Recently a new Marqt store opened at Amsterdam’s Gelderlandplein. This ‘sustainable’ supermarket chain is about to earn itself an honorary place in Bierland history books: it pioneers cold storage and offering of beer to its customers! This policy change will dramatically increase quality of your (and mine) favorite beverage: three cheers for Marqt!
I’ve said it before: beer, particularly craft beer, is a live and vulnerable product that quickly deteriorates flavor wise because of light, time and temperature. Particularly too high temperatures will give it that ‘skunky’ nose and taste, a bit like wet card board, and it makes fresh hop flavors go away. Beer is best kept dark and cold, and depending on the style, best drank as fresh as possible so as to enjoy it best. We’ve known this for a good deal of time now but only recently people put action over words. Only American supermarkets and liquor stores will have refrigerated shelves for those beers that really need it: pilseners, India Pale Ales and wit- and wheat beers. Most dark beer can be kept at ambient temperatures but even their ‘flavor life’ is hugely extended when kept cold.
Looking at the new beer section of Marqt is a mouthwatering experience and, I’m convinced, a glance into the future. Only bulk beer in crates is kept on the shop floor; all loose bottles are nicely lined up and chilled for you to come and get them. In a sense beer is comparable to milk: even when kept cold, it won’t last forever. Even long lasting milk will eventually perish. Back to beer: below chart indicates perfectly how quickly beer suffers from temperatures. When kept refrigerated beer can be perfect for close to two years, but when kept at 10 Celsius deterioration becomes noticeable around eight months – and around four months when kept at ambient temperatures! In short: the higher the temperature, the sooner we see our affordable luxury wane away.
Again, three cheers for Marqt – and let’s hope other beer resellers will follow this awesome example soon. And what do you do, at home? Take your beer out of the closet, the garage and off the balcony: put it in the fridge, where it belongs!