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Whale Hunters

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by hoptualBrew, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Advocate (630) Florida May 29, 2011 Beer Trader

    I'm writing this from my personal observations of whale hunters, those beer drinkers whom compulsively look for the next big beer to chase down and capture like a prized whale, a pokemon, or whatever analogy have you.

    In my experience with such individuals, the tasting or conversation never remains about the current drinking beer for more than 20 seconds before a comparison is brought up in topic and a one-up-man game is brought on in a hurry. This usually follows suit with hurrying through beers and talking about what ISO beer they have on their minds.. and if you bring up Sierra Nevada Celebration or Anchor Porter, you get the dumbfound look of "wtf, did you just start drinking yesterday?".

    I am writing to see if others have noticed this behavioral pattern as well. I understand the term, beer snob, but, as a medical professional, the behavior is more in line with a fiend in search of their next rush than a beer collector or drinker. I may be naive in saying, there is a stark difference between a beer lover and the aforementioned individual I described.. or is there? Perhaps my experiences and/or perceptions are abnormal, but it has increasingly boggled my mind in recent times. Any similar observations?
    hardy008, Bung, uptomonto and 5 others like this.
  2. kevanb

    kevanb Champion (795) Illinois Apr 4, 2011 Beer Trader

    who wants to talk about a floor model honda civic at a european sports car dealership?
  3. marine1975

    marine1975 Advocate (605) North Carolina Apr 27, 2009 Beer Trader

    I say to each their own. I wish I had my taste buds favorite beers readily available on my bottle shops shelves (Zombie Dust & Heady Topper). But I will be honest and admit that I have always been a "collector" of something throughout my life! GI Joes very early on and then on to sports trading cards. I think my beer trading hobby has similar aspects. While for me it's not always about the rarity as much as it is the trying and sharing of new beers that I can not obtain locally. Heck, I have wasted my share of $$$ on beers that I would never drink again because I thought the label was cool! I guess I'm a sucker for marketing as well! On those beer or two nights I usually drink locally available stuff but I do get a degree of satisfaction of being able to share a beer with other BA's who may have never had it or maybe it's a beer that they really like but don't get to drink too often. I guess my rambling point is, different strokes for different folks! In the end it's just beer and I'm sure if we all tried we could find some common ground for the cause!

    Cheers and Happy New Year!
  4. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Advocate (635) New Jersey Mar 6, 2008 Beer Trader

    I don't know any "whale hunters". I know wine snobs, who can't enjoy a glass of wine. They have always had a better wine or will have a better wine.
    VonZipper likes this.
  5. tewaris

    tewaris Advocate (605) Minnesota Jul 14, 2009

    You do sound like you started drinking yesterday!

    On a serious note, it seems that whale hunters have no issues with you while you have issues with whale hunters. Jealous?

    I find it preposterous and condescending (not just of you but many others) to think that people who go after rare beer somehow enjoy beer less. Who are you to pass that judgment?
    Etan, Naterobsnyk4, chcfan and 13 others like this.
  6. thegoon55

    thegoon55 Advocate (525) Massachusetts Oct 27, 2012 Beer Trader

    Whalez are whalez for a reason. Once you have one your addicted.
  7. Same as music lover vs. audiophile.
    It's an outlet for OCD & elitism after you lose sight of what is truly important/significant.
  8. You'd get that honda to try if it cost you like $2.
    Beezee likes this.
  9. Photekut

    Photekut Advocate (655) Tennessee Mar 31, 2006

    I hate when people have fun with their hobby in a different way than I do.

    I have to tell them they are doing it wrong as I liken them to addicts.
    Trust me, I am a professional...

    Why not have some real fun with this thread and list some names of people that brought you to post this?

    Take the "beer" out of the "beer snob" and I think I have diagnosed you.
  10. Bad_Trader

    Bad_Trader Initiate (0) Namibia Nov 8, 2012

    When my friends and I drink whales (or the dumbed down equivalent like King Henry, Chocolate Rain Vertical, BT 09-12 etc) we don't rush through them, we don't one-up each other, we don't talk about the awesome beer we have but didn't bring, we don't make up ridiculous tasting notes, and we don't project an air of eliteness over each other.

