In a world where everything seems available at any time, be it a Venezuelan psychedelia or a grenade sticker, I’d like to come out in favor of limited beer distribution. You simply cannot get certain beers whenever and wherever you want. Sure, you can join Beer of the Month clubs, but if you’re in Connecticut and you’re pining for an Alba Scots Pine Ale, you’re simply not going to be able to order it online or pick it up down the street.

Driving across the country and finding beer in tiny breweries is one of life’s simple pleasures (unless your car breaks down, turning it into a complicated pleasure). I was reminded of this recently when a good friend brought a still cold growler of Front Street Brewery Tripel Play. I wouldn’t be able to have this shipped to me. I’m not about to drive to Wilmington, North Carolina, for this delicacy. It was a wonderful gift because it went beyond the postcard picture; it delivered authenticity.

So when you hear a fellow patron complain to a liquor store owner or bartender that it’s bullhockey that you can’t get X beer, think about the joy of the quest. It’s one of the concepts that makes America great.

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