Beer Geek Poll: How Many Beers Do You Have at Home?

Austin Harvey, a tour guide at Goose Island, has a pretty awesome beer collection. I'd never leave the house! Click the pic to read more about him @ Chicago Reader

I’ll be honest – I have beers in my house that I don’t even know about.  My brother sends me stuff, people give me samples, and I buy beers impulsively, not wanting to miss my chance to get my hands on something that might not be there next time.

These days Dale’s Pale Ale is my go to beer, and most of the time I’m in the mood for it, so I save the “good stuff” for later.  Over time the “good stuff” piles up, and suddenly going through my beer boxes is an adventure of discovery.  I found a BrewDog Tokio Stout last time I cleaned the garage, and now I have no idea where it is.  I’m looking forward to discovering it again next time.  All told I probably have 30 or more beers on hand, but that’s just a guess. My beer collection is a bit of beautiful chaos – full of wonderful stuff, but mostly running wild. 

How about you?

I’ve created a poll to get a sense of how many beers our readers keep on hand at home. Don’t be afraid to admit that you only have one or that you have more than 50 (and I know you guys and gals are out there).  It’s all good.  Also, if you feel like telling us about how your beers are organized (or in my case are NOT) share it below in the comments.  Tell us about your babies!!


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59 Comments on “Beer Geek Poll: How Many Beers Do You Have at Home?”

  1. September 23, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Currently, I’m stocked up with Full Sale LTD #3, Chimay, Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, Smuttynose Pumpkin, Racer 5 IPA and Dale’s Pale Ale, which I’m going to use a can of tomorrow when I fire up the grill for beer can chicken.

    • September 23, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      No shame in that game! Beer can chicken scares me though, as I get freaked out about the paint on the can. Strangely, the part about shoving a beer can up the backside of an eviscerated bird doesn’t…

  2. johnking82
    September 23, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    That guy in the article has a sick collection, I wonder if he has a partner? Those are some insane beers. I have a ton of stocked up homebrew I’ve been saving and aging along with about 30-40 craft beers I’ve been aging and sitting on.

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Are you asking about his partner as in “I wish I could be his life partner”? 😉

      My guess is that he has an unlimited supply of BCS that he uses as trade bait, working at the brewery and all. Now he can add Bud Light to that mix – lucky guy!

      • johnking82
        September 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

        Never thought of that…damn him.

  3. September 23, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Including in the carboy(s)?

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Yup, including carboys – always.

  4. September 23, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Would you count different brews of the same beer separately like Mad Elf years 2005-present?

    It’s that bad.

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:16 am #


      But I wouldn’t, as Mad Elf doesn’t make it past January in my house, except the one I save for my birthday the following summer.

  5. September 23, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I can only say this since my wife won’t be reading this article. It’s insane. It’s out of hand. But it’s still awesome because it’s fantastic beer.

    I too do the “save the good stuff for a special occasion” thing and I do it too often. At the rate I’ve stockpiled beer, I’m gonna count “dinner” as a special occasion if I want to drink it all.

    The good thing is that I do a decent job of rotating stuff so that 70% of my stuff is imperial stouts, barleywines, strong ales, Trappists, etc and aging is a good thing.

    Like I said though, there are worse things than having (I’m guessing I have around) 16 cases of beer (bombers & 12 oz) stashed for whenever I want.

    • Don
      September 23, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Mikey wins.

      • September 23, 2011 at 10:17 am #

        Hold on there, Don, we have some pretty insane readers…

  6. September 23, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Haha wow this made me good look at our own “inventory” and I def forgot about some beers we bought. I have to admit, we’re guilty of getting really excited in the store and buying things… too many to consume right away. 🙂

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      Yes, buying and drinking are definitely two very different occasions. I tell people I have a beer problem – a beer BUYING problem!

