In the world of craft beer, freshness is the secret ingredient. Unlike wine that can continue to mature long after bottling, beer should be consumed ASAP (which usually isn’t a problem, amiright?) Beer is a delicate blend of hops, malt, and yeast, yielding flavors that express its style. Consuming beer fresh allows you to experience the brewer’s intended flavor profile – vibrant hop aromas, crisp maltiness, and the nuanced balance that can be lost as time goes by. Read on to learn why savoring beer at its freshest is a game-changer.

Hops, responsible for the aromatic and bitter qualities in beer, are most potent when fresh. The volatile compounds that create those enticing aromas degrade over time, diminishing the beer’s overall sensory appeal. Beers like IPAs, pale ales, and certain lagers are crafted to showcase immediate hop characteristics that fade with time.

Each branch in the beer family is characterized by key ingredients as well as fermentation time and temperature, which all have an impact on flavor, texture, and mouthfeel—but how much does packaging influence a beer’s flavor and stability? Overall, bottles are more effective at retaining carbonation, preserving a beer’s texture and lively, satisfying mouthfeel.

Consuming beer fresh is also a way to support local breweries. It ensures a quicker turnover of their products, encouraging a sustainable business model and allowing brewers to continue innovating. Many of our local breweries offer packaging options so be sure to match your to-go order with your consumption habits. If you plan to enjoy it in the near future, opt for a crowler or growler. If you like to have beer on hand for guests, bottles are the way to go.