Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bourbon County Madness

Where were you on Black Friday this year?  If you are a crazy beer geek....chances are you were stalking one or several of your local liquor stores trying to get some of this years Goose Island Bourbon County Stouts.  This year, Goose Island put out their standard Bourbon County Stout (BCS) along with variants such as Barleywine, Coffee, and Backyard Rye...which is aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels with Marionberries, Mulberries, and Boysenberries.

Additionally, if you live in Chicago, there is also a "Proprietors" version that's made with toasted Coconut.  Seriously.  This is the kind of release that gives beer geeks from all over the country a major wallop of blue balls.

I was out of town for Black Friday this year.  In an area of Indiana that doesn't see much of this type of crazy release.  My local shop, the one I've been giving my business to for the last 7 years, decided to host a one day event where they would sell everything they have....well, sort of....I mean they did hold some back for their sweet little raffle.  So that does give people like me a chance to get some from them.

A larger issue.  Many people complain that because ABInbev took over Goose Island that the quality of beer would decrease.  Admittedly, I was one of those people.  I had concerns.  Turns out I was dead wrong.  The ABInbev buyout has made Bourbon County Brand Stout available nationwide.  No way we can complain about that.  Ever.

This release has made the beer world crazy.  People who "hoard" these bottles are crucified for their loot.  People who post photos like these are crushed by the zillions of beer geeks who couldn't get their hands on as much of these limited releases as they would have liked:

The topic of hoarding is tough.  The name of the beer game is advocacy.  Are you truly an "advocate" if you get yourself a couple cases of the coconut BCS that is ridiculously limited?  To me, the answer lies in what you do with your bottles.  Personally, if you are willing to do the work required to get yourself 2 cases of Coconut....I say good for you.  Certainly, the people who fit this description generally do the beer community a favor by sharing these beers with friends and trading partners.  If you hoard and drink everything you have, I cannot in good faith call you an advocate of beer.  But I also have no right to bitch about it.  You did the work.   They are your beers.  They are yours to do with what you choose.  Are you gonna lose sleep over me saying you aren't an advocate of beer?  Probably not.  Does that matter?  Probably not.  In doesn't matter whatsoever.

Point is.  The beer community is loaded with butthurt.  It's honestly embarrassing at times.  We all see these photos of people on Instagram or Twitter who have loaded up on a special release of a beer.  Instead of butthurt, why can't we just be happy and supportive of people who have done whatever they can to get these beers.  Are they not supporting craft beer by buying what they can?  The vast majority of the people who get a massive stock of these beers end up sharing and trading to others who may have missed out.  Why do we get bent over this?  We end up chastising people who actually do a lot of good for the community.

Bourbon County Coffee is, admittedly, my favorite beer.  Hands down.  There are others that are in my top 5-10 of beers of all time, but Bourbon County Coffee is the beer I would choose to be stranded on a desert island with if I could only choose 1 beer.  So my favorite beer of all time is released once a year.  Am I a bad person for doing whatever I can to get as much of my favorite nectar as possible?  According to many beer geeks I would be.  Which is a shame.  Particularly because I give so much beer to other people. Yes.  By the time I have collected all the Bourbon County Coffee I have acquired I will have totaled about 2 cases of it.  Will I drink all of that?  Definitely not.  Buddies who got shut out, friends, family....they will be given some of the bottles I have worked hard to acquire.  Because I want them to know and experience my favorite craft beer.  GIVEN.  Not asked for anything in return.  Just given.  If I'm a bad person for that.  So be it.

Beer to me is about sharing and enjoying.  I think a lot of people take it a lot more seriously than that.  And for that I think they miss the point.  BTW, you can count on me using Untappd to check in to every Bourbon County Coffee I drink.  Sorry if that gets your panties in a bunch ;-)

Now, if you will excuse me.....I have a Bourbon County Coffee chilling that's probably ready for consumption.


1 comment:

  1. The beer community is loaded with butthurt.