What's wrong with Whale Hunting?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BowWowWowYippyYoIPA, Jan 9, 2015.

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  1. Lucular

    Lucular Poo-Bah (4,392) Jun 20, 2014 Maryland
    Society Trader

    It's expensive.
     
  2. fossage78

    fossage78 Champion (804) Sep 9, 2012 Massachusetts
    Society

    I'm not set on whale hunting specifically, but usually the whales end up being the best each state has to offer. For me I just have the mentality that I want to try as many different kinds of beer that I can mainly because sometimes the lesser known beers of today, could be the whales of tomorrow.
     
  3. Providence

    Providence Champion (815) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
    Trader

    Nothing wrong with searching out things you'd really like to experience.

    Plenty wrong with acting in a manner that prevents others from experiencing it too (like buying excessive amounts).
     
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  4. gibgink

    gibgink Savant (934) Oct 27, 2014 Missouri
    Trader

    My two cents for what it is worth...

    The top 250 has influenced me in a sense of knowing/wanting beers that I would love to try. There are beers that I've actively sought out and received through trades. Others I've gotten locally. As a beer enthusiast, it is nice to know what highly rated beer is out there for me to try.

    For those who try to get these, good for you! I think it helps out the BA community as a whole when there is a highly sought after beer in one area that a lot of people want. It helps create trade. For those who take advantage of this, I personally do not mind, but I am probably in the minority in that regards.
     
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  5. lightman1

    lightman1 Initiate (88) Oct 19, 2013 Arkansas
    Trader

    I don't have a problem with it. I enjoy finding and trying the top rated beers myself. I do find that some of the really hyped up beers are really no better than some common or even local brews that you will never hear of or think to try.

    And sometime I run across something that was really worth the effort.
     
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  6. DarkerTheBetter

    DarkerTheBetter Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2005 Minnesota

    Whale hunting only goes bad when the attitude follows that it is superior to other means of beer enjoyment.

    Kinda like that one guy who's waaaaaay too into Zeppelin and is always dragging Zep into every last conversation about music. We get it, you're infatuated, I was too for a while. Some day you'll get over it and see the big picture.
     
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  7. glass_house

    glass_house Zealot (582) Jan 10, 2014 Ohio

    Not trying to be a dick, but do you really think there is high potential to get bored with the readily available selection? Imagine if there was no resource like BA that clearly listed the beers that "should be" so highly coveted. Many more people would simply go about their drinking extremely satisfied without worrying about what they have to do to attain some special release that's only distributed in 2 states. On any given day I can drive to no less than than 10 stores--all within a 25 mile radius--and choose from dozens and dozens of excellent "shelf beers" and never be disapopinted. I'm not trying to demean those that feel the need to hunt, just trying to put things in perspective.
     
  8. hophead_87

    hophead_87 Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2014 Virginia

    To me, this hobby is about enjoyment and appreciation. If hunting whales fills that need for you, then I don't have a problem with it. I enjoy the chase and community that comes with that. Having said that, I also hold value in supporting a brewery's year-round offerings too. Without that, there are no whales for anyone to have.
     
  9. fredmugs

    fredmugs Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Deactivated

    When the Beers of Fame was 100 strong I sought them out because I was a noob. Then again many of those beers were not difficult to get either.

    The only real whale (for me anyway) that I sought out was CBS. I look at the Top 250 and the top New Beers now and there's a few I would trade for if the right $4$ deal came along but I'm at the point now that I'm pretty happy with what I have.
     
  10. lambpasty

    lambpasty Initiate (0) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    I tend feel the same way; most decent stores (especially if you frequent them) won't have a problem if you call and ask them to set something aside for you.
     
  11. MisterGone

    MisterGone Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 California

    Call me Ishmael.

    I am relatively new to whaling, but have the privilege of living in a region teeming with whale fauna. I can at this point in my adventures stick to what is offered in my local waters which is augmented by a robust distribution of exotic species from other seas.

