aged beer

The Sail & Anchor beer cellar

tidesAfter a few years of laughing at those who cellared beer I’ve started to do it myself. And it’s all the fault of that barleywine from Sail & Anchor.

I had been cellaring beers without meaning to for a while now. How does one do that accidentally? Simple, you buy more beer than you can drink. And over time the stockpile grows and beers you bought six months ago are still there. Cellaring by default, if you will.

But I was never doing it seriously. I wanted to drink all that stuff, I just never had the time (or, given the amount of alcohol that would entail, the total disregard for the health impacts upon my body).

Sure, I put one or two things aside for later, but I never really understood why. Like last year’s Coopers Extra Vintage. I frigging loved that beer when it came out. But I bought some more with the express purpose of not drinking it. Which still makes no sense to me. That beer tasted so great fresh that it inspired me to make a homebrew clone (which tasted like shit, by the way).In the last week I think what used to be a few beers sorta kinda being put away has now become a cellar. A cellar in which that Sail & Anchor’s Changing Tides barleywine features.

This was a beer they brewed for the Christmas just gone and I think they may have overestimated the market and made waaaayyy more than they could sell. So since Christmas it’s been steadily coming down from what was a $20-something starting price.

Last week I spotted it on special at my local Dan Murphy’s for $7.90. So I bought two bottles to supplement the one I just happened to have at home. Then, I heard the price fell even more – to just $5.90, so I stopped into Dan’s on the way home from work yesterday and bought a few more bottles.

Now, that’s cheap for a barleywine, but let me really put this into perspective for you. At $5.90 that bottle of 11 per cent barleywine is priced just 41 cents more than a longneck of VB. Forty-one frigging cents!! Is your mind blown yet?

Here’s something else – that barleywine is actually 16 cents cheaper than a longneck of Coopers Pale. An 11 per cent beer is cheaper than a beer with about a third the alcohol content. Kaboom! (that was the sound of your mind being blown, okay?).

Really you’d have to be frigging stupid to say, ‘‘nah, I’m not buying any of those’’.

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13 replies »

  1. As established on Twitter, Brisbane’s inner city hipsters might have to look further afield (i.e. outer suburbs to the north and west) to find this one. Although, the price range seems to be $7.50 to $8 up here.

  2. This isn’t craft beer, It’s cleverly marketed beer from (and made by) Woolworths aimed to make a buck from the rise in genuine craft brewers.

  3. A good beer and undeniably great price, so worth stocking up! But a heads up, this beer is pasteurized so one might question if ageing would be beneficial, or offer any change at all over time!

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