Your home beer cellar 2020.

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by bubseymour, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,972) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Just wondering if your home beer cellar has grown, staying about the same or shrinking these days compared to years past? Mine is literally down to 2 beers now (a 3F sour I picked up in December while in California and a BA Stout can from Sixpoint. I never was one to keep a big cellar, over last decade it usually stayed in the 10–20 beer range. Most of my beer nerd friends have shrunk their cellar inventory considerably as well from the past. Maybe it’s just that we are all at the same stage in our craft beer journey? Or is it a sign of the times? Just wondering what others have going on.
  2. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,781) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Mine is definitely shrinking. I actually maintain a spreadsheet because at some point a few years ago it was just spiraling out of control and I needed to track what I had, vintage, ABV etc. so that I could rotate beer into the beer fridge in a somewhat deliberate manner. My cellar was at one point above 350 bottles (peak). Pre-COVID it was probably around 250 and it’s now at 217.

    I’d love to get the rest of the beers currently in the “cellar” (some boxes in a dark corner of my garage) into the beer fridge, and then never have beers stored at room temp after that. I think the fridge holds about 150 bottles (depending on format) so I have a ways to go. Most of these are bombers and 750s.
  3. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (3,272) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    At our previous home I always had about two hundred bottles on hand. Since we moved into our new home I've tried to keep it at a hundred bottles or less, half of that being lambic. When we moved I realized that a good amount of those bottles never should've been cellared in the first place so now I rarely ever keep anything other than lambic for more than a year. I also now have two different beers fridges, one in the basement and one in the garage. Both are full right now but it's easier to keep things in front of you when they're in a fridge as opposed to being in boxes.
    Bitterbill, PapaGoose03 and draheim like this.
  4. ypsifly

    ypsifly Meyvn (1,077) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    I've just about killed mine. There's some Westy 12 and a few Cantillon and a couple BA 3rd Coast but that's it. Three years ago I had hundreds of bottles but I got tired of popping bottles that were past prime so I killed off most of what I had.
  5. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,932) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    I am purposely shrinking mine because we are moving this fall. Down from way, way too many to just way too many.
  6. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,588) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    I’ve never had a beer cellar. A few credible sources in the industry have told me numerous time it’s been a mistake, whether to cellar for months or years, regardless of the style.
  7. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (3,272) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    At this point I'd say for most people it isn't about aging the beers but about having a stash or stockpile so you have great options.
  8. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,097) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I agree with this. I have a small stash of about 20 bottles left that have been aged for 3-4 years. But anymore I don't see any gains from sitting on them. I also read that aging does little for the beer in most cases so I am stopping the practice.
  9. traction

    traction Zealot (561) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
    Society Trader

    I've never had a beer cellar either but I have got to try some aged examples. Personally I think certain beers like Bigfoot and Narwhal gain something extra with age but it is going to boil down to the individual whether the changes over time are a good thing or a bad thing.
  10. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,588) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    That's what I was told as well, but as @aasher said above you, the pandemic is a not-so nice reminder that stocking up on beer can help in difficult times.
  11. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,097) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    The only time I see some benefit is if a beer is very hot and letting it sit for a few months could mellow out the ABV. I had a few like this and time did help some. Regarding any flavor improvement I honestly have not noticed that very much if at all.
    ChicagoJ, IKR, Bitterbill and 2 others like this.
  12. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,097) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Agree, I have a lot more in my fridge than normal due to the current times. I always used to snag extra items (high ABV) to age but I just don't see the payback of sitting on them. I figure if I want a nice heavy stout just enjoy now rather than stash away.
    Bitterbill and Shanex like this.
  13. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,972) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Yes I always liked to keep 10-20 around for a mix of high-end beer options when my friends would get together for bottle shares. I had a few sours I let age out to about 3-5 years but most all my stouts I’d try to turn over at the 6mo, 1 year 2 year marker. A lot of them turn to soy sauce after 5 years.
    ChicagoJ and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  14. Chilmer

    Chilmer Devotee (447) May 22, 2018 Iowa

    I didn’t have a “cellar” until I found a nice local guy that travels to Side Project twice a month. Now my cellar has started because I have access to things I didn’t before. I’m buying more because I assume eventually the proxy option will go away. Some bottles I’m saving to share which are being aged, but only once I’ve purposefully aged a bottle just to see what happens (Surly - Darkness ‘17). It is still aging.
  15. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,449) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    Mine is about the same as it was three years ago. There's stuff in there that should never have been cellared in the first place. I'd say I'll get round to it eventually, but I never will.

    Besides, "CELLAR TURD GIVEAWAY" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
  16. Whyteboar

    Whyteboar Devotee (438) Jun 7, 2008 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Mine has grown a bit actually as I used to keep it in balance with monthly Stout Appreciation Nights with select friends, but that had to stop and I didn't stop buying new and interesting stouts to take. So while I had around 300 in February, I'm closer to 400 now. I really need to start binge drinking or something!
  17. dropkick1977

    dropkick1977 Initiate (74) Jan 4, 2016 New Hampshire

    Quarantine (and homeschooling) definitely helped me pare down my cellar/hoard. I probably had a couple hundred bottles or so, and could never find the special occasion to drink them. And like others have said, I had way too many older "trophy" beers just sitting there and when I ended up drinking them, I was very underwhelmed. They tasted old and faded and were basically ticks.

    Moving forward I'm making a concerted effort to avoid chasing and hoarding older beers and drink fresher. We'll see how it goes.
  18. WA_Brian

    WA_Brian Disciple (392) Nov 17, 2015 Washington

    Out of the ones I tracked, I went from about 150 down to 60. There is a little lambic left but it's going quickly and a lot of BA stouts I just don't like drinking in this weather.

