What's your age cap on IPAs and Pales?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by MrDave, Apr 7, 2014.


What's your age cap on IPAs and Pales?

Poll closed Apr 28, 2014.
  1. I generally don't pay too much attention.

    21 vote(s)
  2. 6 months.

    14 vote(s)
  3. 90 days.

    107 vote(s)
  4. 60 days.

    72 vote(s)
  5. 45 days

    32 vote(s)
  6. 30 days.

    48 vote(s)
  7. 3 weeks.

    2 vote(s)
  8. 2 weeks.

    3 vote(s)
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  1. MrDave

    MrDave Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 California

    That is, at what point do you pick up a bomber or a six pack of one of your favorite IPAs or pales, check the bottling date, and say "no thanks"?
  2. prdstmnky

    prdstmnky Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2010 Vermont

    If im personally purchasing it, a month or less.
    laglocal likes this.
  3. Ysgard

    Ysgard Zealot (665) Mar 5, 2008 Virginia

    It varies from Brewer to brewer, but generally 3-6 months for brewers that are known to have a bottling line that does a good job keeping oxygen out. Cans tend to last longer in my experience. Lower the malt/abv, lower the time til undrinkable.
    forrestbetts likes this.
  4. RonMexico

    RonMexico Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2013 Florida

    I prefer a month or less (obviously) but I've gone up around two months before.
  5. rozzom

    rozzom Pooh-Bah (2,534) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Since there was no "11 day 4 hour" option I went with two weeks
    forrestbetts, ufmj, dank203 and 2 others like this.
  6. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Depends on the IPA.

    cello and dank203 like this.
  7. SeanBond

    SeanBond Pooh-Bah (2,578) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I usually try to drink within the first 30-60 days (I voted 60), but if I have stuff sitting around that's older, I drink it (and it usually holds up fine).
    WillRadar likes this.
  8. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Can't tell unless I also know which bottling line is being used at the brewery. That makes a difference in shelf life.
    JackHorzempa and cavedave like this.
  9. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Too often I'll buy one and not notice the date until I get home.

    Generally, 90 days at most. The fresher the better, obviously.
  10. ASak10

    ASak10 Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2014 Colorado

    If I can't drink it straight from the bottling line, I don't bother :stuck_out_tongue:

    I don't really have a hard and fast rule, but after 2-3 months I start to think twice. A lot depends on whether I've had the beer before, if I know how it holds up, and so on.
  11. jageraholic

    jageraholic Maven (1,366) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I generally do it by the best by date which is usually 90 days out. I won't drink any past the best by date.
  12. yankeefan287

    yankeefan287 Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Living in PA and buying a lot of cases, I try to buy hoppy stuff with less than a month on it since I know it will take some time to get through the whole case. If I'm buying a six pack on the other hand, I'll buy one with up to 2 months on it since I know it will be gone within a week or so.
    victory4me and Yellolab2010 like this.
  13. MrDave

    MrDave Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 California

    I'm a 45 day guy. I'm stoked when it's a only a few weeks, but I'll still buy it up to 6 weeks old. I won't buy anything hoppy after that, especially if it has Citra in it.
    victory4me, mconn13 and russpowell like this.
  14. BubalooBrewMaster

    BubalooBrewMaster Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2013 Nevada

  15. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    Depends on the IPA. Some hold up quite well at 3+ months (ex: Green Flash West Coast IPA). Others are a shade of their former selves at about 2 months (ex: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA). Not bad by any means, but just not as good as they are capable of being.

    If we're talking an IPA I don't know, I'm probably still cool with it as late as 60-90 days.

    It it's one I'm familiar with, I'll go by what past experience has taught me.
    rozzom and Providence like this.
  16. dank203

    dank203 Initiate (0) May 21, 2012 New Jersey

    I judge it on the beer. some ipa's are so hopped up they'll last a little longer and the taste profile might just change but not completely die off right away. some die off quicker. i'm just happy to have bounties of dirtwolf with an august bbd on them, which right now I think is holding up well
  17. PackPride

    PackPride Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2011 North Carolina

    I had a 120 that sat around in the back of my fridge for over a year, opened it up this past weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. I thought for sure it would have died off, but to my surprise it was as good, at least in my opinion, to ones that were 1-month off the bottling line.
    Scrapss likes this.
  18. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,477) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

  19. MrDave

    MrDave Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 California

    At around 18%, that beer's definitely an exception. Doesn't it even say "ages well" on the bottle?
    a_beckman25, Mikecap and jrnyc like this.
  20. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,477) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Oh and, for the poll, I answered 90 days but I'll buy a 4-month-old DIPA as long as I know I'm gonna drink it immediately. Price and availability are also factors.
    russpowell and Shroud0fdoom like this.
  21. cavedave

    cavedave Grand Pooh-Bah (4,083) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Hour 23.
    alucard6679 and jrnyc like this.
  22. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Illinois

