New seltzers to sip on in summer

Since launching in 2016, White Claw Hard Seltzer and Truly Spiked & Sparkling (now Truly Hard Seltzer) have continued to adapt to what their drinkers wanted to enjoy.  Summer 2020 is bringing more flavorful options from these two big names in seltzer, along with a few newcomers to seltzer. Either way, the summer of 2020 will continue to bring new flavors and experience to folks who want flavor without the calories and carbohydrates.


Here are a few new flavors to mix up the drink table, seltzer station, or can cooler as the summer heat drives the thirst for these tasty beverages:

White Claw 70 - Family Shot




White Claw 70 Hard Seltzer (3.7% ABV; 70 Calories): While White Claw released a new variety pack recently (dubbed Variety 2), their newest low-calorie offerings have been slowly working their way onto patios and poolside tables for a few months now. While the normal White Claw Hard Seltzer is 5.0% ABV and 100 calories, these light and lively drinks are only 3.7% ABV and 70 calories. White Claw 70 comes in two flavors for now: Pineapple and Clementine.



Truly Lemonade Family



Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer (5.0% ABV; 100 Calories): The makers of Truly Hard Seltzer found a way to incorporate the goodness and sweetness of lemonade into their hard seltzer without adding any of the unwanted sugars, calories, or carbs. The variety 12-pack includes the original flavor with black cherry lemonade, mango lemonade, and strawberry lemonade. Each flavor is crisp and refreshing and ready for the beach, the pool, the trail, or the table.


Bucket of Vizzy Seltzers



Vizzy Hard Seltzer (5.0% ABV; 100 Calories): Molson Coors Beverage Company’s first hard seltzer blends two unique flavors with the vitamin C of acerola cherries – a superfruit prized for its antioxidants.  This light and refreshing hard seltzer comes in four varieties: Pineapple & Mango, Strawberry & Kiwi, Blueberry & Pomegranate, and Black Cherry & Lime.


Corona Seltzer family with beach background



Corona Hard Seltzer (4.5% ABV; 90 Calories): The same people that helped you Find Your Beach® now helped develop a flavorful seltzer to take along to that beach. Only available right now in a mixed 12-pack, Corona Hard Seltzer spices up their seltzer with additions of fruit for maximum flavor. Blackberry Lime, Mango, Cherry, and Tropical Lime are all standing by to bring the same reliable drinks you’ve come to expect from the Corona family.


Funky Buddha Premium Seltzers Group Shot



Funky Buddha Premium Hard Seltzer (4.5% ABV; 90 Calories): From South Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery comes a line of hard seltzers targeted to the Florida lifestyle. Funky Buddha Premium Seltzers come in tropical flavors and while they’re made with cane sugar and agave, the finished seltzer has 0 grams of sugar and only 90 calories. Flavors like Lush Key Lime & Cherry, Juicy Blood Orange, Tropical Mango Guava, and Crisp Pink Grapefruit pack a little bit of the Sunshine State to every can.





Summer of 2020 has no shortage of outstanding seltzer flavors to celebrate with safely, whether at home or at a small gathering or at your favorite restaurant while waiting for takeout. Click here to go to our Beer Finder and find your next favorite beer. Whatever flavor you decide to enjoy this summer, please enjoy safely and responsibly.

Come enjoy the Big Game with our team

The Big Game is coming up this weekend and our team is going to be out in force to make sure that our beers are in tip-top shape and there’s plenty of it to go around.

With two elite quarterbacks and strong teams behind them, this game should be an exciting one to cap off the 2019 season.  If you’re going out to enjoy the game with friends, we will have our teammates out and about promoting some great beers, including a few that you might see during the commercials this year!

If you can’t watch the game in the stadium, then the next best thing would be watching with a great group of friends and a few beers. If you have not decided where you are going to meet up with the crew to watch, we have a few suggestions.

