Why I Stopped Chasing Limited Beer Releases [Opinion]

Written by Chadd Balbi, co-owner Breweries In PA

We’ve all seen it; the limited release that you just have to get your hands on. The beer that if you don’t get on your Untappd list than you might as well give up craft beer forever. But why?

I’ve given up the chase. I remember the days where I would get into a beer line hours before the doors opened. Stand there huddled around hundreds of other like minded drinkers, only to get a quick taste of the liquid I had sought out for.

However those days, for the most part, are gone. After years of chasing I have decided that there’s no purpose for me to go after the coveted limited release. It’s not that I have fallen out of love for the beer, or that I don’t think it tastes as good. There are two primary deciding factors behind this decision.

The Industry Has Taught Me To Not Care For Long

You can say many things about the craft beer industry. If there is one thing the industry lacks it is consistency. Sure there are the main players that continue to produce their staples, but the industry has fallen into this “what’s new, what’s next?” world that we currently live in.

Many consumers don’t want to drink the same beer over and over. Instead they are chasing the next greatest beer. Next greatest hop combo. Next anything. So if I know a beer isn’t going to be around for long, why do I need to keep chasing them? A person only has so many days in their lifetime. Am I really going to give up everything to stand in line for hours for a beer that is going to be replaced by the next hottest thing in a matter of days?

Hype Is What Drives Excitement, Not Taste

You’ll probably recall a Lucky Charms themed beer that made headlines recently. The beer was picked up by a few national media outlets and word spread like wildfire. So much so that the beer sold out very quickly with hundreds of people in line waiting for it, some flying in from out of state because of all the hype.

This is what drives a lot of these limited releases; hype not taste. If it were up to me every Double IPA brewed would be required to live up to the standard that Victory has set with DirtWolf. But DirtWolf isn’t sexy because you can walk into just about any bottle shop and grab some to go.

The hype is what drives people to these limited releases; taste is an afterthought. If the right media outlets have posted about it, and the local community is buzzing over the beer, you can’t be the only one to miss out, right? But this is a beverage after all. I should probably be confident in the taste of the beer, not just score a four pack because a few blogs told me I should.



One less beer drinker clogging up the lines

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