How to buy better canned beer
Beer should be kept cold to cool, depending upon the style:
IPAs and lighter lagers should be kept as near to freezing as possible.
- Remember the 3-30-300 Rule. The same flavor loss results from beer being stored in your car’s trunk for three days at 90°F as beer being stored at room temp (72°F) for 30 days and beer being stored at 38°F for 300 days.
Large Stouts and beers produced through mixed fermentation can be stored at cellar temperatures (around 50 degrees) to room temperature.
LESSON 1 Summary: When buying IPAs and lighter lagers buy refrigerated, and properly store large stouts and mixed fermentation beers at cellar to room temperature.
IPAs should be bought/drank within 3 months of being canned, not the best buy date, but 3 months of being canned! Granted, sometimes an IPA can be canned or drank too fresh, IPAs sometimes when canned or drank too fresh can have hop burn, which is an extreme astringency similar to sucking on a black tea bag. So, yes, buy fresh, but realize that IPAs can actually taste better at 1 month than 1 week, you might even be surprised at 3 months depending upon how well the IPA was packaged.
Most lagers should remain delicious in cans for 6 months to a year.
The exception to buy/drink fresh rule of beer are large stouts and mixed fermentation beers which can age for a couple to few years.
LESSON 2 Summary: Most beer styles benefit from being drank fresh, with the exception of a few styles (stouts, mixed fermentation). For styles that do not age well, do not buy beers with best buy dates, seek out those breweries that have canned on dates or can tell you when they were canned.
How we can at Harry Stuff Brewing Company:
We can all our beers using a fully automated canning line which fills and seams every can, in addition, each can is purged twice with CO2 to eliminate oxygen (once before being filled and a second time before the lid is placed on the can). Oxygen tends to degrade most beers, especially IPAs.
In addition, every can is stored properly at Harry Stuff Brewing Company, all our lagers and IPAs are stored around 33-34 degrees while our mixed fermentation beers are stored at room temperature around 70 degrees.