Our team will be promoting some outstanding beers and having a great time watching the game at:

Charlie Horse Ocala (7pm – 8pm)
2426 East Silver Springs Blvd in Ocala

Miller’s Ale House Gainesville  (6pm – 7pm)
2881 Bass Pro Shops Blvd in GainesvilleSuperBowl Promos

Gator’s Dockside Ocala (6pm – 7pm)
3920 SW 42nd St in Ocala

The Lodge – Ocala (5:30pm – 6pm)
36 S Magnolia Ave in Ocala

Hooters Gainesville (7pm – 8pm)
3105 SW 34th St in Gainesville

Kelly’s Half Shell Pub (7pm – 8pm)
390 N Suncoast Blvd in Crystal River

Ocalahan’s (6pm – 7pm)
3155 E Silver Springs Blvd in Ocala

St. John’s Tavern (6pm – 7pm)
572 N Citrus Ave in Crystal River

Corner Pocket Bar & Grill (4pm – 5pm)
2475 Appalachee Parkway in Tallahassee

Glory Days – Tallahassee (4pm – 5pm)
1926 Capital Circle NE in Tallahassee

Pockets Pool & Pub (5:30pm – 6:30pm)
2810 Sharer Rd in Tallahassee

The Hobbit American Grill (5pm – 6pm)
400 Capital Circle SE in Tallahassee

We hope to see you and your crew out enjoying the Big Game this year, and wherever you decide to watch the game, please enjoy responsibly so we can all do the same for many Super Bowls to come.  Cheers!

Winter Seasonal Beers: No snow but plenty of cheer

While Floridians don’t usually have to hunker down for an intense winter like their northern counterparts, the beers of winter still make their annual rounds.  The Sunshine State may still hold its name during the snowy winter months, but with the holidays around the corner there are plenty of chances to enjoy that cold beer with loved ones.


After all, just because Florida doesn’t get sleet, snow, and ice doesn’t mean that a Floridian will turn down beers next to the fire pit on a chilly night or with friends at your favorite hangout.


Here are a few winter brews to taste against the winds of Florida’s cold season:


Samuel Adams Winter Lager



Samuel Adams Winter Lager (5.6% ABV): a classic winter beer, this relatively strong lager blends the sweetness of malted barley with spices synonymous with wintertime like cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel. Like the liquid version of ginger snap cookies, Winter Lager can pull up a chair for dinner or dessert, pairing well with baked brie, a roast turkey, or gingerbread.






Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2019



Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (6.8% ABV): First brewed in 1981, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale is the perfect gift for those who love hoppy beers – as its hops are picked at the peak of freshness. A massive dose of citrus and pine greets the nose before every sip and lingers around into the beer’s finish.  Try this American classic and see for yourself why it continues to stand the test of time.






2019 Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA



Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA (7.5% ABV): This crowd-favorite IPA began its life as a draft offering in the Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats in Rehoboth, Delaware. After pubgoers loved it, the beer saw national distribution and has grown each year since it became a regular wintertime offering from Dogfish Head. The beer is an IPA that features the addition of maple syrup and is continually hopped throughout the boil, then dry-hopped for even more hoppy aroma. The liquid speaks for itself – especially among grilled meats or guacamole appetizers.





Coppertail Brewing Alpha Hunt: Pax Odeon



Coppertail Brewing Alpha Hunt Series: Pax Odeon (8.4% ABV): Coppertail Brewing’s Alpha Hunt Series is all about exploration both in the story and in the beer. In story, each beer is named for fictional hunters that go in search of the mythical Coppertail monster that the brewery is named for. In reality, the beers are about Coppertail brewer Casey Hughes brewing IPAs to try out new and cutting-edge hop varietals and hop blends in a similar spirit of exploration.  Pax Odeon is a hazy IPA that features a blend of Loral, Sabro, Simcoe, and Mosaic hops that tempt the spirit of adventure all the way around.



New Belgium Brewing Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale




New Belgium Brewing Up Next: Nitro Cold Brew Cream Ale (5.0% ABV): While winter is infamous for its darker beers that have a higher alcohol presence, New Belgium Brewing has crafted one of the lightest brews of the winter, releasing a cream ale with Austin, Texas-based High Brew coffee.  The beer is light in body and infused with coffee that is then canned with nitro for the nitro cold brew experience in a 5% ABV beer.





