"Houston, We Have A Big Friggin' Problem"
by Clay Moore
Let me wish you all a Hoppy April. If that covers beer and Easter, great. If not, I tried.
Before I continue, the word epic really needs to be used less. Unless you are referring
to a record company, a Faith No More song or a JRR Tolkien novel,
can we give it a rest please?
"Dude, that was sooo nexus!" (Now we're talking).
For those of you who read my last article, I hinted at the potential problem of bars and
distributors trampling each other in order to meet the demand
of the craft beer explosion.
That's ok, I'll wait...
It appears that we, the craft beer consumer, may be unknowingly contributing to a
"feast or famine" epidemic that is driving demand, angst and competition up, while
driving down availability to an all time low.
Perhaps, but it is a two way street. Someone has to sell it.
Rumor has it that Avery is dropping out of some states because it can't meet supply
demands. Rumor has it that Founders, one of my favorite beers, has also had
some supply issues (at least in New Jersey).
Fact checkers of the world, unite!
After hearing a story that people actually followed a delivery truck around selling KBS
seeking to purchase it directly causes me to ask the following: (1) is it that good?
(2) is this how we wanted it to be? and (3) don't you have a job?
In my opinion, all are valid questions. While KBS, to me, and to many others, is
considered the beer, do we need to wait in line, pay $10 a bottle and learn a
secret handshake for beer?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Maybe the craft beer culture is feeding too much into the hype of having something
that others can't get, causing a ridiculous supply and demand issue.
I never took economics. However, if a Bud keg
falls in a forest, does anyone really care?
I'm not suggesting that I have it all figured out. However, the hoop jumping to get a
certain type of beer now is not even close to what is was two years ago. The irony is
that the major breweries who clog our tap lines have no such issues - their beer is
readily available everywhere and people drink it (but that is a whole other story).
The Big 3 must be laughing atop their golden thrones while craft brew drinkers are
reduced to drunken hyenas, clawing at each other for the newest oak aged bourbon
stout at $7 a bottle. Maybe we can collectively change our ways.
But we are only part of the problem
Just wait until the next big corporate chain wants to put your favorite west coast IPA
on draft. Something tells me that distributors (who have turned their backs to some
of the beer bars that have been selling quality craft brew for years) will be waiting right
outside the door, prepared to order a sampler platter and a super quesadilla
before making their sales pitch.
"I am epic win."
Things to Brew
You Want That in
Friend or Foe