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BEER:30 Opens on King Street!

There is no denying that King Street is the place to be and open a business these days. One of the newest to open is also one of the coolest and most obvious of all: Beer:30. Join us after the jump for a photo tour of the small but well turned out shop on King Street. MetroJacksonville, represented by David Paulk, interviews owner Warren Freyfield.

Published June 7, 2012 in Neighborhoods      38 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article




Justen Mann (pictured above) and his partner Warren Freyfield are the owners of the newest retail shop in the King Street District, Beer:30

David Paulk, for MetroJacksonville interviewed Justen on opening night:

What gave you the idea to open a craft beer store?

-Back in December we went up to watch the jags and falcons game in Atlanta and a friend took him to a beer store and as soon as he walked in the store he said “Wow, this place would do so well in Riverside”.

Do you have any previous experience in the beer industry or in another form of retail?

-I have worked retail when I was younger, but never as an owner or manager.

What did you do prior to opening the store?

-I have another business that is a waste and recycling company.  This was just a side project that we decided to do.

Have you been a craft beer enthusiast for a long time, or is this a recent development?

-Back in college there was a good beer store right across the street from my house.  Every day I would head over there and grab a different six pack.  That was about twelve years ago or so, and I’ve been drinking them ever since.

What made you choose King Street/ Riverside?

-There are so many breweries here in addition to Kickback’s, Pele’s, and this street has so many beer places, but they don’t have a package store.  It was all draft, which is awesome, but sometimes you want to take some beer home and drink it there.  

Are you going to have tastings or other events to help get the community involved?

-I would like to do tastings, so we are going to do tastings and samplings and then we can host events and do fundraisers or collaborative events with restaurants.  To do that we need to get a license, so that is the next step.

How soon until you’re able to start doing tastings?

-Hopefully within the next month.  We are going to start doing the license next week, and then it is just a matter of getting it processed.
 
Have the neighborhood organizations been helpful to you in the process of opening your business?

-Organizations?  No.  They haven’t been helpful or hurtful, other than giving us parameters for our sign for the building.  The neighborhood itself has been super welcoming.  People have come by and said hey and welcomed us to the neighborhood or dropped stuff off.  The guy from Pele’s just brought me a pizza a second ago to say ‘welcome to the neighborhood’. So everybody has been real welcoming.  It’s been awesome.

How did you choose your selection of beers?

-We have 5 distributors, but we target domestic (American-made), craft beers.  We have brought in almost everything we could, right about 650 beers.  There are probably a few more that we could get over time, but almost any domestic craft beer you could get in Jacksonville, we have already brought it in.

Out of the whole store, what is your favorite beer?

-Good question.  I would say Bell’s Double Cream Stout.  We actually have sold out of it because I keep pushing it on people.
 
How could someone who is not that into craft beer come to the store and start to build their taste for it and grow their interest?

-The cool thing about this is that there is such a big selection that you can start off with something that is not that “beer-y”.  We have ciders, we have light beers, and we have fruit beers, so it is an easy transition.  You can work your way up the ladder if you want to get to the ‘hoppier’ beers, the heavier beers, the stouts, that kind of stuff.

I noticed you keep Bud Light in the back.  Is there a reason for that?  

-We’re not sure if it’s going to sell.  We have debated on whether we were going to bring it in or not.  We figured somebody might come in and that’s just what they want.  We are all about having the most variety possible, so if that’s what we have to do…  If it doesn’t sell we will stop selling it, but we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Have you had any interaction with Grassroots about you opening a store down the road?

-Preben (-Olsen, beer buyer for Grassroots ) was actually in here about an hour ago and he bought a six pack  he wished us luck and welcomed us to the neighborhood.  They have more of an import market and it’s a little bit higher end.  We are doing the domestic craft, so yeah we are going to compete a little bit, but I think it will be very beneficial to be able to refer customers between the two stores.  We’ll see how it goes.


Interview by David Paulk
Photos by Stephen Dare

























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38 Comments

simms3

June 07, 2012, 07:30:17 AM
That's awesome.  That King St corridor is turning out to be really cool...totally beer themed!  I hope sometime soon some denser infill gets proposed for the corridor so that we can start to have a street that resembles something from a larger city/PacNW.

ben says

June 07, 2012, 07:37:59 AM
Best area in town, hands down.

TPC

June 07, 2012, 07:54:08 AM
I'll be stopping by this Friday to pick up a sixer.

cline

June 07, 2012, 08:09:55 AM
Stopped in there when they opened last Friday.  Pick up a six pack of Hoplanta- good stuff.  They have a great selection.  Awesome addition to the neighborhood.

Gonzo

June 07, 2012, 08:42:49 AM
Been talking to these guys for a while now. Great guys and great idea. Hope they do well, can't imagine they will not.

