If you’re remotely like me, you’ve probably got a few bottles of amazing beers that you’re hoping will be even more amazing beer later. The idea of cellaring isn’t new, but the way to keep track of them has definitely modernized.
Some people still love those hang tags sitting around the necks of their bottles, or their notebooks, and then there are the heathens who don’t even keep track.
In recent years, the idea of electronically tracked cellars just makes sense. We constantly have our smartphones on us checking in beers, photographing them, so at the end of the day, why not extend their use that much further? With that being said, there are a number of systems out there. Some work well, some not so much, and some will be your personal Goldilocks of systems, but it all depends on your needs and wants.
I’ve tried a few options, most of which were great, just not quite a perfect fit.
Personally, my favourite option is BeerXchange. Integrating with Untappd, it gives a great way to keep tabs on your beers, and it has a built-in “drink by” calculator that can give you a rough estimate of when that beer needs to get pulled based on ABV, IBUs, and style. It’s not perfect, especially for beers known for having extended lifespans greater than just a couple of years, but it’s a good start.
The service can track size, cost, bottling, purchase, and drink by date, as well as location. Location might sound weird, but coming from someone that has multiple boxes and totes and shelves full of beer, it’s nice to know where I’m looking for it. The Untappd integration is really nice in that it automatically populates the rating, IBU, ABV, style, and label image if available. If you drank it and checked it in to Untappd, it will also allow you to remove it from the list, or you can even check in to Untappd directly from the service.
One of the more fun and most disturbing features is the total value of your cellar. Sometimes you just don’t need that reminder, but it’s right there, reminding you of how inexpensive avocado toast is as a habit.
The best thing you can do if you’re going to cellar your beers is to make sure you do it right, and personally, not losing track of a great beer and letting it go past its prime should be rule number 1.
Do you have any preferences on how to keep track of your own cellar? Is there an app I should try and see how it fares against BeerXchange?