    I just think you need new friends.
    EdH, luwak, Durb777 and 13 others like this.
  11. papaholmz

    papaholmz Savant (250) South Carolina Nov 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    In my experience everyone has something they have a passion for (you say OCD or elitism) that to them is significant and meaningful while others would say (as you have said) that it is not truly important/significant. I don't know if that's in an attempt to validate one's own passion or a form of elitism all its own. Who are we to tell someone their pursuit of that next whale isn't significant when we almost came to blows at work over our fantasy football team or other such nonsense that we as a human race participate in on a daily basis. I've never understood someone's need to tell another their pursuits are not worthy.
    Pinknuggets and Photekut like this.
  12. I've never met or talked to a "whale hunter" who didn't enjoy drinking regular, everyday craft beer.
    brother_kenneth likes this.
  13. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Advocate (690) Missouri May 11, 2012 Beer Trader

    Wine snobs do exist but beer snobs are definitely on the rise
    hardy008 likes this.
  14. JAXSON

    JAXSON Advocate (510) Pennsylvania Dec 15, 2005 Beer Trader

    Mr. "Medical Professional"--

    Sounds like you have a couple dicks in your tasting group. That being said your perceptions of "whale hunters" as only caring about rarity and not being able to appreciate beer are pretty lame. Most are simply trying to land bottle(s) that they really want. I want to trade for a bottle of M but most of my favorite drinking experiences are fresh local pilsners and pale ales on tap.
  15. jglowe77

    jglowe77 Initiate (0) Massachusetts Jan 24, 2011

    Well said.
    Bung and Kuemmelbrau like this.
  16. DanK4

    DanK4 Aficionado (240) Maine Jan 17, 2012

    Its just chest pounding. Everyone has their opinions- sometimes too many, and can't just enjoy a beer for what it is.
    hardy008, GeddyLeeRocks, Bung and 2 others like this.
  17. Stone Wall Ale! Vertical Epic 02.02.02! WHAT, I'm a Baller! Just Kidding, I also really enjoy Bud Light Lime and Bellhaven Scottish Ale and will engage with anyone in a beer conversation as long as they don't put Corona or Landshark on a podium. I've learned that rare beers aren't always the best beers, though some are absolutely outstanding, and when I'm talking to someone new to beer and they proudly bring up Sam Adams Boston Lager, I let them run with it because being a snob to them could scare them away from craft beer and would almost certainly scare them away from associating with craft beer fanatics. I have shared a whale or two with friends, and I've shared dollar per bottle beers with friends and we talk about whatever we want whether it be that beer or the person at the grocery store who towed a shopping cart full of soda behind them with the power cord of their scooter cart.
  18. UnderJoath

    UnderJoath Savant (280) Illinois Jul 29, 2010 Beer Trader

    Sometimes I think this place should be called whineadvocate.com.
    ChrisPro, luwak, evilc and 13 others like this.
  19. Rai

    Rai Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2012

    To each his own. I am a beer lover. I also like to consume an occasional "whale". At the end of the day I just enjoy beer. I've just been seeing more and more people try to impose their value of a beer on everyone else. You may see King Henry as a whale, I don't. Reality is I've traded whales for non whales and have obtained whales for non whales.

    If I can obtain a vanilla dark lord for a bottle of bitches brew I say good for me. I'm going to start looking for a more private way to trade because too many people on BA have an opinion that wasn't asked for.
    taxman likes this.
  20. Depends on the context. When we do a tasting the goal is specifivally to try new things and/or share beer that we otherwise couldn't trade for individually. I wouldn't bring a SN Porter or even a Pliny, because those are beers that we can and do drink on our own every day when we're not together. Plus when you have too much beer to open at such an event it doesn't make sense to spend your time and liver function on beers that aren't "special."

    That said I don't think anybody looks down on quality. If I were to bring a growler of Alpine every week, that's not a whale at all (it's available year around), but everybody loves it and it's still something of a treat. I think everyone would be happy.
    luwak, lurchingbeast and TurdFurgison like this.
  21. Steimie

    Steimie Advocate (590) Michigan Jan 7, 2012

    This is the answer. If I'm hanging out with people that act like assholes, I find different people to hang out with next time.
    mjohnson17 and benjaminahudson like this.
  22. In my experience rare beers aren't always the be best beers, I try to have beer start on the same platform once I see, smell, and taste it that changes. Though if people wanna go nutty over them then I say let them I don't have a problem with it. I don't see it as OCD or elitism they just want it more we all have are own perceptions of cost and benefits and for them the benefits are worth the cost. With me thats difference I will just settle for one of the great beers I can get at my local store, but anyone who looks at this website regularly probably is a beer snob to any regular person so there is that to consider.
  23. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    That's a pretty accurate analysis
    hardy008 likes this.
  24. Duffman929

    Duffman929 Savant (415) Illinois Nov 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    I agree. I don't think I am better than other BA's. I know I am. Wales 4-eva.