    Not sure if my finances will allow for true white whale hunting. But if yours do, go for it. Letting ratings guide your purchases? What's wrong with that? Trying to get all the top 100? Why not if that sort of personal benchmark means something to you.

    I don't understand why people who live in urban US cities buy Ferraris. You can't legally use that car the way it was engineered to perform. But I am not a car guy, so I really have no basis for my criticism. So grab a harpoon and hit the water...
     
  12. Kanger

    Kanger Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2013 New York

    Nothing wrong with hunting whales. Just don't act like an asshole when doing it.
     
  13. Raucey

    Raucey Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2013 Virginia

    What really irks me are the folks who hunt/mule/snipe/hoard allocated beers and then boast about the amazing whalez they landed with said beers in a trade. If you're gonna do it, work your trading/hoarding hustle quietly. There's nothing worse than trying to honestly track down a good beer for your own personal consumption and then hear or read on social media (Facebook forums, Untappd, BA, etc) about some squirrel in your local beer community getting it and trading it away for something better.

    All I'm suggesting is a little modesty.

    ^^^ YES - It's so annoying trying to have a genuine conversation about beer with someone and you can tell they're just itching to brag about the beers they've landed and not really listening to what you're saying. I guess to some, it's all about the chase.
     
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  14. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (384) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Neither. The whale kills both.

    Call me Ishmael.
     
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  15. Dogtirednj

    Dogtirednj Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I expect I will be content as long as the beer remains tasty, and is enjoyed in good company. I don't get bored so easily. I sat in a bar not too long ago next to two guys who had just been served BCBS on tap. They sipped from their glasses as they talked about how they wished they could try the Vanilla Rye, and how they might be able to make that happen. Nothing about the amazing beer they held in their hands. But then, how good can any beer be if you are always looking ahead to what you wish you could have next? I don't worry so much about lists or ratings. I'm always happy to try something new, but I'm glad to have that FBS there when I want it. Enjoy your "whale" hunting. But as I recall, it didn't turn out so well for Captain Ahab.
     
  16. CraftFan5

    CraftFan5 Meyvn (1,115) May 14, 2013 New Jersey
    Trader

    I understand completely, but from my own experience, more often than not these days I'll leave a local store empty handed. Maybe I'm not the average BA, but I can't imagine ever thinking "man, there's nothing here I want, I'll just get a sixer of Two Hearted." I am genuinely concerned that one day soon my fridge and cellar will become emptier instead of fuller. Doesn't need to become full of whales, just good, new things.
     
  17. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,503) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    If you enjoy spending alot of time and money to find a rare and hard to get beer, I see nothing wrong with that if that is the part of the hobby that you enjoy and brings excitement to you.

    My only issue is people who go out of their way to hoard away a large stash and roadblock others from obtaining anything, just because they want a huge stash for ego/narcisistic issues (look at my enormous cellar with 20 bottle of this years Proprietors and CBS etc) or to profit off of reselling. I have issues with these types of whale hunters. Just to acquire 1-2 bottles of something exclusive and very rare, to sample or share with a few friends, no problem at all.
     
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  18. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,032) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    My opinion is well covered above, but put succinctly:

    - Don't be a dick
    - If you can't help it and have to be a dick, don't brag about being a dick
     
  19. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,934) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I don't think that just being in the top whatever list makes a beer a Wale. I think it has to be rare/very hard to get. I've tried some nasty beers that are considered Walez, just due to rarity. Now, if a beer is rare and highly rated, that makes it a member of a smaller pod.

    If one wants to chase mythical creatures, go right ahead, just don't be a dick to other folks. IE; don't grab an unfair share of bottles, don't artificially jack up the values so you can "win" a trade, and don't rub peoples faces in what you have. I know trash-talking is considered a sport these days, but really, nobody likes Dick Sherman, don't be a Dick.
     
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  20. BG24

    BG24 Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2013 California

    That was a pretty miserable day with a sunshine of taplist once we got in
     
  21. putonyourwalkingshoes

    putonyourwalkingshoes Devotee (471) Jul 31, 2013 California
    Trader

    I stood in line for 3 hours just for the tap list!

