Booze Banter

Craft Beer Poll: To Age or Not To Age? That Is The Question!

I recently made a trip to Kress Liquors in Cherry Hill, NJ, and while scanning the import wall, I came across a bottle of Fuller’s 2010 Vintage Ale. I have had the Fuller’s London Porter and the Gale’s Prize Old Ale, so the brewery wasn’t an unknown, but to be completely honest, I was drawn to the Fuller’s 2010 Vintage Ale because of the elegant packaging. When I brought the bottle home, I was about to crack it open, but before doing that, I decided to read the marketing material. Curse my inquisitive nature and rudimentary reading abilities!

Fuller’s suggests that while the bottle can be consumed immediately, you should lay the beer down and enjoy it when it peaks in 3 to 4 years. Although we have had several discussions on this site with our friend Miracle Max concerning the merits of aging beer (click here and here to read them), I’m not sure what I should do.

Rather than wrestle with this dilemma on my own, I thought I would ask you, our loyal readers, for some advice. Please take a moment to answer our poll. Thanks in advance for all your help!

23 replies »

    • Miracle Max,

      I know your affinity for cellaring, but what would you do with this particular bottle? Will I see that much improvement in three years?


      • “Improvement” is a matter of personal taste, but I can say that it will “change” in three years. You may like it better, maybe not. It is tough to even judge the change without a reference point. I often buy several and drink one now, then (if I think it has potential) I set some aside for years. If I find more over the years, I do the same until I have a flight of that one beer.

        You guys really should let me bring over a couple of different vertical tastings, then you could at least have an idea of what is going to happen. I probably have a few in different beer styles, so you could at least see something in a style that you like. Or stop by my house and you can see what I’m currently aging and sample whatever you want.

        Shorter answer – save it.


  1. My Bud Light Lime has a “Born on Date”. How does that relate to aging the brew for best flavor??? And if Bud Light Lime is “born” not “brewed” what animal actually gives birth to BLL? Do you think we could cross breed said BLL mama beast with a Kent Golding hop plant and create a breed of craft beer super beasts???

    To the laboratory …..

    And as to aging the Fullers …. you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, drink the beer tonight! Wait. Don’t drink the beer! That way G-lo and I have a tasty beverage to enjoy at your wake after you get run over by that bus.


  2. Id say age at least one. Young vintage isn’t that much better than 1845 but I have heard good things about them with a few years under their belt. In fact I have a bottle from 2000 I managed to pick up recently – its probably past its best but it should be interesting.


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