Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > Commercial Brew Discussion > Commercial Beer Aging Question?
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-05-2007, 03:48 PM   #1
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default Commercial Beer Aging Question?

So, this may seem like a very dumb question, but I got to thinking today as to whether or not commercial breweries, microbreweries who bottle and sell, etc. plan ahead so that their commercial beers are aged appropriately at time of purchase? Again, I apologize if this is dumb, but I bought a winter warmer type ale recently and it just tastes kind of 'green' to me yet... like the brewery brewed and put it out in 6 weeks, but it should optimally be aged 3 months...

I guess my thinking is this (and I'm just using a holiday ale as an example): A homebrewer can brew a spiced holiday ale/winter warmer in November and drink it in December for the holidays, however rarely is this slightly higher gravity, spiced beer going to be mature and aged by that time. Usually this will take several months. Heck, I've seen posts on here where someone brews Holiday Ale for a year, but saves a case for a year later and claims it tastes better after 12 months... The homebrewer, with the smaller volume ops, can often plan this type of aging time into the beer and brew on a 'calendar' that will get the beer to optimal when you want to drink it.

Obviously, certain ales require some aging, be it 1-2 months for a normal light beer, 3-6 months, or even a year for some types (barleywines, imperial stouts, etc.) before they are at their best. For commercial breweries the 1-2 month aging beers are not a problem as they probably take that long to package, ship, and sit on a distributor shelf before purchased.

However, beers with more complex flavors, spices, additional ingredients, very hoppy profiles, etc. probably require more than this time. I guess the question is useless in a lot of ways because most beers you see on a distributor shelf are at least 4 months old, but in the case you picked up a 2 month old case I guess it still fits...

In short, Do the commercial breweries "plan ahead" so that aging is appropriate for the beer type or will some store bought beer types benefit from additional aging?

Discuss...



RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
zoebisch01
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
zoebisch01's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central PA
Posts: 5,198
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Default

That is a good question. I would venture a guess that many of them determine what the shortest amount of time to market is and base the release upon that. Unless you find a brewer/brewery that is totally committed to turning out the highest quality they can at the cost of reduced profit (storage space, time etc all adds up).

I know that Ommegang has an aging room where they do just that, age their beer the proper amount of time before it is released. It hinges greatly on the style as well, which is a point you hit on. They do, however, highly recommend cellaring their beer.

One more thing I thought of, some beers are not handled as carefully as others for long term so they have a window rather than an open-ended time frame. I recall listening to a podcast (I believe it was) that was basically hinting at one of the reasons why people claim Budweiser is very good fresh is the same reason it quickly becomes horrid...not sure though...I don't drink it lol.



zoebisch01 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2007, 05:36 PM   #3
david_42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
david_42's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Willamina & Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,674
Liked 142 Times on 134 Posts

Default

My experience around the PNW is most seasonals are put out slightly before the optimum time. Which means they'll peak about the time the word gets around. Most micro-breweries seem to have a handle on pacing their regular offerings and they are rarely early or late.

"Fresh beer" (as opposed to Fresh Hop ale) is pure marketing. 40 years ago, the same (BMC) companies boasted about how long they aged their beer.
__________________
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk
david_42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 07:38 PM   #4
sause
Steel Comma Ale & Lagery
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
sause's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Menomonee Falls WI
Posts: 1,866
Liked 18 Times on 13 Posts

Default

Sprecher Brewing released a barley wine, it has a tag that says it is ready to drink but will become better with 1-5 years of aging. In this case they didn't store for th opitmal amount of time for a big beer, but require the comsumer to do it. But with their dopplebock I think they do store it for a while.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Brewer
Had some Bud Light analyzed once. They told me my dog had diabetes... And was pregnant
sause is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2007, 08:34 PM   #5
hoppedup
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
hoppedup's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 42
Default

I recently got some Victory Hop Wallop and I coulda sworn on the outside of the case it said that since it was bottle conditioned beer, some flavors will mature and can be aged up to 2 or 3 years.
hoppedup is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 02:19 AM   #6
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

It was actually the hop wallop that led me to this question. I only had 1 bottle though, no case...
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2007, 12:07 PM   #7
debtman7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 264
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I've had a good number of big beers which the bottle recommending aging, and a lot of beers that I think would be a lot better still after aging. Then again some not so much, so I don't think there is any real way to know. I'm always impressed by an old rasputin, that's a pretty big beer but it doesn't taste the least bit green and is perfectly balanced right out of the bottle, so they must either age it well or have figured out how to brew a big beer that is drinkable early on...


debtman7 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bad beer, temperature and aging question flagman Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 09-28-2009 11:37 PM
Question on beer aging red999 General Beer Discussion 6 01-28-2009 02:04 PM
Commercial Brewery Question Natron008 General Beer Discussion 13 01-22-2009 09:27 PM
Commercial beer and aging. benko General Beer Discussion 2 11-22-2008 02:30 AM
Big Commercial Bottling question Desert_Sky Bottling/Kegging 2 04-10-2006 05:05 AM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS