Ask Mr. Wizard

Storing beer


Josh Davis • Boalsburg, Pennsylvania asks,

Over the years I have collected a variety of rare bottles of beer that I am currently storing on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator for consumption in the future. Some of these bottles, such as the Samichlaus and Stille Nacht, may be in there for a couple of years before I get around to drinking them. Is this the best place to be storing them? Should I also wrap them in paper to keep the light from the refrigerator from spoiling them? I also have a room in my basement that is dark and usually stays around 50-55 ºF (10–13 ºF) in the winter and 65 ºF (18 ºC) in the summer — would this be a better place to keep them? Finally, is there a way to determine by alcohol content or beer type what beers will last longer in storage than others and how long they will last?

This question reminds me of an article written by G. Bruce Knecht and published in the Wall Street Journal on January 30th. In his simple-minded article, Mr. Knecht criticized breweries that use
Response by Ashton Lewis.