By David Ranly 4/3/13
The White Whale, a tale as old as time itself. While most tales end with the adventure being what truly matters in the end, a "Beer Geek's" tale is quite different.
The consistent rise of the craft beer industry year in and year out is quite a tale to tell, with the amount of breweries cropping up each year nearly doubling. Ebay beer sales have been banned, trading and shipping is becoming difficult not only for the risk but for the ability to trade your local lot for another. Washed in a mass of posts for the latest and greatest release is your ISO: Nugget Nectar FT: Locals. Surrounded by posts like ft: bcbcs, westy 12, kre iso: kbs. What have we become?
The Question...Where have all the Beer Geeks gone?!? Are we truly turning into snobs?
I can hardly walk out of my local bottle shop with a six pack of Two Hearted Ale without feeling I have been cheated in some way, "this was too easy," I tell myself. Does anyone buy a six pack of beer anymore?
Am I the only Beer Geek who feels like they have gone full circle and would rather buy a readily available beer than chase down the latest release of KBS at the 5 closest bottle shops? Perhaps I am not, perhaps there are those out there willing to stand up to the ridiculous price some people put on bottles..
But Dave, "Your last post was about Dark Lord Stout, you damn snob."
Well yes, I have chased the whales, in fact 90% of the beers I have tasted that have sold for over $100 a bottle, were nowhere near worth the insane price the supply and demand have placed on them.
Throughout the past year I have seen some heavy hitting craft breweries take advantage of the very people who have made them a lot of money. I have seen fist fights over the fact that the last of the Hopslam was sold an hour ago, and I have seen retailers sell a $9 bottle of beer for over $50 because they could.
Who is to blame? Ourselves of course. I refuse to be treated like a dumb consumer. Superbowl commercials are for those people, you know the one with the yellow swill in the bottle being less important than "WeeGo" delivering the stuff poolside.
With the massive influx of new breweries across the land, this should be getting easier to do. 5 are slated to open near me in just the next few months.
Now I am not telling you to abandon all others for the Localvore tastes, but consider it in your next purchase of beer. Hell, I am not even trying to tell you to stop chasing the "White Whale" just try to ponder who is really in control of your purchasing power. Don't let yourself get taken advantage of, we all have the power to demand more from our Breweries, look how far we have come in just the past 5 years.