The Great Drinkdown Has Begun

I’m not sure if it’s a spring cleaning thing, or if I’m afraid the coming warm weather will skunk the stash I have in my garage, but I’ve decided it’s time to drink all those beers that have been hanging around for months and months and months.  The Great Drinkdown of 2011 has begun!

Now, these aren’t the beers I’ve been aging – those are safe, at least until the craving hits and I buckle.  These are the beers I buy because I think they look “interesting,” only to have no actual interest in drinking them.  So they get put in the fridge, and then passed over time and again for more familiar fare.  After a time, they are relegated to boxes in the garage where they sit unloved.  It’s kind of like the Island of the Misfit Beers. But every dog (or saison) has its day, and these unappreciated beers are now being consumed.  And I’m not buying anything new until they’re (mostly) gone.

Here are some highlights of what I’ve had so far (in no particular order): 

  • Avery 15 – a Beligany meh beer
  • Avery 16 – A wonderful saison, refreshing, earthy and complex
  • Bruery Mischief – A finely balanced blend of hoppiness and traditional Belgian flavors in one glass
  • Bruery Rugbrod – Very interesting rye twist on the winter warmer ale
  • Bruery Autumn Maple – Always a treat, one of my fall favorites
  • Dogfish Head Pangea: The ginger freaked me out a bit, but became subdued as the beer warmed

There are a few others that belong on this list, but I can’t remember them.

So what have I learned?  Well, I discovered that I like to purchase, but not drink Belgian-style beer.  This makes sense because I delight in the tradition these beers represent, but I’m rarely in the mood for a Belgian. Also, I find the packaging and fancy craftiness of the Bruery’s beer makes me feel like they are too good to drink without a special occasion. As one didn’t arise, these wonderful beers sat unopened.

I’ve also learned that I like what I like, and I can’t wait to get back to drinking what I prefer.  These were mostly very good beers, but when you’re in the mood for something else, what you’re having will suffer by comparison.  I think I’m almost done with the drinkdown and look forward to loading up on barrel-aged stouts, crisp pilsners and whatever else I crave.

I just hope I don’t find more Drinkdown beers when I clean the garage this weekend – I think there’s another box out there somewhere.

Guess I had better hit the beer store before I unearth it!




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Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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24 Comments on “The Great Drinkdown Has Begun”

  1. April 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I find that this happens to me with six packs. If I haven’t finished a six pack before buying a new (more exciting!) sixer, one or two strays will find their way to the back of the fridge or into the vegetable crisper. Before I know it, I have enough orphan beers to make a mixed twelve-pack.

    • April 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      I’m pretty tidy with the six packs. I always feel like there’s unfinished business in the fridge if I leave them in there. That said, I think I have 3 Victory Moonglows from last fall still sitting in there.

    • April 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

      I do that all the time, but it’s usually only with porters and stouts, sometimes darker lagers. I drink IPA’s as fast as possible.

      • April 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        I think we should trade leftovers!

      • April 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

        Those aren’t leftovers. I just haven’t opened them yet. I’ll get to them. Don’t you worry.

    • Dave SDC
      April 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

      Same here Alex. I have had a SouthHampton Imperial Porter in my fridge for almost 6 months now. Its happened the same way as you described. Now with Summer around the corner I am in total Belgian beer mode. Hopefully soon I feel the need for a porter, I feel like its staring at me like a long lost puppy everything I open the fridge door!

    • April 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      I’m right there with you on the orphans. I still have a rye beer sitting in the back that neither the wife or I could stand. I guess we need to just pour the damn thing down the drain and recycle the bottle to put it out of it’s misery.

      • April 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

        Or cook with it. Rye-beer-battered-something-or-other sounds pretty tasty…

      • Don
        April 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

        Will, you should amrrinade a pork roast in it and then slow cook it in the crockpot with whatever spices you like, shred it and either sandwich it or Taco it. I’ll bet that rye beer would serve you well that way.

        • April 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

          Or even marinate it…


        • Don
          April 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

          Whatever Mr Perfec

      • April 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

        I like using “sandwich” and “taco” as verbs too!

        • Don
          April 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

          Most everything goes good as a verb.

  2. April 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    I’m the same with anything Belgian. For one, they tend to age well or can stand up to extra time in the cellar. I also have a hard time consuming big imperial stouts in bombers. They’re heavy enough and the high ABV makes them tough to finish.

    • April 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      I have no problem finishing the stouts – it’s opening the Belgians that gets me. 🙂

      • April 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

        Belgians aren’t terrible as they pair well with so many foods. The imperial stouts in 22 oz. bottles are for sharing.

        • April 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

          Wait, sharing? What?!

  3. April 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    If you want to see an impressive lineup of “leftovers,” check out the past couple of months at Make Mine Potato. He’s leaving town and is trying to work his way through his cellar so that he doesn’t have much to move. His last post details a nice list of beers he plans to consume this month.

  4. April 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I’ve never seen or heard of Bruery but poking around on their website, I’m now very intrigued.

    • April 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

      They make many fancy-pants beers that are annoyingly terrific.

      • Don
        April 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

        And annoyingly expensive.

  5. April 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    Avery 15th Anniversary was an American Wild Ale that used 100% brett. I had it a year after it came out (16th was out at the time) and thought it was awesome.

    I wonder if it didn’t age well or you just didn’t like it.

    • Don
      April 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      It is probably because he left it in his garage for two years subject to 100 degree temperature swings. Jim doesn’t really pay too good of attention to Temperature when it comes to beer.

      • April 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

        Naw, it was in good shape, it just didn’t hit the spot. Like all of Avery’s stuff, it was well made and tasted great, it just didn’t set my spine a-tingling.

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