Funky Buddha Last Snow can



Funky Buddha Brewery Last Snow (6.4% ABV): Funky Buddha Brewery calls Last Snow its “ode to that special time in our home state where the needle dips just south of 75 – even for the briefest of moments.”  The beer is layered with tones of coffee, chocolate, and coconut throughout the aroma, flavor, and finish.  Open one today and watch the aroma draw in those around you, or better yet, open one and enjoy it with braised beef or black forest cake.






Whatever beer you decide to celebrate the winter with this year, we hope the season is a happy one for our teammates, families, customers, and communities.

Stout Day: A Day for Dark Beers

International Stout Day has been a hallmark of November for the last seven years, the same way that IPA Day has become a big part of August each year.  These “beer holidays” are a great day to branch out and try something new, something you may not have tried otherwise.

Be careful, and do not underestimate stouts – they can carry a larger alcohol presence, depending on which style of stout the brewer decides to brew.  Even the beers listed in this article begin at 5.2% ABV and rise all the way up to 10.2% ABV – so drink slowly and share with friends, if you like.  Or if sharing a bottle is not an option, bring enough for the whole party.

Here are a few suggestions of beers to warm your November – on International Stout Day and beyond:

Swamp Head Brewery Udderly Calm Milk Stout




Swamp Head Brewery Udderly Calm (5.2% ABV): Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery chose this milk stout (stout brewed with lactose, or milk sugar) as the wintry entry in the Migrational Series of beers.  Imagine candy bar chocolate, milk chocolate, and chocolate cookies in beer form, then wake up and enjoy a can of this dessert-forward limited beer.





Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout Label


Coppertail Brewing Captain Jack Stone Crab Stout (8.3% ABV): One of the few of these stouts that can boast a bit of Florida in every bottle, Coppertail Brewing’s Captain Jack’s Stone Crab Stout starts with a boatload of Florida Stone Crabs. “Our Brewmaster Casey drives to Key West and loads up a couple of hundred pounds of fresh-caught stone crab from the legend himself, Captain Jack.  Meanwhile back at the brewery, the crew times the brew day just right for Casey’s arrival. Minutes later the crab is added to the stout boil.”  These crabs give a briny edge to the roasty, earthy, and chococlatey stout that bears the name of the legendary Key West boat captain.




Infinite Ale Work Into the Dark Roast



Infinite Ale Works Into the Dark Roast (9.0% ABV): Dark, black, and viscous, Infinite Ale Works’s Into the Dark Roast brings layers of coffee and roasted malts to bear on the palate in this sipping beer. Into the Dark Roast is available all year long, but it is especially delicious in the dark months of Florida winter, where the air is cold and the nights are long. This stout is at home with a piece of chocolate cake or a robust cigar – for best results, bring some to share with friends.






Sierra Nevada Narwhal 2019




Sierra Nevada Brewing Narwhal (10.2% ABV): When the beer dictionary is written, and the entry about imperial stouts is written, Sierra Nevada’s Narwhal will be the picture that illustrates the style.  Inspired by the mysterious creature that lives in the depths of the oceans, the Narwhal is a beast that loves to share its nuances of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke. Narwhal brims with malt complexity and a warming alcohol presence that can stand up to even Florida’s winter chills.





Abita Brewing Company Office Party Stout




Abita Brewing Office Party (6.8% ABV): Just like an office party brings people out of their shells to celebrate the holidays, Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company’s Office Party Stout brings all of the different flavors present in dark beer out to play. Generous amounts of cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg are added to infuse the spirit of the holidays into this limited release.


Fall is the best time for hoppy beers

The Hoppiest of times is here!

October is the hoppiest month of the year – the month to celebrate for everyone who enjoys pale ales, IPAs, double IPAs, and any beer that shares in the glory of hops.

Why is October a month for hoppy beer?

Late September/ early October is hop harvest in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. These three Pacific Northwest states are the heaviest hop-producing states in the United States. Hop farmers in these states are forecast to produce 106 million pounds of hops in 2019 – over 75% of the American hop yield. Hops are only harvested in these states once each year, and the crop is dried, pelletized, and processed to be usable for the rest of the year.

