From limited to legend
A while back a good friend and I were talking about what our favorite beers were, when a very interesting twist to the conversation occurred. Things started out easy enough, but as the talk went on we went from what our favorite beer was, to what we thought the *best* beer in the world was. Granted this is a very fluid and subjective topic, but believe it or not, we had yet another odd twist take place. I don't think I can explain the discussion in generalizations, so I will have to take you down the road that we went on using an example from my side of the story.
When asked what my favorite beer was, I had no problem admitting that the Founders KBS Stout was very high on that list, if not sitting at the very top. Then, without hesitation, when asked what I thought the best beer in the world was, I again stated that the Founders KBS Stout reigns supreme in my better beer world. Where things got interesting was when the simple question of ''Why?'' was asked. I mean, the obvious answer for me is because it is one of the most delicious beers I have ever had in front of my face. But as we continued to dig deeper into the subject, an even more interesting question was posed. Are certain beers considered amazing, or great, or world class simply due to their limited availability? Beers like the Founders KBS Stout, or Russian River Brewing Company's Pliny the Elder are some of the first to come to mind when hashing this topic out. They are highly difficult to get your hands on, if not damn near impossible in most cases. Now are they great beers? Absolutely. But are they the absolute best of the best based solely on their stylistic merits, or has their limited availability helped to contribute to their legendary status?
Think about it like this: The Bugatti Veyron is considered by many as one of the finest automobiles that man has ever created. How amazing would we consider it if it clocked in at under $30,000 instead of its original MSRP of $2,250,000 and high school kids were zipping around in them? Leonardo da Vinci's art is some of the most sought after items on the face of the earth, with some examples selling for over $200,000,000. How would they be viewed if anyone could walk into the local Walmart and purchase one along with a case of oil and a 10 pack of socks for under $25?
Do you get what I'm saying now? Has part of the legend of how good some beers are developed from the fact that most of us can rarely, if ever, get them even close to being in our glass? Or would they be just as good if you could walk into your local gas station on a Thursday afternoon and pick up a case of them? I just thought I would toss the question out there and see what everyone else thought.