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Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Dennoman, Jan 13, 2013.
My favorite types of trades.
it's a cycle most users go into.
Oh my god this IPA is great? What's this?? DOUBLE IPA? OH MY GOD. GIVE ME A TRIPLE IPA! stout? Stout? STOUT! IMPERIAL STOUT! NOW THEY'RE IN A BARREL! BARRELS? Sours! This stout is infected. is this stout infected? FT: shelf turds ISO: cable car. Willing to add locals. What is the deal with mules? I hate mules. FT: 12 limited releases I rated an A+ (its really good and I don't have mules I have friends). Guys, I think I have too many bottles. Look at this instagrammed cellar pR0n. ISO: Partridge in a Pear Tree. Is this $40 bottle not that good? I think it's great but it was better last year. FT: All my beers, ISO: Dave. Guys, is this getting out of hand? (still ISO DAVE). DUDES, WE NEED TO ALL GET ALONG. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMMUNITTYYYYYYY
You'll eventually either burn out and move on to another collector's hobby, or settle down and start drinking beer out of 6-packs instead of $18 bombers 6 days a week.
lol, the five stages of grief ticking.
I am just now starting to cellar beers so I will be whale hunting and trading to fill out the closet. Homebrew for the session beers.
I really hate seeing this happen, but it certainly does all the time, especially with people in my generation (21-26). I enjoy the thrill of the hunt for rarer beers and will continue seeking them out from time to time and I also tend to be a very harsh critic of many beers, but to me the ultimate satisfaction is being fortunate enough to have tried as many beers, good and bad, as I have. Trying a new beer for the first time is a really special experience, much like enjoying an old favorite, and even if it's not that great, I am always still thankful for the chance to taste the hard work of a brewer.
Here's my philosophy:
I don't care much about "whales". From time to time I try to get one or so, but for the most part I judge breweries on their regular lineup. If you as a brewery put out crazy off the walls beers that are hyped, but your regulars suck.. I don't dig that. Give me a good English Brown Ale, ESB, Porter, Scottish 80 /-, etc.. over (almost) any hyped whale. Give me something that is reproduceable, something that is not one-and-done. If a brewery like Sierra Nevada can make a killer Pale Ale & Extra Pale, as well as their Hefe, Porter, and Stout and send it nationwide and be as good as it is.. I respect that 100x more than any brilliant one off. The only "whale" that honestly has a soft spot in my heart is Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Sound. Their is a metaphysical draw for me to the subtleties of styles, whether it be a dortmunder, bitter, stout, steam beer, etc. It's the cake and the icing. The "whales" are just the decorations on top.
There are also some amazing limited releases for each region that are easily accessible. I walked into a Jewel Osco the other day and left with a prescription, bread, milk, and two 4packs of Founders Imperial. There is just so much amazing stuff out there that doesn't require a harpoon and crows nest. For the people that call every Binny's four times a week for a month in search of BCBCS, that's great for the rest of us because we can walk to the beer isle and pick up some Rochefort 10.
Fortune cookies? Chinese food? Jew Brew? It all makes so much sense!
I *try* and grab a mix of shelf/seasonal/limited beers locally and in place to which I travel. Then, I try to only trade for stuff that I've already tried and loved, either in my own travels or at tastings. This way, I maximize my ROI on trades.
I felt the accent gave it away.
To the op, I'm with you. I've been lucky to sample some crazy brews in the last few years thanks to some true beer advocates. Sometimes I didn't even know what I had (read juicy). In the end alot of the whales are just overhyped, and like alexipa, I seem to find better brews on the shelves in my own town. There are beers that I absolutely love which are rated very poorly on this site, and I could care less. I figure the less hype my favorites get, the more for me. At the end of the day, there are some great brewers within a short drive that are true artisans and taking beer to the next level. You'll drink some failed experiments along the way, but I bet you'll have some brews that blow the whales out of the water as well.
I was talking with my girlfriend about this when we were in Brussels over the holiday. I have been fortunate enough to try awesome beers or have many great things in my cellar for when I come back home. I told her that I don't want to get to the point where I can't enjoy a nice hefe like I used to. It is easy to get sucked into the whole tracking down rarer things to try it, especially as you make more BA friends and travel a lot. Though, I did find it funny we were having this conversation while drinking a bottle of '07 Vintage by Rodenbach.
If you ever see a metalhead guy with glasses and I will be glad to share a brew and maybe try am Itallian one too! (I go to Birra JUST for the Verdi Imperial Stout but that is the only time I will make something happen)
Lagers are so overlooked by the beeradvocate community. It's infuriating, as I love them! Brewers put out what people want, so craft lagers are not nearly as prevalent as craft ales.
I like how you call drinking Hop Stoopid & Ten Fidy going back to basics since I live in the same country & do not think this are basics considering that they don’t have any distribution etc.
I love drinking basics like Duvel, Orval & Rochefort but I also really love lambic’s, RIS, barleywines, foreign beers. I might be handling a different definition of basic beers, to me is a basic beer something I can pick up at the local store. I certainly do not consider something that I have to trade transatlantic for a basic beer.
Nope, cannot say I have reached that stage yet, I am still exited about getting a good sour or an Imperial Stout – you have tried way more whales than I probably will ever. Plus I am a ticker.
