So what is The Sessions all about? Well, on the first Friday of every month bloggers around the world write a post on a specific topic, which is suggested by that month’s host. You can find more background on the Brookston Beer Bulletin.
This month’s topic has been set by Adam at Pints and Pub and it’s the beer audit. Seems Adam does an audit of the beers he has at least twice a year -and he seems to have quite a few. By way of explaining this month’s topic he says, “I’m interested to know if you take stock of the beers you have, what’s in your cellar, and what does it tell you about your drinking habits.”
I actually did an audits of sorts just a few weeks ago. Feeling a bit guilty about my compulsion to bring new beer home when I still had scads of it in the beer fridge in the garage, I decided to declare February as the Month of Buying No New Beer and devote a week of blog entries to drinking one of the beers I found sitting in the back of said fridge.
Well, New Beer-free February barely lasted two weeks – I gave into temptation the first time I walked into a bottle shop – but it did at least make me start thinking about how many beers I had. And wonder just when I was going to get around to drinking them all.
As well as the store-bought beer I’m a homebrewer and have at least four crates-worth of the stuff in the garage too. So, we’re talking about a lot of beer in my garage. I reckon there’d easily be enough to keep me occupied for at least two months.
Which does beg the rather large question – why do I feel the need to keep buying (or, in the case of homebrew, making) more? I’ve thought about this over the last two weeks and I think I’ve come up with an answer. I don’t want to miss out.
That beer I see in the bottle shop fridge right now might not be there next time. It might be a limited release, or the shop might decide not to stock it any more, the distributor might decide to not carry it any more. I might not be in this bottle shop or brewery again for quite a while so best buy some beer now. I might be suddenly struck with amnesia and forget where all the good bottle shops are. The zombie apocalypse might happen tomorrow and, instead of worrying about not being bitten, I’ll be thinking about that IPA I should have bought when I had the chance.
So I buy the beer to make sure I don’t miss out. And then it sits in the fridge. And, in most cases, gets pushed further and further to the back with each new addition. Therefore the aim of the What’s in the Fridge week – to flush out those beers hiding up the back behind all those other glass soldiers.
I don’t get hung up over storage – they sit upright in that fridge (which is unplugged) or in cardboard boxes on the concrete floor. The homebrew sits the same way in crates. I figure the beer is resilient enough to take it.
And I don’t get the whole thing about trying to age beer. Well, not intentionally anyway, as part of that week-long What’s in the Fridge experiment I found at least one beer I’d bought a year ago. Still tasted good.
But aside from saving one bottle from each batch of homebrew to see what happens to it with the passage of time (I plan to drink them on the first anniversary of their bottling) I tend not to try and age beer. Nor do I really bother with the idea of saving beer for special occasions. Instead I save some beers for no reason I can fathom.
Such is the case with Unibroue’s Terrible, which I’ve had in the fridge for about six months. I’ve never tried the beer but every time I open the fridge I see the bottle and think, ‘‘Nope, not this time’’. Yet I don’t know when would be the time to drink it. I can only guess that I’m putting it off because Unibroue beers aren’t available in Australia (I stumbled on a local bottle shop that had a small cache of what must have been among the last in the country). So I’m worried that, once I drink it, it’s gone and – if I love it – I’ll never get to buy another bottle.
Which means it’s perversely helpful that I have so many other beers to drink instead.