  7. September 23, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Mine don’t stick around long, so my inventory is small:
    * 5 bombers of Ranger–yumm!;
    * a cupla bombers of Hoptober–good chilled on a hot day;
    * 1 lonely bottle of Schafly’s Pumpkin Ale–occasionally hits the spot; and
    * 3 bottles of Fuller’s ESB–enhh!–the liquor store owner unloaded it on me.

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      Simple and tidy, drink what you buy. Sounds like a military man to me!

  8. September 23, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Is it just me or does it seem as though ol’ Austin has a lot of light hitting that beer collection of his?

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      Good point. Maybe they made him open the curtains for a photo, or maybe he has some way of covering them up.

  9. @mdolemite
    September 23, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I was looking for the 200 choice, but settled on 50 . I organize by rarity. Hated waking up in the morning w/a rare beer open, 1/3 gone, and flat. So anything in the kitchen fridge is okay to drink. Beer fridge is ok if there is at least 1 more of the same otherwise ask. Pantry is a bit more rare, but usually ok to drink. If it’s in the beer closet, needs to be pre-approved before drinking begins.

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      Ha ha, I do the same thing. If it’s in the kitchen, my wife can drink, back of the beer fridge and she knows to ask, and the boxes are off limits! I’ve learned this the hard way like you.

  10. Don
    September 23, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I dunno what I got any more. I can tell you the last two I put in there were a Duchessne de Bourgonia (I know that is misspelled…BADLY) and that Cherry beer bomber from New Glarus. Other than that I really couldn’t tell you what I have in my collection, just that it is an adventure and rediscovery every time I enter the garage. My biggest issue is figuring out what to drink. I have a lot of choice. But I like it that way. Now in the Whiskey Bunker, I think I’m up to about 50 whisk(e)ys. I pretty much know what I have in there however. Of course the newest addition is about a 1/2 bottle of Noah’s Mill 114. That is a very good bourbon!

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      Love the 114! I brought home a bottle for my buddy Frank to say thanks for keeping an eye on my place during the hurricane. Smooth stuff for such a high proof.

  11. Dave SDC
    September 23, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Just stocked the new beer fridge this week! Here’s whats in there as we speak. Yards Brawler, Sam Adams Oktoberfest, A Sam Adams Fall seasonal 12 pack, Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Abita Pecan Ale, Guinness Tallboys, Dogfish Theobroma, Samuel Smith Brown and Newcastle Brown for the non craft beer folk in my house.

    Also if Home-brew counts I have to bottle/keg a West Coast Pale Ale tomorrow, so I am well stocked for the foreseeable future.

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:23 am #

      Nice mix! I need to try out the Theobroma this year. I fell in love three years back, but last year was a disappointment. Maybe I was expecting too much, but it didn’t have the same magic I remembered.

      • Dave SDC
        September 23, 2011 at 10:34 am #

        I didn’t have the Theobroma last year, but its been sitting in my fridge for about 3 weeks now. I have been saving it for some occasion that I haven’t thought of yet. I guess I am just a beer hoarder.

        • September 23, 2011 at 10:46 am #

          It’s only hoarding if the crap you collect isn’t cool…

  12. September 23, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I usually have about 6-12 that I’ll review for the blog and another 4-6 that I will have without reviewing

    • September 23, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      That’s why I don’t do reviews anymore – every time I opened the fridge there was work staring back at me! I’ll still do one occasionally when it’s something rare or I have a neat idea for the review, but mostly I leave it to others – there are tons of reviews out there, so no one needs mine!

  13. September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I try to keep it around four cases. Three that are mostly imperial stouts, barleywines, quads, a few sours—stuff to age. And one case that’s got beers I’m not aging or I need to drink soon. Then there’s always 2 or 3 bottle chillin’ in the fridge. Any more than that and I think I’ve got to have a beer drinking problem to offset my beer buying problem. 😉

    • September 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

      Good idea – you need to catch up!

