Update: Be sure to check out our contribution to The Session #37 and our Round-up post of all the participants.

My journey to a full-fledged beer enthusiast has gone from having a preference for full flavored beers -- to homebrewer -- to craft beer drinker -- to beer traveler -- to beer collector -- to beer blogger. Over the past few years, I have purchased or been gifted numerous bottles of beers that I subsequently cellared and designated as “to be opened on a special occasion.” My dilemma, however, is matching an occasion with opening a particular bottle in my collection.

Not unlike collectors of other sorts, my behavior has transitioned from exploring diverse offerings to being more acquisitive in manner. Easy fix, right? Pull something out and drink it. But for example, after I enjoyed the complexities of a 750mL bottle of Victory Golden Monkey aged four years, I somehow find it harder to justify opening unique bottles in my collection that I have personally aged. Would it have been even better after five years? What about some of my other friends that did not get to share in the experience?

Finding a drinking occasion that lives up to the reputation of the bottle and the story of its acquisition is not a dreadful struggle to have, but it is a struggle nonetheless. When my good friends are over and we have had a few other beverages, will we still be able to enjoy my cave aged Hennepin that I bought after my tour of the brewery and have cellared for ten years? Will I miss it like I miss that four year old Golden Monkey?

In March, The Ferm has the honor of hosting The Session, a monthly assemblage of beer bloggers to opine on a shared topic. The March 2010 topic is “The Display Shelf: When to Drink the Good Stuff.” The topic is open ended and the rules of The Session are close to nil. You can use your post to be persuasive or therapeutic. You may choose to tell a story of a great bottle you once opened or boast of your own beer collection. Regardless of your approach to the topic, to participate simply publish your post by Friday, March 5, 2010. Afterward, leave a link to your blog in the comment section of this post or email us your link. The following weekend, I will post a round-up with comments and links to all entries. If you do not have a blog, feel free to post your thoughts on the topic in the comment section anyway.

Hopefully this topic will inspire some people, including myself, to break free and open up something special, whether with a friend, family, or even all on their lonesome. Cheers!

  1. K Dub February 7, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

    This is something that I've been struggling with myself. I have three refrigerators FULL of brews that I've been saving. Vertical years of Dogfish 120, Real Ale Sysyphis, North Coast Old Ale, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, homebrews and even some Belgian ales that I've collected since 2004. I should take the stance that every day is a celebration and start to breakdown my ridiculous collection of awesome rockin' brewskis.

  2. Mario (Brewed for Thought) March 5, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

    I'm double dipping with 2 articles:




  3. The Beer Nut March 5, 2010 at 3:11 AM  

    My post is online here.

    Thanks for giving me an excuse to break out the good stuff!

  4. BetterBeerBlog March 5, 2010 at 3:49 AM  

    Here is my contribution: http://www.betterbeerblog.com/index.php/2010/03/05/the-session-37-the-display-shelf-when-to-drink-the-good-stuff/

    Thanks for hosting this month!

  5. The Wallace Brothers March 5, 2010 at 4:54 AM  

    Thanks for hosting this month's Session.

    Here is our contribution:


    -The Wallace Brothers

  6. Ray March 5, 2010 at 5:23 AM  

    Thanks for hosting this month. Here's my contribution:


  7. nemsis March 5, 2010 at 5:49 AM  

    Thanks for hosting. It was a timely topic for me.
    Our post is up at http://www.beertaster.ca/content/session-37-display-shelf-when-drink-good-stuff

  8. fabulous March 5, 2010 at 7:23 AM  

    my contribution

  9. Steve March 5, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

    Thanks for hosting, here's my contribution:



  10. Anda March 5, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

    thanks for hosting! http://www.legallibations.com/2010/03/session-good-stuff.html

  11. Dan Conley March 5, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

    Thanks for the post; it finally got me out of a beer blogging hiatus (a blog cowritten by two dads doesn't generally leave much time for posting :))


  12. Derrick Peterman March 5, 2010 at 9:15 AM  

    My post is up:


    Thanks a lot for hosting!


  13. Al March 5, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

    Here is my humble offering.


  14. Sean Inman March 5, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

    First, a little backstory. The last apartment that my wife and I shared was on the 2nd floor. Since Los Angeles is the home of bright lights and nearly year long heat, it was not conducive to creating an "awesome stash" from jaunts to San Francisco, Portland or San Diego.

    Now, in a larger and more temperate apartment. The cellaring can begin. Unfortunately, this session has caught me too early in the process. So I will have to tell you what I will be opening in 2015.

    Anchor Steam: I will start with the 2009 Our Special Ale and end with the 2015 version. I will convene a tasting panel to decide which year has aged well and whether or not the latest will be good in 2020.

    IPA's: For my 45th birthday, I will open up a selection of aged IPA's to see if this style can withstand the aging process.

    Local: I will re-gather my tasting crew to sample a variety of beers from the then (fingers crossed) thriving LA brewing scene. Cellared Eagle Rock, Gentlemen Scholar, The Strand and others.

    Collaborations: Of one thing, I am sure. There will be some great collaborative beers out and I plan on grabbing what I can while the grabbing is good.


  15. Jay Zeis March 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

    Thanks for hosting!


  16. Jim March 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

    My post can be found here:


    Thanks for hosting. Jim.

  17. Gail March 5, 2010 at 8:28 PM  

    Thanks, you made us open
    one fine bottle!

  18. JBH March 5, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

    Here's my contribution this month.


    Thanks for hosting!

  19. J March 5, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

    Thanks for hosting, here's my Session post:




  20. SirRon March 5, 2010 at 10:09 PM  


    I feel you. With two little kids when I have some free time for beer related activities, homebrewing and blogging take a back seat to drinking every time.

  21. Brian Yaeger March 6, 2010 at 2:40 AM  

    OK, so it's half past midnight. Better late than never. Cheer for hosting.

  22. THOMAS CIZAUSKAS March 6, 2010 at 7:28 AM  

    Thanks for hosting.

    Here's my contribution, up at Yours For Good Fermentables.


  23. Stan Hieronymus March 6, 2010 at 8:08 AM  

    They weren't in the "cellar" long but they could have been.



  24. Unknown March 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM  

    My first contribution to the Session. A day late.

  25. Alan March 6, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

    Here's my contribution: http://beerblog.genx40.com/archive/2010/march/session37lets