October is when the hops are the freshest and at their peak.  Each October, a unique style of IPA becomes possible, and several brewers take advantage of hop harvest to make a wet-hopped IPA.

A bunch of green hops on a tree

Wet-hopped IPAs are unique and made during hop harvest because timing is crucial.  In order to be considered a “wet-hopped” IPA, hops are added to boiling wort within 24 hours of being picked.  This is not an easy feat for a brewery down the road from a hop farm, let alone one across the country.  Wet-hopped beers are also challenging to put through a typical brewing system.  Since they have not been dried or pelletized, it is common for hop particulate material to separate from the plant during the brewing process, requiring extended cleaning times and special procedures while brewing.

Why go through all of the trouble, then?  Well, the resulting beer is unlike any other beer experience available – hoppy or otherwise. The amount of oil and hop essence released when brewing with fresh hops is different than the same beer brewed with traditionally packaged hops.

In other words, for many breweries, wet-hopped beers are labors of love.

Check out these labors of love, and experience for yourself the joys of a hoppy October.

Wet-hopped beers:

Lagunitas Born Yesterday Wet Hop Pale Ale



Lagunitas Born Yesterday (7.2% ABV) – The brewers at Lagunitas are located in Petaluma, California – just down the highway from hop country. Born Yesterday is Lagunitas’s version of a pale ale, but instead of traditional hops, they add “wet, lupulin-drenched, un-kilned, whole-cone, fresh-picked-and-rushed-straight-from-Yakima hops for your immaculate reception. This Un-Freakin-Filtered, wetter-than-wet beer has 11lbs-per-barrel of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and Indigenous Catawampus.”






Swamp Head Brewery Gainesville Green LabelSwamp Head Brewery Gainesville Green (7.0% ABV) – For over five years now, Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery has made this fresh-hop IPA with a different strain of hops each year. No one outside of the brewery knows what version of this beer will appear each year – what strain of hops? Which state will the hops originate? Will the beer be a traditional IPA or a hazy IPA?  While the brewery seems to savor the suspense, the beer never disappoints.


2019 Terrapin Beer So Fresh and So Green Green Wet Hop IPA




Terrapin Beer Company So Fresh and So Green Green (5.2% ABV) – Athens, Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Company has been making this wet-hopped beer as an IPA for ten years now. Like Swamp Head, Terrapin has been using a different hop(s) each year. 2019 is no different – the brewery announced that So Fresh will be made this year using Zuper Saazer hops from Michigan. Give it a try and see what flavors these new hops give the beer.





Fresh-hopped beer
After wet-hopped beer, another type of beer that expresses the freshness of newly picked hops is a fresh-hopped beer (usually an IPA).  Fresh-hopped beer is a beer (almost always an IPA) that is brewed only with hops that have been picked in the October harvest.  While the hops have been kilned, dried, and pelletized, being used quickly after picking ensures that the beer gives off aromas and flavors of the hoppiest time of the year.

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2019




Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (6.8% ABV) – Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale has been one of the few American IPAs released for the holidays ever since 1981.  While many brewers release stouts and spiced beers, Sierra Nevada takes the hops from the October harvest and uses them while they’re at their peak freshness.  Celebration Ale’s holiday release is the gift that hoppy beer enthusiasts want (and get) year after year.





Intense beer
When talking about hoppy beer, no discussion is complete without mention of Dogfish Head’s IPAs.  120 Minute IPA has been a standard of hoppy beer for over 15 years and it is one of the few IPAs that can be cellared for years.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA




Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (15-20% ABV) – No, it’s not a wet-hopped beer or even a fresh-hopped beer, but Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA has been pushing the boundaries of hoppy beer since it was first brewed in 2003.  Brewed to test the boundaries of continual hopping, a technique developed by Dogfish Head, 120 Minute IPA is meant to be sipped slowly over the course of an evening since it contains such a monumental hop and alcohol presence.  For all those lovers of extremely hoppy beer, 120 Minute’s release has been circled on the calendar for a while.

