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Poll: How much effort do you spend to get rare/limited beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ranbot, Dec 3, 2015.


How much effort do you put into obtaining rare/limited beer?

  1. Extreme: I always check on beer, trading, muling, beer-cations, pay high prices, chase trucks, etc.

    7 vote(s)
  2. Lots: A significant amount of my spare time is spent finding beer and some of the activities above

    44 vote(s)
  3. Some: I have a few specific beers I go will go to great lengths/cost to get

    166 vote(s)
  4. Casual: I occasionally get rare/limited beer, but I don't go out of my way or pay high prices

    241 vote(s)
  5. None: I don't think rare/limited beers are worth my time or money at all.

    21 vote(s)
  6. This poll sucks

    11 vote(s)
  1. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (458) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    That's smart. Many new people to the hobby get caught up in the excitement/hype and jump into chasing whales before they have a solid baseline to judge why highly sought after beers are so much better [or no better :rolling_eyes:].
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,019) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Randy you are too tough on yourself.

    FWIW I voted none. I make no effort since I am unwilling to to do anything 'extra' to buy beer and even when I do 'luck out' and see a rare beer on a shelf the price scares me away. I remember once I was at a Whole Foods store and one of the patrons started a conversation with me concerning a beer (I think it was Epic Big Bad Baptist?) and how great it was and that at 30 bucks it was so worth it. He pointed at this beer on a shelf and I replied with something like: If my wife ever found out I paid that much money for a single bottle of beer she would kill me.

    I doubt (or maybe the better word is hope?) that my wife would actually kill me but I would be in the dog house for a loooong time.

    Ranbot likes this.
  3. halo3one

    halo3one Crusader (773) Jun 6, 2014 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I voted some but the poll still sucks.
  4. Ranbot

    Ranbot Devotee (458) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I'm realizing now from the discussion that I probably should have made another response option between "casual" and "some." There seem to be a lot of activities/opinions between those that are probably not well reflected in the poll. Even I'm having trouble with my own vote when I reflect more on some of my beer-related activities (I voted casual, but I'm probably between casual and some).

    Oh well.... you all can change your vote to "this poll sucks" if you want. :wink: At least I had that much forethought!
  5. Tsar_Riga

    Tsar_Riga Poo-Bah (1,708) Sep 9, 2013 Indiana

    Casual. I'm happy to pick up rare beers if they are available. I certainly make sure I have good options when I travel, and my last couple destinations (Asheville, Vermont) illustrate that I like to hit prime beer destinations, but honestly, I couldn't drag my wife and daughter to a locale just for the beer. I have gone out of my way in a big way a couple times (e.g., Hill Farmstead), but generally, I do not chase and I get what I find or what I can easily sign up on a list to get. Too much great shelf beer to waste a lot of time.
    Shroud0fdoom likes this.
  6. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,238) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Two years ago it would have been lots, and 5 years ago it woulda been extreme. I have never used a mule but I have been a mule. I paid 44 for original Rare, but other than that I haven't paid crazy nor bought grey market.
    creepinjeeper and beertunes like this.
  7. bluehende

    bluehende Poo-Bah (1,982) Dec 10, 2010 Delaware

    Casual. The price stops me more than the effort. I enjoy a good line with a lot of nice people.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  8. Himself

    Himself Aspirant (236) May 20, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    There are 4 bottle shops that I frequent, between those I get what our state gets in distro, I'll do a trade with a friend and such but I don't get all nutty about it. $25 a bomber is my cut off limit, after that my $$ goes to bourbon and wine.
  9. The_Snow_Bird

    The_Snow_Bird Meyvn (1,326) May 7, 2015 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Casual, I'll pick up ones that sound like they'll be good.
  10. Dansac

