White Whales and Founders KBS Dethroned?

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White Whales and Founders KBS Dethroned?
If you're into craft beer as a semi serious hobby you probably already know all the craft beer slang and what the term white whale means in the craft beer community, if not I'll explain it real quick. White Whale: a beer highly sought after that is very hard to obtain and costly to trade for. When I first started my adventure into craft beer I wasn't much for chasing whales rather I enjoyed local and easy to get beers. After awhile however I started to develop my palate and figured out I enjoyed imperial stouts and good bourbon. This led me on my first whale chase to drink Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout.

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
I started by doing some research to see where I could find it and get a full glass of it to see if it was really the beer of my dreams. This led me to a place called Local Option located in Chicago Illinois. This place is kind of like beer geek heaven nice food and a great bottle and draft list. I was able to get a 12oz pour of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and was impressed tons of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak and little hops for balance and thought hey there might be something to this white whale thing. While I was in Illinois I also made the trip to 3 Floyd's to see if I could luck up on some Zombie Dust.
I checked 3 Floyd's website the week I was in Illinois as 3 Floyd's is only 30 minutes away and Zombie Dust was not listed, and from what other's said it would not be available again for quite awhile. I decided I would go anyway just to go and see the place at least. What I saw next was my first experience how serious some people take it. I drove into 3 Floyd's lot that was packed and saw grandma's, and wives piling cases of Zombie dust into their cars. I was able to buy a case and try it on draft and thought it was a solid American Pale Ale smells and taste of pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine a little biscuit notes I can easily see why it's talked about in such high regard.

White Whales Are Rare Finds
Now fast-forward a few years to 2015 I finally decided to chase my last Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. As it happened there was a special tapping in Ann Arbor at Ashley's on Valentines Day. This was my first time chasing a draft whale of this caliber and expected a huge line but I got there at 9am and was the first person in line much to my surprise. I was able to get in a few hours later and was brought a 5oz pour of Canadian Breakfast Stout which did not disappoint. Great mouth feel, coffee, maple vanilla, coconut worth the hype it gets in my opinion. If you ever get the chance to try this beer I say go for it it's a well put together beer whether your into the style or not your appreciate the craftsmanship of this beer.
Now onto current whales. The whale known as Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout or KBS came out a week or so ago and the chase believe it or not was pretty fun. I decided to join the chase this year to see if things were as crazy as some of the stories I've heard. I'm happy to report the chasers were out but didn't seem as crazy as some have led me to believe. We each shared stores getting deliveries and the best game plan to hit all the areas receiving KBS. I highly suggest chasing this one at least once just for the experience and some of the great chase stories others will undoubtedly have.

