4 tips to discovering rare beersBeer nerds spend hours at bottle shops and grocery stores searching for new and trendy bottles to add to their collections. But some beers are so special, so elusive, they can make even the most mild-mannered beer enthusiast go Captain Ahab on local aisles. “The more rare or difficult it is to find, that’s what people refer to as a whale,” explained Ryan Nickelson, co-owner of Craft Beer Cellar. While Nickelson’s Clayton shop is stocked with brews from around the world, he sometimes receives just one case of a rare bottle. Here, Nickelson shared four tips for intrepid drinkers hell-bent on finding their own white whales.
1. Join the club. Many bottle shops have membership programs that reward participants with rare beers through raffles, special events and even allocations. Craft Beer Cellar also keeps some rare bottles on a cellar list for on-site consumption, so many can get a taste.
2. Follow the distributors, not just the beer. Distributors like Shelton Brothers will sometimes drop hints of what’s coming to the market. Nickelson also named beer blogs like The Beer Temple and Good Beer Hunting as prime resources.
4. Shop frequently. Nickelson said whales are sometimes announced with little fanfare. Successful hunters have sharp eyes.
If you stumble across these brews in stores, don’t think – just buy:
4 Hands Madagascar
Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout
Cantillion Brewery beers
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Proprietor’s Vintage Series
Avery Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Series
Stone Brewing Small Batch Series
Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.
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