  25. Looks like someone falls into the category the OP was speaking of-

    Now Photekut- admitting your addiction is the first step in recovery...
    Photekut likes this.
  26. Though i agree with your original post, and know some folks like this- I hate to say it but you just walked into a medical pot grow shop and wondered why no one was smoking the schwag.
    mdvatab likes this.
  27. Morey

    Morey Advocate (605) Pennsylvania Dec 30, 2007 Beer Trader

    Most of my friends who hunt whales also enjoy a good SN Celebration Ale or a Bells Two Hearted on a regular basis. I know I love trying rare and delicious brews, but I also like drinking an Eliot Ness on a nice fall day. Cheers
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  28. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,420) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Beer Trader

    I've had a few of the "Whales" listed on the White Whale website posted here in another thread. A lot less, from my observations, than most. But do I care? No. There's so much good beer for me to enjoy that I don't need to go out of my way to "hunt whales". Do I go for beers that I can't get locally? Yes, indeed. Many times.

    For the whale hunters out there....I have no beef with you. Do what is right for you. I get a big kick out of reading a review/descriptive analysis of what you think of the whale you just caught!
    cavedave and creepinjeeper like this.
  29. jsm1289

    jsm1289 Aficionado (220) New York Mar 11, 2011 Beer Trader

    I say OP should mail me any whales that he owns and i will dispose of them as any self-proclaimed whale hunter would. by drinking them.

    Last night I had the pleasure of bringing a pliny growler to a party full of complete strangers. I offered tastes to any and all that were interested . Some had vaguely heard of russian river, most did not. Some people who tried it were blown away, my own girlfriend said it tasted terrible and some people did not want to try it. I did not then proceed to berate them on their palates or poor taste and did not assume an air of beer superiority. I love a good whale chase and find myself only drinking whales or the like more and more. Well i guess i got off in a tangent, i was actually just looking for a way to share my pliny growler experience from last night. Whale hunt commence!
  30. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Some people just love the chase. To each their own.
    SatlyMalty, Bung, gshak and 1 other person like this.
  31. jplopez21

    jplopez21 Advocate (660) Illinois Nov 14, 2012 Beer Trader

    Technically I guess you could say we are all beer snobs. Don't we all poke fun of people who think the epitome of beer is miller light?
  32. dirtylou

    dirtylou Champion (955) Washington May 12, 2005 Beer Trader

    This is really simple.

    See whale, buy whale, hoard whale.
    brother_kenneth likes this.
  33. marine1975

    marine1975 Advocate (605) North Carolina Apr 27, 2009 Beer Trader

    While I know there is a list, sometimes the definition of "whale" varies from BA to BA. A few short years ago I considered Black Ops a whale. Now I just turn my nose up to it and make fun of anyone I see partaking in such a minnow!


    I actually really enjoy Black Ops and usually go for a taste anytime I see one open in my vicinity!
    Bung likes this.
  34. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (950) Missouri Nov 8, 2012 Beer Trader

    I haven't been on a whale hunt, yet. That's not to say I wouldn't ever whale hunt. I know I don't judge those that would. Everybody has the right to do what makes themselves happy as long as it hurts no one else. We all have our own tastes, as well. The whales I have found have, for a lack of better words, washed up on my shore.I will be hunting in a couple of weeks when I go to visit family in St. Louis, but I will be hunting for beers I can't get here in Chicagoland. (Schlalfly and Deschutes come to mind.) I enjoy BA and the people on it, as well as the variety of opinions. Cheers and Happy 2013! (Happy New Beer too corny?)
  35. I never said a person's pursuit of whales wasn't worthwhile.
    Personally I don't care what the next guy does with his time & money.

    My point was...chasing whales is going to appeal to people with OCD tendencies & elitist mentality.
    This stemmed from OP's description of the jacka$$ at...
    So my reply was in the affirmative to OP...

    You see this behavior in the audiophile world with people buying a piece of gear for $$$$$ and swapping it out weeks or months later in the quest to achieve perfection or dispel boredom.
    I'm not saying every person that chases whales has OCD and/or is elitist though.
  36. While I don't agree completely I think many highly saught after beers are prized partly because they are hard to find. I've had plenty of average craft beers that would never see any top lists but are wonderful to drink.
  37. I would agree with this highly. It's the supply and demand principal. Your only cool if you are drinking rare beers. While im sure some of these rare beers are indeed excellent( I've never had a whale as of yet fyi), I wonder if they are as good as their reputation suggests. There are a lot of non rare beers probably nearly or just as good I would imagine.
  38. aasher

    aasher Poobah (1,270) Indiana Jan 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    I don't know what you're complaining about. I love Sam Adams Noble Pils and Three Floyd's Pride and Joy.
  39. When I saw the title of this thread, I thought it was going to be about a new beer-based reality series on the History Channel...
  40. EJLinneman

    EJLinneman Savant (465) New Jersey Mar 2, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't really care what people do with their beers. If someone wants to use their spare time to hunt down "rare" beers, then go for it. No one is handing out an award for whoever drinks the most whales.