BridgeTroll

June 07, 2012, 09:10:08 AM
I will be stopping in soon... but I have a question regarding bottled beer that I am hoping someone can answer.  I love trying new and different beers but usually do so at the micro brew house.  My question is about shelf life and freshness of bottled micro brews.  Is there a way to tell the date brewed or bottled?  Once bottled how long can it remain on the shelf? 

Bridges

June 07, 2012, 09:22:28 AM
Really cool store. 

I don't think they had individual purchase for all their beers though. That would be my only suggestion.  They had 3 shelves for individual purchase, but the selection was limited.  It's hard to commit to a six pack when you're not sure if you'll like it....especially for a beer newbie like me. 

There is craft beer store in Daytona attached to McK's Tavern.  They have it set up so that every beer can be individually purchased.  You grab an empty 6-pack carton and fill it up.

Bativac

June 07, 2012, 09:32:23 AM
BridgeTroll I have the same question. I've only been drinking beer for the past year or so and I've found that stuff I love on tap is never as good in the bottle. I've bought bottles from places ranging from Grassroots to Total Wine to Whole Foods to, uhh, World Market. The same beer from all four places will have a slightly different flavor. Is that just me? Do some places (Grassroots) handle bottled beer better than others (World Market)?

BridgeTroll

June 07, 2012, 09:45:24 AM
BridgeTroll I have the same question. I've only been drinking beer for the past year or so and I've found that stuff I love on tap is never as good in the bottle. I've bought bottles from places ranging from Grassroots to Total Wine to Whole Foods to, uhh, World Market. The same beer from all four places will have a slightly different flavor. Is that just me? Do some places (Grassroots) handle bottled beer better than others (World Market)?

I found this... but it does not exactly inspire confidence...

http://www.tastings.com/beer/perishable.html

jerry cornwell

June 07, 2012, 09:50:13 AM
 FWIW, bottled beer has a definite shelf life and the merchants, with the suppliers, should rigorously maintain that. If you buy a bad beer, you wont go back to that supplier (or brand).
King street rocks.

PeeJayEss

June 07, 2012, 09:54:35 AM
Beer! Woohoo!

Tacachale

June 07, 2012, 09:56:16 AM
Good news for the street and for the local beer culture. We're seeing some truly impressive growth there.

Captain Zissou

June 07, 2012, 10:37:02 AM
They have a great selection. The picture of the round table with all the beer on it was Sam Smith's brewery beers. Those were all on sale in addition to intuition. I think a king street octoberfest is inevitable at this point. The next things to look forward to in 'The Street' are Lola's and Dahlia's. Later in the year there will be Salt Fig and hopefully G&G. Big things!!!

cline

June 07, 2012, 10:44:57 AM
How much longer until Lola's opens?  I see they've already got the sign up.

finehoe

June 07, 2012, 10:48:55 AM
Oh, my!  I can't wait to check this out!

stephendare

June 07, 2012, 10:50:08 AM
How much longer until Lola's opens?  I see they've already got the sign up.

they are hoping to have it open today, but for sure by next week

fieldafm

June 07, 2012, 10:52:52 AM
I went to Beer:30 at lunch time the first day they opened.  Not only was everyone super friendly, I thought the selection was great (I picked up a 12 pack of canned Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale, which is something i would have had to drive to Total Wine for) and the intro prices on Intuition cans were nothing short of phenomenal. 

This place has real potential.  My fridge has now almost run dry and I'll certainly be back in over the weekend to stock up again. 

Quote
How much longer until Lola's opens?  I see they've already got the sign up.

He's supposed to be open this weekend.

fieldafm

June 07, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
They have a great selection. The picture of the round table with all the beer on it was Sam Smith's brewery beers. Those were all on sale in addition to intuition. I think a king street octoberfest is inevitable at this point. The next things to look forward to in 'The Street' are Lola's and Dahlia's. Later in the year there will be Salt Fig and hopefully G&G. Big things!!!

Little off topic but Salty Fig is also opening a food truck.  The restaurant on King (which began construction this week after finally getting all the green lights from the City) will be styled after Ravenous Pig in Winter Park... which is one of my top 10 restaurants in the US.

Gonzo

June 07, 2012, 11:54:00 AM
I will be stopping in soon... but I have a question regarding bottled beer that I am hoping someone can answer.  I love trying new and different beers but usually do so at the micro brew house.  My question is about shelf life and freshness of bottled micro brews.  Is there a way to tell the date brewed or bottled?  Once bottled how long can it remain on the shelf? 

