Scarcity in the Land of Plenty

When I was a wee tyke in Chicago, I would always hear of the mysterious Coors beer. At the time, Coors was only available west of the Mississippi River, which created an aura about the beer (not to mention a great storyline in the highly quotable movie Smokey and the Bandit).

Today, that "exclusive" aura is rare, since most products are available just about anywhere - if not in retail stores, then at least online.

Enter New Glarus.

New Glarus is a highly lauded Wisconsin brewery that, for 4 glorious years, sold its beer in Illinois. But thanks to a donnybrook over distribution rights (which would've cost the brewery a mere $20,000), New Glarus shut off distribution to one of its biggest, most passionate markets.

That was 9 years ago. Since then, New Glarus has become liquid gold here in Chicago - one of the most talked about and sought after beers around. Any friends visiting from Madison are told to bring along a case. And on weekends, people are trekking up toward Milwaukee to grab as much as their trunks can fit.

It's just one example that shows the value of scarcity continues to increase.

Recently, I had New Glarus' new beer, Stone Soup. It was phenomenal. I think it was the taste, but knowing it would be the only one I had for a while surely helped.


Peter T. said...


-Madisonian turned Chicagoan

Alec Jankowski said...

I'm from Madison and have lived in Georgia for four years. It has been a hard four years.

Here I come Chicago, and you can bet I'll be trekking up to Madison weekly.