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What is a Vertical Tasting?

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Craft beer is often best enjoyed in groups of beer enthusiasts, but not often a chance at having a vertical tasting.


Bottle shares are common in the craft beer community, but vertical tastings are rare. Verticals consist of sharing a series of different years of one specific beer from one brewery. Imperial stouts, barleywines or barley-wines, barrel-aged beers to name a few, enjoying iterations of the same beer from many years offers a chance to note any variations.

Some avid craft beer drinkers will collect the same beer year after year. I mean, what do you do after 10 or 12 years of sitting on them? You have a vertical tasting duh. (answering my own question) That takes a commitment and cajones to subdue yourself from drinking them.


Verticals are somewhat tricky because most brewers intend on their beers being released at a time ideal for drinking. The fun part is getting together with people that really enjoy craft beer, that’s more fun than just opening a beer. Of course, saving the beer for a decade or more can make the anticipation of finally opening it worth a lot on its own.


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