Great question, Bridge Troll, and quite hard to answer. Some breweries do add date codes, but most do not. Beer in any form, bottled, canned, or kegged, does have a definite shelf life. However, some beers can survive, and even  thrive for an extended period of time. Just like wine, beer can be cellared, it just depends on the beer and the conditions in which you keep them.

First, all beers are not created the same: Budweiser, Coors, and the like will not age well. They are meant to be drank immediately and only last 2-3 months. That is why the big brewers have made such a big deal about things like "Born on Date." The beers that do age well are big IPAs, Barleywines, Strong Belgian Ales, Imperials Stouts, Lambics, and Old Ales. These brews tend to mature and gain complexity as they age. The tannins and hop bite mellows and the malt character takes on a rich caramel character in IPAs and Imperial brews, while Belgian Ales tend to get thicker and more robust. Lambics are a special category all their own, most are not even released for consumption until they have aged for three or more years.

Second, be sure that you store your brews properly. Beer is extremely sensitive to light, that is why most is bottled in brown glass. But, even the glass barrier does not protect the object of your desire enough. Proper storage for beer you wish to age should be cool, dark, and free from vibration. Think the back of your closet covered with an old towel. But, be careful that the closet does not get too warm, beer should ideally be cellared in at 50 to 55 degrees. However, if you do not have an extra refrigerator specifically for beer, be sure your closet does not get any warmer than say 75 or so.

Beer should be stored upright, not on its side like wine. Since many craft beers have yeast in the bottle, lying it on its side will introduce a yeast ring on the side of the bottle. While this is not particularly harmful, it is ugly. The harmful part comes in if the beer is corked. Beer in contact with a cork can pick up some off flavors that may ruin the overall experience. Just keep them upright, they will be fine.

Third, how long do you want to cellar? Some beers can be aged for 10 years or more. But, these are the exception and not the rule. You will find that a beer aged for as little as six months will taste significantly different than a fresh beer. This is particularly true of highly-hopped beers like Hoptimum and Hopsequtioner. I like to buy a six-pack, drink one immediately and then one every three to four months to compare the flavors. But, as a rule of thumb, the higher the alcohol and hop content of a beer, the longer you can age it. I have several beers that are over three years old and I intend to let them go for a couple more before enjoying them. I also have a couple of Belgians that will not see the light of day for quite some time. If you are impatient and do not want to wait to see what something will taste like down the road, attend a vertical tasting. In these you will get to taste the smae beer from different production years. Beers that you will likely enjoy in this setting are Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot and 30th Anniversary Ale, Rogue Imperial XS Russian Imperials Stout, and most any offering of Trappist Ales.

A note on cans. You may have noticed that a lot of craft breweries are moving away from bottles and into cans. There are several very good reasons for this; cans are cheaper and more ecologically friendly, cans are lighter and cheaper, and cans do not allow light or air intrusions. All are great reasons, but for this discussion, the last reason is most significant. Keep in mind that aluminum does not insulate beer from variance in temperature as well as bottles so, cellar accordingly.

Bottom line is that craft beers fair much better on the shelf than mass-produced beers. But, care does need to be taken to protect their flavors. Store-keepers need to watch stock turns and try to rotate older stock out. One way you can ensure you have fresh beer is to purchase directly from the brewer or to ask your provider how long the beer has been on the shelf. A good proprietor will be able to give you an approximate idea.

Will all of these tactics help to ensure your beer tastes great? In a word, no. Beer is a finicky creature -- much more so than wine. Sometimes you will age a beer and it will not come out well, other times you will be rewarded with an awesome treat. The fun is in the discovery.

Gonzo

June 07, 2012, 11:58:19 AM
How much longer until Lola's opens?  I see they've already got the sign up.

When I spoke with Carlos last week for an article (http://www.examiner.com/article/lola-s-burrito-joint-to-open-this-week-the-king-street-beer-district?cid=db_articles), he said that they are shooting for this week.

BridgeTroll

June 07, 2012, 12:08:42 PM
I will be stopping in soon... but I have a question regarding bottled beer that I am hoping someone can answer.  I love trying new and different beers but usually do so at the micro brew house.  My question is about shelf life and freshness of bottled micro brews.  Is there a way to tell the date brewed or bottled?  Once bottled how long can it remain on the shelf? 

Great question, Bridge Troll, and quite hard to answer. Some breweries do add date codes, but most do not. Beer in any form, bottled, canned, or kegged, does have a definite shelf life. However, some beers can survive, and even  thrive for an extended period of time. Just like wine, beer can be cellared, it just depends on the beer and the conditions in which you keep them.

