Founders CBS Dilemma

Our deep, deep love for Founders beer has been well documented on this blog (here, here, here, here, here … and that’s not even all of the posts). Biased? Maybe. But Founders makes some damn good beer. But when our friend Pete over at Glen Cove Beer Distributor sold us a bottle of the highly anticipated CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout), we came upon a dilemma: do we drink it? Or do we age it?

We only have the one bottle. We’re lucky to have that one bottle. And we really (really) want to drink it. But as an imperial stout it should age well like its cousin, KBS. Based on our previous breakfast stout and KBS experience, it will mellow out significantly and get smoother.

But it’s just sitting there, taunting us. We know it will be good. But we know it will most likely be better if we wait.  What do you think? Drink it now or let it sit for a few years? Decisions, decisions…


    • Honestly we don’t know when the optimal time would be. Probably a few years from now but we are wondering if it is worth the wait, how much better will it get and will it really change our experience significantly?

      • The trick with aging, is that you’ll never know if it got better, worse, or no change. The only way to know, is to compare to a fresh bottle. So, if you age it 5 years, you’ll have to buy a fresh bottle, 5 years from now, to compare it to. Assuming the same brew is around in 5 years.

        That’s always been the trick with wines. You age in the *hope* it *gets better*, but how would you know? With wine, grapes can have good & bad years, and thus, the wine from year to year, can taste different.

        So, shouldn’t the same be said of beer? Hops & Grains all grow according to conditions, and you’ll never know how aging affected a bottle, without a baseline.

        But since your baseline has the potential to change slightly from year to year.. it’s not really a baseline, is it? A baseline needs to be fixed.

        And of course, nearly all beers, like wines, are intended to be enjoyed at time of purchase. Some, like CBS, are already aged, to whatever degree.

        I honestly don’t see the point in aging. You purchased the bottle to enjoy it, not watch it collect dust.

        In fact, the only reason I’m aging any of my wines, is because since I’ve become more interested in Craft Beer.. wine has taken a back seat 😉

  1. I’m in the camp of enjoying a wonderful beer when and where you want. Sure, it may mellow a bit. But immediate gratification is also wonderful – and really, you didn’t go out of your way to get this beer only to cellar it and forget about it. Emily & I will most likely be drinking our bottle over the next month or so.

    • I don’t think we would forget about the CBS sitting in our cabinet, but we don’t know if the improvement is worth wait. Immediate gratification is definitely calling to us.

  2. A few years !!!!… Forget that, go for it 🙂

    Maybe you two should pick a special time to enjoy and savor the brew, considering you are getting married soon….

  3. This is why I waited in line for four hours and got four bottles (I was sure to bring a friend that does not like beer with me), so I enjoyed the first one on Sunday morning and will enjoy the second sometime later. The final two will be cellar for a couple of years and see how the age. However the best part is that I live in Grand Rapids and can go and have a CBS right from the tap for the next couple of months. Yummy for me.

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