Yesterday afternoon I purchased a case of beer. This in itself is unique, as I usually buy only multiple bottles or cans or six-packs of any single brand, but this particular beer was only available to me in quantities of a dozen 750ml bottles – due to Ontario sales restrictions; don’t ask! – and so I made room in my cellar space for half – to be enjoyed later on, not aged – and in my beer fridge for the rest.
And last night I popped open a cork-finished bottle to be enjoyed.
The identity of this beer is of no matter, but it is not a “rock star” beer nor is it a “stand in line and maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to buy a bottle or three” kind of beer. It is, however, more costly than what I typically pay for an IPA, at over $10 a bottle, and as such has a certain aura of “specialness” to it.
It is also magnificent.
I note all of this as a coda to yesterday’s post about the value of beer. Do I have other IPAs in my fridge? Of course I do. Did they cost less than the one I just purchased. Uniformly, yes. So why shell out over $125 for a dozen bottles? Because it is different than the rest and, in my measured and considered opinion, well worth every single penny.
To some of you reading this, it might also be worth what I spent, maybe even more, up to twice as much. Others would no doubt mock me for being suckered into such an expenditure. But for me, at this time, the purchase was one of the wisest I have made on the beer front in several weeks.
Which is at the heart of this whole value discussion we navel-gazing bloggers are having right now, the worth of any particular purchase to any one individual at any given time. I can say to you, or you to me, that Beer X is profoundly not worth standing in line and paying outrageous sums for, and you may listen to me, or me to you. Or maybe not. But neither of our actions is going to make or break the market – at best it might help out a struggling brewery, or free up some stock for a fellow beer aficionado who takes a different view of things. What it won`t do is shock the market one way or another, because these days craft beer buyers are very much like Nick Fury’s Marvel Comics nemesis, HYDRA, cut off one and two more shall take his or her place.
And that, my friends, is a profoundly good thing, of greater benefit to beer consumers as an entity than any resulting price creep is a detriment.