First, all beers are not created the same: Budweiser, Coors, and the like will not age well. They are meant to be drank immediately and only last 2-3 months. That is why the big brewers have made such a big deal about things like "Born on Date." The beers that do age well are big IPAs, Barleywines, Strong Belgian Ales, Imperials Stouts, Lambics, and Old Ales. These brews tend to mature and gain complexity as they age. The tannins and hop bite mellows and the malt character takes on a rich caramel character in IPAs and Imperial brews, while Belgian Ales tend to get thicker and more robust. Lambics are a special category all their own, most are not even released for consumption until they have aged for three or more years.

Second, be sure that you store your brews properly. Beer is extremely sensitive to light, that is why most is bottled in brown glass. But, even the glass barrier does not protect the object of your desire enough. Proper storage for beer you wish to age should be cool, dark, and free from vibration. Think the back of your closet covered with an old towel. But, be careful that the closet does not get too warm, beer should ideally be cellared in at 50 to 55 degrees. However, if you do not have an extra refrigerator specifically for beer, be sure your closet does not get any warmer than say 75 or so.

Beer should be stored upright, not on its side like wine. Since many craft beers have yeast in the bottle, lying it on its side will introduce a yeast ring on the side of the bottle. While this is not particularly harmful, it is ugly. The harmful part comes in if the beer is corked. Beer in contact with a cork can pick up some off flavors that may ruin the overall experience. Just keep them upright, they will be fine.

Third, how long do you want to cellar? Some beers can be aged for 10 years or more. But, these are the exception and not the rule. You will find that a beer aged for as little as six months will taste significantly different than a fresh beer. This is particularly true of highly-hopped beers like Hoptimum and Hopsequtioner. I like to buy a six-pack, drink one immediately and then one every three to four months to compare the flavors. But, as a rule of thumb, the higher the alcohol and hop content of a beer, the longer you can age it. I have several beers that are over three years old and I intend to let them go for a couple more before enjoying them. I also have a couple of Belgians that will not see the light of day for quite some time. If you are impatient and do not want to wait to see what something will taste like down the road, attend a vertical tasting. In these you will get to taste the smae beer from different production years. Beers that you will likely enjoy in this setting are Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot and 30th Anniversary Ale, Rogue Imperial XS Russian Imperials Stout, and most any offering of Trappist Ales.

A note on cans. You may have noticed that a lot of craft breweries are moving away from bottles and into cans. There are several very good reasons for this; cans are cheaper and more ecologically friendly, cans are lighter and cheaper, and cans do not allow light or air intrusions. All are great reasons, but for this discussion, the last reason is most significant. Keep in mind that aluminum does not insulate beer from variance in temperature as well as bottles so, cellar accordingly.

Bottom line is that craft beers fair much better on the shelf than mass-produced beers. But, care does need to be taken to protect their flavors. Store-keepers need to watch stock turns and try to rotate older stock out. One way you can ensure you have fresh beer is to purchase directly from the brewer or to ask your provider how long the beer has been on the shelf. A good proprietor will be able to give you an approximate idea.

Will all of these tactics help to ensure your beer tastes great? In a word, no. Beer is a finicky creature -- much more so than wine. Sometimes you will age a beer and it will not come out well, other times you will be rewarded with an awesome treat. The fun is in the discovery.

Thanks Gonzo... I can control my storage easy enough... and a responsible proprietor like Beer:30 can ensure proper rotation... it is the distributer that is the unknown quantity...

Gonzo

June 07, 2012, 12:24:04 PM
Thanks Gonzo... I can control my storage easy enough... and a responsible proprietor like Beer:30 can ensure proper rotation... it is the distributer that is the unknown quantity...

Very true, and some a re much better than others. In our area, I have found that the distributors with the best beer portfolios have much higher standards when it comes to handling and storage. I will not name names, but I am sure you can guess who is more attuned and in touch with craft beers as opposed to mass-produced beers.

Gonzo

June 07, 2012, 12:27:49 PM
The next things to look forward to in 'The Street' are Lola's and Dahlia's. Later in the year there will be Salt Fig and hopefully G&G. Big things!!!

I speak with the owners of Dahlia's quite often -- doing a pub crawl with them on June 23rd downtown -- and they are hopeful that the place will be open in three weeks. The space is really quite cool and bigger than you would think inside. They are ramping up to have the most taps in the "Beer District" on their opening day.

tarheels86

June 07, 2012, 02:58:16 PM
I will be stopping in soon... but I have a question regarding bottled beer that I am hoping someone can answer.  I love trying new and different beers but usually do so at the micro brew house.  My question is about shelf life and freshness of bottled micro brews.  Is there a way to tell the date brewed or bottled?  Once bottled how long can it remain on the shelf?

First off, nice article David. Second, @BridgeTroll there are a number of reasons.

To start, what beer(s) are you talking about that are dramatically different from tap and bottle? Just curious.

