It is either a rut or I have developed a staples list for the beer stash. We were over in the USA this afternoon. As the far side of the customs booth is only 35 minutes from my driveway so this is not any great luxury but I am noticing a certain pattern in recent trips. A bunch of cubes of Sixpoint beers. A six of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter. A couple of Saison Dupont and a St. Bernardus 12 along with a few Rochefort 8s and 10s. In addition, there are a few one offs. This time is was a Lindemans Faro and a six of Troegs' Dream Weaver but for the most part these beers - along with a few solid regulars from the LCBO like Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier - are my "must have" selection for a well operating stash barrier. Stash barrier? My theory of the stash is that there are layers. You want to place a few things out front so that you won't dig deeper unless you are adamant, unless you have a certain goal in mind. As a result, a modest number of older strong beers remain buried and hidden in their mixed cases protected by the sacrifice offered by their tasty but reasonably priced and far more reasonably available brethren. Weaken the barrier through neglect? This sort of thing happens.
All makes sense, right? But is this the path to an underlying complacency? Will I start comparing other beers to these and immediately find the others lacking... one key accusation beer nerds make of those they get finger pointy about. No sense of adventure. Or are these actually solid enough and diverse enough to serve as my own version of the early Jacksonian "classic example" against which styles were to be measured? It's not like they are all I try. I had a Cameron's newish RPA last evening, thanking God for those kind souls who send samples, that I really quite liked and which I thought handled its rye in a manner that placed it within the ballpark of Sixpoint's Righteous Ale though, to be honest, not in the box seats but not in the bleachers either.
Is this a rut? Or, if a reliable standard, are others of this sort that I need to add to the list to make sure the yard stick measures a full 36 inches?