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One last time: Just drink it already

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Earlier this year, I wrote a story about why we hold on to limited beers longer than we probably should. It was meant to be a motivational piece of sorts, except I couldn’t even motivate myself to finally pop open a bottle I’d held onto since last fall.

In a follow-up post, I sort of came clean: I mentioned that I’ve had a bottle of Perennial Abraxas sitting in my fridge since it was released last year. Perennial doesn’t distribute to Arizona (where I live), and the beer was a limited release, which I obtained outside the channels of DRAFT (because I wanted a bottle I could call my own). The beer’s amazing, no surprise considering Perennial’s one of our “25 Breweries You Should Know.” So, like many beer geeks, especially those targeted in the original article, I understood placing value on a prized bottle of beer. But, cellaring experiments aside, what’s the point of having a beer if you don’t drink it?

Since I’ve pretty much beaten that question to death, here’s one final angle—a bit of truth—that I didn’t cover in either the story or the blog: The longer you hold onto a beer, the more of a pain in the ass it becomes.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve opened my fridge, looked at the bottle, and thought, “not tonight.” Or, the number of times I’ve had to rearrange items in my fridge, because the large-format beer bottle only fits on one particular shelf. Eventually, the beer turned into a mental and physical burden. What’s the point of that? So, last night I said, “screw it,” and opened the thing during the Bears vs. Jets game.

No regrets. The beer, an imperial stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cinnamon sticks, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans, was still delicious a year after its release (important cellar note: the cinnamon has begun to take over the profile, creating an almost chocolate-covered graham cracker sip). Sure, it’s gone, but there will be more.

So, really, just drink it already. You won’t be disappointed.


Chris Staten is DRAFT’s beer editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DRAFTbeereditor and email him at chris.staten@draftmag.com.


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