In general, the "age" of the beer is not going to matter as much in a beer store compared to handling. If the beer is stored in sunlight or in directly heat, this can damage the beer no matter what type of medium it is. Cans, yes, eliminate UV "skunking" of hop isohumulones. But cans will either impart a tinny flavor over time, or if not, will have a special coating inside that some brewers claim absorb hop beta acids (aromatic hops). So, there is really no perfect medium for storing beer. Think of a keg as simply a large can, metal with an interior coating, that is stored prior to serving either correctly or incorrectly.

A better way of serving beer that is catching on is called a KEY keg. They have their own website. It is a plastic PET ball with a "bag" inside that beer goes in. The space between the plastic and the bag is pressurized. They are disposable kegs, super lightweight, and dispense 30 liters of beer. Pretty nifty.

Now to answer your question directly, the best brewery for knowing bottling dates is Bell's Brewing from Kalamazoo MI. Beer:30 and Grassroots, i.a., stock them. Bells does batch numbers and dates. If you don't see a date, the batch number you plug into their beer website, bellsbeer.com, and it tells you when it was bottled. But this is really only necessary for one of their beers, Two Hearted-Ale, which is an IPA that MUST be drunk fresh. After two months, it's just not worth it. But for other styles, it doesn't really matter. If it was stored properly, it will be fine- porters, stouts, lambic, whatever. I would only fret about freshness with IPAs. Double IPAs are even more fragile than IPAs even though that is a bit ironic.

Yes, DIPAs will age but they will lose aromatic hops and because malt forward. Essentially they will become identical to a barleywine overtime. So they age will, but the taste is not what was intended unless very fresh. Bell's makes a few Double IPAs like The Oracle and Hopslam, and these do age well. But I personally think it would be a waste. You will not get a juicy fresh hop resin and pineapple/mango character out of Hopslam when it is old, but physically, yes it will age okay. Two-Hearted, however, old will become thin and astringent. Essentially undrinkable. I would say that about most American IPAs below a certain alcohol level.

Also for aging, a good rule of thumb is that hop-forward styles drink immediately. Malt-forward styles like Belgian Strong Ale, American Strong Ale, Porter, Stout, etc can be aged but depends on why you want to age them. Inside a beer store, I highly doubt they are "aging" the beer to get a specific character out of it. They are just sitting on the shelve. As long as they've been stored properly, doesn't matter how old in my opinion.

Since most breweries don't age date their bottles, one trick you can do, it rarely works though, is look at the embossed numbers on the GLASS bottle. This will tell you when the GLASS was manufactured. So if it says 2011, then the beer is clearly as young or younger than 2011. No way there is 2010 beer inside there. It works sometimes. For other breweries, they put difficult to read batch codes in yellow ink that is hard to read somewhere on the neck of the bottle. If it doesn't say a date, then you can post what you find on ratebeer.com or something and people can help you out with the bottle date.

In general, most breweries don't bottle date and they should. It's really annoying for IPAs to continuously get old, stale bottles. So I usually just drink IPAs I know are mega fresh or drink them at the brewery. Even kegs inside bars are typically stale I've found.

For Budweiser, etc, their BORN ON date and stuff is more of a gimmick. Budweiser is pasteurized and so are most macro pale lagers. They will not really go bad over time unless they are stored incorrectly. For real beer, most have residual sugar and residual yeast; so over time the yeast can evolve in the bottle like a living organism, i.e. "real" beer. This can be good or bad. Bad in that a living beer can become infected over time but unwanted organisms that were dormant during the fermentation process and take a long time to do their dirtywork. Good in that a living beer will change character over time, sometimes becoming more complex and mellowing out or actually increasing in intensity. Just depends on the beer and what you are looking for. Budweiser, being pasteurized, cannot change fundamentally in the can overtime. But certain tastes like metals, tin, soap can happen from long storage.

There's a lot more, but see how that helps and post any more questions you might have.

GT

tarheels86

June 07, 2012, 03:19:33 PM
First, all beers are not created the same: Budweiser, Coors, and the like will not age well. They are meant to be drank immediately and only last 2-3 months. That is why the big brewers have made such a big deal about things like "Born on Date." The beers that do age well are big IPAs, Barleywines, Strong Belgian Ales, Imperials Stouts, Lambics, and Old Ales. These brews tend to mature and gain complexity as they age. The tannins and hop bite mellows and the malt character takes on a rich caramel character in IPAs and Imperial brews, while Belgian Ales tend to get thicker and more robust. Lambics are a special category all their own, most are not even released for consumption until they have aged for three or more years.
Again, aging a DIPA is possible but why? You should just go for barleywine if you want something malt forward, high alcohol, and high IBUs. An old DIPA will physically age correctly, abv and hop alpha acids will stave off infection, but will just taste like sugar, cheesecloth, and astringent nut shells. I would say they get much more tannic as hop oils are not there to offset the malt husk tannins. And if the beer is even tannic to begin with, that is a brewing flaw and I'd avoid that beer at all costs in the future.

