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The Last Beer

March 11, 2016

Last night I happened to stumble onto a draft line of Hill Farmstead’s Susan at the Madison Pour House. That was a happy discovery.

When it comes to beers with cult-like followings, Hill Farmstead is right up there. So I feel extraordinarily lucky that we have access to their tasty beverages at a variety of watering holes across the Capital Region. Many of these cult beers you can only find if you’re willing to drive hours to the brewery and wait on an ungodly line.

Certainly, I don’t begrudge those who take pleasure in visiting the source of their favorite beverages. And lines for good things are so much more pleasant now that almost everyone has a supercomputer in their pocket with blazing fast wireless internet.

I’m embarrassed to admit how long I’ve waited for a cortado at Blue Bottle in San Francisco.

But back to beer. Because of the availability of great beer in the region, I’ve been picking up multi-packs of things that look good. You can’t say six-pack anymore, because fancy beers now often come in four packs. And that’s fine by me.

Because the problem I have would exist regardless of how many beers come in a pack.

Those first couple of beers get consumed relatively quickly. When a pack is full, and the beers are plentiful, I want to drink them right away. Most of the beers I tend to buy aren’t usually the ones that age well. So there’s added incentive to drink them while they are still young and full of life.

But here’s the problem. Once the number of cans begins to diminish, each beer becomes increasingly precious. There will be fewer and fewer chances I’ll have to enjoy that beer.

So I slow down, and choose to drink something else. Maybe I’ll even buy another pack of beer to distract me. And those last few beers sit and sit. Over time, they are joined by other remnants of my beer buying benders. Now I have eight beers in a box in the garage. And now I have to work myself up to drink them.

It’s hard to say goodbye. And this problem isn’t actually limited to just beers. I’ve got the same pattern of behavior for other precious things. Even other perishable things, where the quality diminishes the older they get.

My hope had been that the perishability of beer would keep me from holding onto cans, bottles, and growlers for too long. But it hasn’t been working so far. And with my new diet, I’m limiting myself to just one beer a day.

Part of the problem, of course, is that I really enjoy shopping for beer and buying it. But I need to stop, until I can consume the stockpile that I’ve accumulated.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Or am I?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2016 12:54 pm

    I am the same way about kitchen gadgets and ingredients. I’m currently staring at a never-opened whipping siphon and some exotic jams that are way past their good until date. But beer? Never. Even when it’s a strong ale that benefits from aging, it has no chance of lasting more than a few days in my house.

  2. Jack C. permalink
    March 11, 2016 1:24 pm

    Lauren makes me keep the beer fridge down in the basement and I can only stock the main fridge with 3-5 bottles/cans at a time. This means I inevitably forget what I have, buy more, and stock the fridge downstairs. On a totally unrelated note, I’m thinking of having a beer party to clear out my beer fridge…

  3. Ewan permalink
    March 11, 2016 4:22 pm

    Only 8?

    Wow. I’m approaching triple figures, I think. Worst case is things like Dogfish Head’s Higher Math – I don’t know when or if I will ever be able to get more, so..

    ..clearly the problem is that I don’t drink enough. OK, I know how to fix that..

  4. albanylandlord permalink
    March 14, 2016 11:00 am

    We are way too alike. Same exact problem. Sometimes half of my beer fridge is beers I am saving for just the “right time”. dogfish 120, KBS, ST Mokah, Samiclaus, Firestone Walker 17th anniversary, Speedway stout, breakfast stout, Prairie Bomb… Sometimes the problem is I need help to drink some of these monsters. I have gotten better over the years if that provides any hope for you.

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