Stone's Ruination IPA, How We're Killing Craft Beer."
|Discontinued Stone Ruination IPA
The point of the blog post was this: when was the last time you, the craft beer enthusiast, bought a brewery's flagship beer? When did you choose a pack of Dogfish Raison d'Etre or Bell's Kallamazoo Stout over a new, seasonal release? How do you economically encourage breweries to continue to produce their "big classics?" Pointing the question back at myself, I felt upset. I love Stone's Ruination, have brought it on trips, and even homebrewed a Ruination clone.
But to be fair, my beer purchases do often go for the rare, the seasonal, or eclectic over the classics. Just last month I bought a single $12.99 bottle of Rogue's Sriracha Stout just for the experience of tasting it, when I could have bough a four pack of the always exceptional Founder's Breakfast Stout.
Continuing that thought, when I visit the bar offshoots of breweries like Troegs or Dogfish, I fall in love with the fact that you can come and sample their random one-offs and brewery exclusives. Trying the mouth-mashed chicha corn beer at Dogfish in August '14 was a highlight of my beer-enthusiast life! Why settle for delicious-but-readily-available beers of Weyerbacher, when I can drive to the brewery for their tap room only beers?
But this post isn't meant to be a grievous gripe-fest. I love Stone Ruination IPA and I am sad to see it disappear from the U.S. craft beer marketplace. But that's what craft beer is, a marketplace. Stone Ruination IPA had over a decade of success behind it. But when the market shifts, small companies need to adapt.
So here I am, with four final bottles of Stone Ruination IPA.
I'm using each one to toast to the future.