Would you travel 200 miles for a beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ultrarunner2018, Jan 25, 2023.

  1. Ultrarunner2018

    Ultrarunner2018 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2018 New Jersey

    Hey guys;
    I was drinking a Flying Dog 'The Truth' Imperial IPA with supper, and somehow I had the thought of searching for a Monty Python beer. I found that the Black Sheep brewery in England brews a beer labeled "Monty Python's Holy Grail" amber gold ale (tempered over burning witches?) Maybe that's why the closest place I can find it is 200 miles away, in Massachusetts USA.

    My go-to store for beer is Total Wine. The store near me doesn't have any Monty Python's Holy Grail Golden Ale, but their store in Natick MA does. So, what I'd like to know; is Monty Python's Holy Grail Golden Ale worth a 400 mile round-trip?
    I would probably take Amtrak from NYC to Boston, then a commuter train to Natick.
    I ran through there twice while running the Boston Marathon. Might be fun to go up that way again.

    #1 Ultrarunner2018, Jan 25, 2023
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2023
    AzfromOz, TCgenny, Rug and 6 others like this.
  2. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,000) Aug 12, 2007 California
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    There are beers worth going that distance (and more) for, indeed. Save your miles for something that meets the criteria.
    TCgenny, Rug, fehrminator and 12 others like this.
  3. Ultrarunner2018

    Ultrarunner2018 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2018 New Jersey

    You've got a point. But if I could find a way to get into the Boston Marathon this year, I will be running right past Natick MA anyway...
    I am generally an IPA man; my favorite all-time brew being Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, immediately followed by Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, and then Flying Dog Double Dog IPA.
    But I like to try beers just for their name, and Monty Python was my all-time favorite TV programme while I was a young adult.

    Maybe eventually the state of NJ will relax the laws prohibiting beer from being shipped from an out-of-state brewery into the state. Wouldn't that same law prohibit the state from importing beer from other countries?

    Edit: I think I've got something wrong with my perception of the law which prohibits beer from an out-of-state brewery from being shipped into the state: I believe the point I missed is 'direct from brewer to customer'. I don't know how this law affects large retailers like Total Wine, as I never have trouble getting my Dogfish Head or Flying Dog brews at their NJ stores.
    The fact that their store in Natick MA cannot ship to me, remains a mystery to me; after all, they (Total Wine) are not the brewery, so I (the customer) am never receiving anything directly from the brewer.
    #3 Ultrarunner2018, Jan 25, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
  4. bret27

    bret27 Pooh-Bah (2,818) Mar 10, 2009 California
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    Did you misspell go-to?
    Or is this some sort of groovy dancing beer?
    TCgenny likes this.
  5. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Grand Pooh-Bah (5,000) Aug 12, 2007 California
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    Do what makes you happy. I can think of myriad beers that don't have novelty names that would blow that Monty Python out the water. I love you. Cheers!
  6. Ultrarunner2018

    Ultrarunner2018 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2018 New Jersey

    Yes; sorry. Meant 'go-to' store. I'll see if I can still edit that post now.
    TCgenny, bret27 and micada like this.
  7. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,978) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Edited for you
    jonphisher likes this.
  8. micada

    micada Grand Pooh-Bah (3,034) Jul 13, 2015 New York
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    Don’t take that guff. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
    Resistance88 likes this.
  9. micada

    micada Grand Pooh-Bah (3,034) Jul 13, 2015 New York
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    I do about 250 round trip to pick up Tavour orders I can’t get shipped to my house any more. I usually try to coordinate with a Voodoo lottery win, if I can.
    Resistance88 likes this.
  10. rgordon

    rgordon Pooh-Bah (2,605) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    The Knights of Ni wish for a shrubbery. It is a small wish after all.
  11. The_Kriek_Freak

    The_Kriek_Freak Grand Pooh-Bah (4,271) Aug 18, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    I have traveled some stupid distances for beer. Same-day flight to VT for some SoS? Done. Same-day flight to Albany for a drive over the VT border to get Second Fiddle? Done. A 6 hours drive to Decorah and back for some DDH King Sue? Done. Twice. Funny that all of these beers are now in distro in my area, haha.

    But to your question: In all honesty I don't think that this particular beer is worth the trip. If you are an IPA man, then go to MA and get some of the amazing things they make locally there and then look for this beer too.
  12. cryptichead

    cryptichead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,441) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
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    It's the journey not the destination. Definitely true in this case but can still be a fun adventure.

