As we exited 2019, I saw the social media chatter about “Dry January”. As I better understood what it was, I thought it would be a good idea to participate. It’s been some time since I took a break from the Stout circuit and figured that some time away would reset my palate, give me some perspective and get me off to a healthy start in 2020. Now that we’re in February and I successfully achieved the goal of a dry January, I’ll share my learnings and observations….
- It was a relatively easy transition. Keep in mind that I enjoy Stouts only on days that begin with “S” (and truth be told, sometimes “F”). As a weekend Stout imbiber, it wasn’t very difficult to focus my time and energy elsewhere.
- January is a busy time for Stout releases….I guess I knew that, but watching as a spectator rather that a participant reinforced that fact. Maybe my next dry month would be better spent during the summer months during the traditional “Stout Drought”….”Dry July” perhaps?
- This Stout season seems to be crazier than previous seasons. Brewery only releases with limited bottle counts, collaborations between brewers and breweries, and beer fests focused on Stouts all contribute to the FOMO frenzy on social media.
- This FOMO frenzy then leads to skyrocketing valuations on the secondary market that put many Stouts out of reach to the majority of us Stout lovers….$4$ trades are becoming a rarity these days. Kudos to those traders who still entertain these trades for limited release Stouts!
- There also appears to be another group of trading which is becoming more prevalent – the beer for bourbon trade. Those who are in both camps (and have access to both) are able to translate valuations between hard to find bourbon and hard to find Stouts.
Now that the calendar has flipped to February (and fortunately for me, February 1 just happened to start with an “S”), I enjoyed my first Stout of 2020, a 2019 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout – Mon Cheri variant.
As I continue my Stout journey, I continue to go whale hunting but will also have a better perspective that some will always be out of reach…..but also knowing that trades can be made when seen by the right set of eyes. It also gives me the chance to enjoy more of those “under the radar” Stouts and to give their brewers and breweries the attention and expose that they deserve.
All in all, taking time off to reset and recalibrate was a good thing. I recommend it….and would be interested in hearing your perspective!
Have a Stoutstanding 2020!