add Abv and Box Location to the list
  10. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Savant (410) Virginia Feb 28, 2012

    I wouldnt keep those Sucks and Hopslams in inventory too long. Last year I found a six pack of Sucks about 3 months after release and didnt understand why everyone liked it so much until I had it fresh this year.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  11. several step process
    1. cut down on the number of beers you have by keeping the hopslam and sucks in the fridge and drink them fresh
    2. spreadsheet
    kmatlack and JxExM like this.
  12. I use a spreadsheet, and a basic cheap app on my phone, but my primary tracker is my spreadsheet.

    P.s. you can use a combo of date forumulas so that the current age in days for each beer shows up on your tracker... that is, as long as you know the bottling date.

    Or you can just use an app on your phone to do all the dirty work for you. I probably enjoy excel too much.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  13. Moose90

    Moose90 Advocate (625) Washington Nov 25, 2012

    Excel, or a GoogleDrive Spreadsheet, if you are private just use excel, but if you want it visible to others (for trading purposes) go with Google.

    I love excel myself, but thats just me.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  14. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Yeah the Sucks and Hopslam is being consumed as we speak lol. I know not to hang onto ipas very long. Im not really worried about tracking those, they will be gone before the spreadsheet is started and filled out.
  15. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Thanks. Yeah excel seems to be the tool thats used by alot of people and im definitely going to use excel. Im just trying to find what i should be recording in excel. What are the key most important details about a beer that should be recorded. So far ive got

    Brewery, Beer Name, Style, ABV, Size, Quantity, Bottled Date, Location, Notes
  16. Gotti311

    Gotti311 Advocate (640) Wisconsin Mar 22, 2009

  17. Moose90

    Moose90 Advocate (625) Washington Nov 25, 2012

    Purchase date. Price. in addition to what you have there. Don't want to have too much to look at, but want to cover all of your bases.
  18. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    Perfect! Thank you.
  19. OnWisconsin

    OnWisconsin Savant (395) Wisconsin Aug 14, 2012

    Just made an excel sheet that has drop down menus. I can have the column I need/want. I also have it so it totals the amount of beers I have and how much $ is sitting in my cellar....I just laugh at that number and wonder how that happened!
  20. leedorham

    leedorham Champion (845) Washington Apr 27, 2006

    Keeping track is super lame. Finding forgotten beer is one of the true joys of cellaring.
  21. Ish1

    Ish1 Savant (395) Minnesota Feb 25, 2010

    It's also super lame to find yourself drinking soy sauce because you forgot about that bottle of Abyss for a few too many years. Cellaring isn't a science, but there is definately benefits to being organized. Guess it depends on ones personality. What is lame to you is probably not lame to me and vice versa.
  22. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poobah (1,055) Indiana Aug 11, 2012

    A bigger joy is finding one you forgot to track.
    chanokokoro likes this.
  23. YoDude

    YoDude Aficionado (180) Illinois Nov 21, 2008

    Make sure you are storing it properly; upright and in a cool place where the temperature does not fluctuate more than 15 degrees (60 degrees would be the high end in my opinion). Even better if you can use an old fridge and control the temperature. As your cellar grows, you will need to be more efficient in tracking your beer. Think about how you will want to drink your beer. Will it be by age, style, brewer? That is the information you want to be able to search, sort or filter on. When you get to a larger collection, location will be another important variable; shelves, boxes, closets. A spreadsheet should work just fine for you right now. You can always import your cellar list to an on-line tool later. Most important is to drink your beer and share with friends. Enjoy your new hobby and passion!
    EvoJoe likes this.
  24. xanok

    xanok Savant (415) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

    My cellar is approximately 120 bottles, and the only thing I use is a label maker for the "bottled on" date, or the purchased date if the bottling date is not available.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  25. Andygirl

    Andygirl Savant (280) Michigan Jan 3, 2013

    *blocked* here too. I still tag everything with date, where I bought it, etc. When it was 50 bottles tags were OK, 500+, tags aren't cutting it.
  26. tewaris

    tewaris Advocate (595) Minnesota Jul 14, 2009

    You should ask chussain
  27. EvoJoe

    EvoJoe Savant (285) North Carolina Jan 19, 2013

    That's a cellar I'd like to see! I need some inspiration and aspiration lol
  28. xanok

    xanok Savant (415) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

    Oddly enough I've never taken pictures of my cellar. This post has inspired me to do so. Pics to come tomorrow.
    chanokokoro and EvoJoe like this.
  29. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Advocate (530) Florida Feb 19, 2008

    I used to keep a spreadsheet of my beer but it's gotten so out of hand and I'm too busy to maintain the documentation that I gave up after I exceeded 1200 bottles.
    EvoJoe likes this.
  30. chanokokoro

    chanokokoro Advocate (590) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    Upright? Sorry, as far as lambics go I'll defer to how Cantillon, Drie Fonteinen, and every other Belgian lambic producer cellars their own bottles: horizontally. I cellar other styles as the brewer recommends, almost always vertically. Absent a brewer's recommendation to store otherwise, I cellar corked and caged American Wild Ale bottles horizontally as well and all other styles and all bottles that are capped only vertically.

    An Excel spreadsheet works perfectly for me.
  31. chanokokoro

    chanokokoro Advocate (590) Illinois Jan 31, 2012

    The stringed tags you can buy at any office supply store (Staples, etc.) are great, although mine are handwritten. I mainly use my tags as indentification for my lambics, gueuzes, and American Wild Ales which I store horizontally. The tags prevent me from having to remove several bottles to find the one I'm looking for. Bottling date, etc. is detailed on my Excel spreadsheet only. The tag contains the name of the brew, the brewery, and the vintage.
  32. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,020) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012

    1200 bottles, WTF kind of basement or space do you have these in??
  33. sommersb

    sommersb Advocate (580) Tennessee May 25, 2010

    greenhorn likes this.
  34. xanok

    xanok Savant (415) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009

  35. tx_beer_man

    tx_beer_man Savant (345) Texas Jan 22, 2013

    This post is great. In the words of Charlie to Dennis on The D.E.N.N.I.S. System episode of Always Sunny, "Good. Very good. I'm learning a lot here."
    EvoJoe likes this.
  36. YoDude

    YoDude Aficionado (180) Illinois Nov 21, 2008

    You make a very good point regarding brewer recommendations. I personally have never had a problem with my Lambics being stored vertically. Perhaps an experiment aging one vertically and one horizontally. I personally believe Lambics are quite resilient. I have a bottle of Lindeman's Framboise half full and re-corked using one of those wine vacuum cork thingys (which I would never do with my Lou Pepe). Still tastes great on it's own or blended with a Young's Double Chocolate stout. Go Hawks!
  37. davey101

    davey101 Initiate (0) Connecticut Apr 14, 2009

    I prefer this because I can use a macro to tell me how old my beers are to the day, its very customizable.
    sommersb likes this.
  38. I only have 40 cellarable bottles and 12 "drink fresh" bottles. I keep the cellarable ones in a list on my iPhone. Since I usually grab them on special occasions or to trade, I just open up my notepad and remove the bottles, add any new ones, and mainly drink my IPA's and Pale Ales with no regard to keeping track of those. Maybe when my cellar gets larger I'll use a better method. But this works for me easily. Plus if I'm away from a computer, I can easily just pull up my list without accessing google spreadsheets
  39. beercanman

    beercanman Savant (485) Ohio Dec 17, 2012

    I use the app on android called inmycellar. Very simple and I have it when I am shopping.