    I gotta admit that Finest Hour off tap almost made me want to sit there right with you guys. I bet the next day was rough.
     
  22. FEUO

    FEUO Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2012 Canada (ON)

    Because you assume whale blubber tastes great and you haven't even tried the tuna yet.
     
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  23. floridadrift

    floridadrift Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2014 Florida

    After a year of extreme bottle hunting in Florida, I now have a humongous cellar of whales and the only thing I can take from it, as I begin to drink through what I have, is to trust the breweries with repeat success and high reputation. As for long-lines and special releases, THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM. Hardly to find myself waiting too long because I usually am one of the people to get their first. I'm a young guy with a great schedule so I might grab a friend or girlfriend and crash out the night before and get that edge and then go back to my normal life. Also, use your trader's and make it worth it, it's all about making good trades and being generous, someone's always got what you want, thats not just advice for whales.

    As I'm sure this excludes many great breweries that I have yet to open in my cellar, so far, I can trust:

    Firestone Walker (Stickee Monkee)
    Goose Island (all Bourbon County)
    Bruery (Sucre, Bois, MW, BT, GM)
    Cigar City (Anything)
    Cycle (Nooner, DOS)
    Angry Chair (German Chocolate Cupcake Stout, Gose, 3 Little Birds)
    Alesmith (Wee Heavy, Old Numbskull)
    Mikkeller (French Oak Series, Weasel BA)
    Avery (Barrel series)
     
  24. horsehockey

    horsehockey Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Illinois

    I think I'm done with whale hunting for a while. It's expensive, and I have plenty of local moderately priced beer to drink. I'm lucky enough to have Perennial, side project, 4 hands, Schlafly, Civil Life, etc... I also have a great beer store that has access to beers from all over the country/world. If I can't get it here I'm probably going to ignore it for a while. Trading, buying on line etc.... is a little over rated. That being said I'll trade again some day, but for now I'm content drinking the beer readily available to me.

    To answer the original question, I have no problem with whale hunting.
     
  25. BigMike

    BigMike Meyvn (1,294) May 8, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Nothing's wrong with anything. It's only beer. Do whatever the fuck you wanna do.
     
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  26. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,749) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Society

    I don't partake in the hunt - I'll buy something I want to try if/when I see it. I will occasionally check the ratings and written reviews to see what to expect from a particular beer, often after the fact, and sometimes I wish I did check first if I bring something home that is unworthy. I mean, with all the open discussion that goes on, it is almost impossible to buy a beer and have absolutely no clue what to expect even if you don't visit the reviews/ratings. I find the written reviews useful, even if I don't often use them as a tool. I know what I don't like and if I saw those things described ahead of time, I'd save my pennies for something that better suits my tastes. But I don't, so I take my chances :rolling_eyes:

    I don't think people seeking the ultra-rare is a problem per se - people can do what they want with their time. As others have mentioned, I think there are things associated with whalin' that are detrimental to our little tribe - the attitudes, mainly. Entitlement, "gotta get 'em all", "I got mine and yours too hahahaha" bragging, or feeling one is more worthy/deserving of a limited release than any other citizen are not good things. Cheating the systems put in place to at least attempt to make things equitable also reflect poorly. It's been talked about here - mules, truck chasing, changing outfits to "double dip", and more. None of that is good behavior, IMHO. In and of itself, seeking out highly rated beers is fine. The associated behaviors it brings out in a small percentage of people, not so much.
     
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  27. SeanBond

    SeanBond Meyvn (1,133) Jul 30, 2013 Illinois
    Trader

    As has been covered in this thread a bunch of times, I think the issue is not with whale hunting itself, but in how you go about it.

    If you're looking for a particular beer, calling stores, driving to different places, that's cool. But if you're going to different places with a bunch of mules, or if you're going only because you know you can flip the beer on Craigslist, that's pretty shitty.