Like I said with infection and living yeast, if there is residual sugar in the bottled beer, then fresh it will have "thickness" and body precisely from residual sugar. But aged long enough, if the beer is not pasteurized and has living yeast, then some organism will eat this remaining sugar, drain that "body", and the result will be a thin body. No way for it to become thicker over time.

Lambics are just a whole different ball game. Yup they can be bottled in 2012 but have been brewed in 2010 since they evolve rapidly and become almost undoubtedly better with age but will peak around 10 years for the best lambics. That's really the only beer style that can be aged like wine. Old Ale/Barleywine, even the best will not be good after 5 years in my experience. Again, because a chewy malty beer will essentially lose body with age. Lambic is different because there are ZERO residual sugars in lambic by the definition of the style. So impossible for those beers already infected with a plethora of wild yeast to become "infected" again over time.



Beer should be stored upright, not on its side like wine. Since many craft beers have yeast in the bottle, lying it on its side will introduce a yeast ring on the side of the bottle. While this is not particularly harmful, it is ugly. The harmful part comes in if the beer is corked. Beer in contact with a cork can pick up some off flavors that may ruin the overall experience. Just keep them upright, they will be fine.
I mean...if the beer is corked and caged like champagne, then side or upright is fine. Doesn't matter. Storage temp and sunlight matters. Wine will become corked occasionally and so will beer, but upright will ensure the cork shrinks will long age and the beer/wine will be 100% ruined vs perhaps ruined sideways. For me, all bottled beers in caps gets stored upright and all cork & caged lambics are stored sideways.

Bottom line is that craft beers fair much better on the shelf than mass-produced beers. But, care does need to be taken to protect their flavors. Store-keepers need to watch stock turns and try to rotate older stock out. One way you can ensure you have fresh beer is to purchase directly from the brewer or to ask your provider how long the beer has been on the shelf. A good proprietor will be able to give you an approximate idea.
I would disagree. Craft beer is usually still living and more delicate. Over time, it is more likely with a batch of craft beers that there are infected bottles, overcarbonated bottles, undercarbonated bottles, gushing bottles, etc vs pasteurized macro beers which are forced carbonated and dosed with chemicals. They will all be identical in ten years. If you are stocking a bomb shelter with beer, I'd choose Bud Light 100% over Bell's Oberon.

Beer30

June 07, 2012, 03:32:42 PM
I wanted to register just to say what an awesome picture of Justen!  In his defense we had slept about 3 hours out of the past 72 hours trying to get the store open on time.

But in reality, thanks everyone for the support so far.  Thanks to those that have stopped by, thanks to those that have spread the word, and thanks to those that have welcomed us to King St.

BridgeTroll

June 07, 2012, 03:39:21 PM
Thanks for all the info tarheels86 and Gonzo!  All this beer talk makes me... thirsty!  Cheers! 8)

If_I_Loved_you

June 07, 2012, 04:07:52 PM
I don't drink beer or any alcohol at all but if I was to buy beer for a friend. How long would this type of beer be good for?

Dog Walker

June 07, 2012, 08:23:57 PM
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy!"  - Benjamen Franklin

tarheels86

June 07, 2012, 09:21:14 PM
I don't drink beer or any alcohol at all but if I was to buy beer for a friend. How long would this type of beer be good for?

What beer are you talking about?

If you buy beer for a friend knowing nothing about beer, why are you buying it in the first place? If they don't know anything about beer, why does it matter what it will taste like to them?

In general, if it is hop forward do not age it. Otherwise do whatever. Hop forward meaning bitter like an India Pale Ale.

Gonzo

June 08, 2012, 08:30:12 AM
Great stuff, Tarheels, would love to have you guest blog on Springfield Brew Crew sometime. The great thing about beer is that we all have our own way of enjoying it. I have had aged Imperials that are fantastic when fresh, but -- in my opinion -- even  better with age on them. Its a matter of what I like opposed to what you like. I'm not sure I agree with you regarding several points, but again, beer is something different for eveyone. I merely state my thoughts and let folks go from there.

However, the question of storing beer upright or laid down is one that requires more discussion.  Lying a beer on its side for storage can, after a period of time, impart cork flavors into the beer. This can lend off flavors to your brew and that is never a good thing. Beer stored on its side also causes a greater amount of the beer to be exposed to the small pocket of air at the top of the bottle, while rare, this can contribute to a greater rate of oxidation and again produce off flavors. Many important brewers will tell you, corked beers in particular should be stored upright.

