Limited release beers are a growing trend in the craft beer market. It started out that a few breweries had limited release beers, but as demand has soared so have the amount of limited releases.
I’m sure there are tons more, or beers that have been limited for much longer, but one of the first that comes to mind is Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. KBS is something that has evolved exponentially over the past few years. It has gotten to the point where Founders has created “KBS Week” in Grand Rapids where different bars have tappings of KBS. They even have specific days where you can buy tickets that allow you to purchase a few bottles. Retail price is typically around $20 for a 4 pack, with people “scalping” bottles for up to $10 per bottle.
Bell’s Hopslam is another release that has brought high prices and limited availability as well.
One-upsmanship has firmly taken hold in the limited release game and every new addition to the club seems to come at higher prices and harder to find. A lot of these beers are understandably priced higher than your average beer. They use more expensive ingredients, have higher alcohol levels, or require aging processes.
Last month I found a unicorn that I have been chasing for awhile. But after paying $13 for a single 12 ounce bottle of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA I began thinking that this is getting out of control. I think I’ve had enough unicorn chasing. I think I’m going to just stick to easy to find, reasonably priced beers.
Who am I trying to kid, I’ll probably keep trying to find the hard to find stuff and pay ridiculous prices for them.
What are your thoughts on limited release beers? Do you think there are too many? Not enough? Are they getting to be too expensive? Or is the price right?