    Dansac Initiate (73) Dec 6, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    For De Garde, Cantillon, Sante Adairius, Hill Farmstead, or Crooked Stave I will do things to people's penises.
    satisfied1013 and blisscent like this.
  11. jjchristiano

    jjchristiano Aspirant (253) Sep 24, 2009 New Jersey

    I voted casual but I would say it is even less. I will buy the rare stuff only if I stumble across something in the normal course of beer shopping. There is so much good beer out there that I really can drink well from most local stores without going on a hunt.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  12. Chitex78

    Chitex78 Initiate (72) Dec 4, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I'm somewhere between some and lots. No muling (don't want to drag other people into this insanity) and no paying excessive prices over MSRP.
  13. youcantmakeme

    youcantmakeme Initiate (0) Aug 22, 2015 California

    I'd say some since being active on here takes some effort.
  14. Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas

    Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas Disciple (314) Aug 24, 2015 Texas
    Beer Trader

    As one user posted quite some time ago: "no rare; no care".

    I have time & funds to case most anything I want. I've chosen to chase beer. To that end, if everyone says its the "best" and thats supported by high-prices and scarcity, then I must try one.
    Nexking likes this.
  15. Jae9979

    Jae9979 Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Used to drive around to try to find the latest release and was very successful until about a year ago. The market here has become so saturated with "truck chasers" that when stores do get "rare" items, they sell out of the stuff before noon on weekdays. Then there are always the pleasant responses you get from store employees when you ask them if they have any left.
  16. Jae9979

    Jae9979 Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    I should follow-up my post by saying that when I am in Vermont, there is no limit to my effort :grinning:
  17. ArsMoriendiOU818

    ArsMoriendiOU818 Zealot (586) Nov 5, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm somewhere between Some and Lots I think. I don't spend a significant amount of time chasing beer, but I do take beer-cation's and I have done about 10 trades over the course of a year and half, which I don't consider to be at all excessive. I have also paid high prices for a few beers that I've really wanted ($80 for Fou' Foune +shipping online once. ONCE being the operative word). I usually walk on break, but today I'm about to go drive 10 minutes one way to have BCBCS on tap, so I'd say I'm a little above "some," haha.
  18. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Poo-Bah (1,599) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    My vote goes to Some. I will pay Bar Price for a few Beers. Yet most times I don't hunt for the "Trendy/Rarez" and all that jazz. I have found that most of these "Rarez" usually don't impress me much. It is just Beer and it becomes a joke when I see how far some people go to acheieve their "Share".
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  19. HattedClassic

    HattedClassic Poo-Bah (2,064) Nov 23, 2009 Virginia

    I haven't had to fight to find rare beers for a while since I used to work at the local Total Wine and More but now I'm thinking that I need to scale it back a little bit.
  20. MacMalt

    MacMalt Poo-Bah (2,233) Jan 28, 2015 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Everything in moderation, nothing in excess. I derive a certain satisfaction from finding a beer I look forward to drinking. However, I've never driven more than a half an hour or waited in a long line to purchase any beer; my time is too valuable to me. Over the past week, i purchased 5 bottles of BCBS regular: 1 bottle apiece at 5 different stores, all within 15 minutes of my house or office and without waiting on line. I'll enjoy those bottles but I wouldn't drive or wait hours to get them, and I wouldn't pay the ridiculous price charged for rare. At that price I wouldn't even enjoy it.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  21. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Not sure it was best to mix pay more with the "effort" examples in some of the answers. As a separate issue, a healthy number of people would pay modestly more to avoid the so-called "effort" methods of obtaining rare beer.
  22. 1000lbgrizzly

    1000lbgrizzly Savant (963) Jul 16, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Definitely casual. If I stumble across a rare one that I'm interested in I'll pay a bit more than MSRP, but BCBS is the only one I've gone out of my way for. And I'm happy to report that even though I did go out at 6 am on Black Friday this year, I turned around immediately when I saw the huge line and realized I might end up getting nothing. It wasn't worth it to me to stay just in case they had enough for everyone. I didn't look the rest of the weekend and ended up getting two regular bottles on Monday from a store I frequent (where I also declined to pay $120 for a '14 Prop I was offered). I've previously paid $10/12oz for those beers, but besides Black Friday never go of my way and never bother trading, although I've considered looking into that. If money and time weren't factors I do think it would be fun to turn into a whale hunter for a month or five (traveling, truck chasing, trading, etc), so I don't negatively judge people who choose this lifestyle. I sometimes feel like I'm missing out, but then I crack open one of the many common economical world-class shelf beers that exist and I feel better.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  23. guinness77

    guinness77 Crusader (749) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    This is a weird poll because I don't particularly like the answers.

