It was only a matter of time; I’ve started a beer cellar!

I’ve gone and done something stupid again.. I didn’t mean to.. As so many other things, it just kinda happened. See, I went down to my go-to wine guy to stock up on a bit of quality wine after going through a rather large part of my stash on the Brussels trip. As always when I’m down there, I spent some time just casually browsing through the store, looking at the selection.. And as always, that turned out to be a really bad idea.. Other than the wine that I needed, and the bottle of orgeat syrup I just happened to stumble upon, I ran into some vintage Thomas Hardy Ales that really peaked my interest. The concept of vintage and aged beers wasn’t entirely new to me. I’d seen bottles in Belgium, too, and heard of the process.. But unlike the Chimay bottles I passed on in Belgium (stupid as I am), I wasn’t able to pass these up…

Which spawned somewhat of a downward spiral that, long story short, culminated in me starting my own beer cellar.. A WHAT cellar, you may ask.. But it’s quite simple, really, see.. Like good wine, good beer too can be aged. We’re not talking your usual lagers here, of course, which are generally a hell of a lot better the fresher they are. No, we’re talking quality brews here, many of them high on alcohol, hops or other preservatives (such as smoke, believe it or not), and many of them so-called bottle fermented beers, meaning that yeast is added when bottling the beers, causing a new fermentation to take place in the bottle over time which may radically change the nature of the beer.

The general idea of these beers are that given the right conditions (mainly a cool, dark place) they’ll continue to change over time, developing new flavors and characteristics for years to come.. Which to me sounds like fun! And has been something I’ve always wanted to play with.. Only, I haven’t ever been very good at no diving into the supply of beers I’ve had at hand.. So, what changed? Well, mainly the fact that I’m already collecting not only single malts and rums, but also other quality spirits and wines.. So did I really need a new area of collectibles? Well, of course.. Why not add quality beers to the mix?!

Also, following an agreement with my house owner, Brian, I’ve stashed the beers in a really remote, cool, dark part of our shared basement.. It literally has a cellar feel to it.. (And was offered to me in the spirit of “hey, anything for a good cause”) and is so relatively inaccessible that I’ll have to really want a beer in order to venture there – at which point I may as well just go to the fridge.. Where I keep the less expensive lager options.

So, to sum up.. I’ve got another real expensive hobby to keep me company.. Beer collecting and beer cellaring. Why? Well, I’ve enjoyed tasting quality brews for a while now and the concept that a specific brew can change character over time.. Well, it seems fun and interesting to me.. So why the hell not? Apparently I really enjoy collecting good and/or rare/obscure alcoholic beverages for various purposes!

But what all goes into a cellar, then? Well, not too much right now.. Did I mention it’s a somewhat expensive hobby? So far there’s a few high alcohol by volume beers from a sampler pack I got in Belgium. Other than that, I’ve picked up quite a few bottles of various brews, some with age on them already and the more notable including:

  • Thomas Hardy Ale 2005 (four years old already, is supposed to improve for at least 25+)
  • Horn Dog Barley Wine 2007 (interesting name, right? Supposedly really good around now)
  • Chimay Bleue 2008
  • Trappiste Rochefort 8 (9.2% – a really good beer as it is)
  • Trappiste Rochefort 10 (11.3% – a cruel mistress, but also one of my favorite brews of all time)
  • Orval (a trappist beer Tina and I tried in Brussels but weren’t too impressed with, I hear it balances out and gains a lot with time, though)

I got at least a few of each – heck, I got four of the Chimays on sale because our local supermarket is retarded and apparently doesn’t know that there’s a substantial difference between a 2008 Chimay and its 2009 counterpart.. And so the basic idea is to sample them over the course of time time and see what happens.. Hey, sounds fun to me.. And also like another really expensive hobby.. But then, I don’t drink nearly as much as I used to, so why not drink better stuff when I do..? Right..? Sounds reasonable enough to me πŸ˜‰


6 responses to “It was only a matter of time; I’ve started a beer cellar!

  1. Super – so now you have not only an excuse for drinking, but also and excuse for spending too much money, good one! πŸ˜‰

    But could you explaine to me the difference between you wanting two different kinds of beer and me wanting two different kinds of black boots? It seems to me that in both cases there is some difference that only the trained eye (or toungue) would appreciate…

  2. You see this, world? You see what I’m up against? πŸ˜€ No sooner have I finished having my ways questioned by one cute blonde before another shows up and takes over πŸ˜‰

    Tina, Tina, Tina.. First off, I’m glad you understand and appreciate at least parts of my logic πŸ˜‰ As far as want goes, there’s not really that much of a difference, I’m as big of a fan of black boots as the next guy.. So it’s not that I don’t want you to get new black boots!

    What you, young lady, need to realize is that there’s a distinct difference between want and need and a distinct difference between the price of a beer and a pair of boots.

    For instance, I need more beers because my friends and co-workers are urging me on to drink more beer to combat my increasing weight loss since I refuse to eat junk food and cake.

    You, on the other hand, did NOT need new boots as you’d just very recently gotten a pair of very nice black boots that you look very good in.

    Lastly, I think there’s a very distinct difference between me spending 30-50 DKK that I do have on a bottle of beer, versus you spending, oh, I don’t know 300-1000 DKK that you don’t have on a pair of boots..

    So, no dire need for insulin shots, no spending money for you.. Those are the rules.. That I just made up πŸ˜›

    If it makes you feel any better, though, I’ll let you spend some of my SP money once they arrive πŸ˜‰

  3. Yay are we going to get a new coat for you then?

    I see your logic – I just don’t agree. πŸ˜›

  4. Well, I was thinking more along the lines of new jeans.

    New coat would be nice, too, but you apparently have too good of a taste in those, seeing as they have a way of being stolen within days of us getting them πŸ˜‰

    Of course you don’t agree, I’d be both surprised and scared if you did.. And if you did, then what’d we ever have to argue about? Oh wait.. I guess we’d find something πŸ˜‰

  5. I have good taste in jeans too, but they of course would be harder to steal away from you owing to the fact that you (most of the time) wear them at the U-boat πŸ˜‰

    The coat on the other hand was just hanging there ready for the taking….

  6. I didn’t mean to imply that you hadn’t good taste in jeans πŸ™‚

    Other than that, you are mostly right in your assumptions.. Even if I wouldn’t be too surprised, if someone did eventually manage to steal them away.. Given the blood alcohol level at which such ideas as removing ones pants suddenly seem great.

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