This topic has come up in a few different threads, so it seems like a good idea to have a dedicated thread for it. This is the thread to talk about booze.
I’m primarily a beer drinker, arguably a pretentious beer drinker. At some point in my mid-20s, I discovered that there are beers I actually enjoy the taste of (as opposed to just tools for getting buzzed), and from that point forward I’ve just spiraled down a rabbit hole of high-quality beers. Now, I’d say my favorite styles of beers are probably:
- IPAs and pale ales
- Belgian gueuze/lambics
- Stouts, particularly barrel-aged stouts
I have a history of being overly-aggressive in my purchases - for a long time, many of these beers were available on a limited basis, so I’d scoop them up whenever I saw them, either online or in person. And the number of bottles in my basement office/beer room just kept growing and growing because I wasn’t drinking them nearly as fast as I was buying them. But in the past couple of years, breweries have ramped up their production and distribution of these beers, so that they’re very widely available to me, and I’ve finally managed (kind of) to cut back my purchasing and to instead drink down my stash.
Outside of drinking these beers, there are tons of things I think are super interesting about the beer market. Maybe the most interesting aspect is the existence of a large secondary market for beer - there are certain beers that sell out immediately and are listed on these secondary markets for many multiples of their retail price. For some reason, most brewers don’t seem willing to price their coveted bottles at the price that consumers are willing to pay, which leads to these crazy secondary markets.
A related issue that pops up is that, in cases where I’ve been fortunate enough to get some of these bottles, I face the problem that I have trouble bringing myself to actually drink it. It’s one thing to look forward to a beer that you paid $25-$40 for. It’s another thing to look at a bottle of beer that you know you could sell for $300 and ask yourself, “Am I really going to get $300 of enjoyment out of that beer?”. For me, the answer is generally no, which leads to the bottles just sitting there because I’m always unwilling to sell them. But I’m also not willing to sell them for cash, for reasons that I can’t really articulate, other than I don’t want to run the risk of being arrested for selling liquor without a license. (I did trade one of my bottles for a brand new Garmin Forerunner 245 watch, which I was pretty excited about. I’m sure I still wouldn’t have opened that bottle by now if I had kept it.)
In any event, let’s talk about beer, wine, and spirits.
After getting some good news at work today, I thought I’d open a nice gueuze from Cantillon:
Cantillon is basically only available to me by ordering from Belgian shops online. Fortunately, Drie Fonteinen and Tilquin make comparably good Gueuze, and both of them are getting easier to buy in local stores. So life is good, at least that aspect of it.