Most hardcore beer geeks have at least a couple excellent beers that they've put away for aging, in many cases waiting for "just that right time" to open that bottle or raid the horde.
Tomorrow never comes. Open up that damned bottle. This weekend. Now.
The idea was apparently first postulated by Mark Dredge, author of the UK's Pencil & Spoon blog in October and November blog posts. Others have joined the cause, including regional blogger A Beer in the Hand, and now it's my turn. There's also a Facebook page for the project, and a Twitter feed for those who just must be instantaneous with their pronouncements in 140 characters..
No excuses. Advance warning is beside the point. You were not supposed to run out and grab something special. You're supposed to go dig your way back into the cellar, crawl way back under the steps where you stashed that barleywine you brewed ten years ago, or dig back in the back of the fridge. Wherever you keep that extra-special stuff. (Okay, you have a point if you--like I did for a while--keep your good stuff in a friend's wine cellar across town. You still have all weekend.
Pencil & Spoon:
Does any of the following sound familiar… Lots of unopened bottles at home, special bottles, rare bottles, expensive bottles or just bottles that aren’t ready to be opened. Most of them are waiting for ‘special occasions’ but these occasions don’t come around or aren’t special enough. And the bottles build up, they get added to, a hierarchy develops, things get pushed up or down. But all you really want to do is drink these beers and you know you should just get it open, drink it and enjoy it. Instead they wait, gathering dust, not getting any better, just because we are waiting for the right moment...
So here’s the idea: let’s create a special occasion. Let’s call this special occasion Open It! and let’s drink the good beers. Let’s find a bottle from the depth of the cellar and open it, drink it and then tell others about it (in blogs, blog comments or twitter or facebook).
Open it alone or open it with others; hold an Open It! party or take it to the pub to see what people think. Most importantly, get that bottle open and drink the thing and then tell everyone about it.
Don’t hold back thinking that a worthy special occasion will come along soon, that you might get a new job next week, a promotion next month, win the lottery, get married, have some kids, whatever. They don’t come very often and the last thing you want is to go to that bottle in a year and find that it’s past its best. This is the chance to make a special occasion just to open that bottle.
Now I'm off to the beer stock to see what's going to get opened tonight. I also have the luxury of a party invitation tomorrow for an "Almost Hanukkah Party" at a fellow beer aficionado's house.
Stay tuned for tasting notes. And go and raid your own stock. NOW.