Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ever Wonder What it Takes to Piss Off a Monk?

Try talking to him about eBay!

This is the opening line of an article posted on Beerscribe.com.  It is referring to how the limited release brews coming from monestaries are being scalped on eBay.  The article goes on to discuss the “cult” mentality that is arising out of the craft brew renaissance. People are becoming fanatical about obtaining (hoarding) certain brews and are willing to pay astronomical prices for them. As mentioned in the article it gives the example of one bottle of 2007 Surly Darkness that sold on eBay for $475.00. This outrageousness entices people to buy as much of a limited release as they possibly can. These limited releases start showing up on eBay for exorbitant prices almost immediately. This in turn leaves folks who actually want to enjoy the contents of the bottles out in the cold. The morale of the story is to stop buying all the limited release brews and let me have them.

I recently ran across a forum where the topic of debate was the legitimacy of alcohol sales on eBay. The opinions were mixed in large part the consensus was that people scalping alcohol on eBay are assholes. A section of the forum even discussed how people should report this activity to the Federal authorities as to shut down this activity on eBay. Would this help more people get a chance at the limited releases? It is an interesting discussion but in the end, I don’t think eBay is the sole source of the scarcity in craft brew world. What is even worse than craft brew scarcity, is limited release bourbons. In my quest to acquire some George T Stagg recently, I’m pretty sure I traded some portion of my soul to the devil. The cult mentality is everywhere and super limited releases are becoming the new norm across many different industries.

I’m as guilty as anyone about chasing the limited release brews in our parts. I will say however, I will never buy more than my fair share and will never put anything for sale on eBay . The other part of this craft brew cult culture not mentioned in the article is trading. Trading has been enticing me for years and I refuse to do it. It is the last step off the sanity ladder before I fall hopelessly off the deep end. I’m a member of the cult but I do have my limits.

Is the craft brew cult going too far? Are the limited releases worth the huge price tags? Would the closing of the eBay loophole benefit craft brew in general? Is craft brew trading worth falling in the deep end?

Read the full article here:

Beerscribe.com – The Cult of Beer


  1. What is 'trading' in the beer world?

  2. Trading involves trying to acquire craft brew not distributed in your area. You get in contact with someone in another state that wants to trade with you. You pony up brews only available in your area and ship them to your partner. Your partner gets brews together from their area and ships them to you. The biggest problem with trading is the cost of shipping the heavy liquid. I looked into it and it seemed the cost of shipping would surpass the cost of the brew. Of course my problem would be my inability to control my obsession to try every brew I can get my hands on. This would most likely lead to FatCat homelessness.