It seems to me that the average beer consumer is decidedly more experienced than other consumers of alcoholic beverages. I’d like to think that beer enthusiasts possess a sense of adventure that drives them to try as many new beers as possible. Logic tells me that this level of experience is also supported by the simple fact that beer lends itself, due to accessibility, variety, ease of consumption and price, to easy experimentation. One does not really consider drinking a quick bottle of wine at the bar on the way home from work. The liver stamina required to support the exploration of multiple wines or liquors isn’t available to many of us, not to mention that it is likely to be prohibitively expensive. Certainly there are ways to explore and enjoy wine, such as visiting a beautiful wine region like Sonoma County. I am mainly referring to more of the daily approach to consuming – purchasing from your favorite purveyor of libations. Beer, in its glorious variety, is readily available at stores and bars and there is little to stand in the way of simply having a beer. This means that enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike can quite easily discover the world of beer. From that, I have interesting conversations about beer with people almost every day.
One of the more common conversations indeed revolves around trying new beers. I love getting requests to bring in new beers that people are excited about because it makes the beer department dynamic and interesting. Above all, it gets folks what they want to drink. Unfortunately more of the requests that I get these days are for beers we just can’t get. Fat Tire from New Belgium Brewing and Yuengling are the most requested beers, but I get a lot of questions about Alaskan Brewing Co., Great Lakes Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co., and Deschutes Brewing Co. It’s amazing to me how many people have managed to get a hold of these beers (at least the west coast ones) and I enjoy hearing about how excited people are about them. I hate having to squash hopes by immediately telling people that they will have to go back to where they were to get more of what they enjoyed. Most want to know why.
There is a lot of business behind beer and each brewery has its own plan and motivations beyond just making a good beer. In Massachusetts beer comes through a distributor to the retailer. Distributors have plans and motivations deeper than simply putting beer into stores. In short, the brewery must want to serve our market, make enough beer to do so and then align with a distributor who will sell that beer all over the state (most distributors actually have narrower territories than the whole state). It’s a simple process on the surface, but there is much to cloud the issue as each beer wants to be represented in a certain way and each distributor has been established in a certain way. Harmony is met time and time again so there is hope that one day all of our favorite beers will be in this state and, of course, on the shelves at Colonial Spirits. We’ll just have to wait and see.
For now I hope that you enjoy the selection that we have. Let us know what you want and what you have tried recently and we’ll do our best to get you what you want.