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Package Conditioning, the Old School Way

Conditioning in the container may be a path to longer shelf life, but it’s also a traditional way to prepare beer for the drinker—the beer is “alive” until it hits the glass. Here’s a technical look at two traditions that may provide inspiration for today’s brewers.

Don Tse Jan 8, 2024 - 12 min read

Package Conditioning, the Old School Way Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves/

Recently we took a closer look at modern package conditioning as a way to achieve longer shelf life for beer—specifically, at the process developed over the past 43 years at Sierra Nevada. Innovation brewmaster Scott Jennings also shared more details about that process.

While Sierra Nevada has innovated its process using modern technology and data-driven fine-tuning, package conditioning remains a traditional method at its core—and not one that necessarily depends on costly lab equipment or QA/QC specialists.

Here, we zoom in on two of those traditions: cask ale in Britain and bottle-conditioned weissbier in Bavaria.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.