White Whale Chasers Are A Fun Group
A nice surprise the same release day as KBS was Weyerbacher's Sunday Morning Stout which in my opinion is KBS on steroids, definitely worth the hype high ratings and praise it's getting right now and appears to be on its way to white whale status. If you lucked out on KBS I suggest picking this one up if you can find it, its not KBS but it's a darn fine beer. This was a treat to be able to buy a whale and get to see a beer finally released in bottles become a whale at the same time. As always you can catch me on Beer Advocate , Ratebeer and HomebrewTalk under the name Ohiobeer29 or on twitter at @ohiobeer29 to trade beer stories, reviews and thoughts on the next great beer to look out for.
I had a Founders KBS in Dublin, Ireland last week. Was very surprised to stumble upon it here. It was amazing though so I bought a couple more that are now sitting in my stash at home. Anyway it doesn't seem to be too hard to get in Ireland at the moment so I'm guessing there must be more than usual this year?
I've seen people get in a fist fight over the last bottle of KBS at a store in Asheville NC. But aren't all of these just regular "whales?" I thought the term "white whale" was reserved for things like Cantillon's first few batches that there's like less than 10 bottles left in the world and no more being made.
I have only been brewing since late 2013 and more interested in developing my own palate since then. In addition to just wanting to try a variety of quality beer, I want to learn about a range of styles and their best repesentatives, so that I know what to look for in my own homebrews. Unfortunately, BCBS comes out on Black Friday and I'm always traveling and can't find a place to buy it. And other "white whales"? I'm just not willing to waste hours in a line for a 2 bottle limit of anything.
I was up in Lundington Michigan about a month back and was in a bar and was shocked to see CBS on tap AND no one else paying attention to it. I swear I probably drank half that keg myself.
The craft beer community is so committed I can't believe it. They wrote an entire lengthy novel about whaling as a metaphor for getting hard to find beers. It's such a good book that maybe people outside of the craft beer community will enjoy it and start using our slang terms for other elusive items.
Fun article. Thanks for sharing.
My current white-whale here in TX is Saint Arnold's Bishop Barrel #9 with is their fall-seasonal Pumpkinator (Russian Imperial) with spices and aged in bourbon barrels.
A good time to try some of Founders hard to find beers is during or a few days after their annual Black Party. I stopped in and was able to get KBS and CBS on tap. No bottles though.
@m00ps I think it all depends on who you ask. One person's "white whale" is another person's "whale" is another person's "every-day-drinking beer." Those that don't appreciate Cantillon won't consider it a while whale.
@douglasbarbin Hah, I was thinking the same thing! It could use some punctuation at least.
I've never been a whale chaser myself. Anything that hyped is bound to disappoint me. I was able to get some Heady Topper from a friend last year. It is a unique and amazing beer, but it's still just beer. Certainly not worth the trouble some go through to get it.
Aside from the editing. I'm not really sure what the point of this article is or what value it adds here. Sorry to say, don't mean to be a jerk.
@mclaughlindw4 I tend to agree. The gist of it is, "I chased some rare beers and also some not-so-rare beers, and they were good." Not the worst story I've ever read, but I don't think it's going to make any of us better homebrewers.
Sometimes I think the folks who run this site put articles up on the front page without even reading them. This may be one of those cases.
when you work your ass off for a living, this kind of nonsense makes you want to slap the piss out of some people. some of us can hardly afford to eat and there are moron's out standing in line to pay ridiculous amounts of money for a single 12oz bottle of beer. shows the major class divide that exists in this country. some people will do anything to be cool.
image is nothing...thirst is everything
So the author publicly admits to going to a bar at 9 am, waiting a "couple of hours" for 5 oz of breakfast stout. Is anyone supposed to take this guy seriously?
Isn't the website called HOMEBREW talk? Why an article about beer nerds spending hours to get two mouthfulls of commercial beer?
Alright, everyone has their hobbies, if people want to chase around getting hard to find beer, that's Ok, but this article has absolutely nothing to do with homebrewing.
Well, at least I read this article, unlike the endless stream of funky mead articles. I mean, the percentage of mead brewers on this site has to be less than 10%, and of those probably 1% are interested in "funky" mead, whatever that is.
@BrewerJack When complaining about grammar, please use proper grammar. The correct verb tense you were looking for there was "needed TO BE proofread and edited".
(Hope I didn't make any grammatical errors!)
Technically, your last sentence is missing a subject.
Unless it's a command to BrewerJack that he should hope you didn't make any grammatical errors...
:- P
What I don't get about this article is the "dethroned" part of the title. Nothing is dethroned. If anything KBS is supported on it's "pedestal" by this article. A nice little read, but it doesn't really tell you much.
Regarding quality of articles and proofreading . . . this is an internet forum, not a professional newspaper or magazine. I would guess Homebrewtalk can't afford to hire an editor and that the mods who run the site don't specialize in editing. Perhaps one of the members who are so upset by the lack of editing could offer to DO the editing for these articles in their spare time?
I see the thread regarding quality of front-page articles was abruptly forgotten.
This belongs on one man's obscure craft beer blog, not the front page of HBT
@geoffey many of us have offered, in fact there is a whole thread dedicated to it. In it, you will notice that many members feel that front page articles should be held to a higher standard than basic forum posts. FWIW the forum posts tend to have better grammar, spelling, and punctuation than most of the articles.
I live in WV - we're lucky to get Sierra Nevada, much less any "white whale"... I have to drive 90 minutes to be able to buy DFH or Laguanitas standard beers.
I'm glad my own beers are rarer than these white whales, and all in my own dwelling. lol. Just as immaculate in their creation, and ultra-limited in their quantity. That, my friends, is the power of home-brewing. Aren't we all glad to be home brewers now?
thanks for the artical raymond
and thanks for the great web site Austin and crew.
i would,nt change a thing about the site,except to ask some of the speciel little snowflakes here to go back to tumblr where they clearly belong
I rarely search out beers at all, and if then I won't pay huge prices (not above market). My brother recently moved to NYC, so we have been doing bottle swaps, and my best friend lives in Austin still so I'll have him grab me a Jester King if there's something interesting. After trying Heady Topper, I realized all of the hype that surrounds most of these beers. They are marginally better than other beers, yet are hyped to the point that it seems like they are the pinnacle of perfection.
Having said this: if I saw a KBS or BCBS sitting on the shelf for a reasonable price, I'd grab one. I would not sit in line for an extended period of time to get a pour though. Some of my favorite beers are ones I rarely hear anyone else talk about and happened to grab off the shelf (BFM √225 anyone?).
I don't get the KBS hype. Yes, it is a really good beer, but I feel like there are so many other beers that are better. I could almost argue that a Bell's Expedition aged 1-2 years is a better beer.
Local Option is one of my favorite bars in Chicago. Great staff and beer selection. I had a Parabola there a few years ago which was amazing.
and on a random note... CBS and KBS were both on tap last night at Comerica Park for the Tiger's game.
We are community of people who enjoy beer. This is an article about finding and drinking the latest popular commercial beer. My homebrew club was hot on the trail of the recent KBS release. I don't love every article but appreciate that someone took the time and effort to submit one. Feel free to write a better one.
@bigdaddybrew You're right. Now we know a little bit more about what's out there without having to do all the work! Win Win, not to mention all the expense. Kudo's to you Raymond. There's probably even some clone recipes that we can now jump on. Think positive my brothers!
Didn't even know it was a white whale or even a whale. Was at my local Total Wine with a nice Founder's Regional rep showing appreciation for what I knew about Founders and slip me a 4 pack of KBS (I had NO Clue what it was at the time) and when I got to the register and saw the $24 price I about went into shock but decided to smile and pay. WOW! Can you say strong! It was like drinking half of a great chocolate Coffee stout with a shot of great Kentucky Bourbon mixed in. Needless to say I slept well.