Remember when Pliny was the it beer? It was the beer that separated you from the herd and showed everyone you knew what the hell you were doing. You hunted that beer down like a lion preying on antelope and you finally managed to have your friend of a friend who knew a guy on BeerAdvocate ship one out to you. Or you waited in some long line at 6:00 AM for two hours in the cold with no shoes on and no coat waiting to get that 10 ounce pour from this bar that’s 3 hours from your house. When you finally took that first sip though it was all worth it. The cherubs of beer elation opened the gates of flavortown and you finally found the one, the beer you can call your everything. Little did you know though that with that very sip everything changed and your beer world would never be the same.
See once you taste the pinnacle of beer, everything before and after are subject to that same standard. Where before your standard might have been Stone IPA now your palate is much more refined and you can’t subject it to the likes of just a Lagunitas IPA, no no you must have nothing less than a Heady Topper. Last week you wouldn’t be caught dead without that Tree House Julius this week its Cantillon Fou’ Foune. You then you find yourself tweaking for more making seedy trades with StateFarmJake002 in the back alleys of Beer Advocate looking for that next score.
The problem with craft beer is that it never ends and the lengths you’ll go through to satisfy your palate are sometimes just plain stupid. I mean have you ever shipped a box of beer from the East Coast to the West Coast and not only felt like a criminal (well you really are) but you get hit with that $40 shipping charge and you start to question your life decisions. Or have you ever waited in a 3 hour line to pay $30 for one bottle of beer that you’re going to drink in less time then it took you to wait in line. The yearn for the latest and greatest, the new whiskey cask coffee tequila stave rare waxed bottle hand numbered release never ends.
Some people find that hunt to be what they find most compelling about craft beer, others hate it but one things for certain, once you feel the sting of quality beer, that itch never dies. Good luck though!