As far as the question of why to store beers; beer, like wine, gains complexity as it ages. Even a highly-hopped DIPA will benefit from aging. If, that is, you do not mind that it will lose some of it's characteristic hoppy bite. The right beer, aged properly can go from splendid to sublime with flavors so rich and decadent you will be hard pressed to call the liquid beer anymore. O’Hanlon’s Thomas Hardy’s Ale will continue to evolve for 25 years or more. Yes, it is a Barleywine, but it is exceptional. Rogue's XS is an example of a Russian Imperial Stout that gets better the longer it stays in the bottle -- I have a bottle of the 2008 just waiting for the right occassion to open.

So, if you are a hop-head and want the full on assualt of the hops -- and, believe me I do love that -- then drink your IPAs, DIPA's, and Imperials as soon as you get them. However, if you want to explore the other flavors that can be drawn out of one of these brews, be patient and let it age for a couple of years. You might be glad you did!

RiversideLoki

June 08, 2012, 08:37:27 AM
Oh man, Sierra Nevada Bigfood barleywine is sooooooooooooooo good after a few years.

I had some 2008 Bigfood that I shoved in a closet and just let go. I opened it this year and it was like I died and went to heaven.

tarheels86

June 08, 2012, 09:02:25 AM
Great stuff, Tarheels, would love to have you guest blog on Springfield Brew Crew sometime. The great thing about beer is that we all have our own way of enjoying it. I have had aged Imperials that are fantastic when fresh, but -- in my opinion -- even  better with age on them. Its a matter of what I like opposed to what you like. I'm not sure I agree with you regarding several points, but again, beer is something different for eveyone. I merely state my thoughts and let folks go from there.

However, the question of storing beer upright or laid down is one that requires more discussion.  Lying a beer on its side for storage can, after a period of time, impart cork flavors into the beer. This can lend off flavors to your brew and that is never a good thing. Beer stored on its side also causes a greater amount of the beer to be exposed to the small pocket of air at the top of the bottle, while rare, this can contribute to a greater rate of oxidation and again produce off flavors. Many important brewers will tell you, corked beers in particular should be stored upright.

As far as the question of why to store beers; beer, like wine, gains complexity as it ages. Even a highly-hopped DIPA will benefit from aging. If, that is, you do not mind that it will lose some of it's characteristic hoppy bite. The right beer, aged properly can go from splendid to sublime with flavors so rich and decadent you will be hard pressed to call the liquid beer anymore. O’Hanlon’s Thomas Hardy’s Ale will continue to evolve for 25 years or more. Yes, it is a Barleywine, but it is exceptional. Rogue's XS is an example of a Russian Imperial Stout that gets better the longer it stays in the bottle -- I have a bottle of the 2008 just waiting for the right occassion to open.

So, if you are a hop-head and want the full on assualt of the hops -- and, believe me I do love that -- then drink your IPAs, DIPA's, and Imperials as soon as you get them. However, if you want to explore the other flavors that can be drawn out of one of these brews, be patient and let it age for a couple of years. You might be glad you did!

Every once in awhile someone will come on BeerAdvocate/RateBeer and say they've had good bottles of one year Hopslam. I don't doubt it, but I have not enjoyed any old DIPA. Yeah the Thomas Hardys vintage stuff and JW Lees barleywine are pretty much expressly made for aging and are weird exceptions. They are thinner, sweeter, and essentially unhopped compared to American barleywines like Bigfoot. I love the older JW Lees/Thomas Hardys stuff but they are very thin and sweet and honey forward and intentially show loads and loads of oxidized character which is nasty in something like Bigfoot, but works for the sweet, thinner English barleywines.

But to counter you sideways vs upright discussion, I think you'll find there is really no consensus on best way to store them, but I can assure you that at all the lambic producers in Belgium and in the best beer cellars in the world like Akkurat in Stockholm, Kulminator in Antwerp, De Heeren van Liedekercke outside Brussels; all the 750 corked and caged lambics are stored on their side. I've toured all of those cellars. At Cantillon they will store 150 bottles sideways on top of each other.

Main reason is to keep the cork wet. The cork may impart "corked" flavors to the lambic just like in wine, but that is an uncommon occurrence since cork is chose for wine expressly to expand when wet and to have a neutral taste. A "corked" off flavor is not a guarantee. It is actually the exception to the rule. For example, one of the largest wine cellars in the world is at Bern's steakhouse in Tampa, FL. They have 500,000 wine bottles in their cellar: http://www.bernssteakhouse.com/BottomMenu/WinesSpirits/tabid/58/Default.aspx

ALL of these wines are stored sideways including something like a Petrus 1964 that may be worth $3,000.

