Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie
will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it:
How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find
it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer
you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.
There's two types of beer I keep around the house: everyday drinking beer, and bottles I'm saving as part of my collection.
The everyday beer is simple enough to describe.
I usually keep a six-pack of something good in the fridge like a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale or a Brooklyn Lager. It's great if I get some unexpected company or just want to drink a
cold one at the end of the day. Plus, as I'm learning, you need these
kinds of beers on hand all the time if you ever want to build a real
Let me explain: In addition to the beer in my fridge, I'm trying to
grow a stash of specialty bottles that I'll only bust out if the mood
strikes me. My collection of reserves, cellared bottles, and homebrews
sit in a cabinet in one of my upstairs closets, waiting for the right
moment to be popped open.
But growing a beer collection is harder than it sounds. Not drinking that bottle of oak-aged Allagash
or Stone XS Imperial Stout you've been saving takes big-time restraint.
More often than not, I dip into my collection when I'm out of everyday
beer and, for whatever reason, can't get to the store. In those
moments, I think to myself, "I'll just replace this bottle next time I
go beer shopping."
The process, I'm afraid, is cyclical.
It's for that reason I can't ever seem to get my collection to grow. It
usually fluctuates between five and ten bottles depending on how thirsty I
get any given day of the week. What can I say; restraint isn't exactly my strong suit.
The only beers I seem to be able to legitimately hold onto are my
homebrews. These bottles I tend to be most protective of since (a)
they're in limited quantity, and (b) I made them myself. To give you an
idea, I still have bottles from the first homebrew batch I made almost
two years ago. Those two bomber-sized remnants of my first brew won't
get opened unless there's something to celebrate. (Unsurprisingly, when
I last opened one a few months ago, its flavor was the best in the
But a bottle of some limited-edition Rogue or rare Belgian I bought? Those I can't seem to keep from drinking.
Lately I've resolved to drink a little bit less, and I think that will
finally help my beer collection grow. But I think what may actually help me most is making sure I've got that everyday six-pack on hand in case my will breaks down.
Otherwise, my collection may be in limbo for some time to