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I have a drinking problem...can't figure out what to drink...


Dusty Chalk
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I store quite a lot of beer, and I think somewhere around 9% is a good ABV to suggest good aging. Heavy stouts, barleywines, and the darker belgians all age very nicely. Cheap barleywines in particular, such as the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot or Stone Old Guardian are totally different beasts when aged for a year or more (up to 10, although diminishing returns probably set in at around 3 years). Strong stouts age up nicely in about 6 months, and in general I wouldn't give them more than a couple years. I haven't stored many dark belgians since they're not my favorite style, but I've heard that for example the Chimay Grande Reserve takes about 3 years to really change its stripes.

If you have a beer that's lighter in color and slightly lower in ABV, and question storing it, check for a yeast sediment on the bottom. Ommegang Biere De Mars for example is light in color and 6.5% but ages nicely because of the added yeast in the bottle. As a general rule, the thicker and sweeter the beer the more it will break down and taste better over time.

Not sure about storing after refrigeration. I keep mine at FL air conditioned room temperature (78 degrees) in dark boxes and haven't had a bottle go bad yet. All the cellaring guides suggest 55 degrees for storage but up to a couple years I think I can get away with the higher temps since I'm not interested in aging more than a year or two.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I take it a step further and avoid anything distributed by my local Budweiser folks. The Miller distributors have been on board with good beer for a while, and made a seperate sales division to handle the good beer accounts. I'm ok with that, but now Pepin (Bud) is trying to flood the craft beer market with a lot of useless crap. Victory and Magic Hat are two major brands they've brought in and I haven't bought a bottle of either.

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Just a personal prejudice against the distributor. The same distributor that along with his Bud distributor network got some stupid laws passed, like not allowing retail stores to do beer tastings. They can do wine and liquor just fine, but the lobbyists got that one on the books, probably back when the first few microbrews were hitting the market. Now that the Bud network is moving into the craft beer game, I've heard that Mr Pepin has expressed an interest in reversing the law.

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It's not a Schwarzbier, it's a lager, it just has "black" in the name, which is as far as I'm taking tonight's motif.

That said -- noted, will hunt some down.

And: you're right. Bohemian? Check. Lager? Check. Black? Wait, whut? Oh, you mean the label...

Okay, kind of lightweight, kind of good, but nothing special, will not buy more.

On to: Full Sail Session Black -- another lager. More of the same, but better. Added a note of...can't place it. Nitrous? Not sure. Doesn't have the little shaker thingy, I don't think. It's okay, but again -- will probably not buy more.

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  • 4 weeks later...
This looks interesting -- three part imperial stout, one part...honey beer? Sorry I missed the chance at the great unveiling last Saturday, would have wanted to go if I'd known about it. I'll definitely try and track down a way to try it in August (probably by going up to the alehouse in Gaithersburg -- hopefully they'll have some on tap then).
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  • 1 month later...

The Bavarian Lodge Beer List Welcome to One of the Best Beer Selections in Chicagoland. Always Updated With Our Most Current Offerings. ?

Best place, if not the only place, out here in the suburbs that has such a nice selection. Hitting it up tonight with friends for dinner, if you see anything that catches your eye, feel free to post a rec.

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Oh, are you kidding, they have all those things on tap? You have to try the Left Hand Oak-Aged Imperial Stout, my current favorite beer. It tastes better as it warms up, if you start from refrigerator-cold (more obviously than other beers, if you believe that all beers taste better warm).

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They have some three floyds stuff as well, the alpha king on tap and bottled might be nice to try. Don't think their topless wytch is ready but it is coming up soon. Pooh just saw Robert the Bruce on bottle, tonight is looking good.

Edited by recstar24
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