If you\u2019ve ever tried a beer that got pushed to the back of the fridge or forgotten about, you\u2019ve likely tasted something different than expected. That\u2019s because, like wine, the structure and character of beer will change as it ages.\r\n\r\nAlso like wine, some beers are meant to be consumed young, while others benefit from time in proper storage. Technically, most will be OK to drink for an indefinite period, thanks to pasteurization. Just don\u2019t expect everything to taste great.\r\nWhat To Cellar\r\nYou have two basic options: Stock up on something you like and find out how it ages, or choose beers that can stand up to maturation. A higher alcohol content will help with preservation, so look for beers with at least 8% alcohol by volume (abv). Stronger, maltier flavors may also maintain or develop better.\r\n\r\nImperial stouts, barleywines, old ales and Belgian styles are all smart choices. Rauchbiers, lambics and gueuze are lower-alcohol choices that will age nicely due to their phenols and lactic acids. Beers brewed with Brettanomyces, which will ferment certain sugars slower, also evolve well.\r\n\r\n\r\nWhat Not To Cellar\r\nBright, crisp styles like lagers, pilsners and India pale ales (IPAs) should be enjoyed fresh. Over time, their flavors may fade and give way to oxidation, especially if bottled and exposed to light. Other styles like New England IPAs might experience a drop in protein, thin out and become clear.\r\nHow To Cellar\r\nStore your beer in a cool, dark place. Ideally, aim for around 50 \u030aF for lagers and 65 \u030aF for ales and no access to sunlight. This helps prevent undesired flavors from taking root. Use plastic or metal crates, or actual shelving, if available. It\u2019s fine to store most bottles upright, but beers with yeast sediment like lambics should be stored on their sides.\r\n\r\n\r\nWhen To Open\r\nOne year is a good jumping-off point. From there, check in every six months, year, two years or five\u2014it really is up to you. If hops turn fruitier, malts take on a Sherry note or adjuncts concentrate further, it\u2019s fine to keep going. If you notice flavors are creeping off, it\u2019s best to drink whatever\u2019s left.