Beer cellaring (or aging), although slowly becoming more prominent, is still not a very popular practice. That’s partially because there’s a lot that goes into it, and many beers that simply aren’t made to be aged. Most are made to be consumed within a few months of their production.
This is why you often find “born on,” “best by,” or “bottled on” dates on many beers. If you remember, close to ten years ago, Anheuser-Busch ran a large campaign promoting their “born on” dates.
It’s not just the big boys that do it either. Stone Brewing Co. actually has an entire page dedicated to the importance of fresh beer. They suggest consuming Stone IPA and other relatively lower-ABV and/or hoppy beers in “as fresh a state as possible [because] flavor- and aroma-producing oils and acids in hops deteriorate with exposure to time, air, light, or warm temperatures.”
In 2012, Stone actually launched an Enjoy By IPA with a freshness date printed right on the front of the label. But now, they’ve released an Enjoy After IPA. It’s called Enjoy After 10.31.15 Brett IPA.
This new beer is (obviously) the opposite of their Enjoy By beer. The reason this new brew is named “Brett IPA” and meant to be aged for a year, is because the beer is bottle-conditioned with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast used in sour beers. The yeast is added right before the bottles are sealed, and over time continually changes the flavor characteristics.
Enjoy After is a special release which will be packaged in a 750ml cork-and-cage bottle. It has an ABV of 7%. MyBeerBuzz reported that the beer would be available after September 26th, but I haven’t seen it anywhere, nor can I find anything on the Stone website. So if any readers out there know something, please share with us!
And if you’re interested in cellaring your own brews beyond this limited release by Stone, check out our comprehensive Guide to Cellaring Beer. If anyone gets their hands on an Enjoy After, let us know how it is…you know, in a year, when you finally try it!