Celebrate the culture of Mexico with a few Cinco de Mayo beers

Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May in English, has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture with food, drink, and a gathering of friends. But what exactly does this holiday celebrate and how did German- and Austrian-inspired beers get to be brewed in Mexico?

What is Cinco de Mayo?

From “During the French-Mexican War, in 1862, a poorly supplied and outnumbered Mexican army under General Ignacio Zaragoza defeats a French army attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. Victory at the Battle of Puebla represented a great moral victory for the Mexican government, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against threat by a powerful foreign nation.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons - By SMU Central University Libraries - El cinco de Mayo de 1862 y el sitio de PueblaUploaded by PDTillman, No restrictions,

In Mexico, 6,000 French troops set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles. Juarez rounded up a rag-tag force of loyal men and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas-born General Zaragoza, the 2,000 Mexicans prepared for the French assault. On the fifth of May, 1862, Lorencez drew his army before the city of Puebla and began their assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers to the fewer than 100 Mexicans killed.”

After the battle, the Mexican Army gained a significant moral victory that inspired American soldiers fighting in the Civil War and helped the Mexicans endure long enough to eventually win the war after the withdrawal of France from Mexico, six years later.

Cinco de Mayo is often mistakenly thought of as Mexican Independence Day, but in the United States, it is a day to celebrate Mexican culture, especially food and drink.

Cinco de Mayo Beers – History

The most popular beers imported from Mexico today are all heavily influenced by the German and Austrian brewing traditions.  Ironically, the same European influence that caused the Battle of Puebla also caused German and Austrian brewers to come to Mexico to start brewing beer.

According to Garrett Oliver’s Oxford Companion to Beer, Mexican beer gets its start during the reign of Maximilian I, the Austrian-born emperor appointed by Napoleon III of France.  After the French invaded Mexico, brewers relocated to the country in order to serve the European population.  These brewers had knowledge and training of Old World traditions, and so they brewed the beers that they knew best.  German light lagers in combination with the hot Mexican climate made these beers event more popular and their popularity continues through today.  Beers with LimeWhile Corona and Corona Light are the most popular Mexican imported beers, the brewers that came to Mexico in the 19th century also brought recipes for Vienna lager from their home countries.  These lagers are called “dark” beer since they maintain a darker color than the light lagers.  These Vienna-style lagers also give a plethora of food-pairing options during Cinco de Mayo, as their darker malts will pair well with earthy dishes like molé poblanos and carne asada – giving earthy chocolate and roasted meats a playmate during this festive holiday.

See chef Rick Bayless (winner of Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters and owner of Frontera restaurant at Disney Springs) talk about how he uses Modelo Negra in his cuisine.



Cinco de Mayo Events

There are a plethora of Cinco de Mayo events happening from Brooksville to Gainesville, from Lake City to Tallahassee – check out our Events Page to find a few!

Cinco de Mayo Beers

While many beers pair well with Mexican food and particularly spicy Mexican foods, a few beers rise to the top of the pack when it comes to Mexican culture.

Modelo Negra 12oz


Modelo Negra (5.3% ABV): One of the beers that may seem strange to include with a list of beers that go well with Mexican foods, never underestimate the power of a dark lager in a Mexican fiesta. Modelo Negra has some toasted malts and a nice carbonation that will clean the palate and refresh it especially in the face of darker meats, like beef, that will challenge a lighter beer. Try Modelo Negra with molé poblanos or a chocolate dessert to see how versatile this beer really is. Modelo Negra also has the power to stand up to spicy foods (more so than its cousin Corona or lighter beers) because the beer’s dark malts will help soften the impact of capsaicin spice.

Coppertail Brewing Free Dive IPA


Coppertail Brewing Free Dive IPA (5.9% ABV):  While an IPA is certainly not a traditional Mexican beer,  Coppertail Brewing has come up with a hop profile for this beer that makes it the perfect companion to Mexican dishes.  Free Dive IPA is on the lighter side of this hoppy beer style, clocking in at only 5.9%ABV.  The white grapefruit and citrus character of Free Dive make it dance with fish tacos and sing with guacamole – don’t believe us?  Try it for yourself.


