It’s dark, pouring rain, a chilling howl from the wind permeates your eardrums. There’s a flickering street light with a hooded man beneath it. You can’t see what he’s holding. Your heart races, you begin to sweat profusely. You inch closer. You squint, and there it is… He’s holding a bottle of Cantillon! You proceed to exchange beers like its an illegal drug deal, never giving names, nor telling the other your area of residence. You go home feeling like you survived a near death experience…
Beer trading does not have to be this way.
With every IP (in person) trade I conduct, I always make sure to meet the other trader in a space where we can have a beer, have a cup of coffee or simply sit down and chat for 5-10 minutes. We travel the world, chase trucks, wait in line at 2am and jump through flaming hoops to find these beers; isn’t it worth a few minutes to hear the story behind the beers, but more importantly, hear the stories behind the people trading the beer?
Of course, it doesn’t always work out that the other trader can stay for a beer, but at least make an effort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down with a trader I’ve never traded with before in my life, shared a few beers, and heard some phenomenal stories about their beer travels, beer hunting and beyond. Sometime these encounters turn into long friendships. So, stop meeting guys in parking lots and go grab a beer with them. BeerAdvocate has it’s place in the beer world, but if you’re trading local, take the time to meet the people behind the beer, it’ll be well worth your while.