    Also you should call ahead to make sure they actually have it
    o29, FRANKHAZE, AzfromOz and 3 others like this.
  13. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Would it not be easier to get a trade in place.

    I was staying in western MA when Treehouse was out there. They were around an hour away and I did not make that trip. I did drive to Stowe a few years back when I was in NE NY. That was almost 1.5 hours. Worth the trip and we had a nice day and had a few beers at Von Trapp as well.

    ericwo and Beer_Economicus like this.
  14. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    The question isn’t: “Is it worth it?” The question is: “Is the inventory list for this store accurate, and if so, is this beer years and years old?”
    o29, cavedave, Rug and 6 others like this.
  15. mmmbeerNY

    mmmbeerNY Maven (1,333) Mar 5, 2014 New York

    No. Just because it's different does not mean it's better or worth more than the beer you can buy off your local shelf locally in most areas.
  16. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,210) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    Will you have fun and enjoy the trip?

    If so, go.
    AzfromOz, Rug, alucard6679 and 8 others like this.
  17. dcotom

    dcotom Grand Pooh-Bah (4,896) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
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    Maybe the MA store could ship it to your store. It couldn't hurt to ask. Alternatively, you could search Untappd for "Monty Python" and use the Find It feature to locate any of the myriad beers that will show up in the search results. It may be closer than you think.

    Me? If I lived that close to Massachusetts, I'd make that drive in a cold minute. Then I'd go to Tree House.

    AzfromOz, Rug, Shanex and 3 others like this.
  18. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Pooh-Bah (2,325) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia
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    90-120 miles is my max for day trips to hit breweries (and the occasional beer store)... 200 miles, I'm gonna stay for a weekend and hit EVERYTHING near there.
    AzfromOz, Rug, Shanex and 6 others like this.
  19. beerluvr

    beerluvr Pooh-Bah (1,764) Jan 2, 2001 Canada (ON)
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  20. LarryV

    LarryV Grand Pooh-Bah (4,542) Jun 13, 2001 Massachusetts
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    I would definitely call ahead since the stores show Limited quantity so if you make make the trip you may not be able to get it. I wouldn't do it solely for that beer - I would pick up some other beers to make the trip more worthwhile and fruitful. My guess is that it's not likely very fresh either.

    As for me - no, I wouldn't drive 200 miles for beer unless there was some other reason I was driving that far like work, vacation etc. Good luck!
    TCgenny, Shanex and bubseymour like this.
  21. shadyside

    shadyside Savant (1,184) Feb 27, 2011 Georgia

  22. LeRose

    LeRose Grand Pooh-Bah (3,427) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Did you look up the beer here? The collective has it rated at a 3.3, a below average rating. I quickly scanned some of the comments and the best indicate it is an OK ale. But it isn't always just about the beer.

    In general, for me the answer is no. If I am going to travel that far I'm going to plan on staying a couple days and enjoy everything I can in the area. I live in eastern MA and haven't driven out to any of the Treehouse locations. Allagash is one of my favorite breweries and about the same distance as you are talking and I won't go up for a brewery only bottle release no matter how enticing the beer seems.
    Shanex and ChicagoJ like this.
  23. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Grand Pooh-Bah (5,713) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
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    You must drive a LOT faster then me - it takes me closer to 16 hours non-stop to get to Decorah! Six hours will barely get me to Grand Rapids!
    Shanex and ChicagoJ like this.
  24. Brook82

    Brook82 Zealot (583) Oct 21, 2018 Ohio

    400 miles round trip for some beer? That's a tank of gas, maybe a stop for a bite to eat, and an entire day just for a few beers. No way, I have better things to do. But if that's what you want to do, go for it.
  25. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Grand Pooh-Bah (5,713) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
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    Sure, if you're willing to be disappointed when 1) TW doesn't actually have any in stock and 2) it's been sitting in the sun at room temperature for the last six years (with the date mysteriously obscured). Your best bet would to be take a 2-3 week trip to England and sample fresh local brews!
  26. The_Kriek_Freak

    The_Kriek_Freak Grand Pooh-Bah (4,271) Aug 18, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    That was a few years back. I used to live in the Midwest and my in-laws still live there. I often start my beer expeditions from their house when we visit them.

