Is the Barrel-Aged Stout Craze Over?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by deadbody, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. deadbody

    deadbody Aspirant (296) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    So I haven't been on here in a while, stupid diet avoiding carbs.

    But I was just in a liquor store yesterday and saw sitting on the shelf bottles of BA Darkness (with cebrus on the label) BA Abyss (scotch and Brandy) and KBS.

    Prices were not out of line, I bought a BA darkness cause its one I haven't bought before. Is this normal or have I found a honey holes whose identity I must keep secret?
    Elfastball7, nc41 and Chaz like this.
  2. beerbelly_mike

    beerbelly_mike Initiate (185) May 19, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    IDK how typical it is in Minnesota, but Abyss in Chicago is extremely underrated and can always be found. Now BA Darkness and KBS have never sat longer than a week. Maybe you have found yourself a nice little gem spot.
  3. deadbody

    deadbody Aspirant (296) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I know Abyss used to sit a bit here, lik a few days, but the BA variants usually went fast. This shop had like 6-10 of each. priced at like $27.99 which I thought was norm. BA Darkness was $29.99

    KBS was $7.99/bottle
  4. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,724) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Supporter Beer Trader

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

    My guess is it's not over as such but been overtaken by interest in NE IPA, Sour, and tweaked traditional styles (Gose, Saison.) Also likely that a boozier take on a heavy style might build up a stock pile over the warmer summer months. So enjoy that honey hole while it lasts. :slight_smile:
    tmalt, jakecattleco, cavedave and 7 others like this.
  5. JFresh21

    JFresh21 Disciple (330) Mar 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yes, these yearly releases are sitting longer and longer. The one off and pastry stouts are garnering the hype currently.
    ChiCubs78, GuyFawkes and BrettHead like this.
  6. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,413) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    BA Stout craze not over or even close to, you found a honey hole. Agree with @Chaz it is competing with the NE ipa/pa/2ipa, at this time
  7. zach60614

    zach60614 Aspirant (204) May 1, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'd say the market is just saturated with BA stouts because everyone seems to be pumping out more SKUs in higher volume.
  8. beerbelly_mike

    beerbelly_mike Initiate (185) May 19, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I think the major thing right now is everyone is spending all their money on brewery release only stuff.
  9. brbe6

    brbe6 Initiate (143) Nov 26, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Now that more smaller breweries in the area are selling crowlers or 750ml botttles of their beer out of their taprooms I think this is probably most accurate.
    neenerzig, GuyFawkes and JFresh21 like this.
  10. beerbelly_mike

    beerbelly_mike Initiate (185) May 19, 2016 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I love it too, because sometimes those are awesome, or sometimes I find a crap-ton of FW vintages at a beatdown liquor store and I load up.
    jakecattleco likes this.
  11. eggsurplus

    eggsurplus Initiate (155) Nov 30, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Sick brag.
  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,042) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    1) you got lucky finding that stuff - You'd never walk in a store and see all three of those beers sitting on a shelf here in Chicago unless they were held in the back and put out that day. 2) its summer so the interest in BA stouts is at its lowest point in the year. Give it 2 months - it will pique back up.
    Chaz likes this.
  13. macgroveguy

    macgroveguy Initiate (37) Jan 22, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    $30 for BA Darkness was on the high end (i.e. MGM) prices when it was released. Looks like you are benefiting from price 'gouging' if you are happy paying that (not blaming you, if I was still looking I'd be happy to pay $30). Never cared too much for Abyss.

    I'll call the death of BA Stouts when I can walk into a liquor store in December (in MN) and buy a case of BCBS.
    #13 macgroveguy, Jul 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  14. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    I believe there are some mitigating factors. For KBS, Founders substantially increased production, and it was plentiful all over, but still sold out within hours in many markets, within a day or two in most, and longer in others. Founders' goal certainly is to sell them all, and they've pretty much done that. Next year they'll probably be reducing allocations to areas where it lingered, and increasing allocations to areas that sold out too quickly.

    For BA Darkness, I have to suspect that Surly holds quite a lot back for Minnesotans, possibly to make up for having to tolerate the Vikings.

    As far as Abyss - not sure there, but perhaps folks are starting to take it for granted. Still great, but there are so many other great BA stouts that are cheaper. BTW - the standard Abyss is BA also, not just the variants.
  15. CarolusP

    CarolusP Initiate (76) Oct 22, 2015 Minnesota

    I was visiting my parents in an undisclosed location about two months ago, and a nearby liquor store had several 4-packs of the 2016 release of KBS still sitting on their shelves ($25 each). They also had a half dozen different varieties of past Schells Noble Star releases, with at least four bottles of each, just sitting there....nobody taking them. This is my new gem spot whenever I'm back for a visit.
  16. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    I've seen several folks refer to KBS 2017 as a "shelf turd" and this was only a couple of months after release. Ridiculous. In this case, priced at $25, I can see why it is taking longer to sell because that's on the high side. It is kind of nice to run across a favorite and/or difficult to find seasonal/cult beer out of season.
    tmalt, neenerzig and macgroveguy like this.
  17. DriftlessFarmer

    DriftlessFarmer Initiate (138) Dec 15, 2016 Iowa

    I've always thought the psychotic fervor for BA stouts was highly correlated to their lack of availability. So, I guess I've never even thought of them as liquor store beers. They're beers people stand in line and pay insane amounts of money for at tap rooms.
    neenerzig likes this.
  18. cmannes

    cmannes Disciple (379) Mar 15, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I've heard Darkness Day is going to be a bust this year. So no one needs to show up till 9-10am the day of. No need to camp out early...
  19. CarolusP