    Typically I won't buy any IPA older than 30 days. If it is canned I might take a gamble up to 60 days depending on what it is.
  23. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,477) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Yeah, they sell vintage 120 at the brewpub and mark it up $2 for every year it's been sitting. I also prefer 120 with at least 6 months of age on it. Too boozy when fresh. Although I must say when I had 2013 on-tap last spring it was the best I've ever had. Go figure.
    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  24. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland

    On average I give them 90 days. I don't feed into the hype that you have to drink a Hoppy beer hours after bottling. If that's the case, why not stop buying beer and brew your own?
  25. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland

    Amen! 13 was such a good batch.
  26. jrnyc

    jrnyc Pooh-Bah (2,916) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Need an option for "it depends". In general I would say 90 days, but some IPAS fall off quickly and I wouldn't go beyond 45 days or less.
  27. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Initiate (0) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    I spent last night @ table and vine in springfield going over bottle and can dates for an hour. out of the whole store I found 4, count them 4 offerings that had a bottle date/ code that was with in 30 days. these were all from local breweries. I found that more than half the cans and bottles didn't have a date on them. and so many that were well over 6 months. some of the firestone walker stuff was 2 yrs old. the kid stocking shelves asked me what I was doing and rolled his eyes once he found out. lol.
  28. garuda

    garuda Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2010 Pennsylvania

    60 days is usually my limit. Graced with great shops and distribution here, so a fresh APA/IPA <2 months old can always be found.
  29. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    I responded 90 days, but that's when I like to have them finished by. Lots of times I'll buy 12-packs in the 6-8 week range. I don't like to buy IPAs after two months. Pales I'll go a little longer (SNPA in cans, for example), but everything needs to be gone by day 90.

    Regrettably this policy is something of a matter of necessity, as my best local option seems to have a challenge putting out anything hoppy that is less than a month old. If I see something less than 6 weeks old I usually jump all over it.
    Scrapss likes this.
  30. Norica

    Norica Zealot (624) Feb 2, 2006 Massachusetts

    Buy within 2 months, drink within 6.
    JuniperJesus likes this.
  31. StLeasy

    StLeasy Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    I buy within one month, drink within two. If I'm getting refrigerated cans I'll buy under 2mo, drink within 3.

    Sierra Nevada's Estate, Harvest ales, Hoptimum, and Celebration; and Founders Devil Dancer; are exceptions to the rule and I will buy whenever I see them. Though all are very different with age, I really enjoy what they turn into. Very resiny and hashy. Last March I enjoyed a 2011 NH Harvest, and it was great. Resiny, a little fruity, and very easy-drinking from the lesser carbonation. I let a friend who only really enjoys stouts try it and he thought it was the best pale he's ever had.
  32. BLC11

    BLC11 Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2014 Alabama

    They cannot all be treated equally, in my experience.. Ive found SNPA holds up pretty well, as does Hop Stoopid, however, Jai Alai I love but don't purchase if older than 2 weeks.
  33. readyski

    readyski Maven (1,399) Jun 4, 2005 California

    Hoppier IPAs 30 days
    Maltier APAs 90 days
    russpowell likes this.
  34. marquis

    marquis Pooh-Bah (2,239) Nov 20, 2005 England

    But the proof of the pudding is in the eating , or rather the drinking in this case!
    In the days before refrigeration massively hopped beers could be sent out as far as the Australian outback yet still be perfectly good even though the journey took months.
  35. tstigz

    tstigz Initiate (0) Dec 6, 2010 Illinois

    I call it at two months. Preferably one month. Of course it will still taste good after that, but I can find another great beer in the store that is fresher, guaranteed. Especially on delivery day. With so many great options these days, why settle? It's a good time to be a hoppy beer drinker.
  36. Djpillowtalk

    Djpillowtalk Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2013 Oklahoma

    I agree they taste better fresh, but to turn a hoppy beer down just because it's a day older then you prefer, never would I ever.
  37. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Dude.....you have too much time on your hands

    TheGator321 and Djpillowtalk like this.
  38. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    I got a Hopslam from 1/2/14 left to drink this week. I suspect it will still be good.

    Last year I saved a New Glarus Thumbprint IIPA for a 3 month and a 6 month tasting. It was still really good at 3 months. At 6, it tasted quite different.
  39. turbotype

    turbotype Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 California

    I honestly don't pay much attention to it. If it tastes funky, I send it down the drain. I've had some old stuff that tasted great and some fresh stuff that was funky. It's whatever -p
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