When did you stop chasing OMG whalez off of the top 250?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by cmiller4642, Jul 17, 2018.

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  1. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I remember when I first started drinking craft beer, I (foolishly) thought that the top beers were realistically obtainable.

    Once I learned how overhyped and rare those beers were, I started going down to the more regional lists (Great Lakes and Ohio) and expanding my styles.

    I can buy tons of great stouts vs the price of the #1 beer in the world (assuming I win the lottery and can make the 12 hour drive to Iowa for the privilege to buy it on one specific day of the year).
  2. drtth

    drtth Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Never started.

    That list doesn't tell us which are the best beers in the world, never did. It's basically just a popularity contest.

    If I want to try a new German Pilsner I look at the German Pilsener list for something I haven't tried. If I want to try a new Porter I look at one of those lists. After I try a new beer if I like it enough it gets added to my regular rotation or not, depending on the competition for my dollars.

    If I'm interested in focusing on quality I look at the Beers of Fame list, where to be eligible to be on the list at all the beer has to have been available for a long time and be very well regarded.

    Also the rank ordering of beers on any list can be very misleading in that many beers fall into an "equivalence class" where a very small difference in the average rating doesn't translate to a meaningful difference in the quality of the beers in that same group. One beer in an equivalence class may be different than another but that doesn't make it better than another in the class, just different.
    #2 drtth, Jul 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  3. Ahonky

    Ahonky Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I have always lived within the limits of my distribution, so any chasing that I did was limited to a handful of times chasing KBS, HopSlam, early on when they were very limited in NY, and in recent years for Grimm IPAs, which I no longer find the need to chase down.

    I'm quite happy keeping a fridge stocked with quality shelf beers and some imports - and on occasion I will pull the trigger on something you folks are banging on about
    hoptheology, Mvsmvs92, LarryV and 3 others like this.
  4. oldbean

    oldbean Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    I suppose that I do still chase them, to the extent that they can be obtained in some sort of quasi-reasonable manner. I don't mess with trades or crazy lines, but I'm not above a long weekend in Vermont loading up the cooler. I'm not obsessed, and I'm very happy to drink the many excellent beers that are readily available to me, and I think I'm more excited by finding the hidden gems than the well known hype monsters... but all that said, I'm not going to pretend I'm totally above wanting to try these things.
  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My answer is the same as posted by Tom (@drtth) above: "Never started".

    When it comes to beer lists and using them to try new beers I am more inclined to use the various lists generated by Paste Magazine since those lists were developed via blind tasting.

    As an example, I was recently visiting Portland, OR for a vacation. I am a fan of Pilsners and I took with me a list of Pilsners from the Paste Magazine article on that topic. A brewery in Oregon of pFreim had their Pilsner come in number 6 on the Paste list. I made it a point to try pFreim Pilsner during my visit: I had it on tap at a Portland beer bar and I even visited the brewery (Hood River, OR) for lunch where I had a pint of pFreim Pilsner. For my palate this beer is excellent.

    I also have a list of 'new' IPAs that I would like to eventually try from the recent Paste article about IPAs - I keep this list in my wallet as reference for future beer buying.

    GreesyFizeek, LeRose, LarryV and 6 others like this.
  6. maximum12

    maximum12 Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    Since the origin of my chase was longer ago (at least based on your join date!), the top 250 was mostly achievable back between 2008 - 2011 or so.

    I clearly remember the day I gave up. I have no idea when it was (4-5 years ago?), but I looked at the ISO:FT page (you know, when there was only one) & didn't have, & couldn't get, a single beer people were looking for on the front page. An "a-ha" moment.

    And as 362 people will point out, the difference between many of the top 250 beers & the next tier is small. Are there exceptions? Sure. KBBS, is the best beer I've ever had. BA Huna, BA Abraxas, Bourbon Paradise, there are probably two dozen beers on that list that are insanely good. The rest? They're often excellent. But so are hundreds of other beers not on that list.

    I'm like an old, tired dog: if it's easy to catch, I'll go after it.
  7. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Same as a couple others: never started. We are in a time where there are amazing beers being brewed and offered down the street from us. No need to chase anything.
  8. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I was foolish and younger when I first joined the site lol.

    Yea it's pretty easy for me to get amazing beers from the Great Lakes/Mid Atlantic region in my stores on the regular from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.
    BeastOfTheNortheast likes this.
  9. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I stopped chasing whales when I ran out of bourbon...
    scream likes this.
  10. rgordon

    rgordon Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I have been aggressively trying new beers for 50+ years. But never from any list or lists. I suppose it's in the thousands. Let's see, my notes are over here somewhere; no they're in that other box of journals. I'll get back to you........
  11. rozzom

    rozzom Jan 22, 2011 New York

    I remember the day clearly. Jan 22 2011.

    No joking aside when I first joined I tried to work my way through the list as much as was possible.