    I can't even 100% hate on people who get whales as trade bait, because how else are you going to trade for another whale? But again, be respectful of the fact that other people probably actually enjoy and/or possibly covet the beer you're hoarding, so don't be a douche about it.
     
  28. BeerMeBro720

    BeerMeBro720 Initiate (0) May 2, 2013 Ohio
    Deactivated

    There's nothing wrong with it, but remember to play fair. No need to hold anything hostage.

    Reference: When Alpine Kiwi Herman broke the internet yesterday
     
  29. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (13,656) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

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  30. halo3one

    halo3one Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2014 Georgia

    Hmm...absolutely nothing.
     
  31. Tsar_Riga

    Tsar_Riga Poo-Bah (2,792) Sep 9, 2013 Indiana
    Society

    I don't think so, because I'm not just drinking Rochefort 10 or FBS. I don't have to limit myself to the 20 or 30 shelf beers on the Top 250 to find perfectly good beer that is highly drinkable and interesting. If you like the chase and the super high-end, that's fine, but my point is that there is more than enough very good and even great beer that I feel no need to drop that kind of coin or time to feel satisfied. YMMV.
     
  32. BG24

    BG24 Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2013 California

    Very rough but worth it! Between the CFH vertical,Sours,PTY and the list goes on. I can't wait for this year but praying for better weather.
     
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  33. Raucey

    Raucey Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2013 Virginia

    Sadly, the small percentage can really put a dent into a small allocation that is meant to service a community of, say, 1.6 million potential beer drinkers.
     
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  34. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,749) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Society

    Agreed - there is no perfect solution for the limited release or other "low volume" release scenario, and a handful of a-holes just make it worse.
     
  35. Raucey

    Raucey Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2013 Virginia

    Right. Most people will get shut out and that's just the nature of the game.
    But let's say, for example, 6 cases of KBS hit your area - 1 case to 6 different retailers - and someone has enough drive to chase them all over town. If they land one bottle from each store, then they get roughly 5% of the total allocation for your region. That may seem minute, but it would only take 5 or 6 truck chasers to wipe out 25% of the KBS for your area.

    </beatingdeadhorse> #someonecheckmymath
     
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  36. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,695) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Short answer: No.

    Longer answer: I never use Beer Advocate numbers to determine which beer I'm going to buy or drink next. Unless I know the reviewer, or have read enough of their reviews to gain respect for their opinion, the scores on this site are just not very useful to me. Especially the ratings, which attach numbers to a beer without providing any basis or explanation for them.

    As for whale hunting, shrug. Do it if you like it. None of my favorite beers of the past 10-15 years have been whalez, either at the time I drank them or the later date when they were awarded whale status.
     
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  37. horsehockey

    horsehockey Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Illinois

    Is Rochefort 10 really that hard to come by? I see it all the time. It's one of the few top 250 beers that is regularly stocked at my local grocery store. It's funny, I guess the general beer drinker doesn't know what it is because it sits on the shelf for months and then the grocery store will drop the price to about $5 (with tax) per bottle. I'll buy the entire stock at that price. Most of the time it's about $7-8 / bottle.
     
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  38. DeadWalkerAir

    DeadWalkerAir Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2014 South Carolina

    I think it's fine as long as you're not a douche about it. Buy 1 or 2 bottles but don't hoard and screw over the next guy. And being a douche also includes being snarky when you meet someone who hasn't had one of your rare beers.

    Personally I will call stores and stop in if it's on the way but I've never stood in line anywhere.
     
  39. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (8,349) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Society

    Special things can be fun once in awhile ... but never beat yourself up over beer.
     
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  40. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I don't really care to partake to be honest, I'm good with BCBS and the stray and a stray variant once or twice a year. I'm sure some of these highly sought after beers are amazing, but no single beer can be worth some of the offers I've seen for KBBS that were rejected. Amazes me a single $15 beer can't be had by the sheer volume of great beer I've seen FT, $250+ worth easily in some cases.
     
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