I wonder if anyone actually goes on a quest for beer anymore. I try and hit the local bottle shops when a new beer is released and if I am in a new area I look for a brewery to visit or beers to try, but does anyone truly quest for beer? Back before we changed the alcohol laws in NC I can remember driving all over southern Virginia looking for Barleywine. Then later that year I had a trip to Reno and California and went looking for it everywhere. There really were only two available at the time, Bigfoot and Old Foghorn and neither was in season so I was SOL. We would send someone to another state to pick up cases of beers we could not get legally in NC or beers which were not distributed on the other side of the state. I can remember someone getting a line on Highland Cold Mountain and I purchase a case of liter flip top bottles and they were outstanding. Today I just don’t see that happening. Occasionally someone will post their haul from another state, but it is at best a grouping. Back in the day I had fabricated a box which would hold growlers and that was my carry on luggage when I traveled back and forth from upstate NY to home.

I know people travel for beer and make plans to go to particular breweries, but I’m just not sure anyone quests like we once did. In some ways I miss the hunt, but I sure am grateful I can go to the local store for a growler fill or a sixpack of a beer I once had to drive six states to get. There are still beers we cannot obtain, but the list is much shorter and even if I cannot get that super elusive triple X whatchamacallit I can typically find a suitable fill in somewhere close to home.

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