So Fresh, So What? I feel compelled to address a maddening trend in the beer universe: Brew-guzzlers’ obsession with extreme freshness when it comes to hoppy beer.
A bit o’ back story: Hopped brews, which include the ubiquitous and all-powerful IPA, aren’t supposed to be aged. These styles should be refrigerated 24-seven and, in my experience, preferably consumed within 90 days of brewing. Hops deteriorate and evolve, and hopped-up pale ales, IPAs, and variants don’t respond well to intense, prolonged sunlight or heat.
But the more enthusiastic brew drinkers in the East Bay and beyond have gone too far. I regularly hear from acquaintances in the distribution world of retailers returning IPA kegs that are more than two weeks “old.” And there seems to be a prevailing attitude among certain snobbier cabals that, if a hoppy beer has sat for just a month, it is no longer tasty and warrants a…
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