    CarolusP Initiate (76) Oct 22, 2015 Minnesota

    The $25 was for the entire 4-pack. I seen the 2017 KBS for about $6 a bottle, so the $25 seems about right.
  20. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    Here they were $21 to $22 a 4-pack, and from forum postings that was pretty typical this year in the US. Some places in the US were under $20, and some were near $30. I guess retailers will charge as much as they think they'll get without alienating their customers or being left with stock for months on end.
    FBarber likes this.
  21. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,042) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    There is one place here I saw where KBS was still sitting on shelves ... at $35.99 a 4-pack :grimacing:
  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    There are a few good BA stouts that although seasonal, are quite available. Central Waters has a wonderful line of seasonal BA beers; Stout, Cassian Sunset Stout, Barleywine, Quad, and Scotch Ale. Usually two or three of these on the shelves at a given time. Besides wide availability they are great, relatively cheap, and highly rated on BA. Another example is New Holland Dragon's Milk, and variants - almost always at least one available.
    chrismattlin and Vidblain like this.
  23. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    Ouch! I hope they end up stuck with them or end up lowering the price, but unfortunately they'll probably find some desperate suckers :slight_frown:
    tmalt and FBarber like this.
  24. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (407) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    At the rate they're going, I wouldn't be surprised if Surly didn't brew Darkness with Brett this year. Wish I was trying to be funny.....

    Vidblain and brbe6 like this.
  25. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,520) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Hey Bluto just a was Qatar that bombed Pearl Harbor...they got that wrong in Animal House.
  26. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    Ya know, one of the premises of this thread is that there is a BA Stout craze. Is there one? I'm "into them", probably more than most folks, but wouldn't say "crazed".
    neenerzig likes this.
  27. HawkeyeBeerLover

    HawkeyeBeerLover Initiate (169) Jun 30, 2015 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    There are cases and cases of it sitting on shelves in the New England area :/
  28. macgroveguy

    macgroveguy Initiate (37) Jan 22, 2015 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    From my understanding that is more a function of distribution than demand. If MN got more than a couple cases per liquor store (thus east coast getting less) there might be a chance of BCBS being available the day after Black Friday in Minnesota.
    HawkeyeBeerLover likes this.
  29. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Zealot (516) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Short answer: no

    Long answer: hell no.
  30. needMIbeer

    needMIbeer Champion (844) Feb 5, 2014 Texas
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    The craze isnlt over.. there are just more versions of the style available.
  31. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,120) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    I would actually take the opposite stand on this and say we are just in the early stages of the trend, it is very popular, tastes amazing, and more and more places are now producing it. I don't see this style going anywhere if anything morphing into bigger and better. :wink:
    tmalt and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  32. Chipotle

    Chipotle Aspirant (214) Apr 23, 2017 New York

    I like BA'ed stouts. I don't think it's a temporary fad. It's just that IPA's take most of the shelf space this time of year. Many of the BA'ed stouts are seasonal and timed for fall release.
    tmalt, VABA and HoppingMadMonk like this.
  33. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (201) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    I don't think the BA stout craze will ever be over just like the IPA craze will never be over. They will increasingly be easier to come by because there are more and more breweries making both. There will also be places that you can easily find these beers since some of the places these beers are shipped to don't have the customer base to buy the volume. Some stores also don't really know what they've got and don't advertise it or don't display it.
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  34. ChiCubs78

    ChiCubs78 Disciple (302) Jan 2, 2015 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It's not a craze to me. I love barrel aged stouts and will drink them year round. I was at an Ale fest this past Saturday and really enjoyed BCBS 15 Rare on tap.
  35. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,757) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    I can't be confident that the craze is over but I believe that there are more breweries doing BA stouts which translates into more offerings. There are three stores within 30 minutes of my house that still have Parabola on the shelves. Another still has KBS for $24 a four-pack, I've purchased about a case so far as each time I visit it's still there. There are also other BA stouts like Abyss and BA Old Rasputin still sitting on shelves.
    VABA likes this.
  36. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (332) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    No chance it's over, but all [but the HighWestifieds of the world] fall into: "damn that was $20-$30, and..."
    (a) that was only like 2 glasses of beer that were great , ~maybe I'd buy that again~
    (b) that was only like 2 glasses of beer, and that was not that great ~not quality, never again~

    Even if your purchases ALL fell in (a) the more mature you are as a beer buyer and drinker, you start to realize you can really get great stuff and not spend $50 on two bottles of beer. Yes slightly excessive, but I can easily drink (2) 22s/750s of BA stout say during a redskins game, and with friends could easily polish off $100 of beer if I kept opening them.

    It also seems like more and more people are getting into scotch rye and bourbon (and other spirits). I don't think there's any causality from craft beer to spirits, so much as people in their 30's+ have more money to explore fine spirits. If you like bourbon notes, you can get a whole bottle loaded with bourbon notes, at the liquor store, in the bourbon aisle. A decent bottle with 15+ servings like Buffalo Trace will cost you less than a lot of BA'd stouts that get you 2.
  37. spacecake9

    spacecake9 Meyvn (1,162) Apr 26, 2014 Illinois
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Gosh I hope not :slight_frown:
  38. nc41

    nc41 Meyvn (1,492) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Honey hole , and I'd only tell good friends.
    jakecattleco likes this.
  39. neenerzig

    neenerzig Poo-Bah (1,717) Feb 15, 2006 Ohio

    No,it's just that there are more available now than at any time ever in the past.
    chrismattlin likes this.
  40. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (1,577) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Supporter Subscriber

    I prefer Rum BA over Bourbon BA, but drink both. Unfortunately RBA is quite scarce, apparently fewer barrels available at least in the US. I've seen some Tequila BA but haven't tried it yet.
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