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  1. hugomarink
    March 10, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

    1. If Lost Abbey brewed and bottled as much Churchill’s Finest Hour as Firestone Walker Brewed of Parabola 2014 (3,500 Cases or 42,000 bottles), would people line up for it?

    I doubt it. Once the super rarity factor disappears so does most of the clamor.

    2. Why do people love Barrel Aged Imperial Stout so much? I know why I do, but this style in particular commands a level of enthusiasm like none other.

    A BA Stout is a true beer geek’s beer, I guess. And you add in the rarity factor and some people lose their minds and must have it at all costs.

    3. Has this collecting/hoarding/waiting/lining up sub culture of craft beer made it more or less enjoyable for you?

    It used to annoy me but not anymore. After I took a trip to Russian River Brewery for a PYT release, I realized how pointless it is (for me, at least) to go out of my way to get any beer. Yes, I thought PYT was great and it was a fun time at the RR Brewpub, but once was enough. I’ve had Alpine’s Exponential Hoppiness but will never wait in line for it. And I’ll never drive out to Kern River Brewing so I guess I’ll never get to try Citra. But I don’t care because there are plenty of beers that are (more or less) readily available that are as good as these “rare” beers.

    4. Do you think the collecting/hoarding/waiting/lining up will eventually settle or intensify over the next 3 years?

    If people wise up and realize what I said above is true (that you can get readily available beers that are just as good as these rarities) then it should settle down. But people who are willing to go through this have a certain mentality that they must own it if it’s rare and highly coveted, so that will probably never change. I actually think it’s great for breweries to brew and bottle a few rarities. It’s good business for the brewery and it never hurts to have special brews available in addition to the regular lineups.

    5. Is it more than just lining up for a bottle? Is it an enjoyable community based experience?

    Yeah, I expect there is a sense of community about the whole thing that people enjoy. I certainly experienced that at Russian River for PYT. It was fun, but not something that I, personally, feel the need to seek out.

    Reply

  2. Matt
    March 10, 2015 @ 2:16 pm

    I have to agree with Brad’s comments above. Very well put! I’ll add that waiting/sleeping in line for rare beer, from 2am to 11am, is a bit extreme. I won’t lie and say I didn’t briefly consider doing it, though!

    Reply

  3. Jeff
    March 10, 2015 @ 9:12 am

    I’ll never get my hands on any of it, so I’ve just given up on tasting any of the more sought after beers.

    Reply

  4. satchit
    March 10, 2015 @ 5:58 am

    1. If Lost Abbey brewed and bottled as much Churchill’s Finest Hour as Firestone Walker Brewed of Parabola 2014 (3,500 Cases or 42,000 bottles), would people line up for it?

    I don’t think so. The whole point of waiting in line for that long is to make sure you will be able to acquire a bottle. If there are more bottles available, there is no reason to do such thing. That’s where this issue differs from an iPhone release… if you don’t wait in line, you won’t actually be able to buy the beer.

    2. Why do people love Barrel Aged Imperial Stout so much? I know why I do, but this style in particular commands a level of enthusiasm like none other.

    I think for the same reason people love other styles just as much. I know several people who absolutely love IPA’s and wouldn’t touch a ba stout. And, as you know, many would wait in line for a PTY as well.

    3. Has this collecting/hoarding/waiting/lining up sub culture of craft beer made it more or less enjoyable for you?

    It is nice to see people being passionate about anything. As long as it is done out of love for the beer, it is great!

    4. Do you think the collecting/hoarding/waiting/lining up will eventually settle or intensify over the next 3 years?

    Instead of “collecting”, shouldn’t we be using the term “cellaring”? Some of these beers will taste better in a couple of years. They are just supposed to be kept for some time and then enjoyed.

    5. Is it more than just lining up for a bottle? Is it an enjoyable community based experience?

    I am sure there is a community based experience, but at the end of the day, it is about having the chance to take a bottle home.

    Reply

  5. Chris
    March 10, 2015 @ 3:07 am

    No, I would not stand in line for any amount of time for any beer.

    Reply

  6. Brad
    March 9, 2015 @ 9:02 pm

    1. The simple answer to this question is no. In my personal opinion, Parabola is better than Churchill’s Finest Hour. In fact, if you look to the #1 online beer rating source, Beer Advocate, the masses would agree. And yet, no one lines up for Parabola. The allure is entirely in the fact that people have bought into the hype that’s created by both Churchill’s Pub & Lost Abbey.

    2. I don’t know if there’s a definitive answer to this question. Like you, I know why I enjoy them. But to answer why the craft beer geek masses enjoy them is a little more difficult. If I had to guess, I think it has to do with the herd mentality that’s developed amongst hardcore beer nerds. If it’s hard to get, people want it more. If people like things, others will follow suit. It’s sad to say but it’s human nature. I have to think that’s why the majority (very large majority) of beers that are considered “top rated” fall within 4 or 5 styles while so many other styles go unappreciated. People also have the tendency to favor things that are extremely bold. They love everything dialed up to 10, subtly is a relic of a time long gone. And needless to say, barrel aged stouts are typically as bold as it gets.

    3. Had you asked me this question a year or so ago, my answer would’ve been different. But as I’ve gotten deeper into the craft beer scene, and since I’ve started working with beer professionally, my mindsets have changed. I don’t take any issue with people that line up for hours to buy beer. I’ve done it before, I doubt I would again. But people are free to do whatever they wish with their time. But I tend to only favor beer releases that are done online (Brown Paper Tickets, etc.). However, I do take issue with people who buy more than their reasonable allotment of beer so they can place it on their shelf to stare at. That keeps beer out of the hands of other locals that work hard to be able to buy beers they enjoy. I also take issue with people who enlist the services of mules for the very same reason. Sometimes, I get the feeling that people forget that this is still just beer and it’s still appropriate to show respect to others.

    4. I don’t have an answer for this. I can only say that every day this behavior continues, the worse it is for the common man that enjoys beer. These beers selling out instantly lets these breweries know that they can charge whatever they want for them. Case in point, back in 2012, I paid $25 per bottle for Churchill’s Finest Hour. In 2013, that same beer was $30. In 2015? Churchill’s Finest Hour sold out at $45 per bottle. It also encourages breweries like Lost Abbey who have the means to make a lot more of a specific beer, to make incredibly small amounts for the sake of creating hype where it may not otherwise have been. I’m not picking on Lost Abbey, many other breweries are also doing this. All in all, I hope this behavior tails off here soon. But I won’t hold my breath.

    5. Would there still be a line if there wasn’t a rare bottle that could be bragged about and held hostage as high valued trade fodder at the end of that line? People can say it’s a social event all they want, but if you remove the beer, my guess is you also lose the line.

    Reply

  7. Charles Aribia
    March 9, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

    No

    Reply

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