How to store craft beer
What a lot of people don’t realise, that a lot of the craft beer that they drink changes with time. The beer can either spoil if left too long, or get better with age.
Spoilt beer can taste almost rotten, a bad egg smell or something like sulphur. Not fun for a calm afternoon.
Keeping your beer cold will improve the lifespan of the beer, but making it too cold as to ruin the texture and make a cloudy light beer. You need balance.
Keeping your beer cold is important for a lot of reason. The flavour for some beer is better at room temperature, like in a stout or porter, while others, like a weiss or a lager, is better cold, or ice cold.
But, not frozen.
If you’ve ever tried opening a frozen beer, you’ll know it ruins the whole experience and makes a mess.
Keeping your beer at the appropriate temperature help you enjoy it more. So we wrote up a few things to remember for each beer:
- Stronger beers tend to enjoy chilling at 12 – 15 degrees celsius. This is your barleywine and stouts and so on.
- Pretty much all your standard Ales and Pale Ales prefer 10 – 12 degrees celsius.
- For the last, the lighter beers can be stored a little warmer 7.5 – 10 degrees celsius. This is so they don’t freeze and you get a beer-plosion! (totally a real word).
The general rule of thumb is that beers with higher alcohol content should be stored at warmer temperatures than beers with lower alcohol content.
Light and Dark
On refrigeration, we’d also like to mention that keeping your beer in a dark place works, sun and light are the enemy of any craft beer.
A closed fridge is ideal! But keeping your collection in underground storage area or at the bottom shelf in your kitchen is also fine.
But remember when storing your craft beer in a dark place with no refrigeration, not every beer is made equal, some beers may not mind the temperature conditions at all when it comes to taste, but others may.
It’s up to you to see which works were, but we say, keep it in the cold, just to be safe.
Keep your beer standing up straight if you can. For the lighter beers this is more important, but works for all kinds.
Because of the raw and organic hand-made nature of craft beer, sediment usually still finds it’s way to the finished product. This is also what gives craft beer it’s distinction over it’s commercial cousin.
Lying a beer on it’s side will let the sediment settle on the side of the glass, and then will let the sediment flow into your glass when pouring. Keeping the bottle erect is the best way to prevent tasting any unwanted sediment.
Beers that are sealed with corks or wax may also be contaminated with the liquid constant touching the top. So bear this in mind when storing too.
Thanks for dropping in to this brief breakdown of storing and keeping your craft beer at it’s best quality. We’ll do a few more posts like this to help you along your way of getting the best our of your craft beer.
If you have something to add, please let us know, craft beer in South Africa is still young, so adding more voices to the conversation benefits everyone!