Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

How long would you say an IPA is good for?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. lotsaswigs

    lotsaswigs Jan 24, 2006 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 Jan 18, 2013 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 Mar 13, 2013 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 Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

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

    dar482 Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    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 Jan 17, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

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

    Hanzo Feb 27, 2012 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 Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)


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

    BleepBloopBlap Aug 19, 2011 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 Mar 6, 2013 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 Jan 20, 2012 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 Jan 20, 2012 Massachusetts

    I had the same experience.
     
  13. closisinthehouse

    closisinthehouse Jun 10, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    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 Jun 20, 2010 Maryland

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

    jbertsch Dec 14, 2008 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 Jan 23, 2013 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 Nov 14, 2010 Arizona
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    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 Oct 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

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

    grynder33 Jul 31, 2003 Wisconsin
    Subscriber

    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 Jan 28, 2013 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 Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands
    Subscriber

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

    Dools9 Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    This.
     
    BleepBloopBlap likes this.
  23. smartassboiler

    smartassboiler Apr 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    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 Feb 14, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

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

    DJMonroe Jan 26, 2013 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 Jan 24, 2011 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 Apr 9, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    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 Aug 29, 2012 Maine
    Beer Trader

    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 Jul 5, 2011 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 Mar 1, 2009 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 Oct 19, 2006 Indiana
    Beer Trader

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

    DinoFight Jan 23, 2013 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 Mar 1, 2009 California

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

    LoulaBrewing Jan 29, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    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 Jan 4, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

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

    semaj Jan 18, 2013 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-- Dec 22, 2012 Missouri

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

    ECalebrews449 Dec 23, 2012 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    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 Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    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 Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe