Two weeks ago I had that once-in-a-while drinking experience, when a beer completely kicks you in the face with awesomeness. I mean, just really stuns your brain with lofty intentions and masterful execution. It was Mikkeller 19 and I wasted no time posting this photo to Instagram with a caption that read something like “OMG guyz, this beer rulz.” You have to forgive my unbridled enthusiasm: The beer was the grand climax to a string of single-hopped beers (19 of them) and it featured all 19 hops. In one bottle. I was ecstatic with the myriad hop flavors—as were most who commented on the photo—but quite a few people brought up the price.
One user wrote: “Really good, but I wouldn’t call it a must-try at the prices it’s being sold at…”
Another seconded: “And as already stated, the prices are inflated anywhere that stocks it.”
A bit of the ol’ Googling suggests a 12-ounce is typically sold between six and seven bucks (though I’m sure some shops jacked the price up higher). By comparison, I bought a bottle of Firestone Walker Wookey Jack on Sunday for $7.99—it was a bomber (and a delicious rye-spiked Back IPA). I can’t recall the price I paid for 19 when I bought it in England, but I’d surely do it again. And again.
With that in mind, what selling points convince you to shell out a few extra bucks for a beer? Are you a sucker for the extremely limited? Will you buy anything that’s aged in Stranahan’s Whiskey barrels? Maybe your budgeting goes out the window when a new saison hits the shelves?
Put aside your anger for price inflation and let’s delve into your personal temptations.
Me? I’ll buy any IPA that’s wood-aged, any unusually spiced saison and pretty much any wild ale. Prices be damned.