Does Aged Beer Taste Better Than Regular Beer?

Is vintage beer, brews that are aged much like wine, the next big brewery trend?

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Forget about stale or skunked beers, some brews, like Bourbon County stout, actually do get better with age.

Attention beer geeks: The latest craze in America’s craft brewery boom is barrel-aged brews—even just keeping beer in bottles and waiting a long time to drink them is gaining traction. Beer has officially joined fine wine and whiskies on the list of “alcohol that tastes better with age.”

But the concept of aging beer does not apply to every beer out there, Ryan Schmiege of Deschutes Brewery told NPR. The fresher your hoppy IPA is, the better it tastes, but around five percent of common beers (the dark and smoky varieties with higher alcohol content), become more flavorful as they sit on the shelf, according to Fox News.

"There is a huge subculture of people in the beer industry with cellars who are squirreling away bottles, just like with wine, to keep for years," Patrick Dawson, a beer writer and the author of Vintage Beer told NPR.

One of the breweries that has gotten in on the aged beer action is Stone Brewing Co., which has released a “Enjoy After [This Date]” brew, as a sequel to their super-fresh “Enjoy By [This Date].”  The beer comes with very specific instructions to store it in a semi-cool place between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

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If you’re new to aged beers, check out The Daily Meal’s five favorite barrel-aged beers as a starter.