What am I not getting about Hopslam?

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TheBookPolice
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What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:01 am

No, not that people love it. I love it, too. What I don't get is how other markets that get Hopslam can sell out of it in hours, while Madison will have cases of it available for days -- if not weeks (?).

http://kstp.com/news/stories/S3290104.shtml

"It is the holy grail of beers," Long said.

"Probably one of the top five most highly sought after beers in the United States," said Jason Alvey, the owner of The Four Firkins Beer Store in St. Louis Park.

It's called Hopslam -- a double IPA made in Michigan and released just once a year. It sells out in a matter of hours.

"You have to get it while it's in, otherwise you're going to wait a whole year," said Janet Kennedy, another craft beer fan who bought Hopslam at Four Firkins on Monday.

And Kennedy is not waiting.

"If Alvey's out of it, I will try to follow and see where the truck might have gone and find it at another store," Kennedy said.


I'm also surprised that a retailer like Four Firkins, which I respect greatly and shop at whenever I'm out there, would put it in a top-five list of chase beers nationally. If it's in the top 5, it's a distant 5th. But the dudes there know their business, so from their perspective, maybe it's more solidly in that ranking...?

And there's plenty of Hopslam fervor in Madison. I myself went out for a sixer the day it dropped, at Trixie's (Hi drinkslinger!), and I ran into a fellow beer writer who was also picking some up. His comment: "It's like birds to the feeder." But gone in hours? Unlikely.

talagaster
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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby talagaster » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:00 am

A big segment of Wisconsin beer drinkers have blinders on against anything that isn't brewed in the Badger State. If it's not brewed in Wisco proper, they have no knowledge and/or no interest in it.

Brewers have talked about how this is a great market to start up in but it seems like a hard one to break into. It's part of the reason Dogfish Head pulled away for a bit, why struggle for marketshare in Wisconsin when other states would eagerly gobble up whatever they could produce?

Plus, it is easy to understand why Minnesotans would get excited when they have a good beer to drink other than Surly.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:02 am

WI has double IPA's that are just as good. I like Hopslam, its a good beer, but no one I know goes out of their way for it, including myself.

Last I heard Cork'n'Bottle got about 12 cases last week, down to about 8 now. It goes quick compared to some beers, but most people aren't door crashing to get it.

-Dan Motor

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby gargantua » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:10 pm

I like Hopslam a lot. But at its price point, I don't buy much of it, because there are indeed many other very good double IPA's that I can afford to buy more of.

I don't much care where a beer comes from. If it's good and worth the price, I'm getting it.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby rrnate » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:26 pm

Wait! Is it out now? *breaks in to a cold sweat*

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Dangerousman » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:29 pm

Hopsin? A talented rapper, but not my favorite.

Ohhh.... Hopslam? Never tried it. Might have to if it's getting rave reviews. Right now I have Guinness Extra Stout, Hacker-Pschorr Octoberfest, St. Pauli Girl Dark, and Beck's on hand. That's a combine brewing history of around 1200 years, so it has to be an exceptional beer to make me want to try something "new."

Is it bitter? I hope so!

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby jman111 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:47 pm

Having never tried Hopslam, how does it compare to Devil Dancer?

I'm not a hophead, but there's something about DD that I love. It's even better after cellaring for a year (that's as long as I could wait, but I'm gonna try to hold out longer on this year's batch). The time seems to smooth it out a bit.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:50 pm

"Probably one of the top five most highly sought after beers in the United States," said Jason Alvey, the owner of The Four Firkins Beer Store in St. Louis Park.

I wonder what he thinks the other four are.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:00 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
"Probably one of the top five most highly sought after beers in the United States," said Jason Alvey, the owner of The Four Firkins Beer Store in St. Louis Park.

I wonder what he thinks the other four are.

I'm betting that Alvey might revise that assessment if he took a few more moments to think about the competition for Hopslam. Four spots is too few to account for KBS, Bourbon County Stout, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Heady Topper, Dark Lord, Zombie Dust, and even Darkness and Backwoods Bastard. I'd put all of those in front of Hopslam, but again, I could very well be missing something about how Hopslam sells in other markets. I've got a friend who lives in Michigan who regularly buys 8-10 cases, to last him until May or so.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Endo Rockstar » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:16 pm

jman111 wrote:Having never tried Hopslam, how does it compare to Devil Dancer?

I'm not a hophead, but there's something about DD that I love. It's even better after cellaring for a year (that's as long as I could wait, but I'm gonna try to hold out longer on this year's batch). The time seems to smooth it out a bit.



It's been a while since I've had Devil Dancer, but if I remember correctly its a smoother brew with a more interesting flavor.

I'm with you on not being a hophead.

Dan Motor

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby jman111 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:08 pm

Endo Rockstar wrote:It's been a while since I've had Devil Dancer, but if I remember correctly its a smoother brew with a more interesting flavor.

So I tried Hopslam last night and you definitely remember correctly. Hopslam is solid, but I'm surprised by it's sought-after status. There are too many other good choices in this style.

As is often the case, rare here doesn't equal exceptional. People used to crash doors for Beanie Babies, too.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Wino » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:22 pm

Woodman's East has a shit-ton of the stuff. Just saw at least a dozen cases piled up near the checkouts. Might even be more in the refrig area. Didn't venture back that way, this is brown liquor weather.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Dangerousman » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:14 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
"Probably one of the top five most highly sought after beers in the United States," said Jason Alvey, the owner of The Four Firkins Beer Store in St. Louis Park.

I wonder what he thinks the other four are.


Well he's full of crap. Obviously the most sought is what far outsells the rest.
1) Bud Light
2) Budweiser
3) Coors Light
4) Miller Lite
5) Natural Light

horse piss, all of them.

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby john_titor » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:06 pm

gargantua wrote:I like Hopslam a lot. But at its price point, I don't buy much of it, because there are indeed many other very good double IPA's that I can afford to buy more of.

The Article wrote:So 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Steve Tellier bought a $17 six-pack


I try not to be cheap and live life, but just today I sternly complained to myself for purchasing the $10 Anchor Steam.

Are production costs that high? Is it a feature of supply and demand? A function of what the market will beer?

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Re: What am I not getting about Hopslam?

Postby Athena » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:34 pm

Since I read this post, I went out and bought a bottle of Hopslam. It was good. I didn't think it was the best beer I'd ever had or anything, but I'd drink it again. As for the price, I don't think it is unreasonable for a beer maker to charge more for something popular. Look at what the wine drinkers have to pay and you can't say that us beer drinkers don't have it easy.

I actually didn't like Devil Dancer. Too bitter for me. But I'm not much of a hop head. I do like Zombie Dust though.


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