The hunt for craft beer is half the fun of enjoying craft beer. There’s always a new beer, a new brewer, or a rare purchase out there to find. In fact, today, I tracked down a beer I’ve heard good things about and have been wanting to try for a while. It’s time will come this weekend.
Here are my current white whales… the beers I’ve been searching for, either for a short time… or quite a long, long time:
Schlafly American IPA: First off, I’m looking for anything Schlafly. Their beers are supposed to be available in New Jersey, but I’ve only found their Export IPA (fantastic) and their Dry Stout (had it too long ago to remember). I’ve hunted for their Pale Ale and their Oatmeal Stout, with no luck. That said, the American IPA, their early summer seasonal is the white whale. I’ve had it. Once. And it was one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had. Ever since, I’ve been searching for it. It supposedly arrived in New Jersey again last week. I’ve been unable to find it. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop the search, however.
The Alchemist Heady Topper: Another IPA, this one a double. A few weeks ago, this Vermont beer was available in NY and I didn’t take the trip to grab some. I regret this, as I hear the beer is phenomenal. I have some feelers out to see if there’s a way to acquire a few cans.
3 Floyds Alpha King: As much as I’ve blogged and bragged about IPAs, I first cut my craft beer teeth on Pale Ales, and they hold a special place in my palate. 3 Floyds is an Indiana Brewery with a great reputation. The problem is, they only distribute to Indiana and like 2 other states. And their pale ale is supposed to be one of the best. This one probably involves a road trip. Which means it’ll stay on my white whale list for quite some time.
Goose Island Bourbon County Vanilla Stout: The ultimate white whale. Goose Island, a Chicago Craft brewery, puts out heavy Imperial Stouts under their Bourbon County Umbrella. They are often flavored (like a coffee stout). Last year they put out a Vanilla Stout. Back then, Goose Island was only available in NY (they’re now Jersey local). I saw the post about the Vanilla Stout being available at a NY store I sometimes shop in. Before I was able to get my keys and warm up my car, they’d sold out. Missed it. And it’s been retired, apparently. At least for now. Hopefully, Goose Island will pull an Andy Pettite (okay, Chicago, Michael Jordan) and un-retire.
This will be an ongoing list. So, if you have any tips for tracking down my white whales… Feel Free to comment.