Thursday, April 25, 2013

POURsuasion: The Thrill of the Hunt

We've had some serious back and forth conversations here within the Beer Barons on the topic of limited release beers. Recently between Bourbon Barrel Johan by Sun King and KBS by Founders and the Game of Thrones beer by Ommegang, we have really started going at it. You've probably read O-Dawg's thoughts on the topic, but I have a little different take.

I love limited release beers. I love the creativity that goes into them, the incredible flavor, and of course the feeling you get when you finally get your hands on the goods you have been hunting. I have been in love with the Darklord beers by Three Floyds since I first found out about rare beers. I was super happy with the Velvet Fog by Sun King, and I even waited in line for Bier's release of Sanitarium twice this year!

There's something about the hunt itself that I think brings craft beer lovers together. When the KBS ship date was first released, it lead to a flurry of internet searches and calls to local liquor stores and other beer lovers. O-Dawg hit his network of liquor store workers / owners and found out when it was going to get to Indy. I got that date and went to friends and family and asked them to keep their eyes out when they were doing their own shopping and maybe even hook me up with a special stop. I got everyone I could on the case, because I found out I was going to be out of town. I have excellent friends, and some of them were able to hit the streets big time.

I always try to get at least two when something comes out. This way I can try it right away and save one for later.

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I didn't get tickets to Darklord Day from Three Floyds. I was pissed!!! I have three other Darklord bottles, so I may decide to find another way of getting the brew. If you are not able to get your hands on the brew around town the next best thing is to pay the piper. Check out My Beer Cellar, but know you are going to be paying a premium for a beer that you couldn't find in town. You could also go to Ratebeer and look at their trade sections. It may cost you one of your other treasured limited releases, but people love to trade for things they can't find in their market (EBay no longer offers beer selling as an option).

If you don't like the idea of the limited release beers, I get it. I respect your decision, but you have to think about it from the place of the brewer. These beers take more ingredients which cost more money and more time than anything else that their breweries do all year. They have to give up space that they would usually use for regular beers that are probably also more profitable in the long run.

I worry that if we did not have these limited release ultra rare beers, we would never have the super creative and delicious beers. There is something cool about what Three Floyds does, and they do it almost every month in small batches. If they have to make enough for everyone, its going to cost way more than it does now, and they aren't going to be making Zombie Dust... for me that is just unacceptable.

Not everyone likes it when they can't try one of these limited release beers and I do understand that. It's frustrating when someone gets to try something that you have never had, but that is the way the game works. 

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