      The only time I ever age anything is by accidentally losing it to the chaos for a while…

  14. September 23, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Beer doesn’t last long in our house. We buy a case every week, usually mixing it up with our go-tos and something new with the occasional bomber added in. Often times there’ll be a few stragglers from the previous week, so it can be a very mixed bag indeed. When I brew, I like to do two batches back-to-back, so during those times there can be as many as 5-6 cases in the house at once.

    Right now we have Steamworks Colorado Kolsch, Ska Modus, Steelhead Extra Stout, Racer 5, Lagunitas IPA, Odell’s Myrcenery, Avery IPA, and that nasty bottle of sorghum beer that I keep meaning to pour on the lawn.

    • September 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      I do the same thing, and the stragglers are typically stuff I really shouldn’t have bought in the first place (like stuff fermented with Belgian yeast). I’m adventurous at the store, but more picky when deciding what to drink. Eventually these looked-good-in-the-store selections wind up getting “aged” in boxes. I guess that’s one way to build a collection – save stuff you don’t like. 😦

      • September 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

        Other than the sorghum, my stragglers are mainly the remainders of six packs that get shoved to the back of the fridge when we restock. Every couple of months they all get drank when the wife and I get too lazy to head to the store. 🙂

        • September 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

          I call that the great purge! I still have some SM tumbler in the back from last year. Not my favorite, but it’s back in season!

  15. September 23, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Since we’re having a little party at the house tomorrow, the fridge is pretty full (by my standards at least). Here’s what’s in there:

    6 pack of Dale’s Pale Ale, 6 pack of Caldera Pale Ale (never had it), some Brooklyn Summer Ales, a couple 21st Amendment Back in Blacks, 2 Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porters, Smuttynose IPA, Old Brown Dog Ale, and a Homunculus, White Birch Tavern Ale, Rock Art Jasmine Pale Ale.

    And there are a few big bottles in the basement:

    Stone 15th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA and a Smoked Porter, Allagash Victoria Ale and 2011 Fluxus, Rock Art Extreme IPA, Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale, Firestone Walker Double Jack, and maybe one or two more that I can’t remember right now.

    That should cover me for a little while. 🙂

    • September 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      Nice selections for your guests, G-LO. Although I’d probably sniff out that Double Jack and have at it!

      • September 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

        They can’t have the Double Jack or any of the other big bottles (only three in the fridge at the moment). They’re mine! All mine!

        • September 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

          That’s why I’m not ever coming to one of your parties! 😉

        • September 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

          I didn’t mention that this is a 7 year old’s birthday party (my oldest). The Double Jack and other Big Bottle beers are for AFTER the little jackals leave. Daddy needs to keep a small level of sobriety for this shindig so that the house stays relatively intact. Just hoping to survive. Heh

        • September 26, 2011 at 10:08 am #

          Smart – you’ll need to settle those nerves!

  16. Randy
    September 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I think beer cellaring is an art form that beer geeks need to get into. Like a few on this list I have different locations for different beers depending on the number I have and what they are. I have a fridge full of beer to drink, about 30, then a whole pantry full of beer waiting to get in the beer fridge, about 200. Then I have a cellar full of beer for the rare beers and collectables. Maybe four or five hundred beers. I collect beer like some collect wine. I have no idea really what is even in there anymore. My collecting started about seven years ago and has only grown like a disease. That is not even mentioning the three years worth of homebrew. I am writing this not to brag, but to wonder why more beer folks don’t have more of a cellar like the guy in the pic. I love the way beers ages and develops and can become something totally different. Some beers I hated at first and then they age for a bit and become delicious. My rule of thumb when buying craft beer is to get three. One to drink now, one to drink in a while, and one to put in the cellar to drink when it gets found again like Jim said. I highly recommend the hobby of cellaring craft brew.

    • Don
      September 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      I spoke too soon, sorry Mikey, so far we have a new leader, Randy!

    • September 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      The only time I get aged brews is when I lose them in the garage or someone like you shares them with me. I always appreciate what age does for a beer, but I’m never willing to wait for it to happen!

