After falling in love with craft beer in upstate New York, Connor Forbes made his way back to the west coast in 2011 once he learned how to store beer and brew it at home.
It didn’t take him long to realize that he could turn his passion into a business.
“I was hanging out, drinking a beer and thought ‘I should do this,’” he said of his entrepreneurial mindset.
And so he did by opening Indie Brewing Company with three other passionate brewers. Together they continue to share their unique beers in 150 California locations, including their own tasting room.
If you’re also a beer lover looking to store a few drinks for expanded flavor profiles, or between get-togethers at home, follow these expert tips from our favorite Los Angeles-based brewers to protect brews for great flavor.
Your beer and taste buds will thank you!
Buy Age-Worthy Beer for Storage
If you’re looking to store beer for evolved flavor, or you don’t drink every day and want a case to last, choose strong beers.
“Oxygen is beer’s worse enemy, so you want to buy beer that counteracts the oxygen problem,” said Lee Bakofsky, the sours beer manager and expert brewer at Eagle Rock Brewery. “Sours can hold up much longer than any other beer because there are still cultures alive in the bottle to consume the oxygen.”
Besides the intentionally-acidic sour beer (like the kind in the barrels above), some other storable beer types include a dark brown imperial stout, and strong ales such as barley wine and Belgian Strong.
“Look for beers that have a high alcohol content, because alcohol is a natural preservative,” Forbes said.
Choose Cans or Dark Bottles for Beer Storage
Light – both natural and artificial – will ruin beer, said Forbes, so buy canned beers or ones in dark bottles to decrease the chance of spoiled sips.
“Brown bottles will block out about 98 percent of light, and light-colored bottles can produce a skunky beer,” Bakofsky said.
Most Eagle Rock Brewery beers are canned, while Indie Brewing Company cans all its brews in order to protect the libations from light, plus it makes the beer easier to transport and store.
“Cans will preserve the beer for longer,” Forbes said.
Did you recently fill a beer growler at your local brewery?
“Drink growlers within 24 hours, because the seal is not secure,” Forbes added. “The sooner you drink it, the better.”
Store Beer in a Cool Place
The ideal storage temperature for beer is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, said Bakofsky, but for connoisseurs not lucky enough to own an extra fridge, a dark, cool place is the next best thing.
“Every 10 degrees above 50 degrees will speed up the rate of oxidation,” he said. “The warmer it is, the faster the clock is ticking.”
And avoid areas where the temperature fluctuates.
“You’re better storing a beer where it’s a constant 60 degrees than where it’s sometimes 50 degrees but then gets warmer and cooler,” Bakofsky said.
He also warned to not store beer for more than two years.
“You could go longer, but be prepared for not the best experience,” he said.
And sometimes there may be moments where a good beer is better suited in your belly instead of the garage!
“Drink it now, because you might die tomorrow!” Forbes said.