    Now I don’t. Not really a function of older/wiser. Just that back then a decent amount of beers were in distro

    But in today’s hyper-local, hyper-limited run environment, it’s just not possible without sinking a ton of time (and money) and getting deep into the trading game
    bubseymour likes this.
  12. jhavs

    jhavs Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    I don't think I ever really chased anything on the list, but from meeting people through BIF's, the communities, and trade partners a lot have shown up over time. If you meet good people and treat them right, good beer makes its way in your direction. Sometimes these good beers show up on lists.
  13. Sturgeon83

    Sturgeon83 Mar 11, 2015 Kentucky

    I never really chased the Top 250 because some of them are pretty unattainable, but I stopped going crazy for super limited bottles when I realized that (IMO, of course) you can get 85% of the way there with a lot of easier to find stuff in local distro, or from local breweries. It's much less stressful.
  14. Lahey

    Lahey Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Even if I had access to the best beers in the world, I probably wouldn't pay the prices asked (assuming the price would be quite high). If I get a chance to try one for a reasonable price I will. There's enough good local beer for me though.
    LarryV, beergoot and woodychandler like this.
  15. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire

    Never chased. Tried to obtain what sounded good until doing that became even a little bit annoying to me. I've ran into many from the list at beer shares and the such. Many proved themselves to be paper tigers only keeping me on my same path.
    LeRose, LarryV, LuskusDelph and 2 others like this.
  16. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I think people overlook styles that aren't IPA/stout sometimes.

    Lots of great Marzens getting released next month for Oktoberfest, brown ales, etc...

    Fantastic beers out there that aren't just hop bombs or aged in bourbon barrels (although those are great too)
  17. Squire

    Squire Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    I've always sought out new beer experiences but don't recall ever chasing one.
  18. Daveshek28

    Daveshek28 Nov 10, 2015 Pennsylvania

    A few years ago I'd chase the Bourbon Counties, Hopslams, KBS of the world, but now there are so many great beers from all over the place, including small local breweries, that I have no need to chase anymore. Oh yea, and all those beers I mention are now becoming "shelf turds" :slight_smile:
  19. thuey

    thuey Nov 13, 2015 California

    After the last let down (Founders CBS), I don't go out of my way anymore. Actually, of the top 50 that I've had I actually tried, I wouldn't put any in my top 10.

    Which just goes to show (like in all other aspects of life) that aggregate scoring doesn't say much of anything. Who cares what's popular. That's not synonymous with "good".
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  20. Lahey

    Lahey Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I forgot about bourbon county. I did "chase" that, but it only entailed going to a store at specific times. No lines or trades or any of that nonsense. Now that I've had it, probably won't search it out as hard. Most hyped beers aren't worth effort+money imo.
  21. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    I've never chased anything from that list, and I probably haven't looked at it in the past year. I don't need to. My personal top 250 beers have all been drank while spending time with friends. Those beers most have names like: Hamms, Summit Saga, Bell's Two Hearted, Old Style, Fuller's ESB, ect.
  22. Spaten454

    Spaten454 Aug 23, 2012 Texas

    When I got into craft beer I lived in Charlotte and we would trade regular sexual chocolate for OG vanilla. No one knew what craft beer was then except for Sierra Nevada pale ale and stone IPA.
    hoptheology likes this.
  23. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    I have not chased any, if they happen to cross my path I will enjoy them.
  24. meefmoff

    meefmoff Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Apart from making trips to VT now and again I never have. I don't have much of a ticker mentality in general (I'm more prone to extremely deep dives on very specific things) and my early perusals of the trade forum and its array of mysterious acronyms sealed the deal.

    I do make a point of trying to check out celebrated beers when I happen to be visiting their native habitat though, so I'm certainly not completely immune to the allure.
    Lahey likes this.
  25. Lahey

    Lahey Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Those acronyms kill me. After 2 years on this site, I still don't know all of em and I don't care to. I'll just type it out if it's not gonna be obvious to everyone.
  26. bbtkd

    bbtkd Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    You wouldn't run out of bourbon if you chased BBA whales :wink:
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  27. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I have never chased anything that wasn't wearing a skirt!! {or Daisy Dukes }
  28. warrendietrich2001

    warrendietrich2001 Feb 13, 2013 Nevada

    I live in an area where getting a top 250 beer is a challenge but I do seek them out when I attend beer festivals. However through people I have met here on BA and their generosity I have tried 128 of the top 250 and I can honestly say none have been from I'll trade you X for Y but merely beers that show up at my doorstep.
    frozyn and jhavs like this.
  29. Squire

    Squire Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Reminds me of the comment from a guy in a bar who told me he chased women for years and caught a few that he later wished he hadn't.
  30. Lahey

    Lahey Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    I worked with an old guy that wore daisy dukes (we called him daisy)... you triggered flashbacks:no_mouth:
  31. Squire

    Squire Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Isn't a thing worth talking about a thing worth describing legibly? I'm reminded of the college professor who's wife had to edit his notes to make them readable.

    THANAT0PSIS Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    I don't know exactly when. At some point in the last two years, my tastes moved away from barrel-aged things and über sour American wilds and more toward German and English styles, which are obviously easier to acquire great, even world-class versions of.

