Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting Front Row Seats

If you're a fan of live music, then you've likely had this experience:

Your favorite band is coming to town to play a show, and tickets are scarce.  They go on sale on a certain day at a certain time.  You carve out that time in your schedule far in advance, making sure you won't have conflicts that might jeopardize your purchase, and when the tickets go on sale you're online, refreshing the page every few seconds until you're given the chance to buy them.  You don't worry about ticket price.  You're not concerned about convenience fees.  You know that if you miss the opportunity to see the concert, that you'll regret it and that's not acceptable.  In the mad rush to purchase you buy as many tickets as you can, thinking of your friends and knowing that they will certainly buy one from you, essentially spending their money for them without pause.

That same sense of urgency seized me this week as Hops Direct finished pelletizing some of the most sought-after hop varieties and placed them on sale earlier this evening.  I checked their site on Monday and saw that Amarillo, Chinook and Citra hops would be available for purchase on Friday.  There has been talk in the homebrewing community about the difficulty in acquiring certain hop varietals.  Some types are trademarked, and can only be grown in limited quantities.  Many of the most desirable aroma and dual purpose hops used in IPAs are purportedly difficult to find this year for the homebrewer with limited buying power.  I started to get anxious.  When would their website refresh?  Should I stay up until midnight with the expectation that 12:01 would be the start of my chance to purchase these hops?  Lewy and I discussed some strategy, but ultimately braced for disappointment.  Early this morning and then throughout the day, I checked Hops Direct and saw that the new varieties had not been added to their online store.  Away from the computer all afternoon, Lewy sent me updates periodically, telling me that there had been no change.  Suddenly, at ten minutes to 5:00, Lewy sent me a text message:

"Buy, buy!"

I dashed upstairs to the computer. logged on, and made my purchase, a pound each of:


By the time I finished checking out, the Citra and Amarillo were sold out, hundreds of pounds purchased in less than 10 minutes by the brewing public, hungry for alpha and beta acids in their homebrews.  Now it's time to tweak my favorite Double IPA recipe.


  1. That is crazy. I'm glad I'm not a big hop user or I would be sad.

    I guess the same thing happens with all the amazing East Coast Yeast too. So the sour beer guys are just as crazy.

  2. Jeff, You are hop guys go nuts this time of year. With that said, it's nice to be able to brew a simple Belgian with 1 oz of hop total and not really worry about the style of hop.

    As for this year I'm glad that I got my hands on over 2 pounds of Citra, 1 of Simcoe and one of Amarillo....Plus the other essential hops.


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