Craft beer is big and it’s here to stay. Unlike industry trends that are here one day, gone the next, craft beers are one of the most important product lines to emerge in the last 10 years—resulting in a 60 percent increase in craft breweries since 2012.
There was a time when most bars had a few domestics and maybe a couple of imports on tap, but those days are long gone. These bland, mass-produced beers have been kicked to the curb by subtly flavored, expertly brewed craft options that American customers have embraced wholeheartedly.
Keep those customers happy and coming back for more by taking the time to learn how to keep those perfectly flavored craft beers delicious. Storing, serving, and aging are all important to craft beer handling.
Let’s start with storage.
●Maintain Consistent Temperature. It’s a split decision on this one: some say room temperature storage brings out the flavor; others say cold temperatures preserve flavor best. Whichever you choose, keep that temperature consistent and avoid extremes.
●Stay Out of the Light. Beer has come in brown or green bottles for decades in an effort to protect the brew from the damage caused by light. Dark places are your kegs of craft beers’ friend. Think basements, closets, refrigerators—any room with minimal light and consistent temperatures.
●Sustain Pressure. Kegs should stay in the range of 10–12 PSI. The pressure that’s lower than that results in a flat pour; higher sends beer out of the keg faster, resulting in too much foam.
●Rotate. First in, first out is key. Enjoy your kegs in the order received. Bring out the older ones first and save the newest one for next time.
●Categorize and Sort. If you have a variety of kegs stored, you need to label them clearly. It sounds obvious, but it’s a basic principle of craft beer management that you don’t want to get sloppy about.
●Keep it Loose. Allow room for movement among your stored kegs. Make sure they’re arranged so that you can easily access what you want without constantly moving your kegs around—not a good thing for beer in a gas-filled environment like a keg. Jostling kegs results in flat and foamy pour—and that means wasted craft beer.
Becoming informed about what to consider when storing your kegs of craft beer may not be the fun part of the process, but if you learn and learn well, it will make sharing and serving it more enjoyable!
Next month we’ll talk about drawing winning pours from your craft beer keg.
If you want to optimize your storage space, consider using our keg stackers and dollys for easy transportation and ample space savings.