Saturday, January 23, 2010

Supply and Demand

This was initially going to be titled “Supply VS Demand”, but then I realized I was already headed in the wrong direction. The “us VS them” mentality is exactly what I don’t want to encourage, not to mention the constant petty bickering and under-handed tactics that accomplish absolutely nothing positive in the long run. Instead, all it gets me is the inability to buy and to drink the beers I so desire. Whether she’s the new brew on the block or an old friend I haven’t tasted in years, beer choice is beer opportunity successfully managed.

The amount and availability of quality craft beers both American and foreign is a work in progress. It’s not always fair to me, selfishly speaking, but it’s also not always fair to a brewer, distributor, or store to make demands that cannot be met. Conspiracies and unfair practices aside, the reasons are many I cannot get beers such as New Belgium, Three Floyds, or Deschutes in Florida: limited production, freshness, market demand and market share, and sometimes just the simple wish of the brewer and/or distributor to keep it local. As much as I want to regularly wrap my thirsty lips around their beers, I can respect that. No one’s thirst for a beer is so selfishly righteous that they are worth the health and welfare of a great brewery, much less a great beer, before it is time. And if you don’t like that…suck it up, as Dad would say or, even better, make that road trip happen.

But what about the distributors or the shops/restaurants that sell my fermented nectar of beery love?

The majority of them do the best they can with what they can when they can. None are perfect, though some are better than others. Unless your beer is a flavorless light lager mass-produced by the billions of gallons, there is a limit to how much beer is available. Sometimes that means I don’t get a particular beer I like in Vero Beach. A bummer yes, but until I can get that beer, it’s not as though I am left stranded without dozens of other options in the meantime. I may not have gotten coveted Beer A, but more will come, the world will brew on, and thank Gambrinus for that.

So, the next time you freak out on supply and demand, stop.
Take a deep breath.
Realize the world doesn’t revolve around you.
Grasp reality and embrace hope.
Then work with the people involved to reach a solution that is best for everyone. Best of all, have a glass of glorious beer and realize how the good life is only getting better.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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