Whether you are saving a beer for the weekend, or for a special occasion in the future, knowing how to properly store your beer will ensure that its taste remains optimum. After all, beer lives matter too, so here’s a guide on how to properly store your craft beers to keep them fresh and tasty.
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For starters, it’s vital to know that hop-forward beers shouldn’t be kept for long, as the fruity aroma of the hops will fade over time and turn into a cheesy funkiness. Some of these hop-forward beers include pilsners, IPAs, and blond beers.
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So what beers can you keep? Dark and heavy beers styles are perfect for long storage, as long as you store them properly. Some examples include dubbels, quadrupels, stouts, and lambics.
How to keep your beer alive during and after the pour
Imagine this: you pour yourself a well-deserved beer to celebrate a special occasion but it starts to taste funny after a while. Isn’t that just utterly disappointing?
Chances are, you have sentenced your beer to death by leaving it out in direct sunlight, or perhaps by adding a slice of lemon to it.
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Oxygen is essential for us, but it’s bad for beers. A nice head of foam is the protection your beer needs from oxygen, and acid (like evil lemons) and fat are what destroys that protection.
What about sunlight? Yes, sunlight is evil too. The UV rays from the sun will cause a chemical reaction with the essential oils of the hops, which causes the beer to taste funky and skunky.
How to store your beer
Two things to remember - cool and dark. Beers are like vampires, they thrive in the night. Sunlight will ruin your beer and cause it to turn skunky, which tastes like cat pee (don’t ask how we know).
Remember how oxygen is basically poison for beers? Well, warm temperatures will cause beers to oxidise. Unless you fancy the taste of cardboard, keep your beers at stable temperatures of 10-12℃.
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Singapore is not only ridiculously hot, but also humid, so please do not store your beers outside. Protect your beers so that you can enjoy them fully in due time.
We would recommend against storing your beers in your regular fridge, as the temperature easily fluctuates whenever you open and close the doors. If you don’t have a fancy cellar, you could invest in a good beer fridge that will not only maintain a cool temperature for your beers, but also offers them protection from UV rays.
Best beer positions?
While storing your beer, you may wonder if you should keep it standing straight, or lying down. For bottles with a cork, keep them lying down as corks can dry out and crumble.
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Meanwhile, for bottles with a crown cap, keep them standing straight, as crown caps will rust if they come into contact with moisture.
What if your beer has passed its “best-by” date?
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Technically, alcohol doesn’t spoil, but beers do have a “best-by” date. Not to be confused by an expiry date, these “best-by” dates simply indicate the dates at which your beers will be at their best quality. A beer that has passed its “best-by date” is indeed safe to drink, but its taste would have changed from its original, youthful self.
Should you still drink it then? Just take a sip. If you like it, then go ahead; if the taste is too weird for you to handle, then throw it out. Simple as that.
Don’t be ageist! Every beer deserves a chance. Although some beers taste funky past their “best-by” date, others could develop and enhance their flavours with time. In general, the latter, when left to age, will develop richer, sweeter, and more complex flavours. The carbonation will also decrease over time.
How to store your craft beer like a pro
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Your skin is pale white and ice cold; you don't go out in the sunlight. I know what you are…
Say it. Out loud. Say it!
Vampirbeer - or so says Bella from an alternate Twilight-beer universe.
Now that you know how to properly store your precious craft beer babies, you won’t have to experience weird or skunky beers anymore. Go forth and enjoy your tasty beer-filled life!