Supply, Demand, and the Dark Lord

I studied economics in college. It's a fascinating subject. Here's a simple lesson for you. Shortages are created when demand exceeds supply. The extent of the shortage impacts human behavior.  This is where it gets interesting. In the first world, when shortages are combined with hype, people do seemingly irrational things. Does anyone remember Cabbage Patch Kids? 

A similar phenomenon happens in the beer world. A handful of beers (including Russian River's Pliny The Younger, Westvleteren 12, and Three Floyd's Dark Lord) have achieved a cult-like status. Beer geeks will spend hours in line and/or travel far and wide for the chance to obtain a small taste. 

The near hysteria occurs in Portland every February when Russian River's Pliny the Younger comes to town. You can get an idea of what happens by reading this and this.  Although I've never spent hours in line (yet), I'm a beer geek and am captivated by the charms of these scarce beers.

Last week, one of these gems unexpectedly ended up in my hands. A friend (who is the brother of a beer geek) attended Dark Lord Day in his hometown of Munster, Indiana. He bought his allotment of bottles and thought I would appreciate one. He was right. A shiny new bottle of the elusive Dark Lord! I haven't opened it yet. This is a beer that should be shared, so I'll wait for the right occasion to crack it open.

It's very well rated by both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.  While I'm sure Dark Lord is an excellent, I expect it will be nearly impossible for it to live up to the hype. Even if it doesn't, that's OK with me. Taste is just one part of the experience when it comes to these beers!  For a first hand account of Dark Lord Day, check out this post from an Indiana beer blogger.

Finally, a huge thanks to my friend Champ for sharing the Dark Lord with me! It's a special treat!

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