What’s a Beer Like You Doing in a Place Like This?

I continue to marvel at the growth of craft beer. I’m a firm believer that when folks, no matter their background, find good beer they’ll know what to do with it.  They typically embrace it.  Sure good beer costs a bit more than the run of the mill stuff, but even the uninitiated can usually taste the value.

Even though I know this to be true, I still find it amazing how craft beer continues to worm its way into the mainstream.

Here’s a good example. I was at the mechanic’s this weekend in West Milford, New Jersey to get my wife’s geriatric minivan tended to. After picking up the van, I realized I had a hankering for a good barrel-aged stout. Problem was West Milford is kind of remote, and last time I checked, the liquor stores there carried just the basics. Newcastle was exotic.  

But it had been a year or two and I was there, so I decided to pop into the Valley View Pub, which always had the best selection in town.

When I walked in the door, I was immediately disappointed, because where they used to have a few short aisles full of mostly domestic beer, they now had open floor space. I scanned the far wall only to find a pretty average selection of booze and some mixers. The middle of the store wasn’t any better, with the shelves holding a minimal selection of wine. It appeared the place had regressed since last visit.

I made my way to the cooler in hopes of scoring some Dogfish Head or maybe something from the Brooklyn Brewery, and there I found the mother lode. 80% of the wall to wall cooler space was packed with a really great selection of craft beers from Founders, Terrapin, Oskar Blues and more.

And right in the middle of all this wonderful beer was the crowned jewel – a four pack of Founders KBS!  I was in the mood for a good barrel-aged stout and here was a doozy.  The four pack was $22.99, but I decided to go for it, reasoning $5.75 was a fair price to pay per bottle for KBS.  I also grabbed a four pack of Founder’s Breakfast Stout to help stretch my goodies out a bit.

I think seeing a small town beer store go all in on craft beer like this is sign of things to come.  As more and more people like us spread the word about good beer (and “beer it forward” by sharing), I think this trend will continue.  Eventually “craft beer” will just be “beer” like a lot of the good stuff was before Prohibition screwed everything up.

In the meantime, it might pay to double back and see what’s happening at a couple of the beer stores you gave up on years ago.  You never know what hidden gems you may find.

These are the Golden Days of craft beer – enjoy them!

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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8 Comments on “What’s a Beer Like You Doing in a Place Like This?”

  1. October 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    If there are anymore KBS there you can mail them to me COD ASAP!

    • October 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      It was the last 4 pack, John. And I only got one of them. My wife unrepentantly enjoyed the other three over the weekend!

      • October 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

        I’d grant you a divorce on those grounds alone.

        • October 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

          Are you kidding?! She didn’t blink at me spending $22.99 for four beers.

          She’s a keeper!!

  2. bierfesten
    October 20, 2010 at 2:43 am #

    Loved the story.. I often feel like a Bourbon Stout when I’m picking a car from the mechanics! Yes as you pointed out these are the Golden Days of the Craft beer renaissance..

    • October 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

      I feel like an Imperial Stout most of the time, actually! And as far as the Golden Days thing, i just did a post on it, which kinda made me sad.

  3. Mark S.
    October 20, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Last weekend I had a similar thing happen. My wife and I were taking a long weekend at a B&B in central PA, and we discovered that only a couple of doors down from the B&B was a wonderful British-style pub with many, many quality beers on tap. I was very happy camper!

    Here’s a link to the pub:

    Here’s what they have on tap this week…
    # Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin
    # De Ranke XX Belgian IPA
    # Thirsty Dog Whippet Wheat
    # Founders Curmudgeon
    # Blue Point Toasted Lager
    # Smuttynose Barleywine
    # Rogue McRogue XS Scotch Ale
    # Bear Republic Late Harvest
    # Stone IPA
    # Cherish Raspberry Lambic
    # Original Sin Cider
    # Weissenohe Monks Fest
    # Piraat
    # Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
    # Troeg’s Dead Reckoning Porter
    # Victory Hop Wallop


    • October 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

      Nice! And in walking distance, too. You stumbled on to it, and no doubt stumbled away from it as well.

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