    Do I get good beers? Yes. Have I ever used a mule, waited in a line, drove out of my way, done anything weird, paid more than $30, mailed away for beer, traded for it, or done any other "strange" thing to acquire a beer? No, no, and no.

    I have 3 locals near where I work and a couple very close to where I live. A couple of buddies who hook me up if they get anything hard to get, and vice versa, I'll return the favor. If I can't get it via those means...oh well.
    #63 guinness77, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  24. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (632) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Walk into whole foods and see a beer and buy it. Ask my beer distributor to get me a case. Beer distributor held me a few bottles of BCBS and BW w/o asking them. Thats about it. Not even worth it to drive 40 minutes to a Victory bottle release.

    There is always another beer pretty similar and easy to find.

    1000lbgrizzly likes this.
  25. printer1

    printer1 Initiate (180) Aug 29, 2005 Iowa

    5 years ago I was lots. Now I'm casual. It's hell being old and out of work.
    dennis3951 likes this.
  26. RobNewton

    RobNewton Disciple (345) Dec 30, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    I voted lots. Not that I'm always searching for beer, but when there is a beer that I need to find, I'm serious about it, see Grimm Tesseract/BB Double Negative.

    I suspected there's also been some downplaying in the voting.
    1000lbgrizzly likes this.
  27. lomeister

    lomeister Initiate (141) Jul 25, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm a lazy bum. I'll drive a little out of the way when I'm on vacation to seek out a beer, but I don't want to wait in line more than a few minutes and I won't pay inflated prices.
    Premo88 likes this.
  28. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (840) Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I voted casual as well. This year was the first year I didn't have to work Thanksgiving night or Black Friday. Although it sounds like I am missing out because most of you make it a good time to be had, I just couldn't bring myself to get in line for anything, even beer. I stayed home in my pj's, shopped on line and drank beer. There's so much good and readily available beers by so many different breweries that I haven't tried, I don't feel the need to chase. That's not being judgy, that's just me.
    cavedave, 1000lbgrizzly and matcris like this.
  29. Premo88

    Premo88 Meyvn (1,446) Jun 6, 2010 Texas


    I won't drive or travel or wait in line for special releases, but if you put a bottle or two in front of me, I'll pay the cost whatever the cost.
    cavedave and creepinjeeper like this.
  30. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Poo-Bah (1,681) Aug 10, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    There's only one beer that I will drive to several different stores to buy, Parabola. Besides that it's casual, if I see a rare beer, I'll pick it up.
    cavedave and creepinjeeper like this.
  31. unclekeith

    unclekeith Defender (671) Sep 4, 2012 Alaska
    Beer Trader


    There are always a few very desirable releases that I can easily pick up multiples. And by easy, I mean sitting on a shelf for a week plus. So when a out-of-distribution beer is released that I want, I can usually set up a trade. So not much effort, but spending some money to get what I'm looking for.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  32. 1000lbgrizzly

    1000lbgrizzly Savant (963) Jul 16, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Maybe in the polls, but the people who type out an answer seem to be pretty honest. I know if I were addicted to rare beer chasing without the means to support it I would probably only vote (downplayed) and not respond.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  33. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    I put none, but in 2003 I did drive almost 1000 r/t in a day for cave-aged Hennepin. Was is worth the trip? Absolutely, there was no line, not that rare, but only available at the brewery, and I'm not sure there was even a premium over the non-cave aged. I made a day of it and yes I visited the caverns. Got some cheese, too, IIRC. Nice dinner at Berkshire in Great Barrington.