    Additionally, during my time, some of the best beers I've had have continued to be made but have trended downward in hype simultaneously. Now, some of my favorite beers of all time that are out of my distribution are very easy to acquire and don't take much trade value to do so. For instance, it's pretty easy nowadays to get some Focal Banger, Heady Topper, Hill Farmstead standard releases,Trillium, and Jester King (among many other less popular but equally amazing breweries, especially from the West Coast). Those are some of the best breweries still in my mind, but while they are obviously still popular, their more standard releases don't have insane hype or ludicrous bars of entry like they used to. Other breweries have taken or shared that mantle, but I'm just not interested in getting marginally better beers for exponentially higher bars of entry. A higher number of hyped breweries and this changing of the guard has also led to formerly limited releases sitting on shelves nationwide, making the chase literally no longer necessary.

    Finally, the main reason I gave up chasing is because the return of investment is not what it was for a few reasons. I used to be able to dedicate my free time and money to get beer. Over time both my free time and money have fallen and the time and money required to chase has risen due to more expensive beers, profiteering, and more people chasing. Another reason that the ROI is lesser now is because great breweries aren't just concentrated in a few pockets nationwide; truly amazing brewing scenes on par or very close to on par with what many consider the height of brewing can be found in many places that were sparse or total wastelands five years ago. A world class beer may be being made in your town and is certainly being made in your state. Lastly, I travel a lot, so I can try a lot of hard-to-find beers from the locations that I travel to. It used to be that I needed to take beer home with me if it was hyped, regardless of if I tried it on tap or not, as that felt more like ticking the box to me, but having a pour is just fine for me at this point.

    So, for myriad reasons, I stopped chasing a while back. If I luck into something that I've wanted for a long time or that is climbing the hype-o-meter, so be it, but if I have to put in more than nominal effort, I'm fine not trying the beer until it's easier to attain. I bet there will be exceptions down the road to this, but I've found this more calm--dare I say zen--outlook on beer has made me happier with beer than any time before. Embrace the FOMO and spend more time drinking the beers than acquiring them.
    fx20736, utopiajane, beergoot and 4 others like this.
  33. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    I don't think I would have chased him !!!
    Lahey likes this.
  34. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    "Chased" is too strong a word, but I stopped paying attention to how many I'd had from the list when the site had a ratings overhaul (what, maybe 3 or 4 years ago? I don't remember), and Heady lost it's #1 spot on the list. Anyone remember when that was?

    Anyways, before that overhaul, I had actually tried a respectable number of the top beers, and I thought it worthwhile to try as many others as I could (without traveling or trading for them). But after the overhaul, my numbers dropped by at least half, too many unfamiliar and new beers populated the list, and the list became more fluid and changeable, which deterred me from "chasing" after anything else on the list.
    dwoolley1, LeRose, utopiajane and 2 others like this.
  35. lastmango

    lastmango Dec 11, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Agree! I just stopped at a bottle shop and one of the top beers was about $22 a bottle. That's a 12 ounce bottle. Nothing is worth that price. I look for value.
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  36. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Aug 22, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    The first year they did black friday for BCBS was the first and only time i went out of my way to get any sort of hyped beer...
    hoptheology likes this.
  37. TheGent

    TheGent Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Of the ~30 beers on that list I’ve specifically sought out a small number:

    Yellow Rose

    With the exception of CBS and BCBS, I specifically sought out these beers while in their local regions and traveling for work, and they were all very easy to find. CBS I sought out when it was released last year and I will continue to seek BCBS and variants as they come out.

    The others I’ve randomly come across and have taken the opportunity to try.

    I don’t actively seek out beers that are on the list because they’re on the list.

    Edit: There was a time I sought beers on this list, but it looked a lot more like beer of fame list and many of them were actually attainable at a reasonable price. That’s actually how I discovered many of the classics. So to the answer the question. I probably stopped actively seeking beers on this list about 10 years ago, other than what I’ll try to find if I’m in the area for work.
    #37 TheGent, Jul 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  38. TongoRad

    TongoRad Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    If it didn't keep being brought up as a topic I wouldn't even know the list existed :wink::grin:.
    Doomcifer, puck1225, mudbug and 13 others like this.
  39. FBarber

    FBarber Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    If I come across a top 250 beer Ill definitely try it, but I never sought them actively.

    However, I've made it a goal to try to have all the beers off the Beers of Fame list. Its not something I actively chase, but if I get the chance to try them I do it. I've always found that list more interesting.
    dcotom and drtth like this.
  40. chrisjws

    chrisjws Dec 3, 2014 California

    I've selectively chased some of them. I don't see it as the be all end all or even close. For instance Modern freaking Times has zero even on the California list. No way you can tell me if we could have a remotely objective ranking that would be the case. Lists are what's popular, not what's the best. Some of them are outstanding, and some are pretty run of the mill and either legacy'd in or propped up by hype and local fanboys.
    hoptheology and thuey like this.
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