I like finding and trying whales (or mini-whales). Sometimes though, way too expensive of a habit for not the greatest results. GI BCBCS and Cherry Rye this year? Glad for the experience, wouldn't try to pick them up again though. Traded a BCBCS for a Hardywood Gingerbread straight up, was very happy I did. Dark Lord? Happy I got to try it, but didn't care for it and gave/traded most of my bottles away. Zwanze day? Hell yes I was there, and happy to try Cantillon (delicious). I don't think whale chasing is a bad thing provided you don't become obnoxious about it.
That being said, if you can't just calm the hell down and grab a SNPA or Boston Lager or another small, simple local favorite to enjoy from time to time, you might want to start before it reaches the point no one can stand your snobbery, and you end up broke and alone in the cold, cold world with only your Louis XIII barrel aged Hunahpu with vanilla beans taken from hand selected vines treated with angel tears and poison arrow frog semen, and that was bottled with Brett and has aged in the bottle for ten years to give you comfort.
Better than just drinking a simple beer though, right?
Beer trekking is a completely different subject. My wife and I are lucky to be able to travel for beer, we take 2-4 weeks every year and go someplace with good beer culture. Sitting beside the Muese River in Dinant Belgium drinking a Rochefort 10 is so much better than drinking the same beer in my garage, and visiting beer halls in small German towns has given me a much deeper understanding of what beer is really all about. And it isn't about ticking, whale chasing or any of the other fads I see here.
Nope. I have no intrest in drinking "yourlocalbrewery" Pale Ale. Not really. So many people are out here killing it, I'm not fucking with you unless you bring you A game. I would rather drop the $10 on a 3F 375 than some no name brown ale six pack.
Sounds nice, doc. I'm mostly an armchair beertreker. Once or twice a year I get to stretch my beertreker legs, but nothing outside the US yet. You should share those experiences by reviewing them here.
IMO, whale hunting is largely driven by BA posts you read. I've been a member for a few months and until that point, never gave thought to a beer that I could not buy locally. Not meaning it had to be local, but had to have distro here. I try as many seasonal's as I can and enjoy the special releases when they happen if they're not ridiculously priced. Every once in awhile I would drop $20-$30 on a bottle if the guys I know at one of the shops recommended it, but other than that, I kept to the agenda of drinking the items available. I've gotten caught up thinking it would be nice to nab a whale or even try beers not easily attainable here like KBS, Heady Topper, Zombie Dust, BCBS.... but in the end, I'm too lazy and haven't tried nearly half the amazing beers that I can get every time I walk into a good bottle shop.
I'll wholeheartedly admit that I used to be a whale hunter. I stopped right around the time Westvleteren XII was imported over here. Some of my friends were quite literally frenzied. For the same price I bought a Rochefort 10, a Cantillon, Black Butte Porter, St Bernadus Mix Pack and a few others I can't remember. Its sometimes hard to remember that no matter how rare or how much its hyped, its still just beer.
Reading this site, it seems like people dive straight into stuff without even knowing WTF they are drinking.
Good point, though you must understand I've been doing the same to foreign beers that are easily available here, and more domestic ones than ever. I'm happy to hit up Geers or Hopduvel and get some Mikkeller, Nogne or whatever, but the whole thing I'm on about is of course trading for foreign beer. I now tend to trade for things otherwise unavailable to me, but that are common elsewhere. Hence no more whalez.
You're transcending the "basic" when you start trading foreigners for beer, but it's a choice I make because I don't want to be bound to what's available to me. You can hardly deny there's a big difference between trading some Westvleteren for a six-pack of Ten Fidy and going out to score some massively hyped Cantillon bottles to land a CBS, BT, GI Rare, ... They have similarities from a "I hear this beer's good and I'd like to try it" standpoint, but I think going back to your own locals and those recommended by others is educational to the palate. I like to think that's what being a BA is all about, ticker or no ticker.
The OP's original post sounds like the basis of a rant that I heard a while ago: The younger generation doesn't feel the need to pay their dues and would rather start at the top than the bottom. Well, this is also true with beer. As others have said in this forum, you really benefit from starting from the bottom and learning what goes into beer, how it's made, etc. and try some of the "smaller" beers before moving on to the big beers. As far as whale chasing goes, I tried it once, got frustrated and decided to just drink me some beer that is readily available and agrees with my taste buds.
Step back from the wales? Never stepped towards them. Too much good to great beer that's easily available and just as nice to drink.
I've sampled a few "wales"- entirely through the generosity of friends. Who seemed much more interested in sharing beers and hanging out than just "chasing wales".
Though I sure hope the wale chasing doesn't end- it's always amusing reading thread from people who want to know the "value" of a bottle of beer.
Great breweries make great beer all across the board. Find one of those and drink everything they have. From their pale ale to their imperial stout. Maybe even a wheat beer every once and a while..... Seems like breweries today need to focus more on getting back to basics instead of just trowing everything they brew in a barrel waiting for a winner. Just my opinion.
My local beer store has a fantastic selection, from reasonably price locals, to imports with a hefty price tag. Myself, I've tried many styles and I know what I like, although I still do experiment often to broaden my tastes. Nothing wrong with experimentation in brewing, but please don't release something to the public that you know is bad (Rogue).
BTW take a few of those Mikkeller Single Hop IPA's and mix 'em together. You can find some interesting combinations and learn about the different hop profiles. Cause knowledge is power!
There is place for both kinds of trading, indeed the hardcore whale trading is getting a bit extreme. It is probably only a small subgroup of people doing this. I don’t really trade & I don’t intend of ever trading over the post again.
Locals for locals are just a cool thing, don’t know about education but there are plenty of cool beers out there that are local & are excellent brews.