The Beer Fridge
Most of us have a regular refrigerator for food. The serious beer junkie has one or maybe two, three or four additional refrigerators just for beer. My addiction is still in the adolescent stages. I only have one beer fridge – okay two if you count the one in the wet bar in my Man Cave, but it is a small one. I consider it more of an annex to the real beer fridge.
I am not sure how I manage to keep so many beers in the fridge. In honesty, I don’t drink that often, or that much when I do. But somehow between visiting bottle shops, as is my duty as part of this blog, reading all the beer trade magazines and following a couple hundred breweries and other beer bloggers on Facebook and Twitter, it is easy to find good beers to try, or try again.
Then there is the need to visit new breweries as they come online and re-visit old friends as they introduce new brews, and have a tasters tray. And I do like going to The RAM, BJs, and Rock Bottom restaurants (ooh and The Rock) and sampling what they make along with a great lunch or dinner. That cuts into fridge time too.
On the top shelf are 12 ounce bottles, which are mainly from the beer of the month club deliveries. This is a great way to sample beers from all over the United States without having to travel or wait for the Great American Beer Festival. The BoMC sends three bottles of four different beers each month. So right there I have a commitment to consume 12 beers each month or face a backlog. I have a serious backlog.
Middle and Side Shelves
These are for the bigger 22 ounce bottles. When you pop one of these babies open, have some friends around or be prepared for an evening of serious sipping. I blame the brewers for my dilemma with these. Pretty much every bottle in here is something I really enjoy. I can rank the Porters I like from 1 to 10, but in all honesty, even though #1 is very good, #10 is pretty darn good too.
The keg. This is five gallons of my homebrew which takes me a while – even with friends – to empty. I only make four batches a year, mainly because I only have two kegs and only one fits in the beer fridge. Kegerator! I need you. Right now I am enjoying a particularly well crafted Honey Nut Brown. It’s perking at about 6 or 7% ABV, so one glass is plenty on any given evening.
A Way Out
I have considered several options to get this under control. I invite friends over, but they feel guilty and usually bring me things they think I should try – adding to the problem – not reducing it. I have tried giving bottles away as gifts, but then when I see it in the store, I remember that I don’t have any at home, and cah-ching, into the cart it goes.
I suppose I could just get more discerning in my tastes and only have my #1 favorite of the styles I like. Did I tell you all the different kinds of styles I like? I like Scotch Ales and Browns, and Porters and Stouts (especially oatmeal or chocolate stouts, espresso, not so much). I like Wits, Hefeweizens, Kolsch, Helles, Ambers and some Reds.
I am not too fond of IPAs but I have a friend who likes them so I stock the fridge with a few good ones just because. I will drink a lager or a pilsner from time to time. These generally are still in the fridge from a BoMC delivery, or an import because the guy at Merchant du Vin said I was too focused on American Craft Beers and I felt guilty. Oh and I probably will not have any Belgian Ales. Do not like the overpowering yeast taste.
To my credit, though, I have not had a Bud, Miller, Coors, or other mass produced brew in my fridge in more than 20 years. And I don’t have any beers from Mexico or Australia. Although, I do have quite a bit of wine from Australia. In fact, my wine collection is now over 120 bottles strong. But that is another story for another day.