More to be thankful for – Black Friday doesn’t have to suck.

Picture this – racing to the back of a store to grab the last 50” TV on super sale, while forty others do the exact same thing immediately to your left and right.  Hashtag, this is my nightmare.

Instead, bask in a new emerging tradition that is Black Friday for craft beer lovers.  Many craft beer establishments across the country have begun releasing specialty beers on this once dreaded day.  Some are producing these pleasing concoctions to provide us “mall ditchers” a new path and a new excuse to actually enjoy the holiday season.  Release parties are by invite and require an RSVP from mug club members and some still require you to wait in a line.  Lines shouldn’t dampen your spirits, this is not your ordinary line. 

Essentially, this collection of craft beer obsession is a craft beer drinker’s social paradise.  Talk with your line buddies about what beers you’re currently into, what brews you’ve been brewing, where they get their industry info, what you are cellaring, or even topics unrelated to beer (if you can think of any).

The most sought after beer release every Black Friday is Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island and its five variant friends:

1.  Bourbon County Brand Stout

2.  Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

3.  Bourbon County Brand Barleywine

4.  Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout (flavors of blueberry and almond)

5.  Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (flavors evoking bananas Foster)

6.  Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (aged in 11-year-old Knob Creek bourbon barrels)

Bourbon County.jpg

If you haven’t experienced these beers, I recommend doing so.  These are truly remarkable beers, each with a distinct uniqueness that is perfect for building your cellar and your skilled palate.  If possible, refrain from being a beer snob for just a moment and steer your pessimism from the fact that Goose Island is no longer a privately owned company and has defected to the “dark side” (InBev).  You’ll be glad you did.

Talk with your local beer store about when they think the line will start forming and when they usually get their Friday shipments.  Every place is different.  Some like the mystique of the whole thing and will keep you in the dark and some like to help a fellow craft beer crazy out.

This craft beer experience shares similarities with passionate concert goers, new tech early adopters, all vying for a shred of the unique occasion and severe FOMO that may follow if you choose not to get your ass out the door on Black Friday.     


Justin Hines