Sierra Nevada Otra Vez Agave Lime


Sierra Nevada Otra Vez Lime & Agave (4.5% ABV): One of Sierra Nevada’s newest year-round offerings that has taken ideas from several cultures and made it uniquely theirs. Otra Vez is made in the style of a German gose, so it will carry some wheat flavors and some tartness.  Lime and agave are then added to make this beer a margarita-like refresher. Pair Otra Vez with arroz con pollo or fresh goat cheese for an added fiesta of flavor.


Dogfish Head Brewery’s SeaQuench Ale (4.9% ABV): Made in a style typical of Dogfish Head, this beer is a hybrid of several different types of beer with the kind of off-centered ingredients that the Delaware brewery loves. A mildly tart ale, SeaQuench Ale is a blend of a light Kolsch, a salty gose, and a tart Berliner weiss and is made with the addition of sea salt, coriander, and black limes. Try a SeaQuench with chicken fajitas or even chips and a light queso fresco for  a salty, tart start to any meal.



In the spirit of unexpected victories this month, hop on over to our Beer Finder and find out where to find your favorite beer or a few other choices for pairing them with the tasty and piquant dishes of the U.S.’s southernmost neighbor.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! No matter which beers come to the party, please enjoy responsibly (and with friends).

Laissez les bon temps rouler this Mardi Gras

Fat Tuesday is upon us again, and our teammates are going to be around Ocala, Gainesville, and Tallahassee spreading Mardi Gras cheer for Fat Tuesday tomorrow!

Tomorrow, March 5th, 2019, is Fat Tuesday – the traditional day before 40 days of fasting in the Catholic season of Lent.  In the past, Mardi Gras was a way to get all of the partying out before repenting around Easter time. Whatever your reason for celebrating, we will have the spirit and the beer of New Orleans Mardi Gras with us!

Look for our account managers out on the prowl tomorrow, tapping some kegs of Abita, Louisiana’s finest craft beer in the spirit of Mardi Gras!  Will there be beads? Of course, there will be beads!  Will there be beer, New Orleans-inspired food and the “good time” spirit of a Cajun holiday?  Come, see for yourself, and taste the history in every sip!

Our teammates will be out and about tomorrow evening pouring some fine Abita ales and lagers at the following locations across Ocala, Gainesville, and Tallahassee:

Abita Brewing Company Flag for Mardi Gras

Brick City Lodge Ocala (36 South Magnolia Avenue Ocala) – we will be featuring Abita Mardi Gras Bock, Abita Strawberry Lager, and Abita Grapefruit Honey on draft with Abita’s classic Purple Haze in bottles.

Harry’s Ocala (24 SE 1st Avenue Ocala) –  we’ll be pouring up some classic Abita Amber.

Kelly’s Half Shell Pub Crystal River (390 North Suncoast Boulevard) – we’ll be pouring up some Abita Mardi Gras Bock.

World of Beer Brownwood in the Villages (2751 West Torch Lake Drive The Villages) –  we’ll be pouring up some Abita Amber, Mardi Gras Bock, and Strawberry Lager.

Harry’s Tallahassee (301 South Bronough Street Tallahassee) – we’ll be tapping some Abita Purple Haze.

Coosh’s Woodward (6267 Old Water Oak Road Tallahassee) – we’ll be serving up Abita Purple Haze, Amber, Strawberry Lager, and Mardi Gras Bock.

*Find a Team Cone rep and MENTION this post and get your set of Mardi Gras beads!* It won’t just be beads that we’re serving up, but you’ll have to come and see us to find out all of the details!

We will have some other surprises at each place, so stop by for some food and beer and  Laissez les bon temps rouler!