Again reason one is to keep the cork wet, expand, and not allow oxygen into the bottle ruining the wine and beer. Second is your point about the air. If the bottle is upright, then the carbon dioxide pocket is in direct contact with the cork separating it from outside air. If the cork gets dry and shrinks, then that CO2 pocket can leak and O2 can enter and ruin the beer/wine. If it is laying on it's side, the cork is wet, expanded and tight, and the CO2 pocket is laying against the glass in a long, oval bubble.

Your original reason for yeast sedimentation doesn't matter. If the bottle is laying on it's side for say 2 years, yes there will be a thin, long layer of yeast particulate along the lengthwise of the bottle. Big deal. When you are getting ready to serve the bottle (beer or wine), you put it upright in the fridge or whatever and spend a day or two letting the yeast settle back down around the punt of the bottle of the bottle.

Now if you store a wine/lambic for a very long time on its side, that yeast particulate actually gets "glued" to the side of the bottle and is called "DIESEL" at least in lambic speak. And this will not move whatsoever. Start pouring it upright and it will not mix with the bright flavors of the non yeast muddled beer/wine.

Here's more on "corked" off flavors, which in 4,000+ different beers I've reviewed, I've NEVER come across.  http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/beer-connoisseur-cellaring-article-question.20158/

In that discussion, yes there is no 100% agreement but the head lambic blenders at Drie Fonteinen and Cantillon store them sideways and that is their entire livelihood. Why would they jeopardize their entire business if "corked" flavors are as common as you think they are?

Captain Zissou

June 08, 2012, 09:08:09 AM
I have only heard to store beers with corks on their sides and I have never had issues with 'cork notes'. The cork will definitely dry out and ruin your beer if it is left upright for too long. As far as the unsightly yeast ring goes, get over it, its beer. If you want aesthetics, go drink wine. Last month I had a bottle of whiskey barrel aged Old Rasputin anniversary ale that I had been aging since 2009 and it was glorious. It was probably one of the best beers I have ever had in my life.

As for bud light, it's like the mcdonalds cheeseburger of beers. It will sit in a can unchanged for decades if the temperature is right.

tarheels86

June 08, 2012, 09:17:26 AM
For special lambics and special wines, I've found it is much more common for an old vintage bottle to simply be a dud rather than corked. Lambics are living and breathing organisms their entire life with a mega mix of critters growing in there. Some sort of ratio of lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces strains create that special, unique flavor profile. But overtime, these organisms will eat, albeit very slowly, the small remaining sugar that is purposely dumped into a Geuze/Gueuze when they blend a 1 year, 2 year, and 3 year old unblended lambic. Since those bugs take YEARS to ferment beer rather than weeks with saccharomyces, brewer's yeast, the 1 Year lambic unblended still has residual sugar and it's inclusion is essentially in lieu of priming sugar or brite yank sugar that is added to a normal living beer before bottling to induced natural carbonation, i.e. bottle refermentation.

That one year lambic's residual sugar from incomplete fermentation will produce the carbonation in geuze, but also allow more complexities to arise over years and years. But our tasting group has sampled the best lambics in the world multiple times and even these beers that *can* be aged indefinitely in a scientific sense, taste-wise, will decline after 10 year even 5-6 years. Some geuzes are even best right when they are released believe it or not. Fresh, grapefruity notes may disappear or strengthen with age. Their is no way to predict their aging, you just have to drink them. But overtime, the funkiness to turn more like wet mushroom or heavy solvent/minerals vs. what is desired like moldy white grapefruit peel and wet leather and horse blanket (fermenting hay) [yes, those are normal lambic descriptors]. So really the worst off flavor you can expect with a older geuze 8-10 years is going to be something like wet mushroom or minerals. Corked I assure you is not one of them.

PeeJayEss

June 08, 2012, 10:05:24 AM
ALL of these wines are stored sideways including something like a Petrus 1964 that may be worth cost $3,000.

I fixed that for you  :P
Thanks for the breakdown though.

tarheels86

June 09, 2012, 11:31:26 AM
ALL of these wines are stored sideways including something like a Petrus 1964 that may be worth cost $3,000.

I fixed that for you  :P
Thanks for the breakdown though.

Sorry, $8,000:http://www.ebay.com/itm/1961-Chateau-La-Fleur-Petrus-Bordeaux-RP-92-/220945890781?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item337166bddd#ht_3446wt_1115

RockStar

June 09, 2012, 11:59:47 AM
Referring to a wine or beer as corked doesn't mean the cork has imparted any flavor, but rather that oxygen has gotten in while it was stored. It's why you look at the cork of a wine bottle, that is, if you see lines of wine up the side, then you know air got in.

(Especially tannic corks can also "cork" a bottle, but more often than not, improper sealing/storage/transport is the issue.)
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