I hate whales. Not the cool mammals that swim in the ocean. I’m talking about the beers that people chase.
I take that back, I don’t really hate whales. I like to drink them, but I’m not standing in line to wait for the chance to maybe buy one. I’m not buying four or five so that I can drink one, cellar one, and sell the rest on the gray market that has grown up around craft beer. If I can, I buy two. One to drink and one to cellar. Sometimes, I’ll only buy one. I just want to drink it.
Are you getting the pattern here? I believe beer is meant to be drank and enjoyed. Usually with the company of good friends. It is the subculture of a subculture that has built up around whales that annoys me. I looked for an article like this today just so I could write everything that follows.
There is a photo floating around Facebook or Instagram of a guy here in Charlotte at a Harris Teeter or Total Wine with like 5 or 6 cases of Cold Mountain in his cart. That is the person I hate. The guys who call the bar whenever one of these whale releases drops looking for it when they have never been to our bar even though they live 3 blocks away. That is the person I hate.
These people don’t love craft beer. They just know there is this thing people are talking about and they must be a part of it. They must show how cool they are and they need to show they are the big swinging cock in the room not only by getting that hard to get beer, but getting multiple bottles of it.
We received a case of Bourbon County this year thanks to a kind distributor. However, we only sold 5 bottles to the general public. I made sure the customers who come in regularly and buy from us regularly and like craft beer got first dibs on two bottles each. Then I made sure any of the bartenders who wanted a bottle got a bottle. Then we put it on the shelf.
Too often in life, we don’t love things for what they are but covet them for what we believe they represent. That is really what I hate about whales. For too many people whales aren’t about the beer. They are about getting this cool thing just to say you have this cool thing. They are about showing you have the ability to acquire this hard to acquire thing.
Mindfulness and intentionality. I can’t stand in line to buy a bottle of beer just to tell people I stood in line to buy a bottle of beer. Life is too short for that. If you are going to do something, do it to experience and enjoy it.
That guy with the 6 cases of Cold Mountain doesn’t care about enjoying Cold Mountain. Cold Mountain is a fetish he is using to show how important he is. He is going to sell some, give some away to friends, and drink some of it. All the while making sure everyone knows how special he is for this bounty he is providing. That is what I hate.