    If anything I'm a slow driver so I'd need a couple of days to reach Decorah from where I am now!
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  27. Ozzylizard

    Ozzylizard Grand Pooh-Bah (5,713) Oct 5, 2013 Pennsylvania
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    Kind of me too! I arrive and stay overnight, hitting TG the next day.
  28. Victory_Sabre1973

    Victory_Sabre1973 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,179) Sep 15, 2015 Minnesota
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    Yeah, I have. Topping Goliath is 230 miles from where I live, and I drove there back in 2019 to try Mornin' Delight for the first time. It was worth it, and I had a great day with friends.

    Do I do something like this on a regular basis? Nope. Haven't been back since. Would I go back? Yeah, under the right circumstances.
  29. beer_beer

    beer_beer Pooh-Bah (1,915) Feb 13, 2018 Finland
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    At the moment I don't travel for beer, everything needs to be delivered. Naturally checking for new NA beers when traveling though.
  30. bubseymour

    bubseymour Grand Pooh-Bah (4,374) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    In 2017, maybe I do a full day trip for very special beers from a very special brewery because the top breweries were few and far between back then and distribution of those beers was also very limited. Not in 2023, too much local, convenient access to good beer. However, I would definitely plan a weekend getaway somewhere 3+ hrs or more away for primary purpose of visiting an awesome brewery or 2 but there also has to be more involved in that weekend excursion beside just drinking beer/muling beer home.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,069) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    If you are looking for a Monty Python beer drinking experience, instead of Holy Grail Golden Ale drink a can of Fosters whilst wearing a fancy hat?

  32. The_Kriek_Freak

    The_Kriek_Freak Grand Pooh-Bah (4,271) Aug 18, 2014 Pennsylvania
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    Not sure where exactly in Finland you are based at, but travelling for (cheaper) beer to Tallinn is pretty common for many helsinkiläinen, isn't that true?
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  33. beer_beer

    beer_beer Pooh-Bah (1,915) Feb 13, 2018 Finland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Yeah, I'm from Helsinki, the travel to Tallinn by boat takes 2-3 hours. Years ago there was a boom, when people dragged loads of beers from the harbor, but it may not be very extensive now. More like they load up a bit as they are there, the prices probably are equaling out.
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  34. BJC

    BJC Zealot (530) Nov 9, 2002 New Jersey

    In the early 1980's, I took three trips to Albany NY (once with a friend) to drink and purchase Newman's ales; this is a round trip of more than 300 miles.
    crazyspicychef and ChicagoJ like this.
  35. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Pooh-Bah (1,877) Mar 19, 2012 California
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Go for it. I travel 200 miles roundtrip every three months for beer pickup and party. Totally worth it. When Hair of the Dog was closing, my wife made it a weekend and drove up to Portland (1400 miles roundtrip).

    While it's great that beer delivery by shipping has expanded during COVID, I just enjoy the experience and getting out of the frigging house!
    LesDewitt4beer, AzfromOz, Rug and 3 others like this.
  36. plaid75

    plaid75 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,366) Jan 13, 2005 New York
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    Only for Tree House.
  37. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I still stand by my response above, but since it seems that nobody who responded actually had this beer and you directly asked the question, I will add this since I've had the beer: When only considering it on its own and focusing on the benefits of the catch rather than the chase, this beer is not worth going out of your way for. YMMV and no offense to the beer.
    crazyspicychef, AzfromOz, Rug and 3 others like this.
  38. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (3,884) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    In terms of Monty Python's Holy Grail being worth a 200 mile trek, I'd say NO. It isn't bad, necessarily, but it is usually old as hell. Being a pretty typical British-style golden ale, it doesn't handle age well, either. If it was brewed in the last 6-12 weeks it would still be a shaky endeavor, but it was probably brewed 9-12 months ago if not longer.

    Is it worth traveling 200 miles for any beers? Absolutely. If you add up the crazy distances I've traveled in Germany and Belgium (+ the airfare just getting there), you'd up with a total that's like 50x that much.
    #38 Domingo, Jan 26, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  39. hobbitz

    hobbitz Crusader (419) Jun 17, 2010 Rhode Island

    Could always train a swallow to carry it.
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  40. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Pooh-Bah (2,414) May 5, 2015 Illinois
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    Not unless I had to go there for some damn good reason.....