    I don't like cellaring beer. I just buy more than I drink and have been trying to reduce it but didn't make much progress until now. I look forward to completely running out.
    ChicagoJ, Bitterbill, Chilmer and 2 others like this.
  19. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,712) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Mine maxed out at 175 about 5 years ago, and has been declining ever since then. I was drinking all the oldest stuff and realizing that most were past prime, so I quit adding new stuff. Unfortunately a lot of the youngest stuff got old by the time I got to it. I'm down to around 25 now, and I've added maybe 10 new bottles in the last 6 months, but it's stuff that I know will be good in three years and I'll drink it well before then. And I'm still drinking the cellar down during this COVID period.
  20. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (2,741) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts

    When I was first getting big into craft beer and I had access to a lot of singles I made the mistake of buying almost everything I wanted to try regardless of what I already had. I thought stocking up would be good at first to have a nice variety but after a while I had too many beers that were going to be past their prime. I thought I might share more with some beer buddies but then people end up getting different jobs and working different hours, and before I knew it I acquired too much beer to drink, and I didn't have enough time to drink them. It was probably a few hundred at it's peak. Because I've been home lately I've been trying to tackle a lot of those old beers from 2016-17. I even see an occasional beer from 2015 when picking them out. I wish I had made a spreadsheet because a lot of times I forget what I even have. I purposely left a lot of sours to age knowing they could last a while, but some of the stouts and Belgians aren't as great after a few years. Some of the beers surprise me at how good they still taste though, like when I have a 3yr old stout that is still dark rich and chocolatey. I probably still have a good hundred or so beers to go. I haven't really been buying beers lately so hopefully I can get the cellar down to a more manageable size soon.
    ChicagoJ, Chilmer and Shanex like this.
  21. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (3,839) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Society Trader

    My “cellar” ended up growing. I had an opportunity to stop at Russian River, and ended up stocking up. But all I’ve really felt like opening have been IPAs (with an occasional DIPA, like Pliny) and lighter beers. I did enjoy a well-aged imperial stout that was utterly fantastic, but that was for a special occasion. I miss being able to share big beers with good company, but I’m glad to wait in order to do so safely.
    ChicagoJ and Chilmer like this.
  22. Treyliff

    Treyliff Poo-Bah (4,282) Aug 10, 2010 West Virginia
    Society Trader

    Mine has stayed right around 1,200 bottles for a couple of years now. I've really cut back on my beer purchasing but can't seem to make a dent.
    maximum12 and ChicagoJ like this.
  23. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (3,688) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    My cellar is definitely declining over COVID time.
    I probably had around 200 or so in early February. Alot of big imp stouts and Bwines. Mostly waiting to split with friends or a big occasion.
    now, Ive made a conscious effort to drink older stuff and have been posting in cellar reviews which is fun.
    It also helps that Im purchasing a lot less the past several weeks also.

    Oh and @dcotom , I will keep my eyes peeled for an invite to the cellar turd giveaway party!!
  24. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,366) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I am making a concerted effort to grow my cellar right now. At the new year it was at about 25-30 beers, now its up to maybe 40. Its almost all bigfoot, narwhal, bcbs, parabola and various lambics/wild ales.

    I think the notion that aging beers is never a good idea is a bald fallacy for my palate. Bcbs and parabola both are more enjoyable for me with a year plus on them. Bigfoot is something I enjoy fresh but is enjoyable in a different way as it ages. Narwhal is the current one I'm experimenting with, so far I found it to have fallen off a bit for my tastes around 12-15 months old but folks have regularly reported it having an awkward phase and then hitting a second stride around 2-3 years old. I'll known this winter if that's how o feel about it and if not I'll suffer through 10 narwhals that are past their prime and then only buy it fresh.

    The lambics are mostly just stuff I pick up when it shows up because its not always available
  25. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (2,375) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I grew a fairly large cellar over the years, and I am slowly reducing it. That said, I have a much clearer picture of what ages well than I did 8 years ago. I absolutely love aging some beers, such as bigfoot (I'm with @unlikelyspiderperson ), Narwhal, Old Guardian, Cantillon (some), 3F, Thomas Hardy's, Samichlaus, JW Lees, and things like this. Many of these get better with age, IMO. Others will easily maintain their greatness, like BCBS, big Bruery bottles, Avery stouts, and more. So, I think a cellar can be a great idea, but only if the correct beers are aged. I have had my fair share of "Oh CRAP!" moments when a great beer tasted like shite after a few years. Sad times!
  26. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,641) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Precisely this. Rather than throwing random stuff into the cellar (circa 2008) I've been noting what does/doesn't age well over the years, & most of my cellar is now things I know will age well. At a peak of near 400 I'm down under 300 (with a hearty beer-drinking wife).

    Aging is fun. Noting the differences (especially side by side) of the same beer at different ages is fun. Noting the beers that get better, stay steady, or decline is fun.

    I don't have a specific target, but suspect within the next few years my cellar is going to drop to around 200 & stop there.
  27. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (429) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    If you need any help moving things along, I'll take one for the team and assist... :sunglasses::grin:

    My own cellar has been slowly shrinking, I've been going after some stuff in there, though I;m also doing my part to help local breweries and bottle shops by buying new when I get the opportunity.
    i have a bunch of stuff in mine that is likely well past prime, though it's oddly tough breaking into some of them.
    jhavs and unlikelyspiderperson like this.