Old Stock Ale 2011 – North Coast Brewing Co

Unlike most of my posts I’m writing this in the moments before I open this bottle in an attempt to capture the feeling of why ageing beer can be so……magical.

These precious minutes before you find out if its all been worth it are the ones that really make my beer geek heart race. I’m practically drunk with anticipation, as though I’m about to go on a first date or take a coin to a fistful of lottery scratch cards.

My bottle of North Coast Brewing Co Old Stock Ale, which I’ve been the careful custodian of for almost 8 years now, is finally going to be breached. It’s a bittersweet feeling; after all its become a familiar sight in my beer cabinet – greeting me like an old friend every time I open the door. It’s a sobering thought that I’ve made real friends, fallen out with some of them and paid my last respect to too many others in the time I’ve shared with this bottle.

It’s also a nervous time, where doubt and uncertainty flicker like a candle flame. Have I waited long enough? Have I waited too long? I so want the last thing we do together to be memorable for the right reasons.

As he has so often done Andy Warhol put it best when he said: “The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting”.

Now the waiting is over. I can’t delay the moment any more. It’s time to find out if our time together has been well spent, and whether we’re going to part company as good friends.

In my next post: come back to see how time has treated this classic US Barley Wine as I finally open the bottle….