There’s a really good article from the Anchorage Press (Oldies but goodies) that talks about old beer. "Old" not in the sense of that stale, warm sixpack of Coors you found in your trunk from three years ago, but "old" as in vintage—like old wines.
It was a real treat to experience three years of vintage Thomas Hardy beers from Eldridge Pope in England. We sampled a ’94, an ’83 and a ’74. My eyes really widened when I was treated to a 1958 John Smith’s Founder’s Ale. This beer was brewed in the year I was born. With each beer, I kept adding notes to my journal indicating "this is the oldest beer I’ve ever had." The most amazing beer, however, was the 1937 John Courage Anniversary Ale. I was dumfounded that at 21 years my senior, this beer was in better shape than I was. The highly sophisticated palates who shared the beer with me agreed that certain beers can pass the test of time.
1937 and 1958? Wow. The oldest beer I have is a Thomas Hardy from (I think, without checking) 1989. Well, the oldest beer I’d consider drinkable, really—I have six bottles of old and/or foreign beer that I rescued from a local wine shop that was going out of business (this was about six or more years ago), but I would in no way trust those to be drinkable. I’ll have to find those and blog about them.