Apr 24, 2014

How important is your beer to you?

Who's going? Want to report back for us???
There is a poster going around the beer community right now announcing a beer festival that is taking
place this summer in the Pocono's of Pennsylvania. What is so special about this festival? Sounds like a great festival, affordable price, unlimited samples, sunny outdoor venue on the beach....what is the catch? Well, in order to attend this event, you are required to take all your clothes off. Yup, its at a nudist colony. I have passed this around, had some pretty funny conversation about it, asking "would you go?". It even lead me to come up with a great theory. This would be a great way to curb the "over crowding" problem that has plagues many a release parties and beer festival as of late.
A few months back, Cigar City Brewing in Florida had a near disastrous release event for their very popular Hunahpa Imperial Stout. Pirated, fake tickets lead to MUCH larger then expected crowds, chaotic distribution, long lines, people getting upset etc. It went so bad, that just days later, after a day of giving away free beer at their tasting room, Cigar City called off the event next year, saying there will never be another Hunahpa release festival, and rather just putting the beer out in standard distribution. (you can read Uncle Gary's piece on the 2011 release event for Founders CBS here....)

Imagine if everyone that stood and line to get this beer was required to so buck naked? It would certainly cut down on the long lines! While this was all meant to be taken tongue and check, and all in good fun, it did get me thinking, what would you do for beer? What have you done for beer? What is too much?

I am somewhat unique in the beer community, as I am not one that likes to take part in "big events". Call me old, grumpy, or whatever, but I really don't care for large crowds much anymore. Most big beer release or tapping parties are packed. Shoulder to shoulder, long wait lines, all for a limited supply of bottles (normally one, or two bottles per person limit), or for a single glass of beer, albeit great beer, I will admit. In the case of Cigar City's event, tickets to the event were $50, and you had a 3 bottle limit, at $20 a bottle. So, is $110 for 3 bottles of beer worth it? I have a general issue with paying for a the privilege of standing in line, to pay additional money for a bottle or two of beer. To me, big release party's just aren't worth it.

I also am not one that spends a lot of time, money or effort trading beer. Let me say this right away, I
have no problem with people that do, at all. I know some folks that spend a ton of cash on buying beer, and shipping that beer in trades. I understand why, that is your thing, that's cool, its just not mine. Probably because I have neither the time, nor the extra cash to spend on it, but still, its just not that important to me.

How about you? Would you pay $50, to stand in line, to spend even more to get a couple of bottles? Would you drive to Colorado to get some beers you can't get here, or to mule some beers you may not even want, but you know you could trade it for some that you do? Would you spend hundreds of dollars shipping beers all over the US or world, to get some that you can't get here? Would you strip down naked, to attend a beer festival at a nudist colony?

Enjoying a KBS!
Me, not so much. While I do love to try different beers, I am perfectly happy grabbing a local brew, and enjoy it all while watching folks wait in line to get their hands on a beer that I may or may not think is worth the effort. There is nothing worse then spending a lot of time, money and effort in getting a sought after beer, only to find it's just 'ok', and I would have enjoyed a Four Peaks Sirius Black, or SanTan KGB just as much, if not more for a fraction of cost in time, effort and cash. Besides, not taking part in all this, really makes it special when I can get my hands on a Heady Topper, or KBS, or Maine Lunch. It truly becomes something special, rather then just the result of just spending more time and money then I have.

So again, I ask you, have you done for beer, what have you spent on beer? Is it worth it? Share your story with us, good or bad. What is the most extreme thing you have done to get your hands on a beer? The most you spent, the longest you waited? Have you ever taken all your clothes off to attend a festival, or even just exposed yourself for a single beer (that counts right?) Let us know...... I love hearing all points of view, and again, don't think I have a problem with others that do this, I get it, I really do, its just not something I feel is worth my time, and money.

However, I do think attending a beer festival at a nudist colony would be a something to see! (not
sure I could, if I did, I would have to do some real serious pre-gaming before hand however!)

Oh, one more tip, if you do go to a nudist beer festival, put your sunscreen on before you get there, because there is a fine line between rubbing lotion on yourself, and rubbing yourself with lotion!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

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