1. Not all beers age the same, so know what you’re drinking
Unfortunately, there’s no real timeline for when a certain beer will age into the “not fresh” category. But there are a few good rules of thumb you can use to know whether you should be worried about a beer's freshness or if you can stash it and still have a delicious beer one year down the road.
First, check the ABV: if it’s higher than 8%, you generally don’t need to worry about rushing to drink it (more on cellaring beer later!).
Next, check the style. If it’s a sour or a smoked beer, then it falls into the same category as high-alcohol beers. However, if it’s an IPA or another hop-centric beer, like amber lagers, American pale ales, or American strong ales, you’re holding a beer that’ll age quickly (IMPORTANT: this even includes some of those 8+ percenters that fall into these styles!). Herz says these should be consumed fresh because of their hop aromatics, which add to the distinctive flavor of the beer and fade over time.