    Cellared the Hennepin, enjoyed Rare Vos with T'day dinner.

    But I don't queue for beer, unless it's the entry line for a fest, and I rarely queue for that; I'll take off and come back when the line is shorter.
    Wiffler27 likes this.
  34. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Savant (964) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    i'm ok spending up to $10 for a single bomber, anything more is just a stretch. if it's something crazy good or special then i'd go above BUT i don't shop around to find it. if my store randomly had something extremely rare i'd grab it but i don't hit every store around waiting on something.

    i do keep up to date on new releases to my distribution area so i go shopping weekly for new stuff. i've never waited in line for a release of a beer and i never will. it's not worth my time.

    and define "rare/limited beer", i haven't seen BCBS at my local shop but i'll check on my next stop. for me, getting a case of Nugget Nectar is an easy yet extremely satisfying purchase.
  35. westcoastbeergeek

    westcoastbeergeek Aspirant (259) Sep 16, 2015 British Columbia (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I'm in between casual and some, I'll wait in a short line (less than or equal to 1 hour) or keep tabs on certain wants, but it's rare for me to chase them down. Why? I find that in most cases, I can do equivalent or better (or close to) just by shopping around, trading and keenly being interested in beer in general. Out west it's routinely easy to get beers in the (4.5 or higher) out of 5 range, so it comes down to simply do I want to try it or not. Sometimes it's easier to simply trade for it!
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  36. GSS

    GSS Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2015 China

    This type of activity is not possible in my current location but was always very, very casual. Something I've done a few times. I really, really enjoy this hobby, but it is just that, a hobby. For me, the definition of hobby is that it never feels like work.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  37. RyanK252

    RyanK252 Meyvn (1,302) May 18, 2014 California
    Beer Trader

    I'd say casual. I can only think of one or two times I've somewhat gone out of my way to get a beer; last year when my gf and I decided to road trip for Pliny the Younger to say we've done it, and earlier this year when my area got Founders and I drove across town to 2 bottle shops to snag a couple bottles of KBS. Other than that it's usually just what falls into my lap, what my favorite establishments happen to get and even then only if it fits my schedule. That being said, they do tend to get some cool stuff. Yesterday I lucked into a keg of Hawaiian Speedway Stout at my favorite pub, but I wouldn't have put in any real effort to track it down.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  38. TheGent

    TheGent Zealot (535) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I said casual. I don't trade or wait in line although if I didn't have an infant I could easily see myself
    getting more into these activities. With unlimited time and financial resources I could see this hobby easily getting out of hand. If I'm aware of a highly regarded non-year round beer, especially local offerings with more limited distribution being released I will try two/three regular local shops to see if they have it. More of an addiction is checking out new shops to gauge their selection and meet the people. For me, the excitement of randomly finding a want/rare beer on the shelf, which happens from time to time, is enough. The only other deliberate beer seeking will be if and when I have time while traveling for business to try offerings I cannot get locally.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  39. vince321

    vince321 Initiate (161) Oct 9, 2014 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Im a member of Sierra Nevada's new Hop society, Brothers Brewing and Rare Barrel club. I drive four hours each way to pick up beer from Brothers and fly to SF once a year to ship Rare Barrel stuff back. I very much enjoy releases and bottle shares and am totally fine standing in line to get limited releases.

    Why would anyone do all this for beer? Because it's a ton of fun. Going to SF once a year for three or four days, great times. Brothers Resolute release? A weekend of fun with friends and beer pulls us together. Standing in line to get a whale and meeting others while bottle sharing truly great beers? Never felt like work to me.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
  40. JFMBearcat

    JFMBearcat Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2014 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    None. I don't want in line for beer. There's plenty for sale at my local stores.
    creepinjeeper likes this.
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