You are well within both your rights as a consumer and the bounds of propriety in keeping that cellar, friend. There are legitimate reasons to save a beer: to age it in the hopes of developing more nuance over time; to save it for a special occasion or to share with someone in particular; to create a vertical series of several or more years' vintage for a diachronic tasting. The distinction (arbitrary, yes, sure) I wish to draw is between cellaring and hoarding.
It's a funny but considered article about hoarding beer. I pretty much agree with the sentiment in general. The other downside to basic hoarding for the sake of always having something available is that it means trying fewer new things. That's boring.
I cellar a lot of beer, but then again, I cellar beers I shouldn't. Like Miles points out, my preferred drinking patterns are:
- Vertical tasting1
- Understand how attributes change over time
- Try new things
Pattern #1 requires saving just one beer from each year of production. Pattern #2 requires saving several beers from a given year. Pattern #3 is at odds with 1 and 2, which is good.
Personally, I think I've learned all that I care to learn about aging beers with a low ABV. The general outcome is muddling of flavors and the development of unpleasant ones. Higher ABV or barrel aged beers are still very interesting to age. They are similar to wine: They mature and develop complexity.
A vertical tasting is when you drink the same beer back-to-back brewed at different dates. This tells you something about how a beer ages but it also can highlight changes to the brewing method. ↩