Why should we care about fresh beer?
If you’re like many beer drinkers, when you need to stock your fridge for the Superbowl or bring drinks to a friend’s gathering, you pick up a couple of six-packs from the nearest grocery store. There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s always better to show up beer-handed than barehanded.
But ever wonder why your favorite brews taste so much better at the brewery? Sure, it might partly be due to the combination of a hip atmosphere, appropriate glassware, and great bar snacks, but there’s more to it than that. It’s that fresh taste of draft beer straight from the source that’s hard to beat.
Beer is sensitive to light, oxygen, and changes in temperature. And the longer you wait to consume your beer, the more the hops degrade and lose their pleasantly bitter tastes and aromas. If you pull out a sad, old bottle of your favorite IPA from the depths of your fridge, it’s not going to taste as good as when you get it on tap from the brewer: it’s much less fresh.
When beer comes in contact with visible or UV light, chemical reactions occur, creating unwanted, ‘skunky’ flavors. The presence of oxygen causes ongoing oxidation that further alters the flavor, making beers taste more ‘cardboardy’ and stale. And if your beer has been exposed to warmer temperatures, this contributes to the degradation, resulting in an overall suboptimal beer experience.
While there are certain beers that are meant to be aged and ones that get better with time, these are far from the majority, and they still need to be treated carefully. With hoppy beers, it’s especially important to not let them sit around too long; some breweries will even warn against waiting to drink them. ‘Age your cheese, not your Pliny!’ demands the label of the Russian River favorite.
So what can be done to preserve the quality of beer? How can the kegerator-less still drink brewery-fresh beers at home? Look no further than the growler – a jug-like container for carrying draft beer.
Our partner brewers fill up growlettes (cute 32 ounce growlers) made of amber colored glass to fend off the destructive properties of light. They also use a counter pressure filling technique that limits the amount of oxygen coming into contact with beer, extending its shelf life. And we make sure to transport, store, and deliver the growlettes from the cool breweries with refrigerated equipment. You can read about the Hopsy quality standards to learn more about the freshness-preserving processes.
Growlettes are perfect for sharing and bringing fresh brews home when you can’t make it to the brewery. So for your next dinner party, tailgate, or hangout, why not bring one or two instead of that six-pack? See if you can taste the difference!
You can browse our current beer menu here.