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3 min read

The Proper Method for Beer Storage [VIDEO]

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When you’re ready to enjoy a delicious beer, the last thing you want is the unpleasant surprise of it tasting funky or more like cardboard than your favorite brew. 

That’s why it’s important to know how to properly store your beer so it retains its carefully brewed aroma and flavor until you’re ready to drink it. Here’s what you need to know about properly storing beer.

Temperature

Beer should be stored in a cool place, like a basement, closet, or refrigerator. Although brewers use heat during the brewing process, they do this to achieve a balance of flavor in their beers. By allowing your beer to get too hot, you alter this desired balance.

You may have heard that you’ll ruin beer if you let it go from refrigerator temperature to room temperature and back again. That’s just a myth, however. It takes extreme temperature changes to alter beer, so as long as you don’t leave your beer in your car trunk for hours on a scorching summer day, it should be perfectly fine if it is cold then warms to room temp.

Light

Extreme light can also change the taste of beer, so a cool basement, closet, or fridge also works well for this element of storage. Don’t worry if you stand in front of the fridge for a minute or two debating what to drink. This brief intrusion of light from the fridge isn’t enough to harm your beer’s flavor.

If your beer gets too much light exposure, however, it can become skunked. Yes, that’s the official—and very apt—term for beer that’s been “light struck” by ultraviolet rays that have permeated the glass. Hops in beer are sensitive to light, and too much exposure can cause your beer to actually develop a skunky smell and taste. Green- and clear-bottled beer can skunk in just a few minutes, while brown bottles offer more protection. Skunked beer probably won’t cause you any harm, but it really won’t deliver a flavor anyone’s looking for!

Position

Beer, unlike wine, should always be stored upright. That’s because it has naturally occurring sediment that you want to fall to the bottom of the bottle, which only happens when it’s stored upright. And—pro tip!—if you drink beer from a glass instead of out of a bottle, the sediment will stay in the bottom of the bottle when you pour instead of getting in your beer.

Storing your beer upright also puts less beer in contact with the air that’s trapped in the bottle, so its flavor doesn’t break down as quickly. 

Length of Storage

Unlike wine, beer shouldn’t be aged. Most beers should be stored for a maximum of two to three months before you drink them. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part drink up quickly.

Some types, like sour ales and barley wines, can be stored for a bit longer. IPAs, amber lagers, and American pale or strong ales have hop aromatics, so their flavor fades if they’re stored for too long. In general, the lower the alcohol content of your beer, the faster the beer can go stale. If you find yourself with more beer than you can drink within a few months, it sounds like the perfect excuse to invite some friends over to share!

Ready to learn more and pick out some great beers to take home? Stop by one of Haskell’s 11 locations, or contact us for more information!

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