Abita Brewing MardiGrasBock



Share some special beers on Open That Bottle Day

Open That Bottle Day was created, according to the Wall Street Journal, as a day for wine lovers to drink the bottles that they are saving for the perfect moment, a special occasion, or just never got around to drinking.  That holiday is especially relevant for beer lovers also, since many beer enthusiasts cellar beers that they can enjoy at a later date.  The problem with life is that it continues to happen, despite any beer lover’s best intentions, so oftentimes bottles are left to mature past their prime and that perfect occasion never happens.

Beer can be cellared

It may come as a surprise, but beer can be aged and many beers age gracefully developing additional character as time passes.  NOT ALL BEERS ARE IDEAL FOR CELLARING, and aside from some unique Belgian lambics, there are almost no beers that can be aged indefinitely.

Which beers are ideal for cellaring

Beers that are ideal for cellaring are those that have a higher alcohol content and/or ones that are bottle-conditioned so that the yeast can continue to ferment the beer.  Over the course of months and years, the seal on their bottle allows small amounts of oxygen in.  That oxygen will oxidize the beer and the beer will take on notes of sherry and wet cardboard.  While these flavors seem undesirable, the changes add to the profile of the beer and the end result is a beer that is quite different from its younger self.

Like wine, each beer has its own threshold for aging and if aged too long, it will be “past its prime” meaning the flavors will be tainted by oxidation and a shadow of their former selves.  Cellared beer should be aged in a cool, dark area that has consistent temperatures (specifically an area that does not get too warm).  Warm temperatures can encourage oxidation and make beer age more quickly than it would normally under consistent temperatures.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPASierra Nevada Bigfoot BarleywineOne of the prime cellar candidates is Dogfish Head Brewery‘s 120 Minute IPA.  120 Minute IPA has a high alcohol content and a large number of hops.  Both of those aspects together will allow the beer to change over time.  120 Minute IPA will continue to age for many years, in fact, the brewery has been known to pour 120 Minute IPA that is up to 10 years old at the brewery.  The enjoyment of beer is different for everyone, so the flavor of 120 IPA with a few years on it may be just what the doctor ordered to mellow out the hops and let the immense amount of malt shine through.

Another prime candidate for cellaring is Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Bigfoot Barleywine.  When this malty monster comes out every year, it is young and immensely hoppy.  With time, the hops fade and the malt character begins to shine through.  With more years, the hops will continue to mellow until they are a small part of the malt profile and the beer’s malt profile mixes with the sherry notes from oxidation.  While it is still Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot, it does not have the same features that it started with.


Take care on “Open That Bottle Day”

That bottle that you open on “Open That Bottle Day” does not have to be one from the deep recesses of the cellar – it can be that bottle at the local bottle shop that always looked interesting.

Whichever bottle gets the honor, Open That Bottle Day is best enjoyed with friends.


Suggestions for Open That Bottle Day:

Infinite Ale Works West Floridian



Infinite Ale Works West Floridian Quadruple: Ocala’s Infinite Ale Works has made a name for itself making unique Belgian-inspired ales from their Marion County home.  This quadruple won big in 2018’s Best Florida Beer Competition and continues to turn heads around the state. Keep an eye on this beer, as its 10.5% alcohol content can sneak up quickly.  Available in 500mL bottle four pack, West Floridian’s unique character loves the company of friends.



Swamp Head Brewery Barrel-Aged 10-10-10



Swamp Head Brewery’s Barrel-Aged 10-10-10 Imperial IPA: Gainesville’s original craft brewery began aging their locally loved 10-10-10 Imperial IPA in bourbon barrels many moons ago, and sometimes the beer can be very bourbon-forward when the beer is fresh.  There is nothing wrong with bourbon-forward, but a few months or a year or two can change the profile of the beer with a little sherry character.


Samuel Adams Utopias Bottle


Samuel Adams Utopias: One of the most unique beers available, Samuel Adams Utopias is only made and available every two years.  This beer is a blend of many ales that have been aged in spirit barrels and it presents itself more like a fine spirit than a beer.  Utopias is one of the few beers that can be resealed and enjoyed later, as it does not have any carbonation.  Any who have tried this beer can say for certain that they have never had any beer like it.  Best savored among friends, Utopias also carries a hefty alcohol content (28%) from all that contact with spirit barrels.