Just about everyone knows about cellaring wine. Storing certain wines which will improve with age & knowing when to open them to get the best flavor is a well established practice. But despite there being some traditions similar with certain old-world beers, it’s only recently become part of the current beer boom. Last night while sampling some selections from Brooklyn Brewery’s cache generously poured by brewmaster Garrett Oliver & his team of brewers it was easy to taste the difference in a few years of age on their Black Chocolate Stout. And all the while I was regaled of tales of staggering prices paid for rare & old bottles sold from the collection of one of the craft beer industry’s earliest & staunchest supporters who was well ahead of the curve. I myself had held on to a bottle of Fuller’s Vintage Ale from 1998 that I opened last year & despite the label warning to drink it within 5 years it was spectacular after 15 years. I’m curious to see how many beer-centric bars & restaurants will start their own cellaring programs, & what price people will be willing to pay for these older beers.

Dave Herman is a Certified Specialist of Spirits with close to two decades of experience in the food and beverage industry. His classes and tastings have been featured at The Institute of Culinary Education and 92nd Street Y. He has been a key contributor in bars, restaurants, retail, importers, distributors, events & worked every position from bartender to sales, & from management to ownership.

Site Credits
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Illustration – Phil Padwe
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