Over the past few columns, I've mentioned a number of times that I expect to save this beer or another for sipping at a future date. As in the storing of wine, saving beer properly is referred to as "cellaring." And yes ... it can be done. We've talked about this before classmates, but it is well worth revisiting the discussion since there are simply some wonderful beers out there that could well be saved for a later date in order to be shared with dear friends. And, truth be known, some beers - not many but certainly some - actually get a bit better with age. Now, keep in mind, not all beers are given to cellaring or storing for an extended period of time. I mean really, what is the point of gently tucking away a bottle of Budweiser or Coors Lite to be sipped on your anniversary in 2024. What's the point? Still, well designed imperial stouts, old ales, barleywines, and certainly some lambics can be well stored, and well enjoyed years down the road. But storing must be done right, or you end up with something worse than a sorry, sour bottle of wine. First of all - be honest. In general terms, beer does not do well on the shelf. Not in bottles, and not in cans. Trying to cellar beer under normal home conditions may well be a lesson in futility. Look, classmates, beer isn't brewed to be saved. But if you do decide to try and store beer here are a few tips I've offered in the past. AIR Air is the enemy of beer. Make sure your beer is of the very well sealed variety. Caps can't always be trusted in keeping air out for a guaranteed period of time. There can always be a slight leakage. The smallest, most minuscule amount of air can start processes that send a good beer south. LIGHT Keep stored beer in a dark room or space. Light really ruins beer. Chemical reactions to light will make beer go bad fast. Dark bottle. Dark location. TEMPERATURE Keep stored beer cool. Not too cold. Not too hot. Just the right cool. For most ales - about 50-55 degrees. Lagers should be kept about five degrees cooler than ales. POSITION There is a huge argument in the beer world about how to store a classic brew - standing up, or laying down as you would with wine. My suggestion? Keep 'em standing. It's simple physics. Standing up there will be less exposed surface space on which air and light can play if there is even a little exposure. Also, if there are any yeast sediments, it will be easier to eventually pour and drink with the yeast settled on the bottom of a standing bottle than covering the side. POUR SLOWLY Stored beer may have a bit of sediment collect at the bottom of the bottle. Pour slowly and leave a bit (about half an inch) in the bottom. The yeast isn't bad, but sometimes it can come as a bit of a surprise - both in texture and taste. A word of warning. Don't think if you buy a bottle of your local favorite in a "growler" you can store it that way much longer than usual. Actually, if you do get a "growler" you should plan on finishing off the enclosed product within a day or two ...or three at the most - especially after it has been opened at home. Growlers are meant to move larger quantities of brew from place to place, not necessarily to extend preservation of quality by any great length. The best way to store beer? Buy it. Chill it. Drink it in moderation, and always with good company. Bean Flicker Odd Side Ales Grand Haven Many, many scouts may never experience the joy of coffee brewed with beer. Generally speaking, it you don't drink stouts and imperials, you may never enjoy the wonderful blend of two generally well-matched ingredients - coffee and beer. And Lord knows, a lot of drinkers - including experienced beer lovers - will rarely, if ever, go the imperial stout route. For some palettes, it is just too much. And then there is Bean Flicker. A golden ale infused with coffee beans. Bean Flicker pours a rich, inviting golden color with a goodly amount of creamy, egg-shell colored foam. At first sniff, the coffee aroma jumps out at you. Then, there is a slight follow-up of chocolate. It is only in the second or third scenting that the more "typical" aromas of the golden ale sneak out - just a touch malty and grainy. At first taste, some explorers may be a bit disappointed. When faced with the more exotic blendings of ingredients, expectations can run very high. I guess I am in this for the experience. I'm not expecting to marry this beer. I found Bean Flicker very, very pleasant - a well crafted golden ale, with a great background of coffee. The ale is there, and the coffee is there. That's what I bought. That's what I got. Frankly, some my think this brew a bit too ...simple. I not only enjoyed Bean Flicker, but I'll probably keep a few around the house. I'm thinking this will be a fine summer offering - a crisp golden ale with a hefty splash of iced coffee. Yum. Instigator IPA Odd Side Ales Grand Haven Odd Side has produced an interesting IPA - one that really begs a second go around. Instigator is a deep orange color - amber - with just a touch of haziness. Although just a bit foggy, it pours pretty clear and crisp. There is over a finger of nice white head that holds a while and leaves behind a good touch of lacing. As with most IPAs worth their salt, there is a certain resiny quality to Instigator as you take the first whiff. It is a bit piney ...a little outdoorsy ...with a strong overlay of citrus. Another deep scenting or two and a mildly bready malt aroma will reveal itself. Instigator is a bit less herbal than many IPAs and quite a bit more fruity. At first wash, one is struck by the sweetness of this brew. Not a cloying sugary sweetness, but certainly the sweetness that follows fresh fruit. The hoppiness kicks in toward the back of the mouth, and Instigator is actually quite biting on the finish. That's a bit surprising. Up front - fresh, fruity, mildly floral and quite refreshing. At the close - a touch bitter, biting and much more herbal. Interesting! For some explorers, this beer will not press the right buttons. It isn't so much balanced as it is conflicted. But ...for whatever odd reason ...I liked the mild confusion. Sweet. Sharp. Fruity. Herbally biting. There's a lot going on here.