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Your Cellar: A vertical fanatic’s fresh-built Missoula cellar

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Today, we’re peeking into the cellar of Montana’s own Adam Harbaugh. He had his entire 600-plus-bottle cellar in boxes, until he recently built shelves (with plenty of room to grow) and unpacked what is a gorgeous litter of beers.

Let’s cut to the chase and tell you that Adam is storing a 1935 British bottle. Yes, that’s A 77-YEAR-OLD BOTTLE. You win, sir. (Sorry, Steve.)

Adam is also winning with his seriously huge Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine collection, with multiple bottles stretching as far back as 1993. He also boasts several East End Gratitude bottles, several New Glarus special releases, and Ithaca’s blueberry-and-Brett release, Excelsior! Le Bleu. And have you ever seen so many Cantillon bottles?

The cool thing about Adam’s cellar is that he has so many multiples. When we have several bottles of a single release, we’re always tempted to open them (not all at once, of course) until we’ve got one left… then we get all angry that we opened them. How did you get such patience, Adam? And speaking of questions, Adam, if you’re not yet 30, how’d you score a 1993 Bigfoot? If only we all had mothers who taught us to properly cellar beer as a child…

Anyway, here are Adam’s cellar deets:

Location: Missoula, Montana

How many beers: around 650 bottles

Cellar setup:
The cellar is in a space underneath my living room floor. A bit bigger than a crawl space, but not a bona fide cave. Most of my bottles are standing up down there, but I also have a dedicated wine fridge for some rare bottles that are both laying down and standing up.

Oldest beer: a 1935 Ind Coope & Allsopp Jubilee Ale (an old English beer)

Newest beer: I just added a few Hair of the Dog Adams and some Midnight Sun Arctic Devil Barleywine.

Best can: I’m actually not aging any cans right now; they get consumed too quickly.

Longest vertical: I have a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Vertical from 1993-2012. I’m a vertical fanatic and have several other longer and complete verticals

Crowning glory: My favorite bottle to date is probably a 2004 Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze magnum (1.5L) or a 1985 Thomas Hardy’s Ale that I’ll open for my 30th birthday.

What’s missing: I wish I had a Hair of the Dog Adam magnum, just because I want a huge bottle with my name on it.

What you’re opening next, and why: My tasting group will be opening a series of chili stouts soon: Cigar City Hunaphu, Westbrook Mexican Cake, and Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, with a few other beers brewed with chilies just for fun.


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