  17. September 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Too many comments…Are we talking individual beers or bottles? I’m like in the mid-to-upper-60’s as far as different beers (or vintages), but the actual bottle count is much higher.

    • September 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

      Sorry if it’s too crowded in here for you Zac! 🙂

      I think we’re talking different beers, not bottle count. If that were the case, a 30 pack of Coors Light would make you look like quite the collector!

      I think vintages should be counted separately….

      • September 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

        Yeah, I figured all this out after I posted my comment. The approximate count ended up at 67. Of course, I just bottled an imperial stout last night. So, my cellar looks pretty full at the moment. What surprised me is that I have 12 or so beers in the fridge. That’s a lot of me.

        Typically, I organize my collection into beer that we’ll consume ASAP (IPA’s, sessionable beers, etc.), beers I could have now or later (RIS, sours, Belgian styles, etc.), and beers I want to hold onto for a while (mostly barley wines, but there are some special releases in there). The first group rotates pretty frequently. The second group sits all summer long until the weather turns and I start drinking imperial stouts like it’s water. The stuff I’m saving only come out for special occasions, but they get backed up and I have to look for excuses to consume.

        • johnking82
          September 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

          Is this the impy stout you were talking about awhile back?

        • September 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

          Yep. For undisclosed reasons, I felt it was time to bottle and let it finish doing it’s thing in smaller quantities. Tasted great last night and gave me a slight buzz.

  18. Craig
    September 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    …and your home address is what???

    BTW – A wine friend of mine had an interesting thought (seldom, so I listened). If you’re waiting for that special occation, is that special “bottle” really going to make a great day any better? Consider this, what about opening that special bottle on a bad day to make it better.

    Yep, that’s a philosophy that I can agree with. I have cellared about 22 verticals that were hard for me to come by. And they’re dewindling quickly thanks to this new philosophy.

    • Jeff
      September 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

      I refuse to drink good beer when I’m angry…it is special and deserves to be consumed with the right attitude.

  19. Rob
    September 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    At home? One bottle. 2009 Utopias. At the brewery? Approx 30 cases of cellared beer, ranging from a 2007-2010 Vertical of Dark Lord, to complete cases of each of the previous three vintages of The Abyss and SN Bigfoot. Crown jewel is probably a 1928 Bass Prince of Wales Ale. I actually have traded with Austin Harvey in the past, at least once via BA.

  20. Jeff
    September 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Okay…current rundown…Dogfish Head: Red & White, Black & Blue, Sahtea, Theobroma, Chateau Jiahu, Bitches Brew, ’08 World Wide Stout, ’07 Raison D’Extra, (5x) 120 Minute IPA; (2x) Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Life and Limb, Epic/Dogfish Head Portamarillo, (4x) Victory Storm King.

    • Jeff
      September 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      Oh…forgot the Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch.

    • September 26, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      I’m guessing you like Dogfish Head… 🙂

      • Jeff
        October 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

        You could say that…just spent another $100 or so on beer tonight…a 4-pack of the July bottling of 120…a couple Life and Limbs…a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary…a 6-pack with 6 different bottles from Victory…a bottle of Thirsty Dog’s Siberian Night…and a bottle of Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch.

        • October 4, 2011 at 8:51 am #

          I’m trying to (unsuccessfully) make spending a chunk of dough at the beer shop a more rare occasion for myself. Did I mention I]m bad at it? 😉

  21. FatCatKC
    September 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    A day late and a dollar short I took inventory the other day 54 different beers currently in stock at the FatCat household. Selections not as rare as some unless you count homebrew. In that case I got stuff most others will never see. I think of it as a collection as opposed to a sickness.

    • September 26, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      I think 54 is still in the “collection” range, but probably on the top end of it…


  1. Cellar Stories IV | Make Mine Potato - September 25, 2011

    […] many beers do I have at home, The Beer and Whiskey Brothers ask? Too many. And that never seems to stop me from stocking up on a trip or making another trade. […]

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