Sunday 25 January 2009

Guilt-Twinged Beer Hoarding

I keep my beers in three places: a box for the ones that I can/will drink at any time - ‘standard beers’; a cupboard of beers which I don’t have ready access to, rare beers – ‘special beers’; the other place is a special cupboard for vintages.

The vintage cupboard and the box are fine. They don’t bother me because the box I can raid at any time and the vintages I won’t touch yet. It’s the other cupboard which gets me the most. In there are the beers which I most want to drink, but they are the ones which I am most reticent to open. I suffer from a worrying complex. I fret about it. I place the beers in there excitedly, knowing that I’ll open them soon, but once they get in there I get scared. It’s like stage-fright. I take a bottle out every now and then, I look at it, I read the label, I think about it, then I put it back. I often choose a beer from the box when one from the cupboard is what I really want. I’m afraid of it, in a strange kind of way. I feel guilt.

I’m worried that I’ll love it and won’t be able to get another or, conversely, that it’ll underwhelm and disappoint. I use the ‘it’ll improve if I leave it another month’ line. I think that today is just not special enough to open a ‘special beer’. And I just like seeing the bottle in the cupboard as part of the ‘collection’. It’s a terrible affliction.

Am I alone in this guilt-twinged beer hoarding?


  1. Definitely not! About 80% of my cellar fall into that category - the number of times I have left the Fullers 1845 for another day is crazy.

  2. Oh good, I'm not alone!

    I had no idea quite how many 'special beers' I'd accumulated over the past year until I had to move them all to my new flat. At least 100 bottles of bits and pieces, including BrewDog prototypes, rarities from BeerExposed, vintages and limited edition runs. The kitchen cupboard is bulging.

    I'm reticent to open anything that is a one-off purchase or is the last of a batch but agonise over whether it will turn and be past its best by the time I drink it.

    I've told myself I won't buy any more until I've made a serious indentation on the current stash - but can't see me sticking to it once the next BrewDog effort is announced.

  3. This is a relief, and the symptoms seem similiar too!

    The 'special beers' gradually build up. And Dubbel, I know exactly how you feel about one-offs and the last one of its kind in the cupboard, but then there's the overhanging fear that when you do open it it won't be at its best!!

    I do try hard not to indulge in large orders, but regular trips to Utobeer and BrewDog boxes have a habit of rapidly over-filling any spaec there is!

    Oh well, must grumble. It's a good thing to have a great beer selection after all!

  4. I've got too much beer wating for "a special occasion". How special does it need to be?

  5. I've got more special beers than upcoming special occasions, that's for sure!

    Trouble is half of the stuff I class as special could easily be everyday stuff - it's just I don't have many of them or feel like I'm being hedonistic if I open a 5 pound bottle of craft beer after a hard day at work!!

  6. I have even left a bottle of April 2008 Orval at my parents place in France for my first trip back to Europe after my upcoming move the USA.

  7. Al that's just very sensible forward planning! Maybe you should keep a few lined up there?!

    Where are you moving to? I want to be in the US right now drinking all the incredible sounding craft beers.

  8. nope not alone at all. I have my beer cellar categorised thus: 'Special beers', 'Beers earmarked for food matching', 'Standard weekend quaffing beers' least three clear categories. Everyone does this, its natural. My homebrewed beer overlays all this.

  9. Leigh this is a good system, I like it! I also have a group earmarked for food, although these just seem to get lost among the others!

  10. At the moment it looks as though we are moving to Virginia. Mrs Velky Al is originally from South Carolina, but we are basically going to go where she can get a job.

  11. Enjoyed a 'special' guilty pleasure last night - Stones Ruination IPA. Magnificent it was.

  12. Al - Moving to the US is going to open up a whole new world of beer, that's pretty exciting! I really hope to go over there soon, perhaps to a beer festival or just a bit of a three-day pub crawl.

    Dubbel - Ruination IPA is stunning, I love it! I've got one in the cupboard waiting.

  13. I've got four shelves; beers to age, beers to trade, beers to glug and beers to sup.

    'Gluggers' tend to be stuff like Punk IPA, beers in bulk for when I get home and fancy a beer there and then.

    That means that the 'suppers' are no longer treated with unreasonable reverence and I'm happy to break open stuff like Stone, Lost Abbey, Southern Tier just becayse it's a Friday night or whatever.