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I've recently discovered that the beer Oude Geuze Boon can be stored up to 20 years and only improve in flavor. Seeing as this beer is rather special and might not exist any more in x years time due to the changing climate it might be a fun endeavor to buy some crates and see what they'll be worth in 5-15 years time.

Now, wine and whiskey are established beverages to invest in but I've yet to really see any old beers on the market besides some very strong, brown beers.

Are people actually willing to buy old beers? Would they prefer 33cl or 75cl? Is it feasible to store beer up to 10+ years?

Thanks in advance!

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    I mean, PERSONALLY, I'd love the opportunity to buy old beer which is meant to get better with age. More likely to buy a smaller bottle but more of them as I love variety. Dad and I often share multiple different 330ml cans instead of either one each or multiple glasses from the same bottle. This is also encouraged by apps like untapped which rewards variation – Bee Aug 8 at 14:56
  • Thanks for your input! Hopefully untapped will still be around in 2035, hah – Laurens Aug 9 at 8:25
  • if it's not, something else will have replaced it! – Bee Aug 9 at 8:26
  • I don't see how it is going to improve in taste unless it is stored in wood barrels. There is an initial time for brewed beer to 'settle' but after that is happened it only improves if stored in something that gives it flavour like a wood barrel. – Neil Meyer Aug 12 at 16:39
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    Actually I am storing some Oude Geuze Boon... Two or three new bottles per year, mainly 33 cl (because I usually buy 33 cl - but wines are better the larger bottle). Started in 2010, some years missing. When I'll open some, I'll test the "improved taste" hypothesis and I'll report. P.S. In 2010 I bought an old 2000 Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer Blau (at Het Anker, same price as 2010 edition). Taste was going towards Marsala-like, not sure if it was an improvement. – user3664452 Aug 27 at 8:19
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You can't. At least not like wine or whisky.

It is different from wine because: The price increase of wine is based on the vintage. If you a bottle of wine of a high-priced vintage, it increases in market value because over the years the number of available bottles decreases. The value does not increase because it tastes better. The chance of finding a 30 year old bottle of red wine that tastes good are as astronomical as the expenses that come with it. Investing in wine is, as someone put it, speculating in human snobbery.

It is different from whisky different because: Whisky is basically an infusion of grain alcohol with oak accompanied by a decrease in alcohol. Unlike wine, you will never get an exponential increase by simply storing it longer because the result can be reproduced repeatedly. Whisky, however, does not benefit from bottle-ageing as the alcohol content cannot evaporate and bottles are not made of oak. In other words, unless you plan on opening a distillery, it is unlikely profitable to invest in whisky. Still, even with a highly durable beverage like whisky, there is a tipping point after which its quality starts decreasing.

Beer is more comparable to blue cheese because: An aged beer is more expensive than a freshly brewed one simply because it is more expensive to produce. Like blue cheese, it is an acquired taste. To most, it would not even taste like beer. Aged beers suffer from the same short-comings as wine but much sooner as there is still active yeast in it (unless they are as strong as wines of course or you store them at very low temperatures).

Beers that benefit from ageing are usually beers that are not fermented well and have too many off-flavours that they tend to lose after time. That is true for many Belgian beers as they are made with a bunch of wild yeast strains that manifested themselves in the brewing vessels. The taste of hops is completely gone after a few years and the ongoing fermentation eventually converts the remaining sugars into a little more alcohol and --more dominantly-- into acid.

In order to make a significant amount of money from storing beer, you would probably require a speculative bubble. Otherwise, the increase in value will merely reflect your expenses (ie. the cost of storing it), inflation patters and of course the actual demand.

I should add that speculative bubbles can of course appear at any time anywhere, and the current craft beer craze does in fact somewhat bear resemblance with things like cryptocurrencies though not anywhere near that